2021 Google My Business Optimization Report

As a business owner, you know that search engine optimization is important. You also know that it’s difficult to get started with SEO and not sure what the best tools are for your business.

That’s why we created this report! The 2021 Google My Business Optimization Report provides insights into how businesses can best reach customers through search engine optimization, which impacts their revenue and customer experience.

We’ve included all of the information you need to start optimizing your GMB for local SEO domination success today!

What Is the 2021 Google My Business Optimization Report?

This report provides insights into how businesses can best reach customers through GMB search engine optimization — which impacts their revenue and customer experience.

We covered everything you need to know about Google My Business Optimization, including the tools and techniques that we use to help our clients excel in search result rankings.

So let’s get started!

2021 Top 10 GMB Optimization Factors:


#1 Google My Business ranking factor – a steady stream of business reviews!


You have to have in your business a strategy for getting business reviews. Google highly values customer happiness and will make sure to rank your business well if you have a steady stream of quality customer reviews. Reviews are especially important for local businesses, where 97% of consumers read online reviews before visiting or making a purchasing decision.

You should be responding to all of your customer reviews, regardless of whether the reviewer is a verified Google user or not. You should also be asking for others to leave their honest feedback about your business by offering discounts and promotions throughout the year that are only available if they leave their review on Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, etc. but the most important thing is to keep getting reviews on your GMB listing.

If you get a bad review, don’t panic and try and take it down. Instead, respond to the customers and address their concerns. If you can, offer them a coupon or discount after you have resolved the issue so they leave a good review again!

Here’s a pro tip! If the customer doesn’t respond you can also ask Google to take the bad review down, not too many people know about that and if you have multiple Gmail accounts you can submit multiple requests to remove it, sometimes it works very quickly!


#2 Google My Business ranking factor – Having accurate NAP across all profiles on the web.


We recommend that you use the tools below to make sure all of your profiles are updated with current NAP information.

The first thing you should do is check if your company profile has been claimed on Google My Business. You can see this by checking if there’s a phone number in the top right corner of the GMB home page. If it doesn’t have a phone number, then you should claim your company profile.

If you have already claimed your GMB company profile and the NAP information is wrong, it’s important to update this immediately! If you’re using our SEO services, we do this for you at least once per week so you don’t have to worry about it.

If you have never claimed your company profile, do so by following these steps on the Google My Business website.

Now that you have claimed your GMB company profile, it’s time to check if all of your profiles across the web are correct. Here are some tools below that will help you with this task:

This tool is not free, but it’s definitely worth the money for any business owner who cares about local SEO domination.

It’s a complete listing distribution tool, so it can help you find new places to list your company on sites, as well as update the NAP across different profiles.

  • Yext Listings Distribution Tool

This tool is also not free, but it’s a good option for anyone who needs to update NAP information across more than 100 profiles. We use Yext and love it!

It will help you manage all of your local listings so that they are accurate and up to date. You can check if any of your business locations have been claimed and update the NAP information if they haven’t.

Accurately updating your business’ profile across the web is extremely important for its search engine optimization success!

We found that even when businesses are claimed on Google My Business, they sometimes still have incorrect NAP information. It’s important to make sure that all of your business profiles across the web contain correct listing information (address, phone number, hours of operation).

If you need help with cleaning up any inaccurate details about your company profile across the web, contact us and we will help you get it all updated!


#3 Google My Business ranking factor – Adding original photos of your business regularly.


Just like your listing photos on your GMB profile, you should also be adding original images of your business regularly. It doesn’t have to be high-quality images even taking regular photos from your phone can do the job!

Try to take pictures of your workspaces, the people who work there, and employees working. You must show your actual company culture in photos because this is what your customers want to see!

For example, if you’re a restaurant, take pictures of your food and drinks before they are served to the customer so they can get an idea of what to expect when they go to your establishment.

Your business listing photos on Google My Business are an important ranking factor, so make sure you’re adding at least one image per week! If you need help with this task, contact us and we will be more than happy to lend a hand.

We recommend posting at least 10 new images every week. And sometimes if you have a big project upload lots of photos of before and after and you can also upload videos into your GMB listing, actually videos are another great feature but not too many people are using and can help you distinguish yourself from your competitors.


#4 Google My Business ranking factor – Adding FAQs to your page


FAQs are a great way for you to add more information about your business without taking up too much space.

This shows Google that you have all the relevant details on your company profile, and it will help dissuade them from scrapping your Knowledge Panel (which they did once in our office and we had to work very hard to get it back).

Your FAQs should answer the following questions:

What kind of goods/services do you sell? What are your business hours? What are you most known for? Where are you located?

If Google My Business doesn’t think that your page contains enough information, they might choose to simply scrap your Knowledge Panel and feature a search result for your company instead.

Adding FAQs will help you avoid having this happen! We’ve seen a dramatic increase in business exposure after adding frequently asked questions to our business’ Google My Business page.

Depending on your business size, you might want to add an FAQs section that consists of 5-10 questions. When you’re starting, keep it simple!


#5 Google MyBusiness ranking factor – GMB Posts


Creating GMB Posts is an easy way to start getting your business listed in the local search results.

Most businesses don’t know that they can write blog posts and then publish them directly on their Google My Business page. This is a great way to promote your company, share valuable information with potential customers, and get more exposure on the web.

And since there are people always searching the internet for information about your company, you should be focusing on blogging as much as possible.

You’ll want to create posts that focus on the main keywords that you want to rank for.

For instance, if you’re a Locksmith in New York City, your main keywords might be “Locking Systems” and “Emergency Locksmith”“. So you should create a few blog posts that focus on these main keywords, while also including your company name and the areas you are serving.

Use the “Offers” post type to promote any special offers you may be running, for example, if you’re currently offering a 15% discount on locksmith services, this would make an excellent subject for one of your blog posts.

Google My Business will share these updates through the Knowledge Panel and other people searching online will see it!

We’ve also had success with “What’s New” Posts, for example, if you have a restaurant you can write about the latest changes or additions at your establishment.

This will show Google that you are constantly improving upon your business to provide better service to customers, which is something they want to see.

And lastly, use “Events” posts to share information about any upcoming events you’re hosting at your location.


#6 Google My Business ranking factor – Adding products and descriptions to your GMB page


You can add photos and videos to your Google My Business page that display various product offerings you might have.

This is a huge advantage for any business that sells products since it gives people the ability to see exactly what they’ll be receiving if they place an order on your website.

So you might be wondering, how many products should I add?

You want to create listings for every single product that you have available. Make sure to include the name of the products in each description. Also, keep in mind that if any of your images or videos are hosted somewhere other than Google, they will not show up when people are viewing your listing.

Here’s a pro tip! If you want to add videos as your product picture what you need to do is to create a GIF from your video, if you don’t have an app for that you can use free online services like https://ezgif.com/maker but there’s one more step if you try to upload file.gif as a picture for the product services you’ll get an error message from Google, so what you need to do is change the file name from file.gif to file.jpg (just change the file name) and then upload it, here’s how it looks like:


We found that adding products to your Google MyBusiness page will improve the conversion rate of people who view your page. The more information you provide, the better. So make sure to take advantage of this powerful feature!


#7 Google My Business ranking factor – Services offered


When people are searching the internet for your business, they aren’t just looking for where you’re located or your phone number. They probably want to determine if you have the services they need.

Make sure that you list every service you offer on your Google My Business page. This will make it easy for people looking to hire a locksmith, for instance, to find one who can address their specific needs.

Pro Tip: You’ll want to make sure that the main keywords for your services are present in your descriptions and titles. So for instance, if “locksmith services” is one of your main keywords, you’ll want to include it in the title and description.

The Google My Business system treats these keywords as a ranking factor so they can help improve your local rankings for those terms. We’ve seen this work even better than regular SEO!

And remember even if the services you offer are not listed on the provided list you can add your services, we recommend investing the time on adding each service you offer.

Lastly, you’ll want to focus on creating unique, informative, and engaging content for each service. This will make it easier for people to find you online and consider hiring you.


#8 Google My Business ranking factor – Setting up the free website provided by the GMB platform


Only 30% of businesses have a website, which is why it’s so important to be on the GMB platform.

The Google My Business platform provides you with an easy-to-use system that allows you to create a free website where people can get all of their information about your business. This includes hours of operation, location, phone number, and much more.

What’s great about this is that it can be used in place of a company website, which helps you save time and money. You don’t need to hire an expensive web developer or use any other services. Plus, your business will show up on the first page of Google results if you have a GMB website.

So even if you have a website, be sure to list it on your GMB page. That way, people can find all of your information in one place!

On the “text edit” button you can find a few useful features, first of all, make sure to choose your desired CTA, having a clear call for action for your visitors is very helpful, you can also add events (geo-targeted) to get more people visiting your website and reach new potential customers in your area.

Here’s a pro tip, in the “Summary Body” section there’s no limit for the amount of content that you can use, this is very powerful! make sure to use unique content, if you already have a website you can link out to your website and you can also link out to your business social account to increase authority and show credibility.

Google provides you with a direct link to your GMB website, make sure to use this link and provide the necessary information. People will be more inclined to click and visit your website if it looks professional and well-organized!


#9 Google My Business ranking factor – Optimizing for local search “near me”


Even if your business is not located in a big city, chances are that people will find you when they type in something like “locksmiths near me”. The more specific your information and research, the easier it is to attract the right customers.

Just make sure that you fill out all of the details in your GMB profile. This will help people find you when they type in “locksmiths near me” or when they want to know if you’re close by.

You’ll want to make sure that your address, phone number, and website are easily accessible on your GMB page so that customers aren’t discouraged from hiring you.

Make sure to use the term “near me” on your posts since that’s what people are searching for. This will help your posts show up when people search for that term, which can lead to more customers and business!

Another way to encourage people to visit your business is by promoting your website and other services on a GMB map. This will show up as a red pin on a map, which helps you stand out from the crowd.


#10 Google My Business ranking factor – Service area marked on GMB


Last but not least, is the effect of having a larger vs smaller service area, it can be tempting to mark on your GMB listing a larger service area, however, we found that super-focused localized business tends to rank sometimes better than equivalent larger service area business, for example, if two similar business that is competing on the same terms, one have a statewide service area and one has his service area set to just one city, in many of the cases Google will prefer giving the more localized business priority in the results.

Think of it this way, if you’re looking for a plumber in San Antonio and only have a few options to choose from, which one would you rather use? One that’s just in Austin or one that has many years of experience in the city? Chances are you’ll pick the more focused business.

In our 2021 My Business Optimization Report we here at Align have studied the terms that are most likely to impact your business rankings for local search.


2021 Google My Business Optimization Report Summary & What to expect for 2022


At Align we love to help local businesses succeed online, for this reason, we have released our 2021 Google My Business optimization report. We hope that you find the information in this article helpful and of course if you have any further questions or would like more advice on how to improve your rankings then please contact us!

Google My Business is a very important part of your business’ online presence. If you already have a profile set up, use this report to better optimize it and reach more customers!

Make sure that you provide clear and important information for your customers. This is a great way to not only get more visitors to your website but also increase your revenue by getting the right kind of customer!

What’s your take on the services that Google My Business offers? Make sure to leave a comment below if you have any questions about having your website listed on GMB!

If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to give Alignment Online Marketing a call at 512-831-7322 or send an email over to Sarah


Did You Know That Alignment Online Marketing Is One Of The Top Google Partners In Austin For Local Search?


Learn how we can help your business succeed on the internet! Alignment Online Marketing is a top Google Partner in Austin, Texas. With over 12 years of experience in digital marketing, our team knows exactly what it takes to have you dominate your industry online. We’re able to help your business succeed through personalized services, client education, and a deep understanding of our local markets.


Do You Want to Rank Higher on Google?


Alignment Online Marketing is a top Google Partner in Austin, Texas. With over 12 years of experience in digital marketing, our team knows exactly what it takes to have you dominate your industry online. We’re able to help your business succeed through personalized services, client education, and a deep understanding of our local markets.

Learn how we can help your business succeed on the internet! Alignment Online Marketing is a top Google Partner in Austin, Texas. With over 12 years of experience in digital marketing, our team knows exactly what it takes to have you dominate your industry online. We’re able to help your business succeed through personalized services, client education, and a deep understanding of our local markets.

FAQ For Google My Business Optimization


Is Google My Business free?

Yes, it is 100% free to sign up and manage your Google My Business account. You can always improve its performance by spending more time on it (and we recommend that you do), however, there are no monthly fees or anything like that.

Do I need to verify my GMB listing?

You are not required to verify your GMB listing. However, you can opt for a verification method such as a postcard or phone call if you want to help protect the information on the listing from being changed by unauthorized users. You can choose this option in "Settings" after creating or editing your business profile.

Can I create more than one GMB Profile?

Currently, you can only create a single listing for your business. If there is more than one location of your business you will need to contact Google and request that they merge the listings.

How do I know if my GMB profile is accurate?

There are two ways you can check the accuracy of your business's GMB listing. The first is to ensure that you are using the right name for your business on Google. You can also check that all of the information on your profile is up to date and accurate - this includes photos, hours, description, phone number, etc.

What should I make sure my GMB profile includes?

Some important things you should include in your business' GMB profile are:

- Your business name (using the same name you use on all other pages of your website, correspondence, and elsewhere)

- The correct physical address (and an up to date picture of your location if it has changed recently)

- A phone number that matches the phone number you use on your website and elsewhere

- A description of your business, including what it does/offers, hours of operation, etc.

How often should I check my GMB listing for errors?

You should check your Google My Business profile once a week to make sure that all information is accurate. Google will send you a message if there is something wrong with your listing, but it can take up to two weeks for this information to be delivered. This means that you should check your business's GMB listing at least once per week so as not to lose traffic and revenue.

What types of editing does Google My Business allow?

Google My Business allows you to edit all of the information on your profile. This includes:

- Editing the name and description of your business

- Changing the categories associated with your business's GMB listing

- Uploading and editing photos of your business and its employees/locations

- Creating a menu for foodservice locations (e.g. restaurant, deli)

- Editing the phone number and hours of operation for your business

- Updating the physical address of your business

What types of editing does Google My Business NOT allow?

You cannot perform any "harmful" actions when editing a listing with Google My Business. This includes:

- Deleting or changing the phone number, hours of operation, or physical address without permission from the owner of the listing

- Deleting photos that belong to another user

- Creating a duplicate profile for your business or falsely claiming ownership over a business you don't own

- Associating a GMB listing with a different website than it's currently associated with

- Promoting your website or products in the "About This Business" section of your GMB listing

- Using text, images, or anything else to make it look like someone else's profile (i.e. copying and pasting information from another user's business into yours)

What if I find that my GMB listing has been compromised?

If you find that your Google My Business profile has been hacked or otherwise compromised, there are several things you can do:

- Report it to Google! You can do this by clicking the "…" menu and then selecting "Report a data problem"

- Contact the owner of your business' listing directly through the GMB app/website

- Contact the webmaster of your business' website

- Contact your web hosting company

How does Google My Business affect my website?

If you don't have a website, your Google My Business listing will act as an online business card. If you already own a website, however, you should make sure that your GMB profile is linked with the correct domain (i.e. yoursite.com rather than your site. WordPress, or your site. Weebly). Google will automatically import certain details from your GMB listing into your website's Search Console, including:

- Your business' name and address

- The "About This Business" section of your GMB listing (if you've updated this information)

- Photos that you've added to your GMB profile

- Scrolling down from your GMB profile, Google will also import the following information if you have a website:

- Links to web pages for your business's name and address

- Up to five photos that you've added to your GMB listing

- The "About This Business" section of your GMB listing (if you've updated this information)

- The "Reviews" section of your GMB listing (if you've added reviews to your profile)

- The phone number and hours of operation that you've added to your GMB profile

- Your website's canonical URL (i.e. "https://www.yoursite.com/")

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