How to Optimise Your Google Business Profile

31st January, 2024
How to Optimise Your Google Business Profile featured image
5min Read
Author: Hannah

Is your Google business profile holding you back? Many businesses spend so much time on their website, social media and adverts that they neglect a crucial touchpoint – their Google business profile. 

Your Google business profile, or GBP, serves as a vital introduction to potential customers. It provides a dynamic snapshot of your business, highlighting your unique selling points and enabling the masses to find, learn about, and interact with your brand. 

First impressions are key, and to maximise your chances of converting curious visitors into loyal customers, you need to optimise your GBP. 

What is a Google Business Profile? 

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s worth explaining what a Google business profile actually is. 

If you’ve ever searched for a specific business name or even a general product or service, you’ll have come across a GBP. They automatically pop up on the right-hand side of Google search results and display the company name, address, contact details, photos and more. 

A GBP gives potential customers all the essential details they need before they’ve even clicked on a company’s website. It’s designed to make life easier for users, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be used to the advantage of businesses. 

Optimising your Google Business Profile

So now we’ve established what a Google business profile is, you might be wondering, why is this so important for me and my business? 

First things first, a solid profile can result in a quick win for a business. Think about it: if you were searching for ‘car garage near me’ and saw a listing with great photos, lots of reviews, accurate opening hours and handy Q&As, you’d probably be quite impressed. In fact, you might be so impressed that you’d call immediately without browsing other options or even visiting their website. 

Google is equally as impressed with high-quality GBPs and prioritises profiles with accurate information and regular activity on the search results page and maps. Managing your business listing should be a continuous process. It should be considered almost like another social media profile, full of customer interaction, shiny photos, calls to action, etc.

With all this in mind, we’ve broken down the six key ways to optimise your Google business profile and attract new customers. 

1. Ensure your business information is accurate.

This first point seems simple, but it’s often overlooked. I’m sure you’ve experienced the frustration of looking up an establishment’s opening times only to be greeted with a shuttered shop-front. 

Inaccurate business information is not only frustrating, but it also affects Google’s rankings. To optimise your Google business listing, include as much information as possible and provide updates if anything changes. 

It’s essential to indicate regular and holiday hours and ensure your business name matches your signage/other web listings to avoid confusion or negative reviews. You should also fill in your business category, phone number, website URL, attributes, description, products and services. 

2. Write a compelling business description.

A captivating description can convey your brand identity and ethos, allowing customers to connect with you on a personal level. Google has set a 750-word limit, but only the first 250 characters appear on the search results page, so it’s worth bearing that in mind. 

Keyword stuffing has proven ineffective as an SEO practice; instead, authenticity and user experience are prioritised. Repurposing website content is a great way to ensure your description reads genuine, properly represents your brand, and contains the appropriate balance of keywords.

3. Add high-quality photos

Incorporating high-quality photos into your GBP allows you to tell a story about your business and shape the impression of potential customers. We’d recommend uploading images every few weeks to show your target audience (and Google) that your profile is active and relevant.

You should upload your own images rather than stock photos, which appear disingenuous. Also, it’s worth geo-tagging your photos to enhance the visibility of your business in local searches. If you’re unsure about adding photos to your GBP, refer to Google’s photo guidelines. 

4. Stay on top of customer reviews.

Google favours businesses with plenty of positive reviews and keywords within reviews can further enhance the visibility of your business profile.

To accumulate reviews, seek feedback from satisfied customers via email, phone call, or in person, and respond to any comments to show your appreciation to the customer and demonstrate engagement to Google. 

Effectively managing reviews bolsters credibility, and since reviews are a critical ranking factor for Google’s algorithm, their significance shouldn’t be underestimated! 

5. Post regular updates.

The posting feature of a Google business profile acts as a digital bulletin board where businesses can share updates, offers and events directly on the Google search results page. 

It’s essentially a gateway to free advertising; every post is an opportunity to showcase your business’s latest and greatest aspects without the steep advertising costs. You can even add calls to action on posts to encourage those quick wins we discussed previously. 

6. Ask and answer questions.

The final tip for optimising your Google business profile is to ask and answer questions. Google’s ‘Questions & Answers’ feature allows anyone to contribute and can act as a great discussion board to inform potential customers and develop a community feel surrounding your brand. 

However, this can be a curse and a blessing. Without an approval process, false information can end up on your GBP. So, setting up profile alerts to answer questions promptly and address misinformation is crucial. This ensures your profile is accurate and also shows Google that you’re regularly interacting with customers via your profile, which will improve your ranking. 

You can also create and answer your own questions based on common customer queries. This gives you more control over your GBP, and if you squeeze in a few keywords, it can help optimise your profile even further. 

Summary

The power of a Google business profile lies in its simplicity. Your profile will appear when potential customers actively search for your specific business or something similar. It directly connects to customers, leading to substantial returns with relatively minimal effort. 

Google considers multiple factors when displaying search results, including relevance and proximity to users. But it also prioritises business listings that are accurate and active. Therefore, it’s truly worthwhile responding to customer interactions, uploading photos regularly, and generally curating it like you would your business’ Instagram or LinkedIn account.