Fully optimizing your business on Google requires multiple strategies to significantly increase your visibility, drive traffic, and enhance customer engagement.
With multiple sections within the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) to optimize your businesses presence, understanding each can help your business land on top of the competition.
This GMB Gorilla guide dives deeper into the strategies for optimizing your presence across Google’s search results, so that your business gets three or four links on the page, not just one (or none).
Fully Optimize Your Business on Google in 2024
Hey, you asked the loaded question!
Optimizing your business for Google isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. The truth is there are many ways you can optimize your business on Google.
Given the complexity and breadth of Google’s search capabilities, numerous tactics can be employed to enhance your business’s presence in the results. From optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP) to an optimized Google Ads campaign for immediate visibility, each section of the SERPs plays a critical role in your overall optimization efforts.
Optimizing Your Business in the Google SERPs
The reason there are several ways to optimize your business on Google is because there are multiple sections in Google SERPs. Since GMB Gorilla focuses on local search, we will take a look at a typical Local SERP for a common search phrase.
Local SERP Overview
The local search algorithm that controls which results are displayed and in what position is based on proximity, relevance, and prominence.
There are four sections to the local SERP: Google Ads, Search Generative Experience (SGE), Google Map and Local Pack, Organic Results.
Each of the four areas has different methods for optimizing results you can see from them.
- Ads: The Google Ads section takes the prime real estate on the SERP. If you always want to be the first thing seen, you will need to use Ads. Note the top position is not always the one that gets the business.
- SGE: The newest search function, SGE uses AI to deliver enriched results near the top of the page based on all of the information Google has available in the index about a particular topic. This is Google’s response to ChatGPT and they have inserted it near the top of the SERPs as a result.
- Map and Local Pack: For searches that have any sort of “near me” or local intent, Google will display the Google Map and Local Pack section below any Google Ads or SGE. Over 46% of all Google searches show local intent, so this section shows up frequently and can drive a lot of business your way.
- Organic: These are the traditional search results that we all know and love. Pushed further and further down the page with each year, Google continues to refine the websites shown to cater to more localized content, in an effort to better satisfy searchers.
Optimizing for these sections involves understanding their specific requirements and how they interact with Google’s local search algorithm, which focuses on proximity, relevance, and prominence. While outside of the scope of this guide, here’s some direction on how to fully optimize your business on Google, section by section.
Google Business Profile
A well-optimized Google Business Profile is essential for local search success. Ensuring your GBP NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number), business hours, and website are accurate goes a long way to start. Remember, close to half of all Google Business Profiles have not been verified.
You can influence the local search algorithm and increase your rankings on the map and in the local pack by optimizing your profile’s categories, service areas, services, and products. On an ongoing basis, you can then focus on getting more 5 star reviews on the profile and backlinks to your website in order to continue to climb up the rankings.
Localized organic search results are becoming increasingly common, especially for “near me” searches. The best way to capture this increasing demand is to create specific landing pages for each location and service or product you offer to appear in these searches.
You can come up with as many combinations as you have products/services and markets. Beware, however, that in larger markets or competitive industries, you will also need to be building backlinks to these pages in order to see them get to the top of the organic search listings.
Google LSA and Google Ads
The sponsored results are extremely visible and businesses should not get caught thinking search traffic is “free.” You can show at the top of the page (before the Maps, Local Pack, and Organic) with Google LSA and Google Ads.
- Google LSA: These ads are sold on a per lead basis based on the type of services you offer and your service area. These Ads also offer customers the Google Guarantee, which helps with their effectiveness.
- Google Ads: These ads are sold on a per click basis and offer users the ability to target geographic areas and keyword phrases. Google Ads can get complex, since you have to set up and manage everything yourself (unless you’re working with GMB Gorilla).
Optimizing for All Three is the End Goal
This may seem overwhelming if you’re new to this. You don’t have to do all three at once. Of course if you have the resources, what’re you waiting for? Put down the coconuts and get to work.
If that’s not you, GMB Gorilla recommends starting with Google LSA or Google Ads and a small budget. You can get instant traffic to your business and learn what makes you money. Then you can use this to focus and speed up your GBP and website SEO efforts.
The Lowest Hanging Fruit is Your Google Business Profile
Of course for most businesses the easiest and lowest cost way to get started fully optimizing on Google is a Google Business Profile. This is a great place to start, especially if you are a service area business or in a retail setting, since these types of searches tend to show the Map and Local Pack frequently.
Ready to Swing into the Top Position? Hire GMB Gorilla
Optimizing your business on Google can be complex and time-consuming.
Don’t get stuck in the mud or lost down an unbeaten trail. Let the King of Local Search, GMB Gorilla, fully optimize your Google My Business Profile for what you do and who you serve.
Check out more details or give us a call today!