Why GMB Websites Make Great Local Business Citations

Is a Google My Business website a good idea if your local business already has it’s own website? Like any good local marketer, you should conduct your own due diligence before you implement anything. But, I say, yes, it is a good idea…because it acts as another valuable citation.

Lets start with a recap of what a citation is: A citation is the mention of your business on a website other then your domain. This could be full business details, partial, that may or may not contain a link to your website. A local citation, as we like to call them now, is a profile of the business with a short description, possibly some images, the options of leaving reviews and contact details with a link to the website. (Let’s be honest; it’s still a directory.)

The result of getting your local business listed in top tier listings provides Google with a better understanding of where your business is located, what it does and provides a selection of additional sites referencing your business online. Let’s talk reality…very few business citations provide much (if any) referrals to your business over the course of a year. My clients may get anywhere from 10 to 90 referrals over a 12 month period, and that’s okay because you are using that site for a free link, rather then a source of business.

Benefits of GMB Website as a Citation:

  1. You totally control the content and can interlink within your body copy to your website.
  2. Images are updated automatically when you update in GMB dashboard.
  3. When you add products to your business listing, this is displayed in your citation, plus the link to the product.
  4. If you are a restaurant using the menu feature or business using the service feature, these are again displayed.
  5. Reviews are pulled through automatically and displayed.
  6. If you update any hours or other business details – these are automatically updated, so no having to log in and update this citation.
  7. It provides a direct link to your business in Maps.
  8. It’s a great service area business citation as it does not display your address.

Questions About Using the GMB Website:

  • Will it cause duplicate content?
    You should not really be placing the same description across all your other citations, but we do. When adding your description about your business in a GMB site, you should not be copying your main site’s home page word for word. You should ideally switch up the content. However if you did copy, Google won’t filter your main domain, merely the GMB site. Even then it’s not a penalty, it’s a filter.
  • Will it compete against my main website?
    No – and why would it? Your GMB website when published sits on a subdomain of business.site – and uses the name of the business (business.site/my-business-name) which is pretty much exactly what all other directory sites do. Your GMB listing operates on a google.com/maps=CID domain and there is no connection between the two either. 

Creating your GMB Website Citation

Your GMB website citation is 99% completed for you based upon information already used in your GMB listing and this will continually update as you update and add to your GMB listing. These are the things you need to consider before hitting publish:

  • Select a Theme: There are not many to choose from, but select one that reflects your business.
  • Select CTA: Quite a few options available to select from: Call Now, Contact Us, Get Quote, Make Appointment etc.
  • Headline: Retain your business name. Remember, this is a citation, and retain NAP consistency.
  • Description: This is auto populated with your primary category, but add in a location modifier.
  • Summary Header: Think of this as your H2 where you can expand on your business and location.
  • Summary Body: This is your body content. Try and keep it unique, don’t copy and paste your main website’s home page or use the same description used for other citations. Spend 30 minutes and describe your business, what it does, who it serves.
  • Link to Other Channels: Remember to interlink to main website. I also add a keep in touch section at the end of the copy, linking to business social channels.
  • Publish: Once happy, hit the publish button, and your citation is live.
  • Check for quirks: On older accounts, there is still a quirk to be aware of and to check for. After selecting to publish (make live) your GMB website, go into your GMB info section and make sure it did not replace your main web address with the new business.site. If this happens just correct your main URL in GMB again.
Tim has been involved in search marketing for 15 years and specializes in local SEO. He is a Google Top Contributor. He graduated with a degree in hospitality management then owned and operated his own hotel in the UK Lake District. He then decided to move into search marketing professionally and now operates a bespoke local SEO consultancy with a global client base.