Google My Business Optimization Guide by Greg Gifford

The internet is ridden with misinformation and irrelevant content. Your keywords are out there, but how will you make them stand out? The answer lies in the right preparation and understanding of what Google My Business optimization entails.

The “gmb” is a guide created by Greg Gifford that provides insights and advice on how to optimize your Google My Business. In this article, we’ll discuss the top 3 tips to consider when optimizing your business listing.

The following is a summary of Greg Gifford’s presentation at the 5 Hours of SEO Webinar. Greg’s presentation may be seen here.

Even more than a standard search engine, Google My Company has become one of the most important routes for a business to market itself through Google search results. Greg Gifford, a local search specialist, provides a ton of advice for businesses wishing to take advantage of the numerous secret Google My Business optimization tips and methods that may help them put their best foot forward.

Google My Business: In the Search Results, Your Homepage

In the search results, Gifford refers to your Google My Business (GMB) page as your homepage. It is the initial impression that businesses have of your company and brand. As a result, it’s critical that your GMB is optimized. It’s especially important since it’s what people see in a zero-click search, which is when someone doesn’t click through to your website and instead relies on what Google says.

Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble with rivals posting bogus listings, utilize the Business Redressal Form to get them deleted.

You must double-check that your address is accurate and that the pin on the map is in the proper location. In order for your consumers to discover your office, you must give suite numbers, but Google normally ignores such numbers when establishing company uniqueness in order to avoid spam. 

However, Google rejects any known virtual or co-working offices for spam reasons, so if you utilize one of these sorts of locations for your offices, you’ll have to establish you’re a real company.

Bring Attention to Your Company from Anywhere

ADS illustration

Businesses that provide a service

Google has recently imposed a restriction that restricts service-based firms to 20 service zones. To optimize your local coverage region, experiment with different sorts of cities and zip codes.

Gifford suggests including a tracking number in your Google My Business profile so you can keep track of phone calls that come in via Google. However, you must put a local number as your secondary number, in part as a spam check to ensure that you are actually a local firm.

Category Strategies for Google My Business

It is critical to optimize your listing’s categories. When looking at what competition they have in their local region, however, many firms fail to optimize them properly. 

Gifford mentions a Ford dealership as an example. If you live in an area with a lot of Ford dealerships, you should make Ford your major category. However, if your dealership is more than 50 miles from the next Ford dealership, you will still show up for the search, making used vehicles a better main category in that instance.

Gifford has a clever way of determining the categories your competition has picked. On Google Maps, look for your competitor’s name. Make a note of the major category, which appears just under the review stars under the company name.

Choose “View Page Source” from the browser pop-up menu choices when you right-click their listing. Then use Control-F to search the source code and look for the major category in the results. When it is mentioned for the third time, it will be followed by all of the categories that the company has chosen. Google has a lot of information regarding categories.


Tracking using UTMs

Ensure you add Tracking using UTMs to your GMB URL string, as Google Analytics does not always attribute the clicks directly. Gifford recommends simply adding “?utm_source=GMBlisting&url_medium=organic” to the end of your business website URL for tracking.

Image Sizes & Professional Photos

Make sure your profile has high-resolution professional photographs. You must guarantee that they are cropped and presented properly. Unfortunately, Google My Business utilizes two distinct picture sizes on desktop and mobile, so it’s important to think about how each image, especially the main image, will appear on each. On the desktop, it displays a square picture, whereas on mobile, it displays a rectangle image. You may also upload videos.

What You Should Know About Google My Business Reviews

Your Google My Business ratings are crucial, but achieving all five stars isn’t always the best. According to Gifford, research have indicated that the best range for reviews is 4.3 to 4.5 stars, not the often expected 5 stars, since all perfect evaluations seem suspicious.

It is critical to request that everyone provide a review for your company. Gifford suggests creating a review page on your website with links to the many review sites you’d want consumers to post feedback on, as well as a remark that says, “Thanks for doing business with us, tell us how we did today.” 

If you want to encourage them to post reviews on your Google My Business page, make sure you link to your GMB reviews page rather than your GMB page. The URL will be for companies with a short URL.

Keywords in reviews are also important since they might help you rank for those terms. Unfortunately, you can’t tell people what to write in their reviews – and doing so might be illegal depending on where your business is located – but you can give them ideas and post them on your reviews page.


This method can help you find relevant terms in those reviews, particularly if you recommend they add the product they purchased. Also, be sure to react to each and every review, since Google will notify the reviewer if you don’t.

Carrie Hill recommends asking your consumers or clients to look at your reviews if you can’t ask for them. This can motivate them to post a review of their own. You can’t, however, ask for evaluations in exchange for money.

Gifford also cautions that addressing reviews for medical-related companies, such as a psychologist, may violate HIPPO regulations. As a result, you must be aware of any particular restrictions that may apply to you or your company in certain situations.

Posts on Google

Posts on Google is something relatively new, and Gifford suggests you use it, as it is essentially a free advertising tool for your business that shows up at the bottom of your GMB listing. Include a great image with an optimized thumbnail, which can sometimes be tricky since once again; Google uses a different thumbnail size on desktop versus mobile. And the text should always be promotional in nature.

How Do GMB Questions and Answers Work?

Another newest tool for companies to take advantage of is GMB Questions and Answers. While anybody may ask a question, Google also enables anyone, even if they are not affiliated with your firm, to answer it for you. If a question receives three upvotes, it will appear in your GMB panel. You may, however, ask your own questions and upvote your own answers so that they show first.

Niki Mosier adds that there are some businesses where the Q&A simply won’t show up, such as education-related sites and schools, with the exception of daycares. Hill says that some advertising and marketing categories will not show Q&A as well. Both Hill and Mosier recommend looking at competitor’s categories if they are showing Q&A. And be aware that even secondary categories, not just the primary ones, can suppress Q&A. 

GMB Features Should Be Used by Local Businesses

With so many people depending on Google for information, taking full advantage of Google My Business SEO is critical for local companies. Even apparently little details, such as the right categories or photographs that are optimized for both desktop and mobile, may have a significant impact on a local business’s performance. This is particularly true for generic local searches, in which a prospective buyer isn’t specifically looking for your company name.

Resources for Google My Business: