How to optimize GMB for multiple locations
Managing a single Google My Business account is pretty straightforward. But how does this work if you manage multiple locations for the same business? Managing multiple Google my business listings can be tricky for obvious reasons, like having to maintain separate profiles and ensure they all have accurate information.
Managing multiple locations on google maps
Here’s the GMB Crush step-by-step guide that will help you manage your multiple Google my Business listings in an efficient manner.
Control multiple locations through a location group.
For businesses that own and operate multiple locations, you can group them under a location group or business account. This will allow you to control all your profiles from one dashboard instead of having to maintain individual accounts for each store.
Here’s how to set up a location group / business account in your GMB dashboard:
- Sign in to Google My Business.
- If you have only one location, click Manage locations from the menu. (If you have two or more locations, proceed to the next step.)
- Click the Create location group button in the top right corner of the page. (If you don’t see this button, click the three dash menu in the top left corner, then click Create business account.)
- Enter a location group/business account name and click Done.
Transferring the ownership of locations
You can transfer locations to another location group only if the account is yours or you are an administrator.
Go to each GMB listing by clicking on the checkbox to select it, then click “Actions” and select “Transfer Locations”. The previous owner will automatically become a manager.
Owners and managers of location groups
Location groups make it easier for multiple administrators to manage a set of locations. There are two types of location group/business account users: owners and managers.
Only owners can make changes to the location group or business account profile, such as edit the company name, address, phone number and URL. Managers are users who have been added by an owner and cannot alter anything in the location group/business account’s profile.
Here’s a summary of the different capabilities of location group/business account owners and location group/business account managers:
Bulk Upload for Location Management
You can manually add additional locations, but if you have ten or more locations we recommend using the bulk upload functionality for location management. These best practices works as follows:
1. Create Table with Locations
Click on “Add location” and select “Import locations”. Then click on “Download the template”. Open the CSV file and fill out the required fields for every business location.
2. Upload Table with Locations
Save any files in one of the following formats: XLS, XLSX, ODS, CSV. Upload the file by clicking on “Select file to upload”. If you have any duplicate locations, then this will be automatically merged after the import!
3. Verification of Business Information
You can verify all your business locations at once with bulk verification. To do so, click on the confirmation icon and follow the instructions in the pop-up window that appears. Enter an email address bearing your website domain or company name before clicking “Next”.
Verifying a business location with Google My Business can take up to a week. When you enter your email address, Google will verify the entered information before requesting additional information and sending updates if necessary.
4. Change Location Information
If you need to update your location information, bulk changes can be made in Google My Business. First download the locations through the menu. Make any necessary changes and upload them again for review. Once approved, select “Apply.”
And that’s it! If you have more than 10 locations for a certain business, this method can help you save a lot of time.But what about the other items such as Posts and Reviews? Let’s dive into that right away.
Using tools to schedule GMB posts
Becoming a multi-location business in the digital world can be tough. If you own one Google My Business account, or company pages for each location, then post management becomes more complicated because it’s difficult to post simultaneously on different locations. To simplify this process there is an aftermarket service that enables you to manage posts from your desktop by scheduling your GMB posts.
To save time and effort, social media scheduling tools now offer GMB post services. This allows you to upload on any profile, create content calendars for each profile, embed video accessible in all profiles and more – without spending all of your time moving from profile to profile.
Using tools to schedule GMB posts can save you hundreds of hours over a year if you have a multiple location business!
Some of the top social media tools that will help you schedule GMB posts include:
Multi locations reviews management
Being active and responding to reviews is extremely important. It shows you’re an active manager, which is great for customers and might be able to help your Google results, too.
That’s because the more reviews your business has, the more prominence it will have on Google Maps. Reviews are also influencing driving directions as they act as a powerful indirect ranking factor for local results that correlate to higher behavioral metrics.
You can easily manage all of your business reviews across locations from one location!
Remember we created location groups? Login into your Google my Business dashboard and click on reviews.
As you can see in the screenshot below, you can filter reviews by location group. And this way you can easily manage all the reviews for that specific location group, easy as that!
Multi-Location SEO Strategy
Having a strategic plan is the first step for multi-location businesses to succeed online. If you don’t have an SEO strategy in place, your business will likely suffer and lose traction as time goes on.
When it comes to local searches, you’re either on the first page or off. In fact:
“75% of users don’t look beyond the first results page and even if your company is ranking within that 25%, only 10% will see you–a small piece in a much larger pie”.
That’s why the main goal of local SEO is to rank your business’ listing in the local map pack (3 top listings in SERPs).
GMB has quickly become one of the most important metrics for local SEO and it’s no surprise that GMB Crush is designed with this in mind.
Are you still not showing up first on the local 3 pack?
Here are some of the most important points to be considered: 1) Evaluate your competition 2) Claim listings in every location 3) Set a sustainable growth plan 4) Monitor GMB insights, metrics, and ranking constantly.
- Evaluate your competition: The first step in being competitive is to do some research on your competitors. A good place to start? Look at their GMB listings! You can assess the success of their campaigns and find clues that may lead you onto a more successful path. What’s working for your competitors? Is there a common trend in their GMB listings? What does the website structure of those ranking on page one look like?
By assessing your competition, you can find insight that could cut down the learning curve and save time; get started with our comprehensive GMB audit template which has 277 points to analyze!
2) Claim listings in every location: Claim your Google My Business profile to take control of the information that they display about you. If not claimed, Google tries its best at providing accurate info for potential customers, but it can be wrong sometimes due to lack of data input from yourself—the business owner! Claiming will allow you to edit all content and verify accuracy on behalf of consumers.
3) Set a sustainable data-driven growth plan: Unless you pay for a PPC campaign, making it to the top spot of Google’s local 3-pack does not happen overnight. If you don’t currently have an SEO strategy in place, expect it to take months before going from zero to hero! Setting up your GMB categories correctly can be the first step to get into the game, but it is not enough. There’s much more that needs to be done for an effective SEO strategy.
At GMB Crush we offer you a software solution that audits and compares any given search result with the top three Google My Business performers so as soon as you join us; there will be a strategic action plan waiting just seconds away!
4) Monitor GMB insights, metrics, and ranking constantly: If you’re in charge of local SEO efforts, GMB insights and rank tracker solutions are an essential part of your work. Use them to stay on top of how well your plan is going by benchmarking performance regularly, so that clients can understand the effectiveness you have when it comes to their business growth.
You can’t measure the success of your Google My Business marketing campaigns without first understanding what’s the gap between your listing and top 3 GMB performers
Use our GMB Crush Chrome extension, to gather data-driven insights about competitors nearby and use it for a future campaign.
Watch the video below and click to download to get started!
Multi location GMB Insights
Monitor Google My Business insights to leverage your Google Maps Marketing!
Monitor your Google My Business insights to leverage the full potential of our services! Your GMB profile provides analytics about how customers find you, whether it be a direct search or through discovery. The data provided in this glimpse into customer behavior will allow us to best tailor and customize marketing campaigns for results that exceed expectations.
Did you know that Google Maps has a way to see how many customers found your business through their search engine? For example, if they typed in “Mexican restaurant” and clicked on the map marker for your location.
To dig deeper into the importance of mapping out an entire Google Maps SEO strategy, it is important to look at all aspects of data available. By analyzing GMB Insights reports from week-to-week or month-to-month can show performance trends over time where businesses were gaining more traffic by adding new content and keywords about services offered (e.g., tacos), products, etc.
The Bottom Line
Running a business these days means you have to be on top of your game. You need to watch the trends and stay ahead of the curve, or risk going out of business in this competitive market.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available for just about any budget that can help make managing work easier. One such example is Google My Business which helps manage all aspects related to running a local business from one easy-to-use dashboard!
We hope our blog post has given you some new ideas for how best utilize this powerful tool in your own digital marketing strategy.
SEO Lover, my motto is Action Over Words.