Optimize Your Google Business Profile for Aggressive Local SEO

Jan 8, 2024 | Enhanced Visibility

How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile for Much Better than Average Local SEO

‍Are you a small or medium-sized business looking to improve your local SEO and attract more customers? Optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing is an effective way to achieve this. The free Google Business Profile, previously known as Google My Business, is a powerful tool that allows business owners to create and manage their online presence on Google. Properly optimizing your GBP profile can increase your visibility in local search results and improve your overall online presence.

This article will guide you through optimizing your Google Business Profile listing step by step. From claiming your profile to adding important business information, responding to customer reviews, and utilizing special features, we will cover everything you need to know to maximize your GBP listing.

What is Google Business Profile?

Google Business Profile is an accessible and user-friendly platform provided by Google that allows business owners to create or claim a listing for their business. It is a powerful online directory where potential customers can find essential information about your business, such as your address, phone number, website, operating hours, and customer reviews. Your GBP also enables your business to appear on Google Maps, making it easier for customers to find and navigate to your location.

Why is Google Business Profile Important for Your Small Business?

For several reasons, having a well-optimized Google Business Profile is crucial for your small business. First and foremost, it significantly improves your chances of appearing in local search results and the “local pack” – the top three map listings that show up alongside organic search results. With a GBP, your business may show up on Google Maps at all, causing potential customers to overlook your business when searching for products or services in your area.

Furthermore, having an accurate and up-to-date GBP ensures potential customers can access the correct information about your business. This includes your address, phone number, website, and operating hours, which can be critical for customers trying to reach or visit your business. You can avoid frustrating potential customers with outdated or incorrect details by providing accurate information.

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How to Set Up and Optimize Your Google Business Profile

Now that you understand the importance of Google Business Profile, let’s dive into the steps you must take to set up and optimize your GBP listing.

Step 1: Claim and Verify Your Google Business Profile

To start, visit the Google Business Profile Manager and click “Manage Now.” If you already have a Google Account, log in; otherwise, create a new account. Once logged in, enter your business name and city. If your business shows up, claim the existing profile; otherwise, create a new one.

After entering your basic business information, Google will send you a postcard or call you with a verification code. Once you receive the code, enter it into your profile to verify your identity. If someone else has already claimed your business profile, you may need to wait for Google to resolve the issue before proceeding with verification.

Step 2: Review Your NAP Information

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number – three critical pieces of information that must be accurate in your Google Business Profile. To review and update your NAP information, navigate to the “Info” tab in your GBP manager.

Start by reviewing your business name. Is it listed correctly, consistent with other platforms like Yelp, and matches the name displayed on your physical location? If any discrepancies are found, update your business name accordingly.

Next, review your address. Check if the street name is listed correctly and if there are any missing building numbers. If necessary, make the necessary updates. If you operate your business from home, you can hide your address depending on your business type.

Lastly, review your phone number. Ensure that the listed number is correct and that you use your business’s primary contact number. If your business has multiple numbers for different departments or employees, use the primary phone number for your front office.

Step 3: Add Your Business Description and Category

Under the “Info” tab, you’ll find a section where you can add a description of your business. Take advantage of this opportunity to provide a brief but engaging description highlighting the founding story, values, services, and areas you serve. Including relevant keywords in your description can also help improve your rankings for those terms in your target area.

Additionally, make sure to select the most appropriate category for your business. Choose a category that accurately represents what your business does. For example, select the “Coffee Shop” category if you run a coffee shop. If you operate an e-commerce business, choose one of the available e-commerce options. Selecting all relevant categories is essential to ensure your business is classified correctly.

Optimize Your Google My Business Listing for Better Local SEO

Step 4: Respond to Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are crucial in shaping your online reputation and influencing potential customers. You can access all the reviews your business has received under the “Reviews” tab in your GBP manager. Make it a priority to respond to every positive and negative review.

When responding to reviews, be professional and polite and address any customer concerns or feedback. This demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and shows potential customers you value their opinions. Additionally, incorporate relevant keywords in your responses to help boost your profile’s visibility for those terms.

Step 5: Add Your Products and Services

Depending on the nature of your business, you may have products or services to showcase on your GBP listing. Under the relevant tab in your GBP manager, you can add and manage your products or services.

If you have products to feature, click on the “Products” tab and upload high-quality photos of your products. Select the appropriate category and provide detailed names and descriptions. Use terms that people commonly search for when looking for your products on Google.

If your business offers services, click on the “Services” tab. Choose a product category and add services that fall under that category. Include a custom description for each service, incorporating relevant keywords to optimize your profile’s visibility for those terms.

Step 6: Upload Photos of Your Business

Visual content plays a significant role in attracting and engaging potential customers. The “Photos” tab in your GBP manager lets you showcase your business through images.

Start by uploading your logo as the “Cover” image. If you don’t have a logo, create one using online design tools like Canva. Export the logo in the recommended pixel size and upload it to your GBP. Additionally, select an appealing photo as your cover image that represents your business effectively, such as an interior shot or a picture of your products.

Next, upload photos of your business, including the storefront, interior, staff, and any other relevant images that showcase your business’s unique features. High-quality and visually appealing photos can attract potential customers and give them a better understanding of what to expect.

Step 7: Utilize the Special Attributes Features

Google Business Profile offers unique attributes that allow you to highlight specific features or services your business offers. Under the “Info” tab, scroll down to the attributes section and mark any relevant attributes for your business.

For example, indicate these attributes if your business is LGBTQ+-friendly or provides a gender-neutral restroom. This information can be valuable to potential customers who prioritize inclusivity and specific amenities. These unique attributes can help your business stand out from competitors and attract a more diverse customer base.

Step 8: Use the Posting Feature

To keep your audience informed and engaged, take advantage of the posting feature in your GBP manager. Creating posts lets you share important updates, promotions, events, or relevant information with your customers.

To create a post, click the “Posts” tab, click the blue button, and select the appropriate category for your post. Craft an engaging copy, add a relevant photo, and include any other necessary information. Posts on Google Business Profile no longer expire, so you can keep your essential announcements visible to potential customers. However, providing specific dates and times for events or time-sensitive promotions is still essential.

Step 9: Check Your GBP every week

Optimize your GBP listing weekly by:

  • Uploading photos 1-3 times a week
  • Getting reviews at a consistent velocity every week
  • Reply to all reviews within 7 days
  • Posting 2–3 times a week
  • Adding services and products

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The Benefits of Having a Well-Optimized Google Business Profile

By following the steps described above and optimizing your Google Business Profile, you can unlock numerous benefits for your business. Here are some key advantages of having a well-optimized GBP:

Improved Local SEO Rankings

A properly optimized GBP listing increases your chances of appearing in local search results, especially within the coveted local pack. This can significantly improve your visibility to potential customers actively searching for products or services in your area.

Enhanced Online Presence

Having an accurate and up-to-date GBP ensures that potential customers can access your business’s correct information. This helps you build trust and credibility, as customers can rely on accurate details such as your address, phone number, website, and operating hours.

Increased Customer Engagement

Engaging with your customers through reviews and posts can foster a sense of community and build strong relationships. You can encourage higher customer engagement and loyalty by promptly responding to customer reviews and regularly sharing valuable updates and promotions.

Better Insights and Analytics

Google Business Profile valuable insights and analytics about your profile’s performance. You can access data on how customers find your business, the actions they take, and the demographics of your audience. This information can help you make informed decisions to optimize your digital and content marketing strategies further.

Competitive Advantage

A well-optimized GBP sets you apart from your competitors. By providing accurate information, showcasing visually appealing images, and utilizing unique attributes, you can stand out in local search results and attract more customers to your business.

Allan Todd

Allan Todd is CEO of Pagecafe Digital Marketing. In 2022, Allan teamed up with Infront Webworks to provide digital marketing, website design, content marketing, SEO and strategy and solutions to local businesses. Allan lives in Colorado Springs. More articles by Allan Todd