As we’ve grown and developed as an SEO agency, Victorious has consistently developed and adjusted our processes to ensure the utmost optimization. We’ve developed our own SEO audit, SEO campaigns, and a handful of on-page and off-page SEO best practices that are disrupting the SEO industry. One of the most effective off-page optimization best practices that we continue to get our hands dirty with is Google My Business (GMB) optimization.
Google My Business is a tool Google introduced that allows business owners to list their business and services on Google. When the business or related / thematically similar queries are searched, Google displays related businesses on search engine result pages (SERPs) and Google Maps search results. In the simplest terms, Google My Business is another opportunity for businesses to use SEO best practices to optimize the way their Google listing can drive organic traffic, leads, and new customers.
Our Google My Business optimization consists of implementing a handful of criteria onto Google listings. The criteria revolves around thematic keywords, geo-tags, and images. Let’s breakdown each and see the steps of bringing them all together to do a helluva optimization for your Google Business listing.
Step #1 – Edit Categories and Business Info
After logging into the brand or company’s Google account, access their proper locations profile and begin to edit the business details (i.e. hours, address, phone number) to the proper information, ensuring the business shows up with consistent information throughout the web.
Next, add any additional categories that reflect the service or product that a business provides. This helps businesses on Google to rank for relevant search queries that fall under said categories.
Step #2 – Find 12-15 Images
First step in the GMB is retrieving images to use later on. Either download images from the site that you are optimizing for, or utilize a stock photo site. If you use a stock photo site, be sure that the photos are relevant to the business, product, or service provided in some way.
Once you’ve gathered at least three images for each Google My Business image tab (Interior, Exterior, Team, At Work), upload 3-5 images for each of those four image tabs. After this, we move on to the thematic keyword research that we do for the customer.
Step #3 – Implementing Keywords
Keywords play a huge part in the way that we conduct Google My Business optimizations. When starting an SEO campaign with a customer, we do thematic keyword research, which is where we pull keywords from for the Google My Business optimization.
Take the photos from the previous step and begin to rename them. Start with the targeted keywords with the highest search volume and work your way down until each photo is renamed. An example of this is changing photo.jpg to seo-agency.jpg.
After renaming each photo, open the “Get Info” section for each image (if you’re on a Mac). Take all of the keywords used in renaming these images, and add them to the “Add Tags” section.
Once these are all renamed and tagged accordingly, you’ll need to properly geotag them.
Step #4 – Geo-Tag
The point of geo-tagging is to mimic the process of a business owner taking a photo in their physical business location and uploading that photo to the web. Most cameras and smartphones nowadays will append geo-coordinates to the image. Doing this provides a strong signal to Google that you’re a business local to the area that you are targeting, increasing the opportunity of ranking well in local searches.
To geotag each image, use a tool like Geoimgr. Enter in the exact name and address of the business to generate the latitude and longitude, and drop the handful of renamed photos from Step #2 into the upload area. Once they are all uploaded, click “Write EXIF Tags” and redownload those photos and replace the older ones with the newly geotagged.
Step #5 – Post Images and Upvote
Lastly, go to the customer’s Google+ page and begin to upload the optimized images. Take these images and in their “Get Info” section, insert the business’ address, two targeted keywords, and one of their social media or homepage URLs in the “Comment” section. Upload each image and include the following example of text with each photo:
123 Street Ave
Place Country ZIP
URL (customer or social)
For the keywords in this section, start with the two highest, then work down the keyword research until every photo has two keywords. Alternate between the social and customer URLs. Post each image to the Google+ and after every photo is uploaded, refresh the page and give each image you uploaded a +1!
Maintain and Upkeep Your Google My Business Optimization
After optimizing with this process, it’s still SEO best practice to continue to maintain and update your Google My Business page. There are a couple of easy ways to keep up the momentum gained from a Google My Business Optimization.
The first is by maximizing the use of social media outlets. This is a quick way to reach out to your customers by only a few clicks. Followers will hopefully provide some reposts, and a number of comments which are perfect ways of interacting and engaging with your customers or customers.
Because social media is free, it’s a great marketing tool and displays a “social footprint” to Google. Google connects the dots between business’ presence across multiple platforms and connecting these with a Google My Business page helps Google do just that. At the same time, social media can help followers become customers by seeing prior customers’ comments, likes, and posts about their experience with a specific product or service you offer.
In addition to social media usage, another great tactic is asking past customers to give a Google review. This helps a business to qualify as a business that has higher quality services, products, customer experience, etc. In terms of search results, a higher review can help you jump past other local competitors.
Take a stab at your own Google My Business optimization to maximize your SEO efforts!