How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile is one of the most important online presences for any local business. Having a fully optimized Google Business Profile can significantly boost your visibility and drive more customers to your business. In this long-form guide, we will cover everything you need to know to optimize your Google Business profile from start to finish.
When customers search for local businesses and services on Google, your Google Business Profile is one of the most prominent places your business can appear. Getting it set up correctly and optimized properly is crucial for attracting more local customers.
An optimized Google Business Profile will:
Increase your visibility in local Google searches across Search, Maps and the Google Assistant
Capture critical details about your business like address, phone number, services, photos and more
Help customers find your business details and location easily
Provide reviews and ratings to help customers evaluate your business
Allow you to respond to reviews and message customers directly
Track local metrics like how many people view your profile or call your business
Having a complete and optimized profile gives your business a major advantage over competitors that don’t have one or have profiles that lack important information. In this guide, we will walk through every step of optimizing your Google Business Profile from start to finish.
Setting Up Your Profile
The first step is to claim and set up your Google Business Profile. Here are the basic steps to get started:
- Verify you own the business
To set up a verified Google Business Profile, you’ll need to prove you own the business. This helps prevent fraud and maintains accurate business information. There are a few verification options:
Phone verification – Google will call or text a phone number associated with the business for verification.
Postcard verification – Google will mail a postcard to the business address with a verification code.
Online verification – Some businesses can be instantly verified by signing into their Google account if it’s associated with their business domain.
- Create a Google account
If you don’t already have a Google/Gmail account, create one to manage your business profile. Use an email and password specifically for your business.
- Claim your business on Google
Search for your business name on Google and click “Claim your business”. Follow the prompts to verify ownership and add basic info like categories, address, hours, etc.
- Complete your profile details
Fill out all pertinent details on the “About” tab including description, products/services, payment options, special features and amenities.
- Add photos
Upload high quality photos of your business interior, exterior, products and team to give customers a clear visual.
- Enable service areas
Indicate which areas you service so local customers know if you can meet their needs geographically.
- Add your website and online links
Include your website URL and any links to your Facebook, Instagram, YouTube pages etc.
Completing these setup steps ensures your profile is verified and has all the important foundational details in place. Let’s dig deeper into optimizing each section.
Optimizing Your Profile Details
Now that your basic profile is set up, it’s time to optimize each section for maximum visibility and usefulness. Here are some tips for each main section:
Write 2-3 concise paragraphs describing your business, products/services and differentiators.
Include keywords customers would search for – but avoid too much keyword stuffing.
Highlight certifications, awards, experience or other credentials that build trust.
Mention payment options upfront (cash, credit cards accepted etc).
List business hours with specific times – not just “M-F 9-5”.
Use high resolution images (at least 1200×1200 pixels).
Include photos of your storefront, interiors, team members and products/work.
Consider a branded header photo at the top to represent your business visually.
Add photo captions with a brief description, date taken and photographer name.
Regularly add new photos to keep your profile fresh and engaging.
Respond to every review, thank customers and address any issues raised.
Ask satisfied repeat customers to leave reviews of their positive experiences.
Check for and remove any fake, unverified or competitive reviews.
Products & Services
List all products/service categories, names and prices clearly.
Consider bundling related products and services into packages.
Add photos or videos demonstrating your products in action.
Double check all info is correct – address, phone numbers, email and website.
Specify your preferred contact method like phone or online form.
Promptly respond to messages from potential customers on Google.
With important details filled in properly across these key sections, your profile will become a robust online business listing. Let’s look at some advanced optimizations next.
Taking your Google Business Profile optimizations a level further can really maximize your visibility and ROI. Here are some advanced tips:
Create posts to share updates, promotions, events and educational content.
Post regularly to keep your profile active and engaging for customers.
Reply to and interact with customer comments on your posts.
Anticipate common customer questions and address them clearly.
Cover topics like payment methods, shipping policies, returns etc.
Update FAQs based on frequent customer inquiries over time.
Claim all your locations and service areas individually.
Mark your headquarters or most important location as “Preferred.”
Monitor performance of different locations and optimize accordingly.
Add call/click extensions with special offers to drive phone calls.
Analyze call metrics to optimize call times and conversion rates.
Promptly reply to messages from customers on Google.
Create local campaigns on Google Ads to get found in maps/searches.
Bid on keywords relevant to your services and location.
Test different creatives and ad formats to see what converts best.
Google My Business Insights
Regularly check Insights and Analytics for performance metrics.
Identify peaks in traffic, clicks and calls from your profile.
Adjust operations and promotions based on data insights.
With both core profile optimizations and these advanced tactics, you can make your business stand out locally on Google. Let’s now look at ongoing maintenance.
Maintenance and Updates
Optimization is an ongoing process – to keep customers engaged and attracting new ones, maintain your profile actively as follows:
Ask top customers to review you monthly to keep ratings high.
Respond promptly to every new review that comes in.
Refresh photos, descriptions, products listings every 3-6 months.
Promote new features, services or special offers as they launch.
Create 2-3 posts per month sharing updates, tips or promotions.
Leverage relevant local holidays or events for timely posts.
Aim to respond to messages or contact form submissions within 1 business day.
Notify customers if there may be delays in some responses.
Check Analytics monthly and adjust optimizations based on metrics.
Leverage high traffic/call times for improved conversion tactics.
Review competitor profiles quarterly for ideas or areas to improve your own.
Adjust your profile based on what resonates more with customers.
Maintaining an optimized Google Business Profile as an ongoing process ensures your business stays front of mind locally. Let’s conclude with some final tips.
Going the extra mile with your Google Business Profile can provide even more returns. Here are some final pro tips:
Link on all digital channels
Add your Google Business Profile URL to your website footer.
Include a link in your email signature blocks and social bios.
Submit your listing info to other directories like Yahoo Local, Bing Places etc.
Local citation building
Check your citations on sites like Yelp, Yellowpages, Foursquare etc. and claim/verify profiles.
Ask vendors and partners to link back to your Google profile from their sites.
Customer reviews program
Offer an incentive for reviews like a loyalty reward to encourage more feedback.
Track top reviewers and thank them with small gifts occasionally.
Leverage local networks
Join local Chambers of Commerce, trade groups for cross-promotions.
Offer partnerships, discounts or deals exclusively through your profile.
Test call extensions or website tracking codes to see ROI on profile calls.
Continually improve conversion rates through streamlined customer journeys.