Local SEO 2021: Introduction to Google My Business (GMB)

Google My Business (GMB)

Google My BusinessIn this blog we’ll talk about finding, claiming, verifying your local business, as well as different best practices to improve your local business ranking on Google.

Google My Business lets you manage how your local business appears across Google products, like Google Maps and Google Search. If you operate a business that serves customers at a specific location, or you serve customers within a designated service area, Google My Business helps people find you. Verified businesses on Google are twice as likely to be perceived as reputable by users.

When somebody searches for a business near their location, they will find local results in various Google properties such as Google Maps and Google Search. For instance, you can find local results by searching for “Chinese restaurant” on your mobile phone. Google tries to show you the most  relevant nearby restaurants that fit your specific query.

To establish a presence and/or improve your business’ local ranking on Google, use Google My Business to claim and update your business information.

Find Your Business on Google

If your Business Profile doesn’t show up on Google Maps, Search, or other Google properties, you will need to take additional steps. Google My Business offers various ways to try to fix this.

Your business isn’t verified.

The business information you provide to Google My Business won’t be eligible to display on Google until you verify your business.

Your business shows up on Google Maps but doesn’t always appear in search results.

Your business information’s placement in search will vary. For the best possible ranking, make sure that your business information is correct, comprehensive, and up to date.

You recently added or edited your business information.

Google’s search results are based on algorithms that take a wide range of factors into account. When you edit your business information, it might change the search results, and edits may take up to 3 days to appear.

If you search for your business by name, you should still be able to find it on Google Maps.

Your business information doesn’t comply with Google’s guidelines.

Follow Google’s guidelines to help avoid common problems, like:

  • Unexpected changes to your information
  • The removal of your business information from Google

If you violate the guidelines, you’ll get a message in your Google My Business account to let you know that your business has been disabled or suspended. Once you’re sure that your business follows these guidelines, contact us to help get your business information published again.

Find Current Business Information on Google

  1. Sign in to Google My Business.
  2. If you have multiple locations, open the location you want to manage.
  3. In the menu, on the left, click Info.
  4. Under “Your business is live on Google,” you’ll find links to your profile on Google Search or Google Maps. Click any of these links to determine how your business appears on the respective service.

If you need assistance, you can also reach out to experts in the Google My Business Community.

Ways to Improve Your Business’s Local Ranking on Google

Update your Business Information for Better Search Visibility

If your business doesn’t show up for relevant local searches in your area, check to make sure that your business information in Google My Business is accurate, complete, and engaging.

Enter Complete Data

Local results favor the most relevant results for each search. Businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches. It is very important to make sure that you keep your business information up to date if/when an aspect of your business that can affect customers changes.

Be sure to enter complete business information in Google My Business – what you do, where you are, and when your business is open. Important information includes, but is not limited to, your business’:

  • Physical address
  • Phone number
  • Category
  • Attributes

Verify Your Location(s)

Verify your business location(s) to improve the likelihood of showing up in local search results on Google products, like Google Maps and Google Search.

Maintain Accurate Business Hours

Update your business hours regularly, including when you open and close, and special hours for holidays and events. Accurate hours allow potential customers to know when you’re available and gives them confidence that your business will be open when they arrive.

Manage & Respond To Reviews

It is important to respond to reviews that users leave about your business. When you reply to reviews, it sends the message that you value your customers and their feedback. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers can improve your business visibility and increase the likelihood that a shopper will visit your location.

Add Photos

To showcase and promote your goods and/or services, as well as tell the story of your business, add photos to your Business Profile. Accurate and appealing pictures may also show prospective shoppers that your business offers what they’re searching for.

How Google Determines Local Ranking

Local search results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. A combination of these factors helps Google find the best match for  search queries. For example, Google’s algorithms may conclude that a business that’s located farther from your location is more likely to have what you’re looking for than a business that’s nearby, consequently ranking it higher in local search results.


Relevance refers to how closely a local Business Profile matches what someone is searching for. By adding complete and detailed business information, Google will be able to better understand your business and match your profile to relevant searches.


Distance considers how far each potential search result is from the location where the search query is made. If a user doesn’t specify a location in their search, Google calculates the distance based available location data.


Prominence refers to how well known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and Google’s search results try to reflect this in local search rankings. Examples include famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands, all of which are likely to be prominent in local search results.

Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business, from the web, such as links, articles, and directories. Google review counts and review scores also factor into local search rankings. More reviews and positive ratings will help to improve your business’ local ranking. Your business’ position in organic web search results is also a factor, so search engine optimization (SEO) best practices should be followed.

For additional information about claiming, verifying or updating your Google My Business listing, help is available at Google My Business Help.


For more information on ways to amplify and elevate your company’s search engine visibility, contact our Digital Marketing team.

We can walk you through the entire SEO process and pride ourselves on being responsive when answering any questions.