It wasn’t long ago that search engines mainly acted like online directories, but times have changed. Tons of brick-and-mortar businesses have dived headfirst into online marketing, and in response, many search engines are now functioning similarly to advertising platforms. And given that search engines are among people’s favorite tools to discover things online, they’re also great ways for companies to increase their visibility.
But what, exactly, does a company need to do to improve its listing on the biggest and most well-known search engine: Google? The best way to start is by optimizing its Google Business Profile to attract more website visitors via local search queries. This article will cover the must-employ techniques for efficient Google Business Profile optimization in 2022!
Local SEO: what it is and why it’s important
Before we dive deeper into ways to optimize your Google Business Profile, let’s define what local SEO is and why businesses should care about it. Put simply; local SEO is the process of fine-tuning your content to make it more visible to people using localized search queries.
The definition of “local” varies case-by-case, but generally speaking, it refers to a specific area, region, or country. For example, a search query such as “what is .ae” would likely be often used among people who want to know more about a United Arab Emirates domain registration. If we drill down to a city or even town level, local search queries may look something like “landscaping companies in Miami” or “best cafes in Paris.” These queries indicate that people are searching for something specific to a particular location.
Techniques to improve your local SEO
Any business that relies on sales made in close proximity to its customers should care about local SEO. Whether you’re running a brick-and-mortar shop selling physical products or have a business focusing on a specific geographic location, you can’t afford to skimp on local SEO strategies. With that in mind, let’s delve deeper into optimizing your Google Business Profile.
1. Start with some keywords
First things first, you’ll need to pick a few keywords that you want to prioritize. Keywords will go a long way toward improving your company’s visibility on Google. Do you run a dental business in New York? You’ll want to focus on keywords like “dentist in New York” and “dental implants in New York.” Have a roof repair business in Tampa, Florida? Keywords like “roof repair and replacements in Florida” and “roofing contractors Florida” should do the trick.
Keyword research can be time-consuming and potentially tricky, so it’s worth brushing up on a few ways to conduct local keyword research. Once you have your biggest keywords in mind, it’s time to see how you’re currently faring in your local search results.
2. Determine your visibility in local searches
If you have the keywords you’ll be focusing on, you’re ready to gauge your visibility level among local search results. Checking how visible your company is among local searches is also an opportunity to identify your largest competitors and the number of competitors you need to one-up.
One way to check your current visibility is by going the manual route: simply go into Google and start entering some of your keywords one at a time. You’ll then want to check out Google’s local pack to see whether your company shows up. If it does, great - that means you have a high enough level of visibility for users entering one or more of your keywords. If not, you’ll want to keep reading to see how else to optimize your local SEO.
3. Begin modifying your Google Business Profile
This is where the nitty-gritty stuff comes in. Once you’ve settled on a set of keywords and figured out your level of visibility among local search results, you’ll want to start making changes to your Google Business Profile.
Pick a title
A good place to start is with your company title on Google. Google considers the names of businesses as one of its most important factors when it comes to rankings. It stands to reason, then, that optimizing your business name will be hugely helpful in increasing your visibility among local search results. You may want to consider investigating the keywords that your biggest competitors use in their Google Business Profiles. Using those same keywords in your profile can lead to many more clicks.
Analyze the customer engagement maturity index
This may also be a good time to take advantage of a customer engagement maturity index. These indexes let you see how well you compare to your regional and industry competitors. And if you’re using engagement strategies, they’ll show you how mature your current strategy is. Over time, you’ll also be able to identify and remediate potential gaps in your personalization and customer retention strategies, and you can even access actionable reads on increasing your customer engagement.
Choose a category
Arguably as important as your business title when it comes to ranking is your primary business category. Google has a much easier time figuring out how to rank your business (as well as for which keywords) when you’re using one main category, so choose one closest to your industry once you’ve settled on a title for your Google Business Profile.
Use marketing tools
Now that you’ve been doing some digging on your competitors and their Google Business Profiles, we recommend that you use some marketing tools that let you compare your competitors and ultimately improve the position of your company’s website.
The best tools come with features like keyword competition, advertising, and content marketing that give you insight into your competitors’ activities and how to improve your own activity. If you’re using social media ads, these tools also let you monitor the progress of your ads and will compare their performance against those of your competitors.
Keep improving your profile
Other things you’ll want to focus on when modifying and improving your Google Business Profile should include your additional categories, the description of your business, your website address, and the product descriptions you have on your site. Improving each of these elements makes it easier for you to rank higher in Google and ultimately draw attention away from your largest competitors.
Improving your visibility among Google’s local search results may seem tricky at first, but if you follow some of the pointers we’ve outlined above, we guarantee it’ll be a seamless and painless process. So long as you have the right tools and materials at your disposal, you’ll have little trouble improving your visibility in just a few weeks. Good luck!