Optimizing your Google Business Profile

By Alexis Tate, Senior Digital Storyteller

Published: September 1, 2022

When a new customer visits your business, making a great first impression is essential. Chances are you’ve invested a lot of resources in creating a comfortable and inviting physical space for your customers that will make them want to come back. The same applies to your online presence. 

Sixty-four percent of consumers say they check out a business’s Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) prior to their visit. In the digital age, your Google Business Profile is oftentimes a customer’s first impression of your business. 

Think of your GBP as a more interactive version of the “yellow pages” that allows you to make changes in real-time that can significantly improve your reach.  

Your Google Business Profile is like a digital storefront, so it is crucial to ensure your profile is up to snuff. Ninety percent of Google users will only visit a business that appears on the first page, so it is important to make sure your profile is optimized. Here are some Google Business tips to help you get started.

Understanding Google results 

Google’s results are based on location. If you were to search for restaurants, Google would pull in results for restaurants near you. There are three key factors to how your business will appear in the search results; relevance, distance and prominence. 

When optimizing for relevance, it is essential to actively use your Google Business Profile. Make sure you are posting content, responding to reviews, promoting events, sharing photos, updating your services and keeping your hours current for regular business hours as well as events and holidays. The more you use your Google Business Profile, the more relevant it will be. 

The distance metric is straightforward. Google will pull in the best results that are the closest in proximity to you. If you are a salon owner in New York but never use your Google Business Profile, Google will recommend a different salon that actively uses the platform to show to prospective clients.  

Your prominence ranking reflects how well you are known in the digital world—Google factors in social media, your website, blogs and other relevant information about your business. The more popular your business is, the higher it will rank.

Update information for visibility

The most important thing for GBP optimization is to ensure the information on your profile is filled out and up to date. An empty profile leaves a lot of potential business on the table. 

Verify the location of your business through Google, fill out the “from the business” section and ensure your phone number, address, hours and business categories are up to date. Also, be sure to select the attributes that best fit your business; these will appear as icons on your profile (Wi-Fi, payment types, wheelchair accessibility, delivery, etc.).

Remember, if your customers can’t easily find and contact you, they will move on to the next business.

Brand identity

A crucial part of maintaining a cohesive brand identity is treating your Google Business Profile like a digital storefront. Just like a physical location, make sure the name and logo for your business are displayed, keep graphics and photos aligned with your branding guidelines and choose design elements that reinforce your brand identity. 

Photos are an essential part of your Google Business Profile. Photos help to tell the story of your business and make new customers feel more comfortable when visiting. Share photos of the outside of your business to make it easy for customers to find, share photos of merchandise that is currently available and photos of services your business provides. Be sure to share authentic and in-the-moment photos rather than super polished and staged photos. Best practice is to share new photos weekly. 

It is also important to clearly describe the products and services your business offers on your profile. Customers will not click on, call or visit your business if they don’t know what you can offer them. Optimizing your Google Business Profile puts your business’s best foot forward and reinforces your brand identity.

Reviews

Reviews are a significant factor in whether or not a customer is going to visit your business. Keep in mind that many customers will search for businesses with four stars and above, so make sure that you are monitoring reviews and that your reviews are positive. The more positive reviews you have, the more trust you will build with your customers. If your business receives negative reviews, reach out to those customers and offer them a remedy. You can even set up a messaging feature that allows you to respond in real-time. This shows prospective customers that you have excellent customer service and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure your customers are satisfied and that you have nothing to hide.

Feed the engine

Remember, Google is a search engine that can work for you if you feed the engine good information. Google grabs new information from your Google Business Profile every 30 days, so it is important to keep your information up to date and relevant. If your business is niche or specialty, be sure to include primary and secondary categories to expand on your offerings. Google rewards active profiles with visibility; try to post a minimum of once a week on your Google Business Profile. 

Google Business offers several different types of posts:

  • What’s New
    • Ideal for general updates about your business
    • Share media, menu updates, new products, etc.
  • Offers
    • Share promotional sales and special offers
      • Include start and end dates and times
    • Coupon codes
    • Terms and conditions
  • Events
    • Promotional media for events
      • Start and end dates and hours
  • COVID-19
    • Temporary closures
    • Updated hours
    • Local health recommendations
    • Business operation updates, i.e., takeout only, masks required

Conclusion

Optimizing your Google Business Profile is a free and easy way to put your business on the map. If your business doesn’t have the funds for a full-scale advertising campaign, getting your profile up to par is a great way to get organic brand visibility. But remember, optimizing your profile is not a one-time thing; for the best results, it is essential to update it frequently. 


Need help optimizing or managing your Google Business Profile? We’d love to help! We will ensure that your listing stands out from competitors and reflects your brand’s voice and identity. Let’s chat!