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Local SEO 100% Free: How to Add Keywords to Google My Business

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GoSite Team

Having an optimized online presence is more crucial than ever for local business owners. This guide is designed to demystify the world of local SEO and provide you with actionable steps to enhance your visibility without spending a dime.

First, we'll explore what a Google keyword really is and why it's a cornerstone of your online strategy. Then, we'll delve into the undeniable importance of a Google Business Profile for local businesses and how it can transform your digital footprint.

But we won’t stop there. We’ll walk you through 10 essential actions you should take today to add keywords to your Google Business Profile effectively. Finally, to ensure you’re steering clear of common pitfalls, we’ll highlight what NOT to do on your profile.

Whether you’re new to local SEO or looking to refine your approach, this blog will equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to rise above the competition. Let’s dive in and unlock the full potential of your Google Business Profile.

What is a Google Keyword?

A keyword is a word or phrase that you purposely include in your website and online profiles that helps Google (and other search engines) make sense of your business. When a keyword strategy is done correctly, Google will accurately refer your business to customers looking for the services that you provide.

When it comes to basic keyword research, a great place to start is your list of services, as well as the area you operate.

  • The Services You Provide: Every service your offer (including add-ons, subscriptions, etc.) are great ideas for keywords that you should use when building out your Google Business Profile. The more you can use words and phrases that your customers use when expressing their problems -- specifically the problems that your business solve -- the better.
  • The Cities and Neighborhoods You Serve: Including the names of cities, municipalities, neighborhoods, subdivisions, shopping centers, and more are great keywords. You can use the names of places by themselves as keywords, or you can add them to the end of the name of one of your services in the form of a long-tail keyword (a long-tail keyword is an SEO keyword that is more than three words). For example, if you offer kitchen deep cleaning as a service in Austin, Texas, you might want to consider using the keyword "kitchen deep cleaning in bouldin creek".

Check Out Our Industry-Specific Keyword Guides

The Importance of a Google Business Profile for Local Business Owners

Think of your Google Business Profile like a digital shop window for your local business. It's where people look first when they're searching online for what you offer. This profile puts your business on the map, quite literally, showing your location, opening hours, and what you sell or do right at the top of search results. It's also a place where customers can leave reviews, which new customers often read before deciding to visit you.

Keeping this profile updated and looking good is super important because it helps more people find you easily and decide to choose your business over others. It's a simple, powerful tool to attract more customers without needing to be a tech expert.

How to Add Keywords to Google My Business - 10 Things You Should Do TODAY!

1. Pick the right primary category.

Selecting the right primary category for your Google Business Profile is essential, especially for a home services business. This category helps Google understand exactly what kind of services you provide, such as 'Plumbing,' 'Landscaping,' or 'Home Cleaning.' It ensures that when someone searches for these services in your area, your business is more likely to appear in the search results.

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Think carefully about the main service you offer and choose the corresponding category. While you can add additional categories later, your primary one should accurately reflect your primary offering, helping the right customers find you.

2. Select 10 additional categories that match your local business.

Beyond your primary category, you can select up to 10 additional categories to further define the scope of your home services business on Google My Business. These should complement your primary service without overlapping redundantly.

For example, if your primary category is 'Home Repair,' additional categories might include 'Electrician,' 'Handyman,' 'Roofing Contractor,' or 'Window Installation Service,' depending on the range of services you offer.

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This breadth helps Google understand the full range of your services, improving your visibility in varied search queries related to your business. Think about all the services you provide and choose categories that best represent them to ensure you're found by the right customers.

3. Write a thorough business description that includes the right keywords.

Crafting a thorough business description for your Google My Business profile is essential. This description should not only explain what your home services business does but also include keywords that potential customers might use when searching for your services.

For example, if you specialize in air conditioning repair, include phrases like 'air conditioning repair,' 'HVAC services,' or 'emergency AC help.' However, make sure to integrate these keywords naturally, as if you were explaining your services to a friend. Avoid stuffing too many keywords into your description, which can make it hard to read and might negatively impact your profile's performance. Instead, focus on clear, concise language that describes what makes your business unique and trustworthy.

4. Add your services and service descriptions.

In your Google My Business profile, adding your specific services along with detailed descriptions is a key step. This is your chance to tell potential customers exactly what you offer and how you stand out.

Services-Google-My-Business-1-1Image courtesy of SterlingSky

For each service you provide, such as 'Leak Detection,' 'Bathroom Remodeling,' or 'Kitchen Plumbing,' write a brief but clear description. Include what the service entails, any special techniques or tools you use, and why customers should choose your service over others. Remember to weave in relevant keywords naturally, like 'emergency plumbing services' or 'residential electrical inspections,' to improve your search visibility.

This detailed approach helps customers understand your offerings and increases the likelihood they’ll pick your business when they need home services.

5. Publish regular Google posts that contain relevant keywords.

Regularly publishing Google posts is like keeping your shop window fresh and inviting. These posts can be updates, special offers, event announcements, or helpful tips related to your home services.

Each post should include relevant keywords that potential customers might use to find services like yours, such as 'energy-efficient window installation' or '24-hour emergency plumbing.' However, make sure these keywords fit naturally into the text.

For example, you could write a post about a seasonal maintenance service you offer, incorporating terms like 'fall gutter cleaning services.' This not only keeps your profile active and engaging but also improves your visibility in relevant search queries, helping attract more local customers.

6. Use the same relevant keywords on your website home page and included your website URL in your Google Business Profile.

Consistency is key when it comes to SEO. Ensure that the relevant keywords you use in your Google Business Profile are also present on your website's home page.

For instance, if you specialize in 'residential landscaping services,' those exact words should appear on both your profile and your website. This consistency helps Google understand what your business is about, improving your search rankings.

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Additionally, make sure to include your website URL in your Google Business Profile. This provides a direct link for potential customers to learn more about your services and can also help increase your website's traffic. A cohesive approach between your site and your Google profile strengthens your online presence and helps customers find you more easily.

7. Create business accounts on other social media channels, add keywords to your business descriptions, and add those links to your Google Business Profile.

Expanding your online presence beyond Google My Business is crucial. Create business accounts on other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. When setting up these profiles, use a consistent business description that includes relevant keywords similar to those in your Google Business Profile. For example, if you offer 'commercial painting services,' make sure that phrase appears in your social media business descriptions as well.

how-to-add-social-media-profiles-to-google-my-business-guideImage courtesy of Dalton Luka and Google

Once your social media profiles are set up, add these links to your Google Business Profile. This not only provides potential customers with more ways to interact with your business but also reinforces your credibility and online presence. Linking all your social platforms can lead to better search visibility and a unified brand experience for customers exploring your services.

8. List your business on all the major online directories with the same NAP information and business categories.

Ensure your home services business is listed on all major online directories such as Yelp, Angie's List, and the Better Business Bureau. When you list your business, maintain consistency with your NAP information — Name, Address, and Phone number.

This consistency is crucial for local SEO as it helps search engines verify your business and improve its ranking in search results. Also, use the same business categories across these directories as you do in your Google Business Profile. This uniformity helps reinforce your business's relevancy for those services, enhancing your visibility across different platforms. By providing consistent and accurate information, you're making it easier for customers to find and trust your business.

9. Ask for detailed reviews from happy customers that include mentions of the services they received.

Encouraging satisfied customers to leave detailed reviews on your Google Business Profile can significantly boost your local SEO and credibility. When asking for reviews, suggest that customers mention specific services they received, like 'emergency heating repair' or 'custom kitchen remodeling.'

Product Mock Mobile - Reviews - New Review Request - Copy LinkGoSite makes getting customer reviews super easy. Try it for FREE!

Detailed reviews give prospective clients a better understanding of what you offer and improve your profile’s relevance in search results. However, remind your customers to be genuine and honest in their feedback. Authentic, service-specific reviews not only help potential customers make informed decisions but also enhance your profile's visibility and trustworthiness in Google's search algorithm.

10. Add original, visually-descriptive images to your profile.

Adding original, high-quality images to your Google Business Profile can significantly enhance its appeal and effectiveness. Visual content helps potential customers visualize the services you offer and the quality of your work.

Upload clear, visually descriptive photos related to your home services, such as before-and-after shots of a renovation or images of your team in action. Ensure these images are well-lit and professional-looking. Pictures from real projects can boost credibility and help your business stand out.

Screenshot 2024-02-23 at 1.23.34 PMGoogle Post courtesy of Sierra Vista Maintenance

Regularly updating your photo gallery keeps your profile fresh and engaging, encouraging potential clients to choose your services over competitors.

What NOT to Do on Your Google Business Profile

Don't "keyword stuff."

Avoid 'keyword stuffing,' which means cramming too many keywords into your Google Business Profile, especially in unnatural ways.

While keywords are crucial for SEO, overusing them can harm your profile's readability and customer experience, leading to a negative impression or even penalties from Google. Instead, use keywords thoughtfully and sparingly, ensuring they fit naturally into sentences and genuinely reflect your services.

Your goal is to make your profile informative and helpful to potential customers, not just to rank higher in search results. A well-written, customer-focused profile is more likely to win business and improve your SEO over time.

Don't add a keyword to your business name if it's not your real business name.

Resist the temptation to add keywords to your business name on your Google Business Profile if they're not part of your legal or registered business name. While it might seem like a shortcut to better SEO, Google's guidelines are clear against this practice. Misrepresenting your business name can lead to your profile being penalized or suspended, damaging your online reputation and visibility.

Stick to your official business name to maintain credibility with Google and your customers. Authenticity in your business information fosters trust and supports your long-term online success.

Don't use keywords that aren't relevant to the services that you actually provide.

Using keywords that aren't relevant to the services you provide is misleading and can harm your business's reputation and search rankings. It may be tempting to use popular or broad keywords to attract more views, but if these terms don't accurately represent your services, you'll end up attracting the wrong audience. This can lead to a higher bounce rate and lower customer satisfaction.

Always ensure that the keywords you choose directly relate to the services you offer. Relevant keywords help connect you with the right customers who are genuinely interested in what your business provides.

What is a "bounce rate"?

Bounce rate is like a measure of how many people visit one page on your website but leave without clicking anything else or visiting any other pages. It's like someone peeking into a store but walking out without exploring further.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, optimizing your Google Business Profile using the right strategies can significantly improve your local visibility and attract more customers to your home services business. Remember, the key is consistency, relevance, and customer focus.

By applying the tips we've discussed today—like selecting accurate categories, writing a clear business description, and encouraging genuine reviews—you're setting your business up for success. Avoid common pitfalls such as keyword stuffing or misrepresenting your services, as these can harm your credibility and SEO efforts.

Take action on these tips today, and watch your Google Business Profile become a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.

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