Here is the thing: most business owners don’t know what keywords to target in their Google My Business (GMB) listing. Many of them are not even aware such a thing exists!
The easiest way to spy on your competitor’s GMB keywords is by using an SEO tool like GMB Everywhere. Install the chrome extension, visit your competitor’s GMB listing, and the tool will display the categories for each listing. These are the keywords your competitors are using!
Of course, this is not the only way to spy on your competitor’s GMB keywords. But it is the easiest and most effective way to get started. Here is more on this topic.
Why Would You Want to Spy on GMB Keywords?
There are a few reasons why you might want to know what keywords your competitors are targeting:
- To improve your own GMB listing: If your competitor ranks for a particular keyword, you can try optimizing your listing and website for that search term.
- To create targeted ads: This way, you can get your business in front of potential customers who are already interested in your offer.
- To track your competitor’s GMB listing over time. This can give you insights into what they are doing in terms of SEO and visibility. Think of it as a lazy way to do competitive intelligence!
Keyword spying works best when competing with a bigger business in your industry. They are likely to have a bigger budget and more resources, which means they are more likely to do original research and pay for a bunch of expensive SEO tools.
If you are competing with a smaller business, they may not be using GMB keywords at all. In this case, spying on them may not make sense for your business. You are better off hiring an expert to optimize your GMB listing.
How to Spy on GMB Keywords
There are a few different ways to spy on GMB keywords. Here are some of the most effective methods:
- Use a GMB Keyword Tool
Using the Keyword Everywhere tool is one of the easiest ways to find out what keywords your competitor is targeting in their GMB. This extension will show you the GMB category for any listing you visit.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Install the GMB Everywhere extension from the Chrome store
Step 2: Visit your competitor’s GMB listing
Step 3: The extension will show you the GMB category in the listing
This tool offers five free monthly audits, which is enough to get started. You can upgrade to the $25/month plan for more audits if you’re running an agency.
However, there are other keyword tools that you can use. We just like this one because it’s affordable and simple.
- Use the Manual Method
If you do not want to use a keyword tool, you can always do it the old-fashioned way – checking manually.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do this.
Step 1: Search the relevant keywords in Google and see which businesses appear in the three-pack GMB listings. Copy the first listing title before proceeding to step 2.
Step 2: Head to Google Maps and paste the title into the search bar. Make sure the URL contains maps, places, listing titles, longitude, and latitude of the target business.
Step 3: View the page source of the business listing ( the top right part of your screen). This will open the HTML code of the listing in a new window.
Step 4: Search the code by typing Ctrl + F on PC or Command + F on Mac. Enter the primary category term in the search bar. You will find this info on the page you opened in step 2.
Step 5: Step 4 will highlight all instances of the primary category in the code. This should help you find a list of keywords on the page.
Step 6: Put these keywords in a list, then rinse and repeat for the other two GMBs in the three pack. This should give you an idea of which keywords Google expects to see from you.
How to Use This Info to Your Advantage
Now that you know how to find out which keywords your competitor is targeting, it’s time to put this information to good use! Here are some ideas:
1. Use the Keywords in Your Own GMB Listing
One of the best ways to use this information is to optimize your GMB listing with the search terms from competitors. This will help you rank higher in the pack and get more traffic to your listing.
To do this, log in to your Google My Business account and update your listing information. Ensure the keywords are included in the title, description, and category fields.
However, do not expect immediate results. It can take weeks for your listing to be updated and for the changes to appear in the search results.
2. Target the Keywords with SEO
Another way to use this information is to target the keywords with SEO. This means creating optimized content on your website and blog that is designed to rank for these keywords.
This is a long-term strategy, but it can be very effective. Not only will it help you rank higher in the search results, but it will also drive traffic to your website from people who are searching for these keywords.
To get started, research the keywords and create optimized content for them. Make sure to include the keywords in the title, meta tags, and body of the article.
3. Use the Keywords in Your PPC Campaigns
You can use the keywords in your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns if you want immediate results. This is a form of advertising where you pay Google for each click that your ad receives.
Log in to your Google Ads account and create a new campaign. Then, target the keywords that you found in the previous steps.
This is a great way to get quick results, but it can be expensive if you are not careful. Set a budget for your campaign and track your results to know what works.
4. Monitor Your Competitor’s Listing
You can use this information to stay on top of your competitor’s listing. This way, you can see if they make any changes and adjust your listing accordingly. This is especially helpful if you notice that they rank higher than you in the search results.
This copy-paste method is great but is not a long-term ranking strategy. You need to do your own research, create solid backlinks and gather lots of reviews to make this work.
What Could Go Wrong When Doing This?
We are yet to see any catastrophic outcome of doing this copy-paste research, but here are some potential issues you could run into:
You Might Not See Great Results
Here’s the thing:
Having the right keywords on your GMB does not guarantee ranking in the three-pack or even on the first page. Other factors affect ranking, such as your content, reviews, and click-through rate (CTR).
We have seen websites with fewer reviews outrank websites with more reviews. We have also seen websites with lower CTRs outrank websites with higher CTRs.
This is why it is important to focus on all aspects of your GMB listing, not just one thing.
So, keep going even if you do not see great results after implementing this strategy.
You Might Not Be Able to Compete
Another potential issue is that you might not be able to compete.
For example, let’s say you are a small local business and your competitor is a large national chain. In this case, it might be challenging to outrank them, even if you have the same keywords on your GMB listing.
This is why it is important to choose your keywords carefully. Do not try to compete for keywords that are too competitive. Instead, focus on search terms you have a good chance of ranking for.
You May Have More than You Can Handle
This is not necessarily bad, but it is something to be aware of.
If you start to get a lot of calls and inquiries, you might not be able to handle them all. This could lead to frustrated customers and a negative impact on your business.
In fact, most small businesses do not pick up the phone when it rings because they are usually busy with other jobs. They let it go to voicemail.
If you start to get more calls than you can handle, you should hire someone to help you. This could be a virtual assistant or a customer service representative.
Teach them how to qualify leads and transfer the calls to you. This way, you can focus on closing the deals and growing your business.
The moral of the story is this: if you want to rank in the three-pack, you need to have the right keywords on your GMB listing. But remember, there are many other factors at play in ranking. So, focus on all aspects of your listing and be prepared to work hard for those competitive keywords!