GBP Search Keys – Maps content and relevance
The updating by Google of both the main and Map search algorithm to improve the user experience is part of the continuing drive by Google to improve the Google Business Profile product and experience for those customers searching for products and services. Facebook has been leading on how customers rate their user experience and Google is now starting to catch up. According to Google there were many changes to the search algorithms in the previous several months and these algorithm updates continue on almost daily and can be classified into three broad categories.
- Core updates: Updates released by Google to make search better and safer for searchers
- Helpful content: Updates released to make search results useful and relevant to searchers
- Experience: Updates released to make user experience across all devices better
Continuing to be found in local search through a Map entry and an optimised GBP on the Map is important if a business is to generate local traffic and leads from these Google based enquiries. Up to 90% of customers search for a company or product online before deciding to purchase. With over six billion searches daily with Google the dominant popular search engine, regularly adding relevant content to your business GBP closely aligns with the “helpful content” algorithm update that was introduced in late 2022 and the “experience” updates earlier that are also ongoing.
From August 2022 Google said it has an “ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful in Search.” This also targets content written for search engines over human- first content. With the changes to GBP indexing to require more relevance, Google has set out to reward the business GBP Posts and websites that offer excellent user experiences and relevance with more prominence in the search results. That means, like the older optimised GMB the new GBP and website content has an even greater emphasis on how fresh, relevant and consistent content is to support the direct search query.
Simply publishing on the GBP relevant content improves the experience and relevancy offered and is a supported key to success in both search and generating business leads and enquiries. Links from the GBP to the attached website also pass that relevance improvement to the linked website.
Regular posting of relevant category content to your GBP profile about business topics, general activity, work specials, or promotions is an excellent way to optimize the profile and, ultimately, drive potential customers to the attached website.
You can add to your GBP profile using relevant pictures, but be aware, size matters. Whether it is photos of your products, jobs completed or what your location looks like, your profile stand out by posting images.
What helps a business’s Google search results
Whatever data Google finds on your GBP through its crawler will be indexed into the search content that is ranked for searchers, so consider tagging or highlighting keywords and topics you want to have prominence. Other items to consider include:
It has been clear for some time that the availability of accurate business information, or the absence thereof, is a crucial element for both Google and potential customers who are seeking to assign trust a GBP or website that offers consistent and local contact information.
Keywords for your GBP or website are the likely words and phrases customers would search when looking for your business product or service. This search is against prior index information is the easiest way for Google to identify area-based GBP content to match the search terms. There is a limit to the keyword and geolocated areas and adding in more content with further keywords included may improve the GBP indexed matching range.
With the updating of the helpful content and experience components of the search algorithm nothing is more important to Google than the quality of the content on the indexed GBP and an associated or linked website. GBP’s that are indexed to offer the most helpful and unique content will be ranked in search results higher than those with less relevant content or using older or duplicated content from other places. Information repeated on the GBP from other websites or repeated across other platforms will result in a negative effect on your GBP when being ranked for a search result and this usually flows over to the original website’s SEO.
Offering material on your GBP that is relevant, new and informative will allow your GBP to be ranked above competitors who do not continue to help Google with content that is relevance and in context. Ensuring that the content uploaded is current and up to date will positively help the SEO for the GBP and website.
Understanding the target market
Knowing your business target market is the most important element of creating and posting content that is engaging to them. This requires posts to be written in a tone and style suitable for the searching customers that reflects the category of service or product available. Target posts enable a business to focus on what their customers want and what information they find valuable.
Speed to Load
Overall customer experience is one of the three search elements and loading speed is a key component of experience. Google wants a pleasant web experience for all of its users, so load speed plays an important role. If there’s a delay in loading a GBP or linked website, a customer will likely just move on the next search result. Google updated its algorithm for speed to include mobile pages some time back and has continued to use speed as a part of the measured experience. This translates into avoiding the upload of large or high-resolution pictures, galleries and videos that need to load before the GBP or website is displayed to the searcher, particularly on mobile devices which now represents over 75% of search devices.
With now the majority of searchers using mobile devices instead of desktops, mobile load speeds and compatibility to display well has become an essential factor to Google’s search algorithm. This is already optimised for the GBP but connected websites should be mobile optimised.
Search Success and valid business Leads
With the updating of the Google search criteria, it has become important to keep a business GBP updated with relevant content to improve search success in the localised Map results. According to still current Ipsos Research, published by Google for the GMB posts, an up-to-date and optimised GBP is:
- Is 2.7x more likely to be considered more reputable
- Gets up to 7x more clicks than a static GBP
- Is 70% more likely to attract location visits
- Is 50% more likely to lead to a purchase
Posting new content regularly either weekly or at least monthly to the business GBP or GMB will assist in the optimization of content indexed by Google to closely match the new search experience and relevance goals set out by Google when it introduced the new GBP Map product.