SEO Improvements to the GMB

JohnS

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Sep 17, 2018
Messages
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I don't remember where I read this article the other day but a data scientist at Google supposedly said this.. "For example, organic traffic typically increases after SEO improvements to Google My Business."

So for 2019 what do you feel are the top SEO improvements to the GMB to improve organic traffic? (Ignoring stuffing keywords in the business name.)

Biz name, categories, description, posts, words in Reviews, Q&A, etc.
 

Tim Colling

Moderator
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Sep 3, 2014
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what do you feel are the top SEO improvements to the GMB
Gosh, everything in the GMB profile matters. (I'm assuming here that you mean actions taken by us to add/enhance the data in GMB profiles, not new features added by Google.)

Name, Category(ies) and Address may be the most important, though. After that, Google Reviews, I suppose.

But you've really got to complete everything there, including some that may seem like a bother, such as salting the Q&A with a mini-FAQ, adding lots of relevant photos, description, posts, and everything else.

Finally, don't forget that it may be productive to look at competitors who are out-ranking you in the local pack/finder and see whether you should suggest legitimate edits where they are violating the GMB rules with things like keyword stuffing in the name, inappropriate categories and more, to gain unfair competitive advantage over you.
 

Phil Rozek

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Jul 26, 2012
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@JohnS, there aren't many moving parts in GMB. Most of the features have value of one kind or another, but don't seem to matter much (or at all) to rankings.

What does matter? Categories, name, and landing page URL (in my experience). Similar to @Tim Colling's top picks.

Of course, where your business is also matters, but that's not a GMB-specific concern.

I tend not to count Google reviews as part of "GMB optimization," but I'd say the content of reviews (i.e. keywords) matters.
 

JohnS

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Sep 17, 2018
Messages
29
@Tim Colling @Phil Rozek thank you for your replies. The article (Media post - Google Reveals How It Approaches SEO) was referring to website's organic traffic increased from SEO'ing your GMB.

With not a lot of moving parts in the GMB made me wonder were these GMBs totally neglected or was I missing something in the GMB?

Thanks,

John
 

Cherie Dickey

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
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287
Hey @JohnS I found the article you are talking about, and I would be interested to read the blog post mentioned as the source in the article:

"SEO is complex, agrees Sean O’Keefe, data scientist at Google. In a blog post published Thursday, he acknowledged that the company’s hundreds of product and marketing team experts make on average more than 200 changes daily to the 7,000 sites.

....In the post, O'Keefe outlines Google's website SEO strategy,...."

It's not linked to from this article, and I can't seem to locate it in search. The article links to the starter guide, but not the blog post that is the source of the "organic traffic typically increases after SEO improvements to Google My Business." graphic shown. Reading this blog post I think might provide some insight into exactly what Google considers SEO improvements to GMB.

In any case, I can't imagine it being much different from what we already know of best practices. We know that fully optimizing a listing (Correct NAP, URL, categories, description, etc), interacting with the listing regularly (responding to reviews and QA, adding photos, using posts, etc), and making sure there are no duplicates or outdated listings lurking around, all insure that the listing is optimized for local search.
 

JohnS

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Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
29
@Cherie Dickey I totally agree with everything you are mentioned.

Reading this blog post I think might provide some insight into exactly what Google considers SEO improvements to GMB.
Agreed. I too haven't been able to find what blog post they are referencing in the article.
 

Cherie Dickey

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
287
Ok...I see where the discrepancy is now. Sean O'Keefe wasn't talking about Google My Business listings... he was talking about SEO improvements to the Google My Business website itself:

"It might sound simple, but focusing on small, incremental changes to a website’s overall SEO strategy really can produce noticeable gains over time. The Google My Business marketing site, for example, saw a near 2X increase in organic traffic,1 partly because the team implemented a number of web fundamental best practices, such as showing search engines what URLs to index by implementing canonicals."

It looks like the mediapost blog was trying to quote this section without duplicating content, and some things got lost in translation:

"Start small and focus initially on incremental changes to a website’s overall SEO strategy. For example, organic traffic typically increases after SEO improvements to Google My Business. In fact it saw near two times the increase in organic traffic, partly because the team implemented a number of web best practices, such as showing search engines which URLs to index by implementing canonicals. "

Thanks again for finding that post, @Phil Rozek!
 

JohnS

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
29
Actually, in a discussion early today and looking across numerous local retailers and then ecommerce retailers I think the GMB/KP/G Maps/3 Pack is corralling a lot of the local mobile users with no compelling need for local users to go to the retailer's website at all. But that's another story, or thread. Thanks!!
 

Colan Nielsen

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Jul 19, 2012
Messages
3,246
@JohnS
Actually, in a discussion early today and looking across numerous local retailers and then ecommerce retailers I think the GMB/KP/G Maps/3 Pack is corralling a lot of the local mobile users with no compelling need for local users to go to the retailer's website at all. But that's another story, or thread. Thanks!!
You nailed it. Mike B spoke to that exact point in this recent SEL post Leading local SEO predictions: Reserve with Google will grow, real-time local inventory gets real - Search Engine Land

Google will continue to develop the capability to transact directly from the Knowledge Panel. They will continue to roll out new partnerships for their Reserve with Google to include integration with major players like Yelp and develop tools for additional segments. In addition, they will build out a back-end to the reserve interface that allows them to handle the complete transaction in certain, high-value verticals like hotels.
 

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