How To Optimize Your Google My Business Profile In Baltimore

We’ve recently been experiencing pretty stellar results by getting 7ten on the Google Map through our Google My Business profile. Google has recently started promoting map results above organic search results on the left hand side of it’s listings on desktop when it thinks you are looking for a local business.

According to a recent Yoast blog post and confirming through taking Google’s course on Google My Business we know listings are based on 3 main ranking factors:

  • Relevance
  • Proximity
  • Prominence

Your Business Relevance to a Particular Google Search

Update your company bio, service titles and descriptions, product names and descriptions, and post text to include the same primary keywords that you use on your website that potential clients are using when searching for a business like you. By combining location-based search terms and service-related words, Google will start to know that your business listing and website are a good match for someone typing in the same words in the google search bar.

This is the same mindset you want to have when writing content for your website. Focus on writing keyword-dense descriptions that sound normal. You get 300 characters for service descriptions and 750 for your company info section so make it count!

Google My Business Services Descriptions

Don’t be vague in your descriptions. Be clear and concise.

How Far Your Business Address is From a Searcher is Important

Unfortunately, you don’t have a ton of control over where someone is when they search for a business like you but you do need to verify your business at a specific location so that you are associated with coordinates that Google can measure against. This verification process goes like this:

  1. Search for your exact address on Google Maps
  2. Click the “Add Your Business” button on the left-hand side menu
  3. Follow the prompts to fill out your business information
  4. Request the verification number

Search results page

After you have requested the verification code, now we wait. Within “5” days (typically much longer) Google will physically mail you a card with a unique code that you must enter on your Google My Business profile dashboard. In our experience, we have waited as many as 30 days for our postcard but eventually it arrived.

Now that you have claimed your address, Google will start measuring the distance between you and a particular searcher and factor that into their results. Google takes other factors into account so it’s not the end all be all in determining whether or not your profile is displayed to someone but it certainly helps now that Google knows where you are.

The other area of your GMB profile related to your location is the Service Areas section. Google recently expanded this part of the profile to allow 20 service areas. We chose to select specific Baltimore neighborhoods around our location to hone in on the closest locations to our coordinates. However, you can widen your service areas to include only counties and cities if you have the capabilities to work with people in those areas. Just remember to keep this part accurate to your business and you will be in good shape.

Google My Business service areas

Make Your Business Prominent … on Google

This factor refers to all the other activity that Google My Business directly tracks specifically the following 3 areas of Google My Business:

  • Reviews
  • Photos
  • Posts

It is our experience that the importance of these rank in the above order. Google values the opinions of its other users above anything that you add to your profile. So it should be of utmost importance to build a process for gathering Google reviews.

Next is photos. Google loves visual content. The more attractive the photos the better. Make sure your photos are titled appropriately, are crisp, and accurately reflect the work you do. We upload colorful mockups of work we’ve completed to give potential clients an idea of the type of work we do.

Finally, create posts using your profile to notify when your business wins an award, launches a new service, or hires a new employee. The freshness of your Google My Business profile is determined by the last time you updated it.

So, we recommend posting something weekly as well as adding a photo and gathering a review. If you can do this EVERY week, your business will be “prominent” in no time and you will start listing in the top 3 results in the Google Map widget on the search results listings page.

If you need help building your Google My Business profile, we’d love to help! Reach out on our Contact Us page and we will schedule a time to chat!

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