Ranking Google My Business: 400% Increase in 3 Months [Case Study]

The present case study provides an in-depth examination of the Google My Business focused campaign conducted by Local Lead Booster for an air conditioning client with 4 locations around Western Australia. We ran a 3-months campaign at the end of which our client experienced a 400% growth compared to the previous summer. 

We’ll take you through all the steps we have followed in this process, from audit and optimisation to Google My Business posting and link building, and provide valuable insight into all the relevant aspects and factors that contributed to the success of the campaign. 

The task 

Our task entailed developing a 3-months campaign focused on improving Google My Business rankings for our air conditioning client with several locations around Western Australia who was looking to increase their visibility in 3 of their locations. 

At the start of the campaign, the listings were completely unoptimized and our goal was to push them up in the rankings leading into the warmer months.

The client’s main location centred around Perth CBD is crushing the rankings with number #1 positions Perth wide. This listing alone brought in a total of 4100 phone calls in 2020 and the goal was to duplicate the results of this Google My Business listing to the other 3. 

Keyword monthly searches: 1200 

Why Google My Business? 

Recent research has shown that 59% of people use Google to search for a local business at least once per week, while 69% of people search for a local business at least once per month. These statistics prove how important it is for businesses to increase online visibility for every location they service. 

GMB listings give you the possibility to list all your business locations, add relevant information about them and manage how they are displayed on Google Search and Google Maps, making it easier for potential customers to find you. Here’s what GMB listings bring to the table. 

  • According to a study conducted by BrightLocal, a local business receives on average 1,260 views each month – 943 coming from Search and 317 from Maps. So, if you want to increase online exposure for your local business and reach a larger audience in your area, optimizing your GMB listings is essential.  
  • The study also revealed that 16% of businesses receive more than 100 calls each month from their GMB listing. What’s more, 64% of consumers have viewed Google My Business listings to find contact details for local businesses. That means that optimized GMB listings can improve click to call performance. 
  • Since GMB listings provide potential customers with key information about your business, including address, contact information, areas you cover, opening hours etc., they’re key for boosting your business’ visibility in “near me” searches.
  • Collecting and managing business reviews is also a lot easier with GMB listings. Approximately 90% of customers read online reviews to evaluate a business, so they’re an important factor for building trust and confidence, and increasing the appeal of your local business.

Our process for Auditing & Optimizing the 3 Google My Business listings

There are 5 steps we used to optimise these three GMB listings for our air conditioning client and boost local rankings, as follows:  

  • Audit & Optimisation 
  • Google My Business Website creation 
  • Image Optimisation and Geo tagging 
  • Google My Business Posting
  • Link Building

These steps are all centered around the main ranking factors for Google My Business listings which are: 

Relevance 

Relevance is all about displaying the appropriate results for each search query because Google’s algorithm focuses on matching results with what users are searching for. For example, if someone types in “air conditioning” into Google, they’ll get a list of air conditioning providers that can be relevant for the purpose of the query. 

Influencing Action Plan 

If you want to increase the relevance of your GMB listing, you have to focus on:

  • GMB Content – quality content for GMB listings requires keyword optimization. That implies analysing, researching and using the right keywords in a way that looks natural and increases the value of your content. 
  • GMB Categories – the purpose is to select relevant categories for your listings. Identify the categories that your top-rated competitors are using and use the same categories for your GMB listings. 
  • GMB Images – optimizing GMB images to add location relevance to your listings can be done through a manual process or through an automated process. 

Prominence 

For the purpose of ranking GMB listings, prominence can be equated with authority. So basically, prominence refers to the reputation a business has, how well-known it is in the industry and what makes it stand out from the rest. 

Influencing Action Plan 

  • Social accounts – creating social accounts for your business on major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. is a very basic task, yet a very efficient one for building prominence. 
  • Citations – citations are references to your business’ name, address, and phone number. Having your business’ details mentioned online builds trust and credibility. 
  • Reviews – online reviews have the power to influence consumers’ decisions as well as Google rankings, so it’s important to get as many reviews as possible and manage them properly. 

Proximity 

Proximity refers to the distance between the user performing the search and your business location. Google algorithm uses the location of the person doing the search to provide relevant search results.  

Influencing Action Plan 

Influencing proximity factors is not as easy as influencing relevance and prominence. However, it can be done by focusing on:

  • Geo relevant content that brings in traffic from local visitors
  • Geo tagged images
  • Mentioning local nearby businesses on the website

Audit & Optimisation

We ran a 20-point Google My Business audit to make sure there were no issues holding the site listing back from peak performance and made note on the areas that we needed to come back to and optimize. This gave us a clear image of listings’ current status and helped us plan out the optimisation process. 

Based on the audit findings we began to optimise the GMB listings so they can compete with the top-ranked competitors for the main keywords in their specific locations. 

Some of the checks and optimisations we have performed include: 

  • Name Check
  • Address check
  • Phone Number Check
  • Duplicate Listing Check
  • GMB Category Check
  • Possum Filtering Check
  • 750 Character rich description
  • At least 10x services
  • Service areas added
  • 700-word GMB website
  • GMB Details filled out
  • Hybrid/Service Area Radius Check
  • NAPW Consistency
  • Photo check
  • Negative Review check 

As you can see in the audits below, the listings were not optimised in the slightest. 

Google My Business Website Creation

Once the audit and optimization were complete, we moved on to the next stage which implied building out a GMB website. 

You may be thinking what’s the point of having another website if I already have one? Well, creating a GMB website is a great way to build trust and credibility in the eyes of Google. It also serves as another place where one can add additional content, keywords and links within the Google My Business platform, and that benefits rankings. 

Image Optimisation & Geo Tagging

For the image optimization and geo tagging part of the process we got 10 x relevant photos for each listing. All the images were geo tagged around the business location to help show Google where we are located. 

In order to expand the visibility of the Google My Business listings, we also renamed the images and embedded valuable business information. 

Once we completed these actions, we uploaded the images to the GMB listing, and we also used them further down the track in foundational link building campaigns. 

Google My Business Posting

GMB posts are an excellent method to increase the relevance of a listing and boost rankings. It’s important to add posts as soon as a GMB listing is launched. There are four types of GMB posts that can be added to a listing: Add Update, Add Event, Add Offer, and Add product, each of them providing significant advantages. 

Link Building

Link building is considered by many experts as one of the most effective SEO strategies out there. It’s a tactic that implies earning quality links in order to establish your site as an authority in its niche. Increasing the number of inbound links can help a lot with building prominence for a GMB listing and boosting search engine rankings. 

The link building strategies that we used focused on building local citations by listing the business in local directories. We also leveraged social media by connecting social accounts to the GMB site and finishing off with several guest posts.  

The Final Result

At the end of the 3-months GMB campaign, the client experienced an 400% increase in phone calls from the previous summer. 

Note: We compared the data from one summer to the previous summer due to air conditioning being very seasonal services.

Listing #1: 59% Increase in Calls

Listing #2: 95% Increase in Calls 

Listing #3: 1,075% Increase in Calls

Final Thoughts

Creating and managing GMB listings are an essential part of the SEO strategy for any local business that is looking to improve visibility and boost local search rankings. The GMB campaign we run for our air conditioning client in Wester Australia offers a relevant example in this regard.

By building our GMB campaign around the main ranking factors for Google My Business listings – relevance, prominence and proximity – in just three months we were able to improve online visibility for our client and bring their three previously-unoptimized GMB listings to the number one position in the Perth area.   

Developer
Author: Developer