Having a fully optimised Google My Business (GMB) page is one powerful way to increase organic search traffic to your website. Your GMB page is particularly important for local organic rankings, especially in situations where someone searches for your product/service and they are physically located in a close proximity to your business’s geographic location.

One of the most valuable pieces of real estate you can appear in is what SEOs have called the “snack pack”. It’s the three results you see below the map at the top of the search engine results page. This real estate is worth gold to your business and can drive huge amounts of traffic, particularly from mobile devices.

Google previously displayed seven local listings in the snack pack most of the time, however they have since changed the format to now show only three. Great if you’re in the top three, not so great if you’re not in the top three.

Here’s what you can do to give yourself a chance of getting in the snack pack

  1. Optimise the name of your GMB – Avoid keyword stuffing in your business name; it’s preferable to only include your actual business name here.
  2. Optimise the business description – Ensure the location name (eg. Perth) and keyword you wish to rank for appears in the description section, preferably in the first sentence.
  3. Acquire reviews on your GMB page – Reviews add authority to a business so start asking your happy customers/clients for a review on Google. If they search your business name your GMB page listing should appear with a little “write review” box. Even one review a month will make a difference. More reviews will push your GMB page up past your competitors.
  4. Ensure the business category is correct – Select the most appropriate primary category as well as a few secondary categories. This helps Google know what it is your business actually does.
  5. Verify your business address – Make sure that if your business is operating from a local address that you have gone through the verification process with Google. They will send you a post card to verify that your address is legitimate. It usually takes 1-2 weeks to receive the post card. If you haven’t verified your address then there is no chance of making the top three snack pack.

Other GMB page optimisation tips

  • Add photos – There is a section for interior, exterior, team, and office photos. Make sure you add a bunch of photos that users can flick through. It will give them greater insight to your business and separate you from your competitors.
  • Add your brand – Make sure your logo is scaled correctly (it trims the edges of the graphic due to the circle shape of the profile image) and use an eye catching cover image. Make a good first impression.
  • Ensure all business information is complete and correct – This includes phone number, website and hours of operation.

Summary

Featuring in the snack page can significantly increase your organic site traffic. Since Google released the snack pack with three results it has made it even more valuable real estate but more competitive. Thinking your business is too small to compete against the big boys? Think again, the snack pack is set up in a way that even the small players can make their way into it, providing they follow the aforementioned GMB page optimisation tips.

If you’re located miles away from the location you wish to be appearing in then it’s going to be tough. An option in this case may be to try find a secondary business address or office in the desired location. This is quite common and can be very effective, just make sure it’s legitimate address that you actually do business from at least some of the time.

Good luck.