Easily Boost Local Rankings with Google’s Predefined Services
A few weeks ago, the SEO world was shooketh by Joy Hawkins’ discovery that adding predefined services to your GBP significantly improves rankings.
I had to see for myself, so I set up a test. You won’t believe these results!
If you follow local SEO, you’ve probably seen Joy Hawkins’s recent research where they showed that adding predefined services to a GBP seems to have a positive impact on your rankings. I even made a video about it not too long ago.
Well, it’s always a good idea to test things for yourself in SEO, so that’s what I did. I want to show you today the phenomenal results I got by adding the predefined services to my GBP.
The Test Subject
The business I’m testing this on is the perfect test environment. Their website hasn’t been updated in six years. It’s got a single sentence of text on it. They haven’t received a new review in over 6 years. Their website is not getting any links, and no additional changes have happened on their GBP.
The only thing that has happened in this test is I added the predefined services, nothing else. This way we know that the test is perfectly clean and any ranking impact that we see is specifically because of the predefined services.
To set up this test, I looked at Google’s suggested predefined services for my business. You can see they’re suggesting all these electrical specific terms. But I didn’t add them just yet.
First, I wanted to establish some baseline rankings, so I set up a brand new rank tracking campaign in the Whitespark Local Rank Tracker (it’s the best) to establish baseline rankings, and here’s what it looks like.
On March 9th, I set up the rank tracking and we can see that for all of these terms that I added, no term ranks higher than position 41. So this business is already ranking in pretty low positions for a number of these terms from a number of ZIP codes.
Then, on March 13th, I went into my GBP and I added all of these predefined services. I kept checking rankings every day after the 13th. On the 14th there was no movement. On the 15th there was no movement. And at this point I was starting to get skeptical because typically, when you make changes to a GBP, you tend to see the impact of that within 24 hours.
But wait and see what happened on March 16th.
Boom. Just absolutely took off. Rankings really increased. We have a whole bunch of terms that jumped up into positions 4-6. Lots of keywords moving into positions 7-10. Really great movement across the board.
And now we actually have a couple weeks worth of rank tracking data and we can see that adding those predefined services continued to have a positive impact on rankings for those specific terms.
Which terms am I actually improving rankings for and which of the terms had no impact at all?
This is really easy to see in the Local Rank Tracker. If I go to Page 5, it’s going to show me all the terms that I’m not ranking for: remodeling, general repairs, general construction… These are all terms that are not applicable to an electrician category.
So which keywords did we rank really well for? Those are terms like electrical heat, resistor changing, electrical parts assembly, electrical fuse changing. And the common theme that I’m seeing here is that these are the terms that are a bit more long-tail. There’s not a lot of competition for them because most of the competitors probably don’t have dedicated pages for them.
The takeaway here is that if I added a dedicated page to my site for that term, I could probably rank pretty well for it.
And there you have it. This, to me, is indisputable data that adding predefined services to your GBP will definitely have a positive impact on rankings for those terms. Maybe not all of them, but for many of them, especially the terms that are a little bit more long-tail.
So go to your Google Business Profile, see if there are any predefined services that you can add, and add them to your profile because they definitely have an impact on ranking. They can help you cast a wider net and rank for more terms in two to three days.
All right, see you next time.