Guides: Google Business Profile

The complete 2024 Business Owner's guide to Google Business Profile

A user's iphone showing their search for a local businesses Google Business Profile.

Supplemental Resource for this Guide: Get a free copy of our editable Google Business Profile Optimization Audit Checklist. (Google Sheets)


You already know that online presence can make or break your business. That means Google is a factor, which is where Google Business Profile comes into play. It's your ticket to standing out on Google Search and Maps, but you've got to optimize it to truly harness its power.

Optimizing your Google Business Profile isn't just about ticking boxes; it's about strategically positioning your business to attract more customers and gain credibility through reviews. Let's dive into how you can elevate your profile and ensure your business doesn't just appear on Google but shines.

What is Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)?

Google Business Profile, previously known as Google My Business, is a free, robust tool designed to help business owners manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By creating and optimizing your Google Business Profile, you're essentially putting your business on the digital map, making it easier for potential customers to find you when they search online. Whether you've got a physical store or offer services at your client's locations, this platform is your gateway to improved visibility and interaction with your audience on Google.

How Does Google Business Profile (aka 'GBP') Work?

Google Business Profile works by leveraging the information you provide about your business to aid in its discovery by potential customers. When you sign up and populate your profile with details like your business name, location, hours, and services, Google uses this information to index and display your business in relevant search results and on Maps. This is especially crucial for local SEO, as it helps your business appear in searches that are specific and geographically targeted.

Regular updates and posts to your profile can also inform customers about the latest offers, products, and events, thereby enhancing engagement and driving traffic to your website or physical location. Reviews and ratings left by customers further boost your credibility and can influence the decision-making process of potential customers. Essentially, your Google Business Profile acts as the first impression many customers will have of your business, making its optimization a key factor in your overall digital marketing strategy.

And if you use it properly, it will continue to act as a reference point and communication channel with those customers moving forward.

What Does an Optimized Google Business Profile Look Like?

Don't let yourself think that GBP is a modern-day yellow-pages directory. It's far, far more than that.

An optimized Google Business Profile is comprehensive, current, and engaging. It goes beyond the basics of name, address, and phone number (NAP) to include a detailed description of your business, categorizing it accurately to help it show up in as many relevant searches as possible.

High-quality photos and videos of your products, services, and premises play a significant role, making your profile visually appealing, informative and trustworthy.

In addition, timely responses to reviews and questions showcase your business's commitment to customer service and help build trust.

Using the posts feature to share updates and offers keeps your profile dynamic and informative. Keywords relevant to your business incorporated naturally into your profile's content can also help improve its visibility in search results.

Engagement metrics tracked via your Google Business Profile insights offer valuable data on how customers are finding and interacting with your listing, guiding further optimization efforts. By covering all these aspects, an optimized profile stands out, attracts more clicks, and ultimately, more customers.

An example of an optimized Google Business Profile, seen from the user perspective.  Image attributed to
An example of an optimized Google Business Profile from the user perspective. Image attributed to

Why do you need to optimize your Google Business Profile?

Optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP) is a strategic move that will not only place your business on the digital map but also significantly influence how potential customers view and interact with your brand. Here's what that does for your business.

#1: GBP Expands Your Online Presence

As mentioned above, having a strong online presence is indispensable. By optimizing your GBP, you ensure that your business information is accurate, comprehensive, and easily discoverable. This includes your contact details as well as your operating hours, services, and products.

Google's local search is a powerful tool that can propel your business into the spotlight. An optimized profile enhances your visibility on search engines, making it easier for customers to find you. The more visible you are online, the more traffic you can drive to your site and, consequently, your store.

#2: GBP Improves Trust and Credibility

Trust and credibility are key components in the customer decision-making process. An optimized GBP filled with high-quality images, up-to-date information, and positive reviews signals to potential customers that your business is reputable and trustworthy. Furthermore, responding promptly to customer reviews, whether positive or negative, demonstrates a level of customer service that can significantly boost your business's credibility. A profile that's rich with positive interactions can set you apart from the competition.

#3: GBP Boosts Your Local Ranking

Google’s algorithm favors businesses who use their tools over those who don't, which is understandable. Also, understandably, it favors those with complete and optimized profiles over those with incomplete profiles which aren't optimized.

This means that by filling out every section of your GBP, you’re more likely to rank higher in local search results.

Local SEO is competitive, and your ranking can greatly influence your visibility. An emphasis on keywords relevant to your business, alongside the regular posting of updates and offers, can enhance your profile’s SEO, giving you a competitive edge in the local 3-pack rankings. Higher visibility in search results directly correlates to more foot traffic and, eventually, sales.

#4: To Engage and Convert Customers

Your GBP offers various tools designed to engage your customers and encourage them to take action. Features like messaging, Q&A, and the ability to post updates about specials, events, or offers, provide a direct line of communication with your audience. An optimized profile makes it easy for customers to make reservations, book appointments, or purchase products right from your GBP.

These interactive elements not only engage customers but also streamline the path to conversion. Engagement through your GBP fosters a connection between your business and your customers, encouraging repeat visits and loyalty.

Businesses who pay close attention to these areas build Google Business Profiles that attracts and serves their potential customers. It positions them for success.

How to set up and optimize your Google Business profile

Creating and fine-tuning your Google Business Profile (GBP) is a key step in boosting your online visibility.

Here are 7 elements of your profile that you need to set up effectively to optimize your profile to attract more customers.

1: Claim and Verify Your Profile

The first step in optimizing your Google Business Profile is to claim and verify your profile. That demonstrates to Google that you're the rightful owner and manager of the business listed. This adds a layer of authenticity to your profile, enhancing its credibility among users.

Start by searching for your business on Google Maps and look for the "Claim this business" or "Own this business" link.

If you don't have one already, it's quick and free to create, and here's an extra handy guide by Google themselves.

2: Select the Right Category

Choosing the most accurate category for your business is crucial. It impacts how your business appears in search results, directly influencing its visibility. If you run a restaurant, specify the type of cuisine you offer instead of just labeling it as a restaurant. Utilize the option to add secondary categories to cover all aspects of your services.

3: Optimize Your Business Name and Description

Incorporate relevant keywords into your business name and description in a natural, readable manner. This not only helps Google understand what your business does but also improves your search ranking for those keywords. Keep your description concise, focusing on key information and unique selling points of your business.

4: Add Specific Products or Services You Offer

Clearly listing the products or services you offer can significantly impact your profile's performance. Detailed listings help potential customers understand what you provide, making it easier for them to choose your business over competitors.

5: Add Accurate Contact Information

Ensure NAP Consistency

Your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) need to be consistent across all online platforms. This consistency boosts your profile's authority and improves your local SEO ranking. Double-check your contact information for accuracy to ensure customers can easily get in touch.

6: Operating Days and Hours

Be transparent about your operating hours, including any special hours for holidays or events. This information helps prevent customer frustration and missed opportunities. Regularly updating your hours can keep your clientele well-informed and satisfied.

7: Add High-Quality Photos and Videos

Cover Photo

Your cover photo is often the first impression customers have of your business. Choose a high-quality image that accurately represents your brand and catches the eye of potential customers.

Google's guidelines specify the ideal dimensions and file sizes for photos and Google posts. Your profile photo should be 250 x 250 px, your cover photo 1080 x 608 px, and Google posts at 1200 x 900 px. Business photos maintain a recommended size of 720 x 720 px. All photos should be in JPG or PNG format, with file sizes ranging between 10 KB and 5 MB.

Interior Photos

Including photos of the inside of your business can give customers a feel for the atmosphere and experience they can expect. This is especially important for restaurants, cafes, and retail stores.


Videos offer a dynamic way to showcase your business, products, or services. A well-produced video can engage customers and motivate them to visit your business.

Additional Photos

Adding a variety of photos, such as your staff at work or special events, can provide a more comprehensive look at what your business offers. These additional photos can enhance your profile's attractiveness and engagement.

How to Leverage Your Google Business Profile for engagement, reviews and ratings

Engagement, reviews, and ratings play a major role in optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP). They're not just numbers or feedback; they represent the trust and credibility of your business in the digital landscape. This is key input that potential customers want to see, and so does Google.

Here are 3 strategies you can use to significantly enhance your local SEO efforts:

1️⃣ Prompt Customers to Leave Reviews

Your first step in harnessing the power of customer feedback is to actively encourage your customers to leave reviews.

Google reviews significantly influence consumer choices. A staggering 90% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses before making a purchase, with 88% stating that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. DemandHub.

Many potential customers will check your reviews before deciding to use your product or service. High star ratings and positive reviews boost your visibility and credibility on Google Search and Maps.

To get started, make it easy for customers to leave reviews by sharing a direct link to your review page. Make the link available at your point-of-sale. You can include this link in your email signatures, on your website, or even after a service is completed with a friendly reminder. Highlighting the importance of customer feedback in your communications can motivate your customers to share their experiences.

2️⃣ Respond to Reviews

Once reviews start rolling in, it's vital to always respond to every review, whether positive or negative. Responding to reviews demonstrates that you value customer feedback and are committed to improving their experience. It’s a signal to potential customers that you're engaged and attentive to customer needs.

A business that actively engages with its reviewers is 1.7 times more likely to be viewed as trustworthy and customer-oriented. DemandHub

For positive reviews, a simple thank you and a personalized message can make a big difference.

For negative reviews, address the issues raised professionally and offer to make things right. This not only helps in potentially salvaging a customer relationship but also shows prospective customers that you're proactive about resolving issues.

And don't worry too much about that first non-5 star review: Google actually sees a mixture of positive and negative reviews as more authentic and trustworthy, which can lead to better rankings. Hootsuite

3️⃣ Encourage User-Generated Visual Content

User-generated content, especially photos and videos from your customers, can significantly enhance your profile's appeal. Encourage your customers to share their experiences visually by adding photos to their reviews or by tagging your location in social media posts.

Visual content adds authenticity to your profile and gives prospective customers a clearer picture of what to expect. Businesses with a rich collection of user-generated visual content often stand out in local searches. Plus, it's a form of engagement that signals to Google the popularity and relevance of your business, potentially boosting your local SEO rankings.

By focusing on these key areas, you'll not only enhance your Google Business Profile but also foster stronger relationships with your customers. Engaging actively with your audience through reviews and encouraging the sharing of visual content can set your business apart in a competitive digital marketplace.

The Best Ways to Use Google Posts

Google Posts serve as an essential tool in enhancing your business's visibility and engagement on Google. By tactfully leveraging this feature, you can significantly boost your local SEO and keep your customers informed and engaged.

Share Business Updates

Keeping your customers in the loop about what's new with your business is a valuable engagement tactic. With Google Posts, you can quickly and easily communicate any updates, such as changes in operation hours, new services, or safety measures in place. Your updates appear in the "Updates" section of your profile, making it easy for customers to stay informed about your latest business activities.

Updating your Google Business Profile regularly with fresh content sends positive signals to Google, improving your local SEO. That's very important. Google likes so see signs of activity and attention. Give them those signs and you are more likely to stay in their good favor.

Create and Promote Special Offers and Events

Special offers and events are potent tools to draw in more customers and encourage repeat business. Google Posts allows you to easily create posts for special promotions, limited-time discounts, and events you're hosting. Once published, these posts can enhance your visibility not just on your Google Business Profile but also across search results and Google Maps.

Read that again: "these posts can enhance your visibility not just on your Google Business Profile but also across search results and Google Maps."

That's strong. Leverage it.

By clearly displaying your special offers and events, you can attract attention and drive more foot traffic to your business. Utilize the "Add update," "Add offer," or "Add event" options to tailor your posts to your promotional needs, adding up to 1,500 characters, photos, and a call-to-action button to maximize engagement.

Engage with Your Audience

Engaging directly with your customers fosters a sense of community and loyalty around your business. Google Posts can be a part of this engagement strategy.

Let Customers Message You

Enabling messaging through your Google Business Profile invites your customers to reach out to you directly, asking questions about your offerings, business hours, locations, or specials. Prompt responses to these inquiries reflects well on your customer service and positively influences your profile's visibility and engagement rates. This direct line of communication can convert potential leads into loyal customers by providing them with the exact information they need quickly and efficiently.

If you will incorporate Google Posts into your digital marketing strategy and keep these facets in mind, you'll optimize your Google Business Profile and at the same time create a more dynamic and engaging online presence for your business.

Adding relevant keywords to Google Business Profile

When you're optimizing your Google Business Profile, weaving relevant keywords into your content is a crucial strategy. This doesn't mean stuffing your profile with as many keywords as possible. Instead, it's about selecting the right keywords that potential customers might use to find your business and including them in a way that feels natural and informative.

Optimize Your Profile for Search Queries

Your first step in keyword optimization is to perform research to identify what your potential customers are searching for. If you already know the keywords you're targeting you're ready to go. If not, you'll need to do some research to gather that information. Here's the guide for you if you're new to keyword research. If you already know the ropes, you might want to learn more about how using AI for keyword research can speed up the process.  Tools like Google Keyword Planner can help you uncover the search terms people are using. Once you have a list of keywords, it’s time to infuse them into your profile judiciously.

PSA: There is no need to 'keyword stuff' in 2024. It will not work.

Google's algorithm is smart and can easily detect when you're trying to game the system by overusing keywords. Your goal is to include these keywords sparingly but strategically. Incorporate them into your business name (if applicable and within Google’s guidelines), your description, and even in your posts on Google Business Profile. This ensures that when someone searches for those terms, your business stands a better chance of appearing in the search results.

Use Keywords in Your Business Description

Your business description offers a prime opportunity to use relevant keywords. This short paragraph is where you can succinctly describe what your business offers and why customers should choose you over the competition. While the temptation might be strong to load this section with keywords, focus instead on creating a narrative that incorporates them naturally.

Here are a few tips for using keywords in your business description effectively:

  • Focus on one or two primary keywords and sprinkle them throughout the description.
  • Avoid forcing the keywords into your text to the point where it becomes difficult to read. Your description should flow smoothly.
  • Use variations of your main keywords to cover a broader array of search queries.
  • Be specific about your products or services. If you’re a bakery specializing in gluten-free products, make sure you mention "gluten-free bakery" in your description.

The primary goal of your description should be to inform and engage potential customers, not just to optimize for search engines. A well-written, keyword-rich description can do both, helping your business stand out in Google searches and attracting more customers to your profile.

Monitoring Your Google Business Profile Insights

Keeping a close eye on your Google Business Profile Insights is a key step in understanding how your listing performs and identifying areas for improvement. This data offers invaluable insights into how people find and interact with your business online, providing a roadmap for refining your local SEO strategy. Let's deep dive into the specific areas you should be focusing on.

How Customers Find Your Profile

When you're analyzing your Google Business Profile, it's important to understand the different ways customers discover your listing. Insights differentiate between Direct searches, where customers search for your business name or address specifically, and Discovery searches, where customers find you by searching for a category, product, or service related to what you offer. Total searches give you an overview of your visibility. By understanding these segments, you can tailor your profile to capture both audiences effectively.

Where Customers Find You On Google

Your Google Business Profile doesn't just appear on a single platform. Insights will show you whether customers are finding you through Google Search or Google Maps. Each platform offers different visibility and serves users in varying stages of their search journey. For instance, a Listing on Maps view indicates users likely closer to a visit decision. By analyzing the split between Listing on Search and Listing on Maps, you can adjust your strategy to cater to where your audience is most active.

Customer Actions

Once customers find your profile, what actions are they taking? Insights track several key customer actions including Website Visits, Direction Requests, and Messaging your business directly from the profile.

This data is crucial for understanding what converts a viewer into a customer. If you're seeing high interaction but low conversion rates, it might be time to reevaluate the user friendliness and call-to-action options on your profile.

Phone Calls

Phone call tracking is another vital metric within Google Business Profile Insights. This section will show you when and how often people are calling your business directly from your profile. This is a direct indicator of engagement and can also inform you of peak times for customer inquiries, allowing you to staff accordingly and optimize customer service.

Using a Google Business Profile Optimization Checklist

Embarking on the journey of Google Business Profile optimization requires a structured approach to ensure completeness and effectiveness. This is where a checklist can be your guiding star. It not only helps keep the process organized but also ensures you don’t overlook essential elements that could boost your online presence.

  • Complete Your Profile Information: This is the bedrock of your profile. Ensure every field is filled out, including business hours, services, and a compelling description. Remember, a 100% completed profile has a higher chance of ranking well.
  • Optimize With Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords naturally into your business description and services. This improves your chances of appearing in local searches relevant to your business.
  • Add High-Quality Photos and Videos: Users engage more with profiles that have appealing visuals. Regularly update your photos to keep your profile fresh and appealing.
  • Collect and Respond to Reviews: Actively encourage your customers to leave reviews and make sure to respond to them. Not only does this improve your credibility, but positive reviews can also enhance your profile’s visibility.
  • Use the Posts Feature: Regularly publish posts to your profile to inform customers about news, offers, or events. Posts are a dynamic way to keep your profile active and engaging.
  • Monitor Your Performance: Make use of Google Business Profile Insights to track how users interact with your profile. This data is invaluable for refining your optimization strategy over time.

By methodically working through this checklist, you’re setting your Google Business Profile up for optimal performance. Remember, optimization is not a one-off task but an ongoing process. Keep your information up to date, stay active with posts and photos, and always be on the lookout for ways to engage more effectively with potential customers. This proactive approach will help you make the most of your online presence, driving more traffic and engagement where it counts.

Google Business Profile Guidelines in 2024

Keeping your Google Business Profile optimized is essential for maintaining an edge in local search results and encouraging more customer interactions. In 2024, Google's guidelines are as critical as ever, as they continue to favor fully optimized profiles.

First and foremost, completeness of your profile remains a top priority. Google's algorithm favors profiles flush with information, increasing your visibility in local searches. Ensure your business's name, address, phone number, website, and hours are up-to-date. These basics are your foundation for being found online.

Also keep in mind visual content. It was mentioned above but warrants repeating: Google's guidelines specify the ideal dimensions and file sizes for photos and Google posts. Your profile photo should be 250 x 250 px, your cover photo 1080 x 608 px, and Google posts at 1200 x 900 px. Business photos maintain a recommended size of 720 x 720 px. All photos should be in JPG or PNG format, with file sizes ranging between 10 KB and 5 MB. Adhering to these specifications ensures that your images are displayed clearly and attractively on your profile.

The power of Google posts shouldn't be understated. As part of your ongoing optimization efforts, try to create and publish Google posts at least once a week. These updates can cover anything from news about your business, special offers, events, or new products and services. Staying active with your posts shows potential customers that you're engaged and up-to-date, enhancing your profile’s appeal.

Finally, remember to share offers, events, products, and services directly to Google Search and Maps via Google Posts. This integration not only maximizes your visibility but also makes it easier for customers to discover what you have to offer.

Adapting to and implementing these guidelines will make your Google Business Profile more compelling and improve your chances of capturing attention in a crowded online space. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll be well on your way to optimizing your online presence through your Google Business Profile.

FYI: The Biggest Mistakes Business Owners Make with Google Business Profiles

When diving into Google Business Profile optimization, there are a few common pitfalls that can hinder your progress and impact your online visibility. Being aware of these mistakes is the first step in ensuring your Google Business Profile works effectively for you.

  1. Failing to Claim Your Business Profile. If you don’t claim your profile, you miss the opportunity to control the information displayed about your business on Google. This can lead to outdated or incorrect information discouraging potential customers.
  2. Not Completing Every Section of Your Profile. It might seem tempting to fill out only the basics, but your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) is just the start. You also need to detail your services, business hours, and more importantly, your business category and description. The primary category influences your ranking in local packs—a crucial factor for local SEO. Remember, a complete profile gives potential customers all the information they need, significantly enhancing your profile's visibility and attractiveness.
  3. Ignoring the Quality of Your Business Description can also be detrimental. This section should include relevant keywords naturally woven into the text, without resorting to links or promotional content. Google may suspend your profile for errors or inappropriate content, so run your description through tools like Grammarly to ensure it's error-free.
  4. Not Utilizing Photos Effectively is a missed opportunity. Photos give your customers a glimpse into your business, offering a visual taste of what to expect. Whether it's the ambiance of your location or the quality of your products, attractive and relevant photos can significantly increase engagement. Restaurants, for instance, can boost their appeal by including enticing photos of their menu items.

Avoiding these mistakes ensures your Google Business Profile stands out, attracting more customers and enhancing your online presence. Keep these points in mind and continually refine your approach for optimal results.

How Do I Get the Most Out of Google Business Profile Reviews?

Leveraging the power of reviews on your Google Business Profile is crucial for boosting your online credibility and enhancing your local SEO performance. Reviews act as social proof, reassuring potential customers about the quality of your services or products. Here's how you can maximize the benefits of these reviews.

  • Promptly Respond to All Reviews: Whether they’re positive or negative, responding to reviews shows you value customer feedback and are committed to improving the customer experience. For positive reviews, a simple thank you suffices, whereas for negative reviews, offer a resolution and take the conversation offline if necessary.
  • Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews: Don’t hesitate to ask satisfied customers to leave a review. You can do this in person, through follow-up emails, or by including reminders on receipts and business cards. Remember, the more reviews your profile has, the more trustworthy and engaging it appears.
  • Highlight Positive Reviews: Use the best reviews as testimonials on your website or social media platforms. This not only amplifies positive feedback but also encourages others to share their experiences.
  • Monitor Reviews for Insights: Continuously monitoring and analyzing feedback can provide valuable insights into customer needs, expectations, and areas of improvement for your business. Addressing these can lead to better customer satisfaction and potentially more positive reviews in the future.
  • Use Negative Feedback Constructively: While negative reviews can be disheartening, they offer an opportunity for improvement. Identifying common complaints can help you rectify issues, improving your offering and customer service.

By actively managing and optimizing your Google Business Profile reviews, you're not only enhancing your online reputation but also improving your visibility and attractiveness to potential customers. Remember, reviews are a powerful tool in your SEO arsenal—use them wisely to drive engagement and increase customer conversion.

What Types of Businesses Does Google Business Profile Work For?

It's reasonable to wonder if your business type fits the bill for a Google Business Profile (GBP). The good news is, most businesses do. Whether you're operating from a bustling storefront or running a digital shop from your living room, GBP is your ally in reaching potential customers.

For brick-and-mortar shops, cafes, and service providers with a physical location (like gyms), GBP is invaluable. (GBP is a must-do for Home service providers!) It puts your business on the map—literally. When customers search for services or stores near them, having a well-optimized GBP listing means you're more likely to pop up in their search results. This includes but isn't limited to restaurants, salons, clinics, and retail stores.

What about businesses without a physical storefront? If you're steering a service-based or digital business, you're in luck. GBP caters to you as well. Freelancers, consultants, e-commerce sites, and many others without a traditional street address can leverage GBP to showcase their offerings. By specifying your service areas, you ensure that your business appears in search results for those specific locations, even if you don't have a walk-in location.

Beyond physical and service-based businesses, GBP is also a powerful tool for those operating in niche markets. From artisans selling handmade goods online to specialized consultants offering unique services, optimizing your GBP profile helps you stand out in a crowded digital landscape. This is your chance to shine a spotlight on what makes your business unique, from showcasing your products with high-quality images to detailing the specialized services you offer.

Remember, the essence of GBP is to connect your business with local searchers. So regardless of your business model, taking the time to craft and optimize your listing can significantly enhance your online visibility and attract more customers to your door—or website.

Do I Need a Google Business Profile and My Business Website?

Another reasonable question is if having both a Google Business Profile (GBP) and a business website is overkill. Each plays a distinctive role in your online presence, so lets look into why leveraging both is key to maximizing your visibility and engagement.

Firstly, your GBP serves as a dynamic snapshot of your business directly in Google's Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and on Google Maps. It's where potential customers can find essential information like your business name, address, phone number, and operating hours at a glance. With 1.67 billion searches on Google each month, your GBP ensures you're easily discoverable in local search results, increasing the chances of capturing potential customers' attention right when they're searching. It's where those 'IRL' customers are looking when they want something right now, or if they just prefer supporting local businesses.

On the other hand, your business website offers a deeper dive into what your business is all about. It's your digital storefront where you can showcase your brand story, detailed service or product listings, customer testimonials, and more. It's also the place where you have complete control over your narrative, branding, and customer experience.

Here’s the kicker: having a GBP and a business website works together to boost your SEO efforts. A well-optimized GBP can drive significant traffic to your site, while a professional website increases your business’s credibility, encouraging more engagement on your GBP.

  • Immediate visibility in local searches comes from your GBP.
  • Depth of information and brand representation is best served by your website.

Essentially, while your GBP acts as a quick reference point for potential customers, your website provides an in-depth experience that can convert interest into action. Together, they form a powerful duo that enhances your online presence, making it easier for customers to find and connect with you.

What Other Tools Should I Use With Google Business Profile?

While Google Business Profile (GBP) is a powerhouse for enhancing your online visibility, combining it with other tools can significantly amplify your results. Here's how you can make the most of your digital presence beyond GBP.

  • Integrating Google Analytics with your website is non-negotiable. It provides invaluable insights into your audience's behavior, tracking how users interact with your site after visiting your GBP. This data helps refine your marketing strategies and tailor your content to what your audience is genuinely interested in.
  • Google AdWords is another tool you shouldn't overlook. By leveraging AdWords, you can launch targeted ad campaigns that appear in Google search results and on other Google properties. When coupled with GBP, your business not only appears in organic search results but also gains additional visibility through paid advertisements. The synergy between GBP and AdWords can boost your visibility and help attract more customers.
  • Social media platforms are also crucial. Regularly sharing your GBP updates on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn increases your reach, driving more traffic to your GBP and website. It's about creating a cohesive online presence where all your digital touchpoints – GBP, social media, and your website – work in harmony.
  • Don't forget Email Marketing. Encourage your GBP visitors to subscribe to your mailing list. This way, you can keep them engaged with personalized email content, special offers, and updates about your business. It's a direct line to your customers that can significantly enhance customer loyalty and repeat business.

By integrating these tools with your Google Business Profile, you're not just optimizing your GBP; you're building a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that leverages multiple platforms for maximum visibility and engagement. Each tool has its strengths, and when used together, they can propel your business to new heights.

How Do I Claim a Google Business Profile That Has Already Been Claimed?

Discovering your Google Business Profile (GBP) has already been claimed can initially seem like a hiccup in your optimization journey, but it's a common situation with a clear resolution pathway. Whether your business is new to you or you're stepping into the digital marketing realm for the first time, knowing how to claim an already claimed GBP is crucial.

Verify the Profile's Current Status

Firstly, ensure that the GBP in question is indeed associated with your business. This might sound simple, but mix-ups happen, especially in areas with businesses of similar names or services. If the profile is yours but claimed by someone else, it’s time to reach out to Google. Visit the Google My Business Help Center and look for guidance on ownership conflicts. Here, you'll find steps tailored to your specific situation, whether it’s a matter of mistaken identity or an old manager who no longer should have access.

Reach Out to Google

If direct contact information for the current profile manager isn't available or if reaching out to them hasn’t resulted in a resolution, Google provides a straightforward process for claiming a business profile. Access the Help Center and use the Request access form to initiate the process. Here, you’ll detail your association with the business and why you should be the rightful manager of its profile.

Submit Verification Information

Be prepared to submit documentation proving your claim to the business. This might include business registration details, a utility bill in the business name, or other official documents. Google’s verification process is designed to protect businesses from unauthorized claims, so this step is critical in establishing your legitimacy.

Remember, patience is key. The verification and claim process may take several days to a few weeks. During this time, continue to refine your digital marketing strategy and plan how you’ll optimize your GBP once it's officially under your management.

Should I Run My Own Google Business Profile or Outsource It?

Deciding whether to handle your Google Business Profile (GBP) on your own or to outsource it is another decision you must make to maintain your online presence and ensure your business is optimally placed in local search results. This section dives into the critical aspects of making that choice.

Have Your Google Business Profile Audited

Before making a decision, it's essential to understand the current state of your profile. Having your Google Business Profile audited is a fantastic starting point. This involves a comprehensive review of your profile’s completeness, accuracy, and optimization level compared to current Google My Business guidelines. An audit can reveal:

  • Missing or inaccurate information
  • Opportunities to enhance your profile through additional categories or keywords
  • Unutilized features such as Google Posts or Q&A

A thorough audit provides actionable insights into how you can improve your profile. It also sets a benchmark against which you can measure the effectiveness of future optimization efforts, whether you decide to manage your profile in-house or outsource it.

****UPDATE: We've now added a Supplemental Resource for this Guide: Get a free copy of our editable Google Business Profile Optimization Audit Checklist. (Google Sheets)****

Finding Google Business Profile Optimization and Management Services

Should you decide that the time, expertise, or resources required to manage and optimize your GBP are beyond your current capacity, finding Google Business Profile optimization and management services becomes the next step. Here’s what you should look for in a service provider:

  • Experience with Google My Business Optimization: The service provider should have a proven track record of optimizing GBPs for improved rankings in local search and Google Maps.
  • Comprehensive Service Offering: Look for services that include a full profile audit, targeted keyword optimization, image and video uploads, and continuous profile updates, including Google Posts and Q&A.
  • Proprietary Processes and Tools: The best services use specialized tools and processes for GBP optimization, such as GBP scorecards and benchmark reporting, which can significantly enhance the effectiveness of their efforts.

When evaluating potential services, consider their understanding of your local market and ability to target your specific search phrases. Also, assess their commitment to keeping you informed about your profile's performance and their strategies to improve it. Ultimately, the right service should not only improve your GBP's visibility but also free up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.

Common Issues with Google Business Profiles

As with anything else involving Google, your Google Business Profile (GBP) can sometimes feel like solving a puzzle. But it's usually like that in situations where someone is trying to outsmart the system or blur the lines. Regardless, it remains an essential tool for enhancing your local SEO and reaching more customers. It's worth it.

So while you might encounter a few common issues along the way, here's how to tackle some of them with confidence.

How Do I Find My Google Business Profile ID?

You'll need your Google Business Profile ID for managing and making requests regarding your profile. This unique identifier is what distinguishes your profile in Google's ecosystem. To find it, log into your Google Business Profile, click on the 'Info' tab, and scroll to the bottom. Your GBP ID is typically a long sequence of digits. You'll need this ID for various support and modification processes, so keep it handy.

Can I Add a User to My Google Business Profile?

Absolutely. Adding users to your GBP allows for easier management, especially for teams. Go to your Google Business Profile manager, select 'Users' from the menu, and then click on the 'Add users' icon. You can add users by their email addresses and assign roles that determine their level of access, such as Owner, Manager, or Site Manager. This flexibility ensures that team members can contribute efficiently according to their responsibilities.

How Do I Delete My Google Business Profile?

First, be sure that's what you want to do. Deciding to delete your GBP should be a carefully considered decision. If you're sure, you can initiate deletion by going to your profile, selecting the 'Info' tab, and clicking on 'Remove listing' at the bottom. Follow the prompts to confirm deletion.

Remember, this action is irreversible, and you'll lose all the data and insights associated with your profile.

Can a Google Business Profile Get Suspended?

Yes, your GBP can get suspended if it violates Google's guidelines. Common reasons include inaccurate information, having multiple profiles for the same location, or posting prohibited content.

If suspended, you'll receive a notification. To resolve this, review Google's guidelines, correct any discrepancies in your profile, and submit an appeal through the Google My Business support channel.

What Size Image Should I Use for a Google Business Profile Post?

Images in your Google Business Profile play a large part in attracting attention. For posts, Google recommends using images that are at least 720px wide by 540px high. Ensure your images are clear, well-lit, and relevant to your post content. This optimization will make your posts more engaging and visually appealing to your audience.

How Do I Change My Google Business Profile Picture?

You'll want to update your profile picture from time to time because it keeps your GBP fresh and relatable. To change your profile picture, access your Google Business Profile, navigate to the 'Photos' section, and select 'Profile'. You can then upload a new image. Choose a high-quality, business-appropriate photo that best represents your brand. This image is often the first visual customers associate with your business, so make it count.

Mastering the nuances of GBP can significantly boost your online presence and customer engagement. While issues may arise, your ability to address them confidently will ensure your profile remains an asset to your digital marketing strategy.

When It Comes to Optimizing Your Google Business Profile in 2024

Optimizing your Google Business Profile is an very important - and often overlooked - step in making your business more visible and accessible to potential customers online.

Every day I meet business owners who don't understand the significance of GBP and the impact it can have for them. It's shocking.

With the right strategies in place, you can enhance your digital footprint, attract a wider audience, and keep your business relevant in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Remember to leverage the latest features and updates provided by Google and stay informed about the best practices for profile optimization. By doing so, you'll ensure your business not only stands out on Google Search and Maps but also provides a compelling and informative experience for your customers.

Don't let common pitfalls deter your efforts; tackle them head-on with confidence.

Your Google Business Profile is a powerful tool in your digital marketing arsenal—make the most of it to drive success for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the significance of optimizing a Google Business Profile?

If you want to 'win' in the game, you've got to play by Google's rules. For most businesses that means optimizing their Google Business Profile. It will boost your online visibility and help your business appear more prominently in search results and on Google Maps, making it easier for potential customers to discover you.

How does monitoring Google Business Profile Insights benefit a business?

Monitoring your Insights can reveal how customers find your listing, the actions they take, and where improvements can be made. That helps you refine your profile for better performance and customer engagement.

Can customers find my business through Google Search and Google Maps?

Yes, optimizing your Google Business Profile increases your visibility both on Google Search and Google Maps. This ensures your business can be found by potential customers regardless of how they search for your services or products.

What updates are coming to Google Business Profile in 2024?

Google is always evolving, so it's safe to assume that there will be changes in 2024 that the public doesn't know about right now.  The one announcement that has been made is that websites made with Google Business Profiles will be turned off in March of 2024. You can read more from Google here. For those who need a replacement, we use and recommend Webflow.

What makes up a Google Business Profile Optimization Checklist?

The checklist includes ensuring your business information is complete and accurate, using the right keywords, responding to customer reviews, adding photos and services, leveraging special features, and regularly updating your profile to reflect any changes in your business.

****UPDATE: We've now added a Supplemental Resource for this Guide: Get a free copy of our editable Google Business Profile Optimization Audit Checklist. (Google Sheets)****

What are common mistakes business owners make with Google My Business?

Common mistakes include incomplete profiles, ignoring customer reviews, not using photos or updates effectively, and neglecting Google’s guidelines. Doing the fundamentals. These errors can negatively impact your profile's visibility and effectiveness.

How important are Google reviews for SEO?

Very. Google reviews are very important for SEO as they signal trustworthiness and authority to search engines. A strong review profile can directly influence your search ranking, making your business more visible to potential customers.