Essential Google Business Profile Optimization Checklist for Success

Essential Google Business Profile Optimization Checklist for Success

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Want to reach more local customers? Search engines have been essential for over 25 years. Google has been dominating the search landscape for a majority of those years. If you are a local business owner, its paramount your business appears in Google’s local search and Google Maps. We have created a Google Business Profile optimization checklist to help you optimize your profile ensures your target audience finds you easily, displaying essential information like business hours, location, website, phone numbers, and reviews.

According to SEOExpert, 92% of searchers will choose from the first page of local search results. This is one of the main reasons why businesses should keep their local SEO updated and optimize regularly.

Let’s jump in and get you on the path to an optimized Google Business Profile so you can drive more local customers to your business.

What Is Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business)

Google offers many free tools. One of the primary ones is Google Business Profile, which helps business owners manage their digital presence in Google searches and maps. This important marketing tool also allows businesses to manage online reviews and knowledge graphs.

Imagine this: a potential customer craves a slice of pizza and types “pizza restaurant near me” into Google. Instantly, a list of nearby pizza joints pops up, complete with addresses, business reviews, and photos. This is local search magic at work, powered by Google Business Profiles.

Studies show that businesses with detailed and optimized GBP listings are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers. What’s more, according to Google, businesses that verify their information through GBP are 70% more likely to attract location customers. They’re also more likely to lead to a purchase, with findings indicating that complete Google Business Profiles generate 7 times more clicks than incomplete ones.

Both big and small businesses should make the most of this powerful tool. They shouldn’t just use it, but they should invest their time to learn how to use it correctly so they can take in all the advantages and benefits it gives to their business. While a Google Business Profile is not a replacement for your website, it is a key piece of your online presence.

Find more useful tips to attract customers! Check out Local Marketing Ideas: A Guide to Boost Your Business.

The Essential Sections of Your Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile is often the first interaction potential customers have with your business. But it’s not just about filling out information; it’s about optimizing each section to improve your visibility in relevant searches and attract more customers.

Results From Following The Google Business Profile Optimization Checklist
  • Business Name: This should match the name your customers know you by, as well as the signage on your store. Consistency here helps with recognition and SEO. Avoid stuffing keywords into your business name as this can cause your profile to be suspended. Stick to your real business name.
  • Address and Phone Number: Essential for local SEO, your business address and phone number help Google place your business in local searches and provide accurate directions.
  • Business Hours: Accurate hours inform customers when you’re open and set the right expectations. Remember to update these for holidays or special events to keep potential customers informed and happy.
  • Business Category: This is crucial as it directly influences the kinds of searches you’ll appear in. Choose a business category that best represents your core business. If you’re a pizza restaurant, “Pizza Restaurant” should be your primary category. Google allows you to add more than one category. Be sure only to add categories that are relevant to your business.
  • Social Profiles: Many people have asked for this feature for years, and Google finally delivered it. You can associate your social media profiles with your Google Business profile by adding each profile’s links. 
  • Attributes: Here’s where you can highlight what makes your business unique, like “outdoor seating,” “free Wi-Fi,” or “wheelchair accessible.” Attributes can significantly impact customer decision-making, especially for those with specific needs.
  • From the Business: Let users know if your business is owned by Asian, black, disabled, indigenous, Latino, LGBTQ+, veteran, or women. This attribute may be displayed publicly on Search, Maps, and other Google Services.
  • Products and Services: List and categorize what you offer. This helps Google match your business with customer searches more accurately. For example, if you’re a coffee shop, list your popular coffee types, pastries, or breakfast items.
  • Business Description: Use relevant keywords naturally to describe your business. This should be a compelling overview of what you offer, your history, and what sets you apart from competitors. A well-crafted description can improve your search rankings and attract more organic searches.
  • Photos and Videos: Businesses with photos see 42% more requests for directions and 35% more click-through rates to their websites. Upload your logo, cover image, and high-quality images of your products, services, and business location. Regularly update business photos to keep your profile fresh and engaging. 
  • Reviews and Responses: Customer reviews are not just feedback; they’re a ranking signal for Google. Positive reviews can improve your business’s visibility and credibility. Always respond to reviews, whether they’re positive or negative, as this demonstrates you value customer feedback and can influence potential customers.
  • Posts and Updates: Regular updates or posts act as fresh content, which is great for your SEO. Share updates about new products, special events, or promotions to keep your audience engaged and informed.

Taking the time to fully complete and optimize your Google Business Profile can seem like a daunting task, but the rewards are undeniable. Higher visibility in Google Search and Maps, increased trust and credibility, and more engagement with potential customers are just the beginning.

Your Step-by-Step Google Business Profile Checklist

It’s possible that your business already has a Google Business Profile, even if you haven’t created one. Google uses online information to create profiles that business owners can claim. So be sure to check online first before creating a new profile. If your business already has a profile, just claim it and add or edit the information. In case your business doesn’t have a listing yet, it is time to create one from scratch.

Here is a complete checklist of the information you need to add. Remember to write accurate and error-free information.

  • Claim Your Google Business Profile Listing
  • Update Name, Address, Phone
  • Choose relevant categories and subcategories
  • Set Operating Hoursand Holiday Hours
  • Add a Link to Your Website (not Facebook or other social media)
  • Add Attributes and Amenities
  • Add Profile Photo (No Brand Logo)
  • Add High-quality Photos and Videos
  • Add Frequently Asked Questions with Answers
  • Include keywordsin the text (services, products, location)
  • Respond to Customer Reviews
  • Post Regularly to your Google Business Profile
  • Answer Questions from Customers
  • For Restaurants: Include your menuwith accurate pricing

By meticulously filling out every section of your Google Business Profile, you’re not just providing information; you’re enhancing your search engine optimization (SEO) and improving your visibility in Google’s search results. This can lead to more discovery searches, direct searches, and, ultimately, more customers.

Navigating Google Business Profile Insights for Growth

Your Google Business Profile Insights is like a behind-the-scenes look at how customers engage with your business on Google. From discovery searches to direct searches, GBP Insights provides a wealth of data, including how customers found your listing (whether through Google Search or Google Maps), the actions they took (like clicking on your phone number or asking for directions), and even the areas from which customers request directions to your location.

A Google My Business Profile Analytics Dashboard Displaying 18,612 Views, With The Majority Of Users Accessing Via Mobile (77%), Followed By Desktop (18%) And Google Maps On Desktop (1%).

But why is this important? Well, according to Google, businesses that use Google Business Profile Insights have noted a better understanding of their customers’ behavior, which in turn helps in optimizing their online presence. For instance, a report from BrightLocal states that the average business is found in 1,009 searches per month, with 84% of these coming from discovery searches. This highlights the importance of optimizing your Google Business Profile for relevant keywords and categories.

Line Graph Showing Fluctuating Direction Requests To A Google My Business Profile From October 2023 To February 2024, With A 9.5% Increase Over The Period.

Quick Guide to GBP Insights

  • How Customers Find You: Check if people find your business through direct or discovery searches. This helps you know if your SEO game is strong or needs tweaking.
  • Customer Actions: See what actions folks take on your listing. Lots of phone calls or direction requests? Ensure your contact info and address are spot-on!
  • Photo and Post Popularity: Businesses with great photos get more clicks and direction requests. Keep your images updated and monitor which posts get the most love.
  • Review the Reviews: Customer feedback is a treasure trove of insights. Regularly check your reviews to understand customer experiences and improve your services.
  • Search Queries: Discover what keywords customers use to find you. Use these terms in your business description and posts to boost your SEO.

Learn about The Importance of Local Business Reputation Management.

A complete profile gives a professional impression, builds customer trust, and can significantly increase your conversion rates. Customers are more likely to visit and more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with complete listings.

Go Beyond Our Google Business Profile Optimization Checklist

For your business to rank at the top of the search results, it will need a Google Business listing. Fill all the boxes required with the right and detailed information for your business to benefit from Google Business Profile.

Ready to skyrocket your online presence and reel in more customers? You’re in the right place! Our digital marketing firm specializes in transforming your Google Business Profile and online strategies from overlooked to overbooked.

Local SEO and Google Business Profile Wizards

We’re the wizards behind the curtain when it comes to local SEO and Google Business Profile finesse. From choosing the right categories to weaving in the perfect keywords, we amplify your visibility and search rankings. Imagine your business popping up everywhere potential customers look — that’s what we do.

Beyond the Basics: Full-Scale Digital Marketing

But why stop at Google? We’re all about the full digital package — SEO, social media, Google Ads, you name it. Tailored to your unique business needs, our strategies are designed to make your brand shine online and offline.

Ready to step into the spotlight? Contact us today, and let’s start sculpting your digital marketing strategy. It’s time for your business to be seen, heard, and visited. Let’s make digital marketing magic happen together!

Post Update: The article was updated on March 15th, 2024, originally published on August 7th, 2020. It has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.