How To Optimize Google My Business to Rank Higher in Local Search Results

Google My Business (GMB) is an easy and logical place to start when it comes to local SEO. Ironically, it is among the most neglected tools in many businesses’ arsenals.


Many people expect Google to do the work for them or rely on user-generated content like Wikipedia to make their GMB page accurate. The result is that many businesses slog away with inaccurate or outdated GMB pages that actively hold back their local SEO campaigns.


If this sounds like your situation, then it’s a good thing you’re reading this article. Here, we’ll show you exactly how to optimize your Google Business Profile for increased local search visibility.


What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free, user-friendly platform that enables businesses to manage their online presence. Key features include business information, customer reviews, map positions, and opening times.


Why Is Google My Business Important For Local SEO?

Here’s why Google My Business is vital for a successful local SEO strategy. 


1. More Locals Will See That You Exist

When I worked in retail, it never ceased to amaze me how many local people would come into our shop and say, ‘I’ve lived here for ten years and never knew you were here.’ Having superb GMB should render such comments more or less a thing of the past.


2. Credibility and Trust

Inaccurate or incomplete GMB information can damage trust and credibility. These days, consumers check out reviews before making a purchase. Positive GMB reviews can be the difference between making a sale and losing a customer. Credibility and trust also apply to Google, which views GMB as a fundamental local SEO ranking factor.


How to Optimize GMB to Rank Higher in Local Search Results?

Now that you know how GMB can transform your local SEO performance, here are a few tips for optimizing your GMB profile.  


1. Make Sure Every Piece of Information is Present and Correct

Correct information on your GMB page is vital for local SEO and customers. The following information should be up-to-date, at the very least:

  • Physical address
  • Phone number
  • Category
  • Attributes
  • Opening hours
  • Photographs (keep them interesting and engaging)


2. Verify Your Listing and Location(s)

Verifying your listing and location on Google My Business (GMB) ensures that business information appears correctly on Google. Here’s a simplified guide to help you through the verification process:

  • Sign into your Google My Business Account: Navigate to the Google My Business website and sign in with the Google account you used to create your business listing.
  • Choose Your Business: If you manage multiple businesses, select the one you want to verify.
  • Select “Verify Now”: In your business dashboard, you’ll see a “Verify Now” or “Verify Location” button. Click on this to start the verification process.
  • Choose a Verification Method: Google offers several verification methods, including postcard, phone, and email verification. Bulk verification is also available for businesses with ten or more locations. This process is done through a specific form in GMB.
  • Enter Your Verification Code: Once you receive your verification code through whichever method you choose, log back into your GMB account, select your business, and click “Verify now.” Enter the code to complete the verification process.
  • Review Your Information: After verification, review your business information on your GMB dashboard to ensure everything is accurate and up to date. This includes your business name, address, phone number, and business hours.

Learn more about setting up your GMB profile in this Google guide.  


3. Encourage Consumer Reviews

As a business, you should actively encourage customer feedback on your GMB profile. Always respond promptly to both negative and positive reviews to show a sense of care, community, and commitment to customer experience.

You can use a social media aggregator like to gather and display all your customer testimonials on your website.


4. Familiarize Yourself With GMB Features

Most people barely scratch the surface as far as GMB is concerned. Here are some cool things you can do with a well-optimized Google Business Profile: 

  • Collect and respond to customer reviews quickly
  • Your business location will be pinpointed on Google Maps, making it easier for customers to find you and get directions to your location.
  • Upload photos and videos that showcase your business, products, or services.
  • Get valuable insights into how customers find your business listing on Google. This includes data on search queries, how customers interact with your listing, and where those interactions take place.
  • Embed booking functionality to allow customers to schedule appointments easily. 
  • Respond to customers’ questions in real time


5. Analyze Your Performance

GMB provides some excellent insights and analytics about your GMB profile’s performance, including search queries, photo views, and customer actions. You can use this data to improve the execution of your SEO strategy.


6. Use the Right Keywords

Adding the right keywords to your Google Business Profile improves its discoverability in search results, boosting your local search rankings. 

You can use a local rank tracker like to find the right search queries to include in your GMB listing. provides automatic keyword suggestions, helping you discover relevant search queries to target in your local SEO strategy.


7. Use Accurate Business Categories

Google My Business lets you select categories relevant to your business. Google uses this information to showcase your business in relevant search results. For example, if your primary category is “health spa,” Google may show your business in search results for “masseuse” or “beauty parlor.” 


You can only choose one primary category but up to nine secondary categories that might be relevant to your product or services. Follow this guide to help you select the most suitable categories for your business.


8. Ensure You Are NAP-Consistent

NAP accuracy consistently ranks among the top five most important local SEO factors. Maintaining NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) consistency is crucial for local SEO, as it helps search engines understand and trust the information about your business, which can lead to higher rankings in search results.


Here are three ways to ensure NAP consistency:

  • Create a Standard NAP Format: Decide on a standard format for your NAP information. This includes how you format your business name, address (e.g., Street vs. St., Suite vs Ste, etc.), and phone number. Once decided, use this standardized format across all listings.
  • Optimize Your Website: Ensure your website clearly displays your NAP information, preferably in the footer or header where it’s visible on every page. Also, consider adding schema markup to your website’s code to help search engines better understand and display your business information in search results.
  • Regularly Monitor Your Listings: Set up a schedule to regularly check your listings for accuracy. Businesses change over time—you might move locations, change your phone number, or update your business name. Regular checks ensure any changes are reflected across all platforms.


Create Content That Makes the Internet a Better Place for All

“It’s important to look beyond rankings and rather ensure a website is usable for everyone.” — Ruth Everett, Technical SEO Analyst at DeepCrawl.


We couldn’t agree more. No ranking is worth much without a website that is usable for everyone on all devices. As you optimize your Google Business Profile and other local SEO strategies, put humans first, and you’ll be on the path to success. 


About the author

John Hinds is an SEO consultant working with multiple SEO agencies. He likes watching football and rugby and is a keen tennis player.