5 Tips to Improve Local Search Rankings Using Google Business Profile

The local search space is complicated, competitive, and confusing. If you’re in charge of local SEO or search strategy for your business or clients, you’ll want to know these tips. How well you optimize a Google Business Profile (GBP) can make a measurable difference and improve local search rankings and conversions. 

1. Pick your business categories

First determine the primary keyword you want to rank for, then choose the primary business category that most closely matches that keyword. The more specific you can get, the better. 

Once you have your primary category locked down, add more categories so you can rank for each of those too. And if you’re not sure what to add, check out what your competitors have selected. There are a few tools you can use to dig into the keywords and categories of your competitors.

Not sure what tool to go with or where to start? Try Whitespark’s Local Rank Tracker. Whitespark’s software and services will help your businesses rank better and drive more conversions from Google. 

Bonus tip: If there are seasonal changes in the products or services you sell, try changing your primary category to reflect those changes. For example, if you have a plumbing business, you could change to “frost-proof faucets and spigots” in the fall and “leak detection and repair” in the spring. However, it’s a good idea not to change your primary category more than once a week to avoid raising red flags with Google.

2. Use keywords in your business name

Simply including your keyword in your business name can have a huge impact on your search visibility. But don’t confuse this with keyword stuffing. The best way to update your business name with keywords is to do a comprehensive rebrand:

  • File a DBA (“doing business as”) 
  • Change the name on your logo, website, and store signage at each location
  • Update your Google business listings per location

This is a more involved step that takes time and effort and may not make sense for every business. But if you decide it’s right for your brand, it can be worth it.

3. Select predefined services

In the services section of your GBP, there’s an option to select predefined services. Check off all that apply to your business so you can start ranking well for those terms. 

4. Include attributes

Another way to rank is when you include attributes of the business owner or the business itself. These can include things like “Black-owned business,” “women-owned business,” and many more. That way, if a potential customer is searching for those specific terms, your business has a greater chance of showing up higher in the search results. 

5. Beef up reviews

You may be aware by now that your star rating and the number of reviews you have can definitely impact search rankings. But to ensure that your reviews are really working for you, do the following:

  • Ask for keywords: When you request a review from a customer, ask them to mention the particular product or service in their review. That way it will match the keywords you know people are searching for. 
  • Ask for photos: Photos in your reviews create stickiness, meaning the ones with photos stick near the top of your profile for more people to see. Those same photos also end up in the photo section of your profile, which helps with conversions (see #2 in the next section). Each time you ask a customer for a review, ask them to include a photo if they have one!

Bonus tip: You can literally take your own photo, send that photo to the customer from whom you’re requesting the review, and ask them to post the photo. By making it super easy for them, you end up with more photos on your profile — and a better search ranking.

Use GatherUp to Get More Reviews 

More reviews and better ratings help you improve your website’s visibility and ranking in search. With multiple ways to add first and third-party reviews to your website, you can use GatherUp to turn your site into a sales funnel. Our reputation management solution automates the process for you by handling the requests, reminders, personalized content, and more.  

Check out our guide, How to Start Gathering Customer Feebdack to learn more.

GatherUp provides more than just review generation. We help you turn the customer voice into customer loyalty by listing to, understanding, and engaging customers. To learn how you can use customer feedback to drive revenue, schedule a demo with one of our product experts.



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