Google My Business Execution Guide For Loan Officers

The Ultimate Local SEO Guide

Optimization Checklist

Your go-to list for optimizing each field in Google My Business.

 

Business Name

Enter your business name how it appears on your business card, or how you normally refer to it.

Contditions
  • If there are multiple, public-facing practitioners at your location, then do not allow them to have their own listings. Doing so is technically allowed but will water down the visibility of the main listing.
  • Do not add extra keywords to your business name with the intent of ranking the listing for them.
  • Do not add the location name or city.
Do

Sally Harris

Do Not
  • Movement Mortgage: John Miller
  • John Miller Movement Mortgage
  • John Miller Mortgage Officer
  • John Miller Loan Officer At Movement Mortgage

Short Name

Use your business name as your short name.

Conditions
  • If your business name is more than one word, separate it using a dash (-).
  • If your business is already taken, add your main city to the end.
  • Do not add extra keywords to your short name. This will not help the performance of your listing.
  • You can change your short name up to 3 times per year.
Example

Yes: John-Miller-Movement-Mortgage-Williamsburg

No: John-Miller-Movement-Mortgage-Williamsburg-Home-Loans

Primary Category

Select the primary category which best represents your business. Do not overthink this.

Conditions
  • You can only select from a pre-defined list.
Example

Yes: Choose ‘Mortgage Broker’ or ‘Mortgage Lender’ as your primary category.
Do Not: Choose ‘Mortgage Lender’ if you don’t provide direct loans.

Secondary Category

Select as many secondary categories that apply to your business.

Conditions
  • Do not add categories if they do not directly apply to your company’s offerings.
Example
  • Mortgage Broker (if your main category is ‘Mortgage Lender’).
  • Mortgage Lender (if your main category is ‘Mortgage Broker’)

Address

Put the physical street address on the first line and suite numbers on the second line.

Conditions
  • If an employee of your business is not actively at your location during business hours, then you should be hiding your address.
  • Put the street address on Address Line 1 and any suite number on Address Line 2.
Example

Line 1: 520 6 Avenue

Line 2: Suite 311

Service Area

Add the cities, postal codes, or regions that you service.

Conditions
  • Do not list all the states you are licensed in, instead list a few select cities where you want to focus business.
  • There are some businesses which have customers which visit them, and also go to customers’ locations. It is fine to have an address and list a service area on the same listing.
  • Your visibility will be significantly reduced outside of a 20-mile radius, regardless of the service areas you list

 

Example

If you service the entire State – listing the state as a service area does not mean you will have visibility everywhere. It would be better to select a few key cities instead.

Business Hours

Enter regular, customer-facing hours of operation.

Conditions
  • If you are able to extend store hours by being available a little longer via phone – then include these as opening hours on your listing. Doing so improves visibility as your listing will be shown more when competitors’ hours have marked them as closed.
  • Add special hours for holidays and other events.
Example

Christmas Day: Closed

December 1-23: Extended hours.

If you are a seasonal business: remove operating hours when closed, and re-enter when the season comes.

More Hours

If you have a second set of hours, enter them here.

Conditions
  • You must enter your regular business hours before adding this.
Example

Open house: 10pm to 8am

Primary + Additional Phone Numbers

Use your local business number as the primary number. If you have a toll-free number, you can add it as an additional phone number.

Conditions
  • If using call tracking, use this number in the primary phone field. Add your local business number and toll-free number in the additional phone fields.
Example

Primary Phone: 757-123-4567

Additional Phone: 1-800-123-4567

Website

Add your website including the http or https component.

Conditions
  • Important: Try to link to a local landing page here if possible. See the Local Landing Page section in this section.
  • Add the following code to the end of your website URL:

    ?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=organic

    If you have an analytics account (e.g. Google Analytics), this will help you see who is coming to the website from Google My Business. Important for comparing its performance against other traffic channels.

Example

Website: https://www.YourLOWebsite.com/

With UTM code: https://www.YourLOWebsite.com/?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=organic

Appointment URL

Add the URL of your contact page or booking system.

Conditions
  • Like your website URL, add the following at the end:
    • ?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=organic

    Example

    Contact Page: https://www.YourLOWebsite.com/contact/

    With UTM code: https://www.YourLOWebsite.com/contact/?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=organic

    Services Information

    These sections allow you to provide information about company offerings directly to the listing. Many companies gloss over this, and it hurts their engagement.

    Conditions
    • Services are only available for specific types of service-focused businesses.
    • Menus are only available for restaurants.
    • Products are only available for certain retail businesses.
    • Create separate sections for each category of yourservices/menu/products.
    • If you offer many services/products, I would recommend only adding the most popular offers. Be sure to update these if they are seasonal.
    • Enter the offer names as they are described normally by your business.
    • If your offer names are highly branded (e.g. a car inspection service named “Full Scan Pro”), then be sure to specifically call out what the service is in terms that customers would understand in the description.
    • Add a description for each product/service. You can use the same description used on your website or in store (there is a 1,000 character limit).
    Example

    Service Name: VA Loans

    Service Description: Our veteran staff will walk you though the entire VA Loan process and provides the best options for our military and spouses.

    Business Attributes

    Define the attributes that correctly describe your business.

    Conditions
    • You can only select from the list provided (similar to business categories).
    • Only include attributes that accurately describe your business. Your customers can verify this on their end, and Google will weight their input heavily.
    Example

    If you have a wheelchair accessible storefront, that offers a happy hour, patio, and bathrooms, some attributes to list would be:

    • Restrooms
    • Wheelchair Accessible

    Business Description

    This is the elevator pitch for your business.

    Conditions
    • It should be written with prospective customers in mind (people who know nothing about your business).
    • Focus on the business as a whole, rather than specific products/services or promotions.
    • Use the most important keywords that people would generally search for to find your business.
    • Remember: you are writing for humans. Not search engines.
    • Do not use website URLs, special characters, or emojis.
    • There is a 750 character limit.
    Example

    Whether you’re buying, selling, refinancing, or building your dream home, you have a lot riding on your loan specialist. Since market conditions and mortgage programs change frequently, you need to make sure you’re dealing with a top professional who is able to give you quick and accurate financial advice. As an experienced loan officer I have the knowledge and expertise you need to explore the many financing options available. Ensuring that you make the right choice for you and your family is my ultimate goal. And I am committed to providing my customers with mortgage services that exceed their expectations

      Store Codes

      These help multi-location businesses manage listings. Do not worry about adding these if you are not bulk uploading locations.

      Conditions
      • There can be no spaces or special characters.
      Example
      • For a business with 10 locations, numbering them 1-10 as store codes is feasible.

      Labels

      You can add labels to your listing to help organize your account (for businesses with multiple locations).

      Conditions
      • There can be no spaces or special characters.
      Example

      For a business with many locations in one city, adding labels based on sector of the city may be helpful:

      • North
      • South
      • East
      • West

      A business with different types of locations can add labels based on location type:

      • Full Service
      • Limited Service

      Google Ads Locations Extensions Phone

      Must be a local phone number in order to show in search results (cannot be a toll free number).

      Conditions
      • Leave this field blank unless you are actively running a Google Ads campaign with location extensions. If this sounds like gibberish to you, it usually means you aren’t running an Ads campaign and do not need to worry about this.