Your Google Business Profile is an important asset for your business. It contains helpful information about location, hours, special services, and more that help people find the right business for their needs. And, it doesn’t hurt that these listings generally show up right under ads for local searches on Google. Talk about prime real estate!
But beyond providing a helpful service for your customers, you can use your Google Business Profile to help get in front of new and prospective customers or entice searchers to do business with you. How, you might ask?
Lucky for you, we’re covering some tips for optimizing your Google Business Profile and giving your listing a boost that can put you over the edge in prospective customers’ minds.
8 Google Business Profile optimization ideas
Use these tips to optimize your Google Maps listing and get in front of new prospective customers.
1. Master the basics of your listing
First things first: Before you get started with the following steps, it’s important that you’ve mastered the basics. That includes claiming and verifying your listing, ensuring your business information (like your phone number, address, and website) are accurate, and updating your hours of operation.
Haven’t completed those steps yet? Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it here.
How to set up your Google Business Profile:
- Navigate to google.com/business. Click Manage Now.
- Search for your business. (If it doesn’t appear, click Create a business with this name and follow the prompts.)
- Choose your business type: Online retail, local store, service business. (You can choose more than one business type.)
- Search for and select a business category (we’ll go into this more later).
- Add the location(s) or service area(s) you serve customers, if applicable.
- Enter your phone number and website URL.
- Enter your business address. Depending on your business type, you can opt to hide this information from your listing later.
- Choose how you want to verify your Google Business profile. If you have the option for a phone call, this will be the fastest. If you select to have your Google PIN mailed to your business address, it can take up to two weeks.
Now your profile is all set up, and you can move to the next steps to improve your Google Business listing.
2. Fill out all available fields
Google gives you ample opportunities to provide a wealth of information for prospective customers right through your Business Profile. But many businesses aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity by leaving fields blank.
Aside from including the basics, such as your phone number, address, website URL, and hours of operation, make sure to include even more information so customers can get a good sense of your business before clicking on your website.
Here are some fields you should fill out to optimize your Google Business Profile:
- Description: Add a business description (up to 750 characters) so users can learn about what you have to offer, what makes you unique, and why they should work with you.
- Products or Services: Add relevant products or services–these will show up directly on your Google Business Profile.
- Hours: Aside from your typical hours of operation, you can also add holiday hours and more hours, including online service hours, senior hours, pickup hours, and more.
- From the business: Let your potential customers know how your business identifies (women-owned, Black-owned, veteran-owned, and more). This could sway potential customers looking to support businesses like yours.
- Accessibility: Accessibility is incredibly important. Let potential customers know about your accessibility options such as wheelchair-accessible restrooms or seating.
3. Add images (and videos)
Did you know that businesses with uploaded images get 42% more requests for directions? People want to get a taste of what to expect from your business–whether they’re visiting your actual location or doing business with you for curbside pick-up or a service.
Google gives you some suggestions to include in your Google Business Profile, including your logo, the exterior and interior of your business, a cover photo, videos, and more.
Here are some ideas of what pictures and videos to add to your Google Business Profile listing:
- Upload at least three photos of the interior of your business. This should give customers an idea of what to expect when they visit your business.
- Add at least three pictures of the outside of your business. Google suggests taking these pictures at different times of the day as well as from each direction a customer might approach your business.
- Add photos of your products, especially items that are the most popular. This can help entice some users to visit your business.
- Include pictures of your team (with their consent). These pictures should represent the services that you offer or highlight positive customer service experiences.
- You can also take a quick video using your smartphone to include if you don’t have a professionally produced video to use. Give a quick tour of your business, show your storefront, and include anything you think consumers may be interested in seeing.
4. Choose the right business categories
While we suggest keeping the same primary business category within your Google Business Profile year-round, it might be worth looking into switching up your secondary categories seasonally–especially if you offer different services during that time or know that consumers visit you for a particular reason during different months of the year.
You can also adjust your categories based on what’s happening in the world. If you’re a retailer that predominately offers sporting goods, but you have cleaning and disinfecting materials in stock, you can make some changes to appeal to searchers looking for those products.
Your primary category will show under your business name and reviews.
Pro tip: Google recommends using as few categories as possible, so stick to two or three total.
How to change or update your Google Business category:
- Go to your Google Business dashboard in Google Search.
- Click Edit profile.
- Scroll down to Business category and click the pencil icon to edit.
- Search for a primary category related to your business.
- Search for one or two secondary categories related to your business.
- Click Save.
Once you’ve submitted your Google Business categories, they will undergo a review process before showing externally.
5. Take advantage of Google Posts
You can create Google Posts that highlight updates or specific products to show on your Google Business Profile. These show up with your listing or when people click on your listing within Maps and can provide some additional information that may entice them to do business with you.
To add a Google Post, you’ll navigate to managing your listing, and click Add update.
Ideas for using Google Posts to optimize your Google Business Profile:
- Showcase products or services that would appeal to consumers now.
- Share updates that are relevant to your business now.
- Highlight any upcoming events.
6. Manage your Google reviews
When it comes to searching on Google Maps, you’ve probably noticed that you can filter your results by review rating. And, if you search for something that includes “best” or “top,” Google will usually show you businesses with a 4+ star rating. So, in order to get your listing to show up for these results, you’ll want to make sure you work on your online reputation.
How to improve your Google Business reviews:
- Make review requests part of your business process. Train your team to ask for Google reviews after they’ve had a positive interaction with a customer.
- Include a link to your Google Business Profile on your website and in regular communications to customers, like emails.
- Ask your five best customers if they would mind leaving you a Google review.
- Make sure to respond to every review–especially the negative reviews–promptly and professionally. This shows that you’re paying attention, that you value customer feedback, and that you’re willing to do what it takes to fix a potentially negative customer experience.
We have some suggestions for improving your online reputation here.
7. Add (and answer) FAQs
Within your Google Business Profile, users have the option to ask questions that you or other users can answer (in the Questions & answers section. But did you know that you can also add your own questions (and answers) right to your listing?
Providing answers to FAQs and addressing existing questions on your listing can help you win over customers before they even click to your website.
How to use FAQs to optimize your Google Business Profile:
- If you regularly get questions about specific services you offer, you can add that question and your answer right to your Google Business Profile.
- You can also add questions that may speak to common objections you receive from prospective customers. For example, if you’re a car repair business, you could ask a question like “What’s the average wait time for service,” and then add an answer about your quick wait times and other perks, such as car pick-up or complimentary rental car.
- Make sure to answer all existing questions on your listing.
8. Include offers
Another cool feature you might not be taking advantage of on your Google Business Profile is offers. You can add offers or promotions that show up directly on your listing in search results. This could be the difference between a new customer trying your business or not.
Here are some tips for offers on your Google Business Profile:
- Include a compelling title for your offer. It’s always best to lead with the cost savings that customers will benefit from!
- Add an eye-catching image to draw users to check out your offer.
- Fill out all fields for the offer, including the start and end date, any details, a link to redeem (if applicable), or a coupon code. (Hint: Using a specific coupon code can help you track your leads back to your Google Business Profile.)
- Change out your offers regularly to keep things fresh for searchers.
- Try an offer just for customers who found or saw your Google Business listing.
Get found with your Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile will continue to be an important component of local search and how consumers look for information about businesses. If you’d like more help with your local listings, including your Google Business Profile, we’re here for you. Reach out today.
Here are those ways to optimize your Google Maps listing:
- Master the basics
- Fill out all available fields
- Add images (and videos)
- Choose the right business categories
- Take advantage of Google Posts
- Manage your Google reviews
- Add (and answer) FAQs
- Include offers