Google Business Profile Optimization: 8 Ways to Improve Local Ranking

Google Business Profile Optimization: 8 Ways to Improve Local Ranking

Google Business Profile Optimization

Achieving a top rank on Google SERPs is not as simple as it sounds. To stand out from the competition, you need a strategic approach and consistent effort to optimize your Google business profile. Optimizing your GBP opens doors to the world of local opportunities, connecting your business with customers who matter most.

However, Google profile optimization is not as simple as it sounds. It requires attention to detail and a commitment to ongoing improvements. 

In this blog, we will discuss the concept of a Google business profile, the importance of optimizing it, and the top 8 ways that will help you in optimizing your business profile.

What is Google Business Profile Optimization?

Google Business Profile, also known as Google My Business, is an essential local business listing on Google’s search network. It enables businesses to appear in localized searches on both Google Maps and Google Search, making it a crucial factor for local SEO rankings.

With a GBP, you can provide detailed information about your business, including your category and services. This helps potential customers find your brand when searching within specific areas like zip codes, cities, counties, or regions.

Additionally, you can include vital contact information such as your business name, address, phone number, website, and appointment links. This comprehensive Google business listing makes it easy for customers to reach out and connect with your business directly from their search results.

4 Important Benefits of Google My Business

Customers make a buying decision after careful research and comparison. About 81% of consumers research online before purchasing online or in the store. So, when customers are looking for local businesses, they use search engines such as Google to find and compare different brands. 

For local businesses, an optimized Google Business listing with genuine user reviews is crucial for building a strong brand reputation. With 87% of consumers using Google for business decisions, optimizing your profile is more essential than ever.

Here are the top 4 benefits of a Google Business Profile for your business:

1. Google Business Profile Helps You to Appear in Maps 

What happens when you search “cafe near me” on Google? Look at the image below. You get a highly visible map and a list of business names that appear right at the top of the search page. That’s called a Google Local Pack.

Google local pack

Local pack, also known as “Local 3 Pack” or “3 Pack” refers to the top three local business listings prominently displayed in search results when users search for location-based services or businesses. 

These listings, determined by Google’s search algorithm to be the most relevant, stand out from the organic results and include basic information like address, reviews, and business hours, providing customers with a quick view of nearby options to serve their needs.

There are two reasons why Local Pack is important: 

  • It Gives Visibility: The Google Local Pack occupies a big portion of the search results page. This helps users see the information they need at a quick glance.

    As per Moz, your GBP is a major search ranking factor in your Google Local pack ranking. So, if you want customers in your area to find you easily, keep optimizing your Google My Business Profile (now Google Business Profile). 

  • It Makes Search Simple: Local Pack makes the search easier for customers. It provides them with information such as business hours, contact information, address, ratings, and more, which facilitates their decision-making when selecting a local business to make a purchase.

2. Google My Business Enables Customers to Leave a Review

With more reviews, you will be able to attract more web traffic towards your business. As per a survey by Moz, online reviews make up about 10% of how search engines like Google decide to rank search results. 

Getting good reviews on your Google listing is a game-changer for local businesses. Let’s dive into it for you:

  • First off, reviews are a major ranking factor for local SEO. Having a steady stream of positive reviews can skyrocket your visibility on Google. It’s like having an army of happy customers supporting your amazing product or service.

    Collecting reviews is simple but requires consistent effort. Follow some easy tips to collect more positive customer reviews

  • Secondly, it’s not just about rankings – positive reviews are powerful marketing assets. They build trust, increase conversions, and ultimately boost your sales. So, who wouldn’t want a flow of free, authentic reviews promoting their business?
  • Third, of course, receiving a few negative reviews is inevitable. But don’t run away from them. Instead, respond promptly and try to identify the gaps.

3. GMB Helps to Build Trust

Before making any purchase, the customers need to have trust and enough evidence about the credibility of the business. But it is not as easy as thought. As a local business, you must consistently work on filling your jar of social proof. But the question is, how do you do that, and can GMB help you?

Yes, GMB can help you. Your Google profile is like a digital storefront showing all the important juicy information about your business, such as address, reviews and ratings, address, etc. Most importantly, it is a gold chest of social proof. Let us break down this thought for you: 

  • It allows your satisfied customers to leave positive reviews, which are like a badge of honor for your brand. More positive reviews = More credibility and trustworthiness.
  • It enables you to display your products and services in attractive ways. You can share photos and videos highlighting quality ingredients or materials, virtual tours showcasing ambiance, and more.

4. GMB Allows Your Customers to Ask You Questions

Sometimes, your customers may have some specific questions which they can send your way through the Question & Answers section on the Google Business Profile. For instance, check out the image below, where a customer asks a salon about parking availability near their shop.

Question and Answers in Google Business Profile

This feature offers several great benefits for both you and your customers:

  • Quick Answers to Common Questions: Interested customers can get immediate responses to frequently asked questions, saving them time and assisting them in their decision-making process.
  • Builds Customer Trust and Engagement: When you respond promptly to questions, it shows that you care about customer needs and inquiries, building trust and encouraging customer engagement.
  • Provides Insights for Business Improvements: The questions customers ask can sometimes highlight the areas where your business might need improvement or additional information, helping you enhance your offerings.
  • Better Understand What Your Customers Need: When your customers ask you questions, they give you an insight into what they need. You can design or modify your products and services according to it.

Key Elements of Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile helps businesses like yours to enhance their visibility on Google, get more credibility, and share information with customers. For enhancing GBP, the following key elements should be optimized:

1. Description

The description element of a Google Business Profile is where you can provide an overview of your business. You can use this space to highlight key features and unique points to attract potential customers.

In the image here, Bottle Cap Café uses this element to highlight its proximity to major attractions like the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium. It also focuses on a menu featuring Coca-Cola products. This engaging description helps draw in tourists looking for convenient dining options.

description of business in Google Business Profile

2. Business Location and Service Areas

The business location and service areas element in a Google Business profile provides important information about your business’s location and the areas it serves. This helps potential customers find you easily and understand your reach.

In the image, Bottle Cap Café’s location is clearly marked as being in the World of Coca-Cola with the exact address. This exact information helps customers find the café easily. The profile also shows operating hours and provides quick links for directions, making it convenient for customers to plan their visit.

Business location and address in Google Business Profile

3. Products and Services 

The products and services element in a Google Business Profile allows you to showcase the items and services your business offers. This helps potential customers understand what you provide and compare options directly.

In the image, a car dealership displays its available vehicles, including the 2024 Genesis G80 models, with their respective prices. This section provides clear, concise information about each car, helping customers make informed decisions. 

Additionally, features like “Questions & Answers” let potential buyers inquire further, enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction.

Product description in Google Business Profile

4. Customer Reviews

The customer reviews element in a Google Business profile is crucial for building trust and credibility. Reviews provide potential customers with insights into others’ experiences, helping them make informed decisions.

In the image, Bottle Cap Café has an overall rating of 3.2 stars from 81 reviews. These reviews reflect customer satisfaction and can highlight strengths or areas needing improvement. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews can significantly enhance your business’s reputation and attract more patrons.

Customer review in Google Business Profile

Why Optimizing Google Business Profile is Important?

Local businesses like yours realize the significance of boosting their online presence and have learned that platforms like Google are a hub for quenching customers’ thirst for content and curiosity. 

Many such businesses focusing on local SEO to attract local customers are taking GBP seriously. With an 80% market share of local search, Google is the place to be to attract more customers.

1. Better Visibility and Discovery

Google Business Profiles act as a digital front for your business. This makes it easily discoverable by potential customers near you. 

When users search for services or products of your business, having a well-optimized profile significantly boosts your chances of appearing in local search results and on Google Maps. 

This increased visibility is important for attracting nearby customers and building a strong local presence.

2. Boost to Local SEO 

Optimizing your Google Business account with relevant keywords, precise business information, and engaging content can enhance your search engine rankings. 

By implementing effective local SEO strategies, you not only improve your visibility in local search results but also increase your chances of securing a spot in the highly coveted Google 3-pack. 

The Google 3-pack displays the top three business results prominently in search results, making it a prime position for attracting potential customers. Achieving this placement means greater exposure, more website traffic, and higher customer engagement. 

In a competitive market, a well-optimized GBP can be the key to standing out and establishing a strong local presence, driving more customers to your business account.

3. Gives Credibility and Trustworthiness

An optimized GBP improves your business’s credibility and trustworthiness. Users are far more likely to engage with a business that maintains a complete and up-to-date profile, showcasing accurate information like business hours, contact details, and customer reviews. 

Positive reviews and high ratings play a crucial role in building trust with potential customers, significantly influencing their decision-making process. By presenting a well-maintained profile, you not only improve your chances of attracting new customers but also establish a solid reputation in the local market.

8 Ways to Optimize Your Google Business Profile

Now that you agree that optimizing your GBP is crucial for your local search ranking, here are the top 10 ways that will help you turn it into your marketing and customer conversion engine.

1. Fill Every Section of The Profile 

Your GBP is not complete until you have filled in all the relevant information. While this step may sound very obvious, many businesses leave out key information, leaving their customers asking for more. 

“A complete and optimized Google Business Profile not only boosts your local search ranking but also drives valuable consumer actions.”

There are several key sections in the profile that should not be missed. They include: name, address, contact number, address, and working hours. Additionally, sections such as products and services,  Q&A, reviews, and more may need significant thought but are necessary for a complete profile.

2. Write Your Own Business Description 

Many elements of your Google listing are beyond your control. This makes it necessary that you optimize the sections that you can. One such element is the ‘from the business” element. 

One of the initial steps is to complete this section with comprehensive information. The detailed profiles help Google more effectively match your business to relevant user searches. Moreover, the more information you provide, the easier it is for consumers to connect with your business and take the desired actions.

As you can see in the image here, the section appears below the reviews section and is a great opportunity for you to highlight what sets you apart from your competition. 

Write business description in Google Business profile

3. Select Correct Category 

Do you know why it is important to set the correct category for yourself when setting up your Google Business Profile? The answer lies in the 84% of profile views that come from Google searches, such as “cafes near me.” 

It is important that you select the correct category for your business. If you think multiple categories suit you, add additional ones, but make sure to select the most generic one as your primary category.   

The image here shows how a category appears on Google when you search for a cafe near you. 

Select categories in Google Business Profile

Here are some specifics about how to optimize your Google Business Profile using categories: 

  • Select Secondary Category: Many businesses have multiple capabilities. In such a case, your primary category should be your main category, and then select additional categories as applicable.
  • Stay Specific: Let’s say you are a cafe. Do not just select “Cafe” as your category; rather, write something like” Book Cafe” or “Artisanal Cafe” to be more specific.
  • Do Not Overdo: Make sure to only select the categories that connect you with your audience. For instance, if you sell apparel, select “Apparel seller” and not “Apparel manufacturer.”

4. List All Products and Services

Adding products and services to your Google Business Profile is essential, especially if your business name doesn’t make your offerings clear. This element allows you to provide detailed information that can help your business profile rank higher in relevant local searches.

Let us drive a little bit more to learn how it helps:

  • Enhanced Visibility: Populating this section adds content to your profile, making it more likely to appear in relevant searches.
  • Clearer Offerings: Clearly list the name, description, and price of each product or service, making it simpler for potential customers to understand what you offer.
  • Competitive Edge: Highlight specialized services or unique product lines that set you apart from competitors.
  • Linked Categories: Google may link your products from your category section, further boosting your visibility.

By including detailed product and service descriptions, you ensure that customers have all the information they need to choose your business.

5. Get New Google Reviews

Google Business Reviews are essential for expanding your audience. Consumers trust Google for social proof, and customer reviews often carry more weight than marketing messages. To optimize your Google Business Profile, actively seek reviews from your customers. A staggering 62% of customers will leave a review if asked, so start with your most loyal patrons. 

Best practices to get more Google reviews:

  • Ask Directly: Politely request reviews via email or during in-person interactions.
  • Make It Easy: Provide a direct link to your Google review page.
  • Incentivize: Offer discounts or entry into a competition to encourage reviews.
  • Follow-up: Send a reminder email if they haven’t left a review yet.

You can start with these strategies to generate business review online and enhance your online presence. However, you must learn more ways to get Google Reviews to enhance your business’s online presence and attract more customers.

6. Add Good Photos

It is important to upload high-quality photos that define your business, products, and facility. Adding photos has several benefits, including making business listings appear more reputable and credible than ones without them. 

For instance, in the image here, see how the quality of the images on this Coffee company profile has enhanced its credibility. The high-quality photos of the cafe’s interior, drinks, and food items give potential customers a sense of the environment and products available, nurturing trust and interest.

This attracts new visitors and also engages current customers, showing the establishment in a better light and enhancing its online presence.

Add photos to your Google Business profile

Keep in mind the following things to make sure that you do it the right way: 

  • Ensure Quality of the Photos: Your customers can also upload images of your business. However, since that is not under control, you should upload quality images of your own to enhance the business profile.
  • Enhance Customer Engagement: Posting photos helps keep customers updated and showcases what you do best. You can post images such as Logos, Cover Photos, daily updates, product images, images of your facility, and more.

However, when you post photos, make sure that your images are useful for your audience and can engage them. Profiles with good images get 35% more click-throughs to their websites. At the same time, profiles with more than 100 pictures get 520% more calls. 

  • Getting Images in Search Results: Google’s image recognition technology is improving with each update. It is increasingly including photos in local search results.

For instance, if you run a bakery and someone searches “best bakery near me,” an image of your most popular cupcake could appear on the search page, attracting more customers. 

Regularly adding high-quality photos not only enhances your profile’s appeal but also its visibility. 

7. Add Business Attributes and Services

Attributes on your Google Business Profile give customers extra details, like whether a coffee shop has Wi-Fi or a bar has outdoor seating. Unlike categories, which define what your business is, attributes highlight specific features and amenities to your profile visitors. For instance, a bakery owner may choose to add attributes such as takeout, dine-in, or delivery.

Adding attributes can help your business to rank for user queries related to the attributes. 

On the basis of the business category you chose, you can select different attributes to make your profile stand out from your competitors. For instance, you can mention amenities that you offer, alternative services you have, payment options, and more. 

8. Keep Q&A Section Active

The Q&A section of your Google Business Profile can be instrumental in engaging with your consumers. It gives potential consumers the opportunity to ask you questions directly. This makes it necessary to monitor this section and answer the questions promptly. This ensures that interested consumers get the right information and showcases your commitment to customer service.   

See how the Q&A section of the café’s business profile effectively engages customers in the image here by addressing their queries about product availability and nutritional information. Prompt responses to questions like these enhance credibility and provide useful information for potential visitors.

Q&A section in Google Business Profile

As a best practice, It is recommended that you create and post your own Q&A based on common inquiries such as: 

  • Is there parking?
  • What are your business hours?
  • Do you accept online payments?
  • Do you provide home delivery?
  • Are you pet-friendly?

This proactive approach helps attract relevant leads and enhances the overall customer experience. 

Remember that anyone can respond to questions posted on your business profile. Therefore, it is important that you control the information presented.

Mistakes to Avoid When Optimizing Your Google Business Profile

Google Business Profiles, still often known as Google My Business, are essential for getting your business noticed online. They allow potential customers to find and contact you directly from search results. Since this is a key part of building your online reputation, it’s crucial to optimize your profile. Let’s look into 5 common mistakes to avoid: 

1. Wrong Opening Hours 

One of the most common mistakes a business can make is not updating the opening and closing times. It is easy to overlook this detail, but it is crucial. If the customers think you are closed when you are actually open, you could lose good business. 

2. Not Listing the Products and Services

As we know that GBP allows you to list your products and services under different categories and sub-categories to make sure that they are represented correctly. 

You can also add a business description to your Google listing to ensure that the customer can easily find all the relevant information.

3. Lack of Quality Photos 

Not adding images to your Google Business Profile is a missed opportunity. The human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text, making images a powerful tool. Enhance your profile’s credibility and appeal by regularly posting high-quality photos. Don’t let your profile fall flat without images that provide regular information about your business.

4. Not Paying Attention to Customer Reviews 

Most of the customers look at reviews from other customers before buying a product or a service. Your Google profile shows reviews to the users in the result page whenever they look for you. This means that the customers can instantly see the number and quality of reviews received on your profile. 

Neglecting your customer complaint in the review section can hinder the brand’s reputation, particularly when the negative reviews go unanswered. Responding promptly can show your concern about the feedback and help mitigate the impact of bad reviews.

5. Unclaimed Listing 

You can not do anything if you do not claim your GMB profile. Without claiming the profile, you won’t be able to do many things, such as reply to reviews. While on unclaimed profiles, you can still suggest edits on your address, phone number, website URL, and hours, claiming your GMB listing can give you more control. 

For instance, claiming a profile can help you manage your business information, engage with customers, respond to reviews, and boost your local search visibility more effectively.

Conclusion: Maintain Your Business Profile

Optimizing your Google Business Profile is important for enhancing local search rankings, attracting more consumers, and developing a strong online reputation. By understanding how to optimize Google My Business (now Google My Business), you can enhance your profile’s visibility, credibility, and customer engagement, ultimately driving more business success.

However, optimizing the profile is just the beginning. To fully reap the benefits of your GBP, it is important to follow some best practices to assist you to help you keep your Business Profile in the best shape:

  • Make sure all the details, such as business hours, contact information, and business location, are accurate and updated. This should be checked regularly.
  • Keep the profile active by regularly posting pictures and videos related to your products and services.
  • Keep track of customer reviews and questions and respond to them promptly, ideally within 24 hours.
  • Regularly request the customers to leave reviews to boost your credibility.
  • Maintain a Q&A section with answers to common questions.

To fully realize the potential of your Google Business Profile, it is important to follow local search engine optimization tips such as those mentioned in the blog. By doing so, you can enhance your chances of appearing at the top of Google search results and save a spot in the Google 3-Pack. This not only boosts your local SEO but also enhances your business’s credibility and attracts more new customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to optimize my Google Business Profile?

You can enhance your local ranking following these 8 best practices:

  • Fill Every Section of The Profile
  • Write Your Own Business Description
  • Select Correct Category
  • List All Products and Services
  • Get New Google Reviews
  • Add Good Photos
  • Add Business Attributes and Services
  • Keep Q&A Section Active

How often should I update my Google Business Profile to maintain accuracy?

It's recommended to update your Google Business Profile at least once a month to ensure that all information, such as business hours, contact details, and location, remains accurate and current. Regular updates help maintain your profile's credibility and visibility.

How to dominate local SEO?

6 Google Business Profile Tips to Dominate Local SEO

  • Claim your Google Business Profile page and fill in every section of your profile.
  • Verify your location.
  • Update your business hours.
  • Leverage Google Business Profile categories and attributes.
  • Get more reviews and respond to all of them.
  • Add photos to your Google Business Profile page.

About the Author

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Abhas Mathur

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