Google My Business descriptions are one of the first places users look for more information about a business, and one of the most long-debated Local SEO ranking factors.
Debates over the 750 characters aside, I’ve always ranked without using exact match keywords, and have always taken a more objective (and human) approach.
Follow these steps to write an optimized and engaging Google My Business description:
- Mention the primary business category
- Add mentions of high value products / services
- Specify a target location or service area
- Include one or multiple unique selling propositions (USPs)
- Add social proofing (founding date or highlight an achievement)
- Reduce friction by including a promotion or low barrier to entry offer
Pro Tip: Knowledge is power and knowing what Google has disclosed about business description ranking factors is important to know. If you’re interested, check out this quick read on the topic. Also, before you go making any significant updates to your profile, ensure you’re properly tracking their impact with a software like Local Viking by running reports before and after changes.
Before further explaining the checklist, let’s take a look at some real examples of Google My Business descriptions…
Google My Business Description Examples
To start, here’s how NOT to write a Google My Business description…
❌ Why it doesn’t work: It’s so focused on “SEO” that it’s completely illegible, and more likely to deter a potential customer than convert due to not providing any real value or information about the business (and yes this is a real example from October 2021).
✔️ What could be better: The HVAC business has been around for a long time, and has racked up nearly 1500 reviews with a 4.9 rating. For those who discover the business in Google Search and may not be familiar, some social proofing like founding date and an offer would likely help build trust and potentially drive a click or call to convert on the offer.
Here’s a much better business description example in the home services industry…
✔️ Why it works: The plumbing business positions themselves as clean, trust-worthy, and well-established (which can all be rare in the niche). Additionally, the business highlights a few services, and emphasizes a subtle USP that it’s open 24/7.
✔️ What could be better: An offer like 20% OFF for new customers could bring in some new people and engagement to their Google Business Profile. Also, they appear to service Phoenix, Arizona, which is quite a competitive area so it certainly wouldn’t hurt to add a mention of the target locality.
Pro Tip: Outside of Google My Business descriptions, there are tons of other opportunities to optimize Google Business Profiles. Use this Google My Business Checklist & SEO Audit Template to identify areas for improvement.
Creating An Optimized Google My Business Description
Here are the elements of a good Google My Business description and why it’s important to follow the checklist…
✔️ Mention the primary business category – Reinforce what you do to customers (and Google).
✔️ Add mentions of high value products / services – Often, Google My Business categories are broad. Including mentions of high value products / services ensures that customers know what is provided, and it may increase relevance signals in Google.
✔️ Specify a target location or service area – Proximity can be a difficult ranking factor to overcome. Specifying your target service area adds a layer of confirmation to prospective customers, and may also increase relevance signals.
✔️ Include one or multiple unique selling propositions (USPs) – Stand out! Chances are, there are at least 20+ other businesses competing for the same click. Give prospective customers a reason to go with your business.
✔️ Add social proofing (founding date or highlight an achievement) – A quick way to build trust is to establish credibility. Adding social proofing can present prospective customers with an additional reason to choose your business.
✔️ Reduce friction by including a promotion or low barrier to entry offer – Eliminating risk and reducing friction or key concepts in sales and marketing. Highlighting offers or promotions can incentivize conversions (form fills, calls, or in-store visits), or be the “nudge” someone needs to try your business over another business they’ve used in the past.
With this, you should have the information you need to write a Google My Business description that improves listing engagement and helps to converts customers without over-analyzing ranking factors that may or may not exist. And instead, you’re armed with a checklist that’s driven by real marketing and sales concepts (with the key Local SEO considerations included).
Happy SEO-ing 🙂