Rank Higher in the Google Map Pack By Using GMB Categories as Keywords On Your Website
Google My Business, also known as GMB, is a crucial part of any SEO strategy in today’s world. In order to maximize the relationship between your GMB listing and your website, you need to take advantage of the Google My Business categories. These categories are very important on the SERP (search engine results page), and using these categories like you would a keyword is a great way to increase your exposure, bump your web rankings, and show up in the map pack!
- How to bring synergy between your website and your Google My Business listing
- Get your GMB listing to show in the Google Map Pack more often
- Choosing the primary category in your GMB listing is critical to your success
- Checking to see which categories are relevant for your business in GMB
- Using your primary GMB category as a keyword on your homepage
- Using variations on GMB categories versus exact match
- Avoiding over-optimization and over usage of the category keyword
- Leveraging your secondary GMB categories into new pages on your website
Thanks for Listening!
Here is a preview of the transcription from Episode 17 Using GMB Categories As Website Keywords To Improve Your Rank In Google Maps;
Jesse: Hey everyone. Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics. Jesse Dolan here, with Bob Brennan, as always. And today, we’re going to be talking about some on-page optimization you can do for keywords. But really, that’s kind of a spoof. It’s not so much about keywords. We’re going to be talking about your Google My Business categories. But, you should think of those as keywords. We talked back in, well, I think two or three different episodes here now about how to pick keywords, how to use keywords on your website, where to put them in your H1 tags and the title of your website, using them in your images and things like that.
Jesse: Today, we’re going to talk about how to bring more synergy between your Google My business listing and your web page, because really, for a lot of … especially for the local service businesses, a lot of the searches, people are plugging in to hopefully get in front of you and find you, are going to trigger that map pack. That, you know, one, two, three listing in Google for locations near you. Things like that, where it triggers the map. So your Google My Business page and your website go hand in hand here. The first place you want to start on this is getting into your Google My Business page.
Jesse: We talked back in episode one and two, our first two episodes we kicked off about how to set up Google My Business and how to optimize it. So, if you haven’t done that yet, definitely go back to those and revisit that, because we’re not going to cover all those details on how to set it up and pick your categories. But what we are going to talk about is those actual categories themselves and how important they are now for your website. This is something that’s been true for a little while, but especially the last, I’d say, two or three months, since January 2018, especially here, where it really wasn’t that important before.
Jesse: And kind of the way that we were just talking to think about these as, you have your keywords for your website. Hopefully, you’ve gone out and selected the keywords, done the research to get the right ones in front of you. Your Google My Business categories, those phrases, those keywords should be your A1 keywords, right? They should be the most prioritized keywords you’re going after with your website. So using the example here for truck repair, if we fix some eyes and do roadside service on trucks, a truck repair shop, let’s say, is going to be our primary category for our Google My Business page.
Jesse: If you take a look at your website, that should mimic on your website as well. So your homepage is your default page for your website. It’s the most important page on your website. We’re going to want to make sure that we add that phrase to our website.
Bob: Yeah. So, I mean, some subtle things here, and this is really important that you really think through this and cross-check this whole process. So if your site’s already up already, you just want to make sure this is accurate, if you haven’t done it already. If you’re just building it from scratch, this is a really important detail that you want to pay attention to. You just want to make sure that it is what it is that you’re … again I use this analogy … a coffee shop versus coffee roaster. If you don’t focus on what your primary business is, your A1 margin business that you’re going after, which is coffee shop, and that’s … You just randomly throw it in there.
Bob: It’s the third or fourth one down. Well guess what? They’re going to go off after coffee roaster, if that’s your number one deal, and you’re not going to understand why you’re not being listed at the top for coffee shop. So one other quick question, Jesse. You were talking or you mentioned to me earlier before the show that there’s just certain categories.
Bob: Do you anticipate that expanding at any point in time? Or is it pretty generic at this point?
Jesse: Yeah. I mean, that’s up to Google. So we definitely can’t speculate to exactly what would be happening. But you should be jumping into your Google My Business listing, I would say, at least monthly anyways, just to update photos, do the Google posts and other things. So while you’re in there, this is a great point, a great question you’re bringing up is, check for categories, right? You can add multiple categories, and most businesses, you’re probably going to have the ability to add more categories than you’re going to have. Actual categories that relate to your business, right?
Jesse: So for truck repair, we just did some quick research for this example. You’ve got truck repair shop, trailer repair shop, RV repair shop, diesel engine repair service, mechanic and auto repair. I would even say that auto repair is kind of on the fringe, because we’re talking here like semi trucks when we say truck repair, not like F-150s and Silverados. So you have the ability to add more categories than that on your Google My Business page. But if you’re a truck repair shop, you just add all your categories. You don’t want to add coffee roaster, if you’re a truck repair shop and start to get too far out there because it’s a little confusing, with Google.
Jesse: All of this that we’re talking about is about sending the signal to Google about what you do and what you want to be known for, through your Google My Business category, and then translating that to your web page. So let’s take this example for the truck repair shop. You’re going to want to put that as the primary, the first H1 tag, the first headline on your home page. You’re also going to want to put that in the title tag of your website because you want Google to know darn well that you’re a truck repair shop first and foremost about everything else.
Bob: So, Jesse, let me ask you this question. What are the deviations or variations? I mean, can you say, “Mobile truck repair shop”? Can you say, “Repair shop”?
Bob: How does all that work in Google’s mind?
Jesse: So that’s a good question. For this example, the category that we’re talking about, the Google My Business category is truck repair shop. You could change it in one way of saying, “Mobile truck repair shop,” because you still left the truck repair shop in there. Now, there definitely could be some discussion to be had about the first word in that title then not being applicable, because you’re inserting mobile. But I would think that that’s definitely, to an extent, okay, because you’re still saying, “Truck repair shop.”
Jesse: Now likewise, if you put a word … I don’t have one offhand, but after truck repair shop, same thing. That’s okay. You’re adding a word after truck repair shop, so the truck repair shop is still in there. Now, if you replaced truck repair center, then that doesn’t count. You know what I mean?
Jesse: You have to have that Google My Business category to be an exact match somewhere in that title, title of your website, somewhere in that H1 tag, and you don’t want to overdo this too. That’s something we should mention. You don’t want to over-optimize. Some of the recent Google updates that have come out are looking for people who are trying to spam the system and game the system. You only have to tell them this a couple times. Google is very smart. The algorithms keep getting smarter, with more intelligence. They don’t need you to tell them 15 times you’re a truck repair shop. Tell them where it’s important, you know?
Jesse: And make it the most important thing on your website, and they’re going to get the message. They know what they’re looking for. So do that. Now, if you want to use that maybe once in your title tag, once in a H1 tag … You know, maybe throw truck repair shop in your body, of your text body there a little bit, and maybe an image, but I wouldn’t go crazy and do too much after that. So that’s with your homepage. Now, hopefully, you’re in a business where you’ve chosen, like we were just saying, multiple categories for your business. You definitely want to do that.
Bob: So Jesse, what’s the importance of the choosing … What’s an order? I mean, how do you go about doing that?
Jesse: On Google My Business?
Jesse: Yeah, so, when you’re in there, you have the option to pick one category to be the primary category for your business. And like you were saying with the coffee roaster and coffee shop example, pick coffee shop. That primary Google My Business category is the one thing you’re telling Google that you do above all else, and that’s the main thing that you’re putting in your website. Now, from there, you’re going to have three, four or five or seven additional categories that you select and that are related to your business. Each one of those should be its own page on your website.
Jesse: We’ve talked before about how many pages, what pages? You know, how do you build up the rest of your website? Like, for your main navigation menu or things like that. Take your Google My Business category options into consideration for this. I would definitely say you’re going to want to link them from your home page, so Google can chain these together and understand. Let’s say if you’re also a do trailer repair, then this example here. So you’re a truck repair shop first and foremost. You also fix trailers. I would have a page probably linked to my main menu that’s a trailer repair shop.
Jesse: Well maybe that’s not what the actual link up on the page says, just because that’s a big … You know, a lot of text up there and might mess your buttons up. But that name of that page should be Trailer Repair Shop. The H1 tag on that page should say Trailer Repair Shop and so on and so forth. You’re going to link those together, and you’re going to send Google these signals that you do all of these things, and you’re using these exact Google my Business categories within those pages of your website. And then what you want to do from there is take your “regular keywords” and try to figure out how they fit within that.
Jesse: So if you do truck and trailer repair, using the same example, there’s multiple kinds of trailers. Like what? Flatbeds, refrigerator trailers, right?
Jesse: Things like that. You’re still going to want to create pages and put out content about those specific trailer repairs. This doesn’t mean you should only put out pages that are tired to Google My Business categories. But you kind of want to use them to send the signals to Google of, “Hey, we do trailer repair,” and then, “Here’s the types of trailers that we do service on,” right? And things like that.
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