How Website SEO and GMB SEO Have a Symbiotic Connection.
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What you’ll learn
- How a Google search combines elements of your website and Google My Business profile in its results.
- Which of either website or GMB to focus on if budget is a concern.
- Why SEO isn’t just a one-shot fix but a consistent effort that needs to be maintained.
Transcript For Do I Need SEO On Both My Website and My GMB? – 110;
Caleb Baumgartner: Welcome to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I am producer Caleb Baumgartner, and in today’s episode, Sue and Jesse explore a common question about SEO services. Do you need to work on SEO for both your website and Google My Business profile? Sue and Jesse discuss the synergy between website and GMB SEO, how SEO is an ongoing process, and the benefits of working on both aspects of your web presence. Do you have questions for the team? Visit us at localseotactics.com/questions and let us know. Thanks for listening, and enjoy the show.
Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan, here with Sue Ginsburg, minus Bob today. Just Sue and I here, but that’s fine. We’ve got questions and we’ve got answers for everybody. So Sue, what are we looking at back there today? It’s a nice bay looking, or is that a river, or what is that?
Sue Ginsburg: Well, this is a screenshot from Peoria, Illinois, where we have a fabulous client who asked today’s question most recently, along with other clients and listeners who have asked the same question. So we will lead into the question, which is, does GMB visibility have a positive impact on your website SEO? Is it necessary to keep GMB SEO and website SEO, both? Do they each affect each other and how the other one is ranking or showing up, et cetera, et cetera, along those lines?
Great question. We’ve had this come up from different clients, and most recently our wonderful client, real estate group client, in Peoria, Illinois. So that’s what we’ll be discussing today. Quote of the day, “Synergy, the bonus that is achieved when things work together harmoniously.” That is a quote from Mark Twain. Who knew that such a big word like synergy existed back then?
Jesse Dolan: They had a lot bigger words back then than we have now. I feel like we might be dumbing it down nowadays, right?
Sue Ginsburg: You’re right. You’re right. You’re right. And again, sharing a marketing experience of this, this question comes up fairly frequently when we’re working with the client on their website SEO, and they ask us about working on their GMB or vice versa. And in this case, we work with the client who most recently asked the question on both their website SEO and their GMB. And he asked, how does each one impact his ranking on the other one? And it’s a great question to ask. Do I need both? Is one helping the other? Are we working with them synergistically, et cetera, et cetera?
So today that’s what we’re going to learn about, to learn the impact that your GMB ranking has on your website and vice versa, your website ranking has on your GMB. What we will be overcoming here is that those who know the intricacies of SEO, know and understand this, like you, Jesse, but most business owners do not. This is a great question, and it requires the background and expertise to understand and know this.
So today we will hear what Jesse has to say about it, and we’ll all learn. And at the end of the conversation, knowledge is power and we can all make better decisions, being more informed, more well-informed, understanding it better about SEO on your website and on your GMB. So with that, Jesse, homeschool us, if you will. Drop some knowledge on us, as they say in Hamilton, tell us what you know.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah, I think, so usually when we’re getting this question or a version of this question from a client, it really is rooted in budget, it’s should I be paying for GMB SEO and for web SEO? I think people, when they’re asking this, they’re looking for not so much a shortcut or a silver bullet, but just, hey, if I focus on one, is there a spot, I should say, where I focus on this one and it impacts both? If I just do GMB SEO, if I’m dominant in my GMB, is that all I need to do? Does that help my website too? Am I good on both fronts or vice versa? If I’m invested in my web and getting dominant there, do I even need to worry about the GMB? Will the GMB just increase, too?
And the short answer is no. I will talk about some synergy between the two here in a second, but just real, the short answer there is you have to focus on both. Google Maps, which is where the Google My Business listings are shown, if you do a desktop search on Google, up at the top, you can click on the button that says maps for any search that you do. And that’s going to show you only Google My Business listings on that map view. That is a separate algorithm, if you will, a separate search engine, in a way, within Google, the maps and the GMBs, as compared to the straight-up desktop search, more of that traditional Google search.
When you do a search on desktop, on Google, it blends the two together. You’re going to see that map pack, which we’re all familiar with at the top now. That’s bringing in the GMBs in the map on that search engine results page, or the SERP. And then under that, you’re going to see the natural listings. We have found through our testing and our work that there is, we say it all the time, a symbiotic relationship between the two. They can benefit each other, but there is no silver bullet where you can only work on one and not the other and then really gain, and we’re talking about like dominant results, right? Not like I’m on the third page for my web, but I’m number two for my GMB. We’re talking about getting them both to be ranked number one, or in the top three, at least.
So with that being said, a couple things to call out. If you’re a local business, if you’re looking for exposure and relevancy in a geographic area, whether that’s in the backyard of where you’re performing business, or trying to expand your zone, whatever it is, if geographic location matters, and you have a Google My Business … I’m sorry. If geographic location matters, you need to have a Google My Business listing to show up in that map pack. And if you’re going to have a Google My Business listing, you have to do optimization on that listing, as well. Your competitors are, and sure, can you get lucky and just happen to have the perfect business name and some good keywords in your business description and some other areas? Sure.
But for the long haul and to really dominate, you have to invest into it and you have to have some regular activity there. We’ve talked before about doing the posting, and a lot of the other stuff, getting reviews. You have to be active and you have to invest into your GMB to get it ranked. Now, I’m sure there’s niches out there where you don’t have to do that, where they’re super easy and not competitive, and if you just get in there, you’re there for forever and you can quit investing. I’m sure if somebody went out there, they could find examples like that. We’re talking kind of more broadly, you know, in everyday America, local business, right? Whether you’re fixing computers or fixing vehicles or delivering flowers or whatever it is, there’s a lot of competitors that are out there, within X square miles of you. A lot of them probably have GMBs and a lot of them are probably asking the same questions here, trying to get ranked, like you are.
So that being said, you can’t stop. This would be a good quote if I had one to read, Sue, but it’s something about like if you’re not moving forward, you’re standing still. And if you’re standing still, you’re falling behind. So with that being said, what we have seen is there seems to be a two-way street where they’re related, but it seems to be more from your website to your GMB than it is from your GMB to your website.
So what I mean by that is, let’s just say, if we have our business for flower delivery in Minneapolis, if we only had a one-page website and it’s just some basic information, and we had a GMB listing, and let’s say that GMB listing, it was kind of middle-ground, showing up second or third in some searches, maybe not at all in some other ones. If we went to that website, and if we added a lot of product or service pages about the types of flowers we deliver, our service area for where we’ll deliver, what neighborhoods, what cities we’ll deliver to, just a lot of the geographic and then product and service references, and I’m talking good SEO content, done with intent and done on purpose with some good architecture to communicate to Google, we found that when we do that on a website, that can impact the rankings of the Google My Business listing.
Because Google is aware that this is your website. If you’re doing things the right way, I should say, with a caveat there, if you’re doing things the right way, Google understands, this is your GMB listing, and this is your website, and that’s part of your overall entity. And so then content we add to the website does kind of spill into or trickle over to the relevancy on the Google My Business listing. Now, to be clear, we haven’t seen that where there’s no mention of that on the GMB. So if I’m talking about our flower delivery shop, if we add a page that talks about we deliver roses now, if we’re not talking about roses on our GMB, I don’t know that this would work as good.
But assuming you’ve talked on your GMB about we deliver flowers, we have roses, we deliver to Minneapolis, like all the right keywords on your GMB, if it wasn’t ranking very good before, and then you added that type of content to your website, we found that’ll increase your website rankings, but then that can also trigger your GMB to get better exposure.
So where they do kind of flow back and forth between each other, we see more power, more momentum coming from the website to the GMB rankings than vice-versa. Where we have seen the GMB make an impact on web rankings is sometimes if a client has inconsistencies with your name of your Google My Business, maybe your name is some kind of oddball name or there’s other name, address, phone number type stuff that doesn’t match what’s on the website, once that stuff becomes aligned, again, Google kind of understands this is you. This is the entity. Some of it is like eat, you know, type stuff, E-A-T. And that can bump not only your GMB, but then your website might bump a little bit, too, once Google understands this is all part of you.
So that is maybe confusing to say all that like that. But I guess, again, just to distill it down to a short answer is you can’t just focus on your web or just focus on your GMB and somehow get them both to rank. To get them both to rank, you do have to focus on both and kind of have that same strategy between both, going after the same keywords, same geographic references, and using the same SEO concept on both of them. We just haven’t ran into a scenario yet where you can kill two birds with one stone in this area.
And kind of like you and I had talked before about this topic in various conversations, back to what I said on the front side, usually this is a conversation that comes up from a budget standpoint or a budget concern. If that is the case, I would invest into my Google My Business listing before the website, assuming the website is somewhat serviceable and not a detraction from your business, because people will go from your GMB to your website. You don’t want to lose anybody if they do that, so it’s got to be up to par to a certain degree. But if you only had the budget to pick one or the other, I’d probably start with the GMB, just because, again, if you’re talking local businesses, your local service, local sales, local clients, they’re going to be finding you through the GMB.
I forget if it’s, you know, I think it’s upwards of 30 or 40% of the clicks happen through the GMB. That’s right at the top of the page. The next most popular is going to be your number one natural listing, and then drops off dramatically after that. So if you’re going to be in a spot, you’ve got to be in the GMBs. As long as whatever the products and services you’re selling trigger the map pack to show it, trigger the local listings to show, that’d be where I’d focus my attention. So kind of a meandering and more complicated answer than you or a lot of our clients, or even the listeners, want on this topic. But that’s really the only confident way I can present that without having smoke and mirrors or false information as part of it, quite frankly.
Sue Ginsburg: When I’m talking to a business, I always share that I believe your GMB really creates or builds the foundation for your online presence. You’ve got to start with that. And especially if you recognize that you may already have one that Google put up by default, and if you’re not managing it, then it may or may not even be accurate.
Jesse Dolan: A hundred percent.
Sue Ginsburg: Which will hurt you, if you don’t. So how about this question, Jesse? What about the reverse? What if you are working on one and not the other, or one is optimized and not the other? How will that negatively impact your visibility, your ranking, et cetera?
Jesse Dolan: Yeah, I guess in my mind, I wouldn’t consider that a negative thing, other than it just isn’t going to move you forward. If you’re ignoring your website and just focusing on your GMB, can you grow your exposure and your ranking in your GMB? Yes. Should you expect that your website is going to somehow move forward? No. You may hit one of these things that we said can make a little bit of a difference, but I wouldn’t expect your website to gain any traction. Likewise, I wouldn’t expect your website to be negatively impacted if you didn’t do anything, because in the context here, I’m assuming you weren’t doing in your website anyways, right? So it’s just kind of adrift. It’s just treading water.
There may be a indirect benefit to your website. If you focus on your GMB and you just crush it, and now you’re dominant and you’re getting a ton of reviews and you’re just catapulting your GMB, your brand is going to become more popular. Your website’s going to get more click-throughs from your GMB to your website. You’re definitely going to be sending signals to Google about you as a brand, and through that, you may see some exposure of your website coming up. That’s more of a long play that happens after these interactions, after these engagements, after these signals. It’s not like you’re going to tweak something on your GMB and have that be a direct result to increase your web ranking at large. But that would be the only way that we might answer that a little bit different, but you’re talking, that’s a long play. That’s not anything that’s going to happen next week or next month.
Sue Ginsburg: And you’re talking about from Google’s perspective, and I’m thinking about it from the business owner or the person who’s looking at your GMB. You will get a certain percentage of clicks from there right to your website, so it makes sense that your website will get more traffic, more views, more time on it from the people who are finding your GMB and going directly to your website. So that makes sense. So yeah, I can understand how business owners are thinking, do I have to do both? Which one do I do? And thank you for your great answer of how they interrelate and where to start, if you’re looking at a more limited budget and just, let’s see if you can get a presence online.
Jesse Dolan: And I think something to highlight, too, I think most people listening, if you’ve listened to a number of these episodes, you’re kind of familiar with SEO, but when these conversations happen with clients on like the first time, quote unquote, or if you’re listening here, and this is one of your first episodes, and you’re kind of new to SEO, I think a challenge here, Sue, people have is they’re on Google, right? As a business owner, well, I’m on Google, I’m doing a search, and I see my business here and I see my business there. For them, it’s just Google. There’s not these two different parts within Google that are showing together.
And we understand all the moving parts that are on that search engine result page. You’ve got your ads, your GMB, you’ve got your natural listings, and understand how everything comes together there. But as a business owner or somebody just getting into this, you’re on google.com, I did a search, and I see my business twice. It’s all part of the same thing, maybe, as far as they’re concerned. I think that adds to the confusion.
Sue Ginsburg: That’s a really good point. That’s a really good point. So thank you. All right, if you remember one thing and one thing only from this episode today, remember, there is no silver bullet. You need to work on both your GMB and your website. There may be a symbiotic relationship between the two, but one does not substitute for the other. It may not be the answer that you wanted to hear, but that’s coming right from the experts to you. So that’s what that is.
And again, listening and applying the quote of the day, “Synergy, the bonus that is achieved when things work together harmoniously,” yes, synergy, symbiotic relationship, yes. Substitution, no.
Jesse Dolan: Not so much. Two S’s, not three. No, good question. Thanks for asking it, Sue, and thanks to our client and many other prospects and clients who’ve asked that before, too. Hopefully everybody listening, that gave you some clarity or armed you with that information just for the future, if you haven’t even thought about it or been approached.
If you have a question that you’d like us to talk about on the show, we’d love to hear it. Go to localseotactics.com, scroll down to the bottom, click the button for submit a question. And you can just type in your question and we’ll get it via email. Or if you’re so inclined, we’d love for you to call in. We haven’t had a lot of call-ins, right? If you’ve been listening to these episodes and you hear me pitching this pretty much every time Sue is on, we’ve had a couple of call-ins that we’ll be using, but I don’t know, like 95% of people just submit it via text.
If you’re feeling bold, you’re feeling daring, you want to put yourself out there, we’d love to get more people calling in so we can use the audio on the show. I just kind of love that dynamic, to get to play people’s voice and kind of bring it, instead of us just being talking heads on here, Sue, let the audience get in here with their voice. We’re not a live call-in radio show, but something kind of more along that vibe would be kind of fun. So just throwing it out there, asking with everybody, if you’re up to it, we’d love to have you call in and leave your question on a voicemail so we can play it on the show. And then, of course, you’re going to get one of these fancy Intrycks t-shirts mailed off to you, totally free.
Sue Ginsburg: It’s summer, everybody’s looking for a new t-shirt. Here you go, free for you.
Jesse Dolan: Free, free, free. Let’s do it. So yeah, localseotactics.com, go down to the bottom and click the button for questions, and whichever way you want to do it, we’d love to hear from you. Either way, if you’ve got a question, I guarantee you somebody else does out there. And so let’s all help each other out and ask it, and we’ll do our best to answer it for you. So all right, I think that wraps it up for this episode. Thanks for the good stuff, Sue, and everybody else, we’ll catch you on the next one.
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