Links are still the primary way of improving rank however how links are generated have become a lot more subtle. With Google My Business, location links are embedded in images, reviews and personal maps. Each of the links is an optimization opportunity. There are several ways to generate location signals that let Google know just how far your business reaches into the local community. Just telling Google your service area is not enough... you need to SHOW Google where you work. Here's how.
You may have wondered why Google seems so hung up on adding images to your Google My Business profile. That want inside images, outside images, work related pictures and customer images. Aside from the aesthetics of the images (which Google can't really determine), what is there about images that helps Google? The answer is: LOCATION! This is why images uploaded from stock, while they may look great, do not help your ranking. Images from your phone, on the other hand, have metadata that includes location!
TIP: Ask clients to send you images from their phone that you can use on your Google My Business page. Taking pictures with your phone at your business location doesn't help Google determine your reach.
Google isn't just after reviews for reviews sake! When one of your clients enters a review, that client is logged into Google. Google knows that person's location! So again, reviews are setting up location based ranking signals for GMB.
TIP: Ask clients to review your business when they get home. Not while they are in your office.
CHECK IN and GMB SUBMISSIONS
This is more subtle, rarely used but highly effective. If you have a team of people especially, adding images, and posts while they are out in the field will greatly enhance your location boundaries in Google My Business. This takes a little bit of discipline for your team members but your business will be rewarded with better ranking across a broader location in Google MAPS. If if all your team members do is take a picture, that is better than nothing! That picture, taken from a cell phone, has a location tag. That tells Google where your team members are and over time, even how often they are there.