Do’s & Don’ts of Using Keywords in Your Google Business Profile
Using keywords to target your ideal customer audience is important. For example, if someone searches for a product or service near them, you want your Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly known as Google My Business, to be the first one to show up. While there are multiple factors to ranking on the search engine results page (SERP), here are some do’s, don’ts, and examples when using keywords in your GBP profile.
For an article on how to use keywords in your Google Business Profile, check out RiZen Metric’s blog, “How to Use Keywords to Make Your Business Visible on Google Business Profile .”
Include relevant, specific keywords
Relevant keywords are words that are related to the product or services you offer. For example, let’s take a look at a local coffee shop.
So, what are relevant keywords for a coffee shop?
First, you’d want to look at what product(s) you offer. In this case, a coffee shop might offer coffee, espresso, tea, lattes, iced coffee, cappuccinos, bagels, muffins, scones, etc. All of the products listed also serve as keywords. If someone searches for “coffee near me,” you want your business to pop up.
Suppose someone wants an espresso and searches for espresso near me. In that case, your business won’t show up if you don’t use “espresso” anywhere in your Google Business listing.
Next, think about where you offer your product or service. Again, using the coffee shop example, let’s say you own a business in Scranton, PA. “Scranton, PA” is a local keyword that will help your business get noticed when people search for “coffee shops near me” or “coffee shop in Scranton.”
You can also use branded keywords such as your business name, although we suggest not excessively. Other branded keywords could be words that describe your brand’s personality and keep your tone & voice consistent. RiZen Metrics offers a guide on how to brand your Google Business Profile.
Lastly, variations to your chosen words can also help gain GBP traffic. These are potential synonyms or similar words that are interchangeable. Here is an example of a list of keyword phrases potential customers might search for that all have the same intention:
Coffee shop near me
Coffee house near me
Cafe near me
Coffee store near me
All of these phrases have the same meaning, using different variations of the keyword. It’s encouraged to use these different variants to maximize your appearance on search results.
Make posts 1x per week using target keywords
The more you make “posts” on your Google Business Profile, the more relevant and up-to-date information your customers will be seeing. Using keywords in your posts gives your business a chance for exposure related to what you want to target when you want it. Standard GBP posts only last 7 days, so you won’t have to worry about promoting a unique product available “this week only” and people being misled after the week is over.
Respond to reviews
While businesses are often quick to respond to negative reviews, it is equally important to respond to positive reviews as well. Replying as a business owner to reviews gives you a chance to include relevant information and keywords that Google will pick up on. This helps improve your visibility even more.
Here’s an example of a response to a positive review for a dentist’s office using relevant keywords:
John Smith: Dr. Brown made my experience with a root canal so easy and painless! I was in and out of the office within the hour and was well informed about my aftercare instructions. Highly recommend this dentist’s office.
Reply: John, thank you for such kind feedback. Here at Family Dental Care & Endodontics, we strive to provide you with the best root canal therapy in Northeastern PA. Our endodontist, Dr. Brown, is a highly certified dentist who genuinely cares about his clients. We thank you for being a dedicated patient.
As you can see, the response provides not only a personal touch but a chance to include some of the keywords that John Smith didn’t contain in his five-star review that Dr. Brown’s business would want to be found for.
- Family Dental Care & Endodontics (business name)
- best root canal therapy in Northeastern PA (a keyword signifying you are the best option for root canal therapy in your area)
- Root canal therapy (service provided)
- Northeastern PA (local keyword)
- Endodontist (specialty keyword)
- Endodontics (often searched in relation to “root canal”)
- Dr. Brown (specific keyword tailored to a professional)
- Highly certified dentist
You’ve already got the 5-star review. Now is your time to make the most of it by increasing visibility to your Google Business Profile using keywords related to your products or services!
Update offers & promotions regularly
For example, let’s say you own a local boutique that sells women’s clothes and accessories. Right off the bat, you can see that these are keywords you can use: women’s clothes, women’s clothing, clothes, boutique, accessories. Plus, any other specific product keywords such as tops, shoes, heels, dresses, jewelry, earrings, etc., would be keywords.
But why should I post my offers & promotions regularly? Well, maybe you’re running a sale or, for the sake of the example, it’s Black Friday! You obviously wouldn’t be posting on Google Business Profile during February about your Black Friday sales for the upcoming year. It’s simply a keyword you only have interest in being found for once a year.
You want to make sure when someone searches “Black Friday deals clothing stores near me,” or a variation of that, your business shows up. If you make a post the week before and the week of, using “Black Friday” as a keyword, you can maximize your exposure.
Update frequently on events, deals, new products, and business updates to ensure that customers know what to expect, when to expect it, and what’s available.
Keyword stuffing occurs when you insert your targeted words into content (descriptions, posts, promotions, titles) in a way that reduces the readability and appears less conversational. When approaching potential customers, you want to make a good impression as a business. Stuffing words just to rank higher takes away that “personable” feel and may put you at risk of Google taking down your profile.
Description: Stacey’s Mobile Dog Grooming in Philadelphia, PA, is your one-stop-shop for all of your dog grooming needs. Get your dog groomed from the comfort of your own home in Philadelphia. Stacey has been grooming dogs for 15 years and was born and raised in Philadelphia. Pet grooming. Dog Bathing. Styling. Nail Trimming. Conditioning. Get your dog styled in Philadelphia today!
From reading this company description for the fictitious company, Stacey’s Mobile Dog Grooming, readers definitely understand that Stacey owns a mobile dog grooming business in Philadelphia. However, the words are used so often and repetitively that it makes the readability of the sentence difficult and distasteful.
Example without keyword stuffing:
Description: Give your favorite furry friend a spa day from the comfort of your own home with Stacey’s Mobile Dog Grooming in Philadelphia, PA. With 15+ years of experience, you can trust that no matter what breed or size, your dog will be feeling, looking, and smelling wonderful! We offer an array of different grooming services and products at affordable, family-friendly prices. Give us a call at (123) 456-7890 to inquire about our pet grooming, dog bathing, styling, nail trimming, and conditioning specials today!
Use irrelevant keywords
Google cares about recommending businesses to customers that they actually want to see and are relevant to their needs. For example, if you search “Grocery store near me,” you’re likely looking to go shopping for food. So an essential tip on what to avoid is using keywords that are not relevant to your business.
If you don’t offer the product, or service, or are not at the location provided, Google can’t properly recommend your company to people searching for it. The appeal to using irrelevant keywords is increased page traffic. Still, if you’re claiming to sell something and a customer goes to your store only to find out you don’t have it, it may constitute a negative review. Stick to what you offer!
Add extra keywords to your business name
Your company’s name on Google Business Profile should always just be your name. In the past, businesses would add keywords to it to gain increased visibility, especially if the company name didn’t have its service. Note that this isn’t including names like “Charlie’s Auto Detailing,” which can be accurate and correct.
Example: If your company name was Charlie’s Cars, and you offered auto detailing services, you would want to avoid making your GBP name “Charlie’s Cars Auto Detailing and Cleaning” unless that was the registered name. Google can now pick up on this, and you’d risk getting penalized. The type of service you offer is listed below your name, so there is no need to add these extra keywords.
Keywords are a useful and free way to get your company’s local Google Business page more visibility. By following these simple 7 do’s and don’ts, you’re on the right track to working your way up the SERP page to be one of the top businesses for your product or service!
If you’re interested in working with a team of professionals who are trained to manage Google Business Profiles, RiZen Metrics, a digital marketing agency in Scranton, PA can help you manage your Google Business Profile and optimize it using keywords.