Choosing the right website URL for your Google My Business page is important for the following reasons:
- It helps drive people to your website directly from Google My Business
- It helps drive people to the most relevant pages on your site, which improves user experience
- It helps distinguish between your different locations, once again improving user experience
In a nutshell, strategically picking your Google My Business pages will provide a better user experience, drive more conversions from prospective customers and can improve your local rank on Google.
Our agency has worked with hundreds of small businesses on local SEO. This is an issue we constantly find yet isn’t often discussed within the SEO community. In this blog, we’ll cover the following components to help you better select the right URL’s for your Google My Business page.
- Real-Life Examples
- Determining GMB URL’s based on industry
- Dealing with Multiple Business Locations
- Picking the best Google My Business location [read here]
- Picking the best primary category for GMB [read here]
- Different between local pack versus SEO rankings [read here]
Getting Familiar with Google My Business Website URL
If you do a Google Search for “The Media Captain” on the right hand side you will see the information getting pulled in for Google My Business. I’ve circled in red where it says, “Website.” This is the destination URL where the person interested in your site will be directed towards. For The Media Captain’s site, they are taken to our homepage. As of the time of this writing, we have one location in Columbus. It was an easy decision that we picked our homepage as the website URL. I’m sure you’re thinking this is self explanatory. You’d be amazed at the different scenarios based on industry, multiple locations along with other user experience. I’ll get into this in the real-world examples shortly.
When you create a Google My Business page, there will be a field to enter the website URL.
PS – Yes, I am aware competitors are bidding on my brand name. While I was initially frustrated, I take it as a badge of honor at this point.
Scenario 1 – Multiple Locations
We work with a chiropractor that has three locations in Columbus in different suburbs. When initially taking over the account, the website URL of all three of their Google My Business pages linked directly to their homepage. When you think of providing an ideal user experience, if someone in Hilliard (a suburb of Columbus) is looking for a chiropractor in Hilliard, the best user experience would be to direct them to a page on the site with information about the desired location. You eliminate a click by sending them to the Hilliard specific page versus the homepage. What’s important to remember is that the Hilliard page should be rich with information. If there’s minimal content and the prospective customer will have to go back to the homepage to learn more, sending them to the location specific page won’t do much good. If you optimize the location page and utilize this for the website URL within GMB, you can see a lift in SEO.
Joy Hawkins, a local SEO expert confirmed a similar sentiment: “Often people link to the homepage, which is fine. But we have also found with multi-location businesses sometimes it is better to link to a location page.” [View the article from Moz on 4 Google My Business Fields That Impact Rank].
Scenario 2 – Homepage or Location Page? Depends on Industry
Classic’s is a solid pizza restaurant in Westerville, Ohio. They have two locations in Westerville. We talked about multiple locations but this scenario is a bit different with each of their locations in the same suburb. The website Classics chose for both of their Google My Business pages is their homepage. I don’t have hard numbers to support this but I’m confident that 90% of people that go to Classics website want to order online (continue reading as I’ll show you what Classic’s website looks like and how this should have been structured).
Below is the homepage for Classic’s website. They make it very easy to see the menu for the Maxtown and Sunbury Menu (both of their locations in Westerville). It would have made for a better user experience if their Google My Business website URL for each respective location sent the visitor to the corresponding menu page.
When I analyzed their site on mobile, there wasn’t a phone number icon in the top navigation, making for a less than ideal user experience. This reinforces my previous message that before choosing on a destination URL for Google My Business, make sure the page is well optimized.
I can’t tell you how many restaurants put their homepage as their destination URL when the menu page would be more advantageous. It should be noted that restaurants can manually add menu items and specials to their Google My Business page.
For our marketing agency, there are a lot of services we offer, which is the reason we send people directly to our homepage. You might be asking why I’m not sending someone directly to the contact us page. I determined the following items below were important for a prospective customer to learn about before getting in touch with us:
- Our Company Story
- Our Mission
- Our Success Stories
- Easy Access to All Services
- Our Trust Indicators (BBB, Local Chamber of Commerce, Adwords Certified, etc, etc).
For Classic’s pizza, could people want to learn about the company history before ordering? Yes. But there is likely less background research prior to making a purchasing decision. It should also be noted that the homepage on your website is typically the most authoritative. We’ve seen plenty of people try and game the system by creating a new page on their site with a keyword heavy URL to improve ranking. We strongly advise against this. Google is also smart and they’ll know the page you are linking to is not authoritative.
Analyze your website to make sure it’s easy for your customers to navigate. If someone wants to order pizza, regardless of what page they are on, it should be a seamless experience. When you provide a great user experience on your site, it’s easy to pick the right destination URL for Google My Business. This will provide a great user experience, which should increase your conversion rate.
We provided an example of a pizza shop, chiropractor and marketing agency within this blog post. Each business has different scenarios. If you need help determining a strategy for your businesses Google My Business destination URL, don’t hesitate to get in contact with one of our experts.