How To Rank Higher In Local Search With Google My Business

By: Rachael Seda

Rachael and April of Mix+Shine Marketing posing on metal staircase in virginia beach oceanfront

Google My Business is the most underleveraged marketing platform there is. If you want to see significant boosts in exposure for your brand, it’s time to claim and manage your listing. Today we’re going to share the exact steps we take to help our local clients rank higher in search results on Google Maps. Before we dive in, let’s take a look at how Google ranks local businesses. These rankings are based on relevance, distance and prominence–– and are all used in determining the best match for the search.

“For example, our algorithms might decide that a business that’s farther away from your location is more likely to have what you’re looking for than a business that’s closer, and therefore rank it higher in local results.”

  • Relevance –– how well your listing matches up to a search
  • Distance –– how far the location term searched for is from a business
  • Prominence –– how well known your business is, whether offline (ahem, backlinks!) or locally

Claim Your Listing

Did you know that creating your listing and claiming your listing are two different things? When you create your listing, the only information you can share is your company name, location and the category your business belongs in. Claiming it allows you to share much more information about your business (helping more people find you!) and helps you rank higher on Google Maps.

Don’t Skip The Details

Load your listing with as much information as possible. Aside from the basics like your company name and location, your listing should include your hours (regularly updated), phone numbers, website, services you offer (plus the service area if applicable) and a full description. Regularly shared photos from you and your customers can also help you rank higher on Google Maps. You can encourage your customers to share what we call “iPhone realness” by including a memo on their receipt, putting creative signage up near your register or even better–– ask them directly to share their experience on Google!

Post Updates To Your Listing

Speaking of shared photos, we recommend posting updates to your Google My Business listing. Yes, just like posting to your favorite social platforms! The updates will appear on your listing which signals to the algorithm that you manage your listing on a regular basis. While you may not want to share every single thing you do on Instagram to GMB, we recommend sharing any updates to your business such as: offer updates, hours of operation, and upcoming events/sales.

Increase Your Backlinks

Simply put, backlinks are links from one page of a website to another. Think of it like a mention on social media. For example: If you’re a boutique owner and a local influencer writes an article about a summer clothing haul mentioning your company and most importantly–– linking to your website in that blog post, it’s called a backlink. The more backlinks you can get to your website the better. A great place to start is through local directories, like your Chamber of Commerce.


Download our free Google My Business Checklist HERE.