Does the URL you link to in Google My Business affect the ranking in the Local Pack?
This is a question I get asked quite a bit in the local SEO community: What URL should I link my GMB listing to? The homepage? A location page? Something else? We wanted to test and measure how the Google My Business landing page affects ranking in the Local Pack (3-pack).
To test this, we used Google My Business listings from Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf, a New York City personal injury law firm. Their office has been in existence for over 100 years and since then they have had many practitioner lists for lawyers working there. The problem is that many practitioner entries are filtered because they all use the same category and are in the same office.
We took one of the practitioners’ posts that didn’t show up anywhere and changed the URL of the Google My Business listing to point to her bus accident page instead of the home page. We chose this as a target because it was so specific/niche and because the listing for the business doesn’t currently rank for any of those terms. We didn’t want to cannibalize the existing traffic, which is often the case with entries from practitioners due to the filter.
The results showed that the landing page had an impact. The presence of “bus accident” queries in the landing page content and in the URL increased the relevance for the listing and thus the ranking (screenshots from Places Scout).
We repeated the test a second time with a different doctor. This time we linked the listing to the bicycle accident site. We saw the same result a few weeks later.
The content of the specific URL you link to is important and affects ranking in local results. For most businesses, it makes sense to link to the homepage, as this URL has the most authority, backlinks, and relevancy. However, for some businesses that qualify for multiple listings, using such a strategy can help achieve better results.
This article is part 7 of 9 of my March 2020 LocalU presentation. If you missed the event, you can purchase the videos Here.