What do you consider the easiest thing to optimize on a GMB listing is, that has the biggest impact on map pack ranking, that many business owners don't do?

Aside from not having a GMB listing at all (which I know there is still a ton of).
Some low-hanging fruit that many ignore on their GMB listings:

  • Add high-quality photos
  • Fill out everything in the Info section, including a Description with all your keywords in there.
  • Ask for reviews. If you have happy customers, all you have to do is ask and many will gladly leave a review.
  • Post at least once a week on GMB. I would say 90% of businesses do not post on GMB at all, so by posting consistently, it is an easy way to stand out from the competition - and is a good signal to GMB's ranking algorithm.

After spamming the name field with keywords (which you should not do), I think the easiest win is with categories. A lot of businesses just pick their primary and don't add others. Adding all the additional categories that are relevant for your business will cast a wider net and get you ranking for terms you weren't ranking for before.
This isn't optimizing the listing itself per se, but within the realm of GMB, I'd say spam hunting is a little overlooked.Β  The easiest way to move up is if the competitor above you is violating the guidelines -- using a virtual office, operating out of a residence, really obvious keyword stuffing (doesn't match legal name or anything on website).

Suggest an Edit can be deflating when it rejects your edits, but there's also the GMB Redressal Form, which allows you to provide more info, and actual humans look at the input.

I think people sometimes shy away from spam hunting because it can feel like a sisyphean task when spammy listings pop back up.Β  If you can establish an efficient reporting process, however, I think it's worth the time invested.
Agree withΒ Zach. Fight any spam that's outranking the listing for core terms. It's the easiest tactic in the book for moving listings upward in visibility.

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