How To Optimize Your Google Business Profile for Better Search Visibility

February 14th, 2024, 11:49 AM

Most businesses know they need to appear on Google to attract customers and compete in the local market, yet many businesses are not taking full advantage of one of Google's most powerful tools for improving online visibility — Google Business Profile (GBP).

Considering the fact that Google Business Profile is a completely free customer acquisition tool, and that more than 90% of people looking for something online search for it via Google, GBP is one of the first places you should be focusing your digital marketing efforts.

After taking ownership of your Google Business Profile, it's important to optimize it (and continue optimizing it) to maximize your ranking in the local pack, or those top results that people see when they search for nearby goods and services on Google.

How To Optimize Your Google Business Profile To Improve Your Ranking in Local Search Results

Enter Complete Business Information

According to Google, local search results favor Google Business Profiles that are the most relevant and have the most complete and accurate business information. 

Therefore, the first step towards optimizing your GBP after claiming it is to fill out the business info as completely as possible. This includes information like the name, address, and phone number (NAP), as well as business hours, category, and attributes.

The more information you provide, the easier it will be for Google to determine your business's relevance to local searches, and the higher its chances of appearing in search results will be.

Keep Business Hours Up to Date

Not only do you need to fill out your business hours on your GBP, but you also need to make sure to keep them up to date whenever they change due to holidays, events, or changes to your business.

As we mentioned already, Google's search algorithm places a high value on accuracy, so keeping your business hours up to date and accurate is an important part of optimizing your GBP.

Additionally, Google recently confirmed that "openness," or whether or not a business is open at the time of a search, is now a stronger ranking factor, so it's a good idea to make sure your business's hours are always accurate in order to maintain relevance to local searches.

Select the Most Relevant Categories

Google Business Profile allows you to select up to 10 categories, including one primary category, for your business listing, but it's important to only select categories that are highly relevant to your business, rather than just trying to fill out the 10 categories.

Start by choosing a primary category that's as specific as possible. For example, if your business is a pizzeria, choose "pizza restaurant" rather than just "restaurant."

Then, add a few secondary categories, but only if they are highly relevant. As a rule of thumb, you should only select additional categories if they help specify your business offerings, and thus can help Google determine your listing's relevance to searches.

For instance, if your pizza restaurant also offers delivery and to-go orders, you could add "pizza delivery" and "pizza takeaway" as categories.

Add Some Photos and Videos

There are three types of photos you can add to your Google Business Profile: a logo, a cover photo, and additional business photos.

It's always recommended to add a logo and a cover photo, as these are prominent on your profile and can help people instantly recognize your business.

After that, it's a good idea to add some additional business photos, including photos of the interior and exterior of your business (if it's a brick-and-mortar) and/or photos of goods or services you offer, staff, and customers.

Google also allows you to upload videos and even a 360-degree tour of your business, which can also help optimize your GBP.

Keep in mind that Google's algorithm considers the quality and relevance of images and other media when factoring them into search rankings, so make sure that any photos or videos you upload to your profile are high quality and actually help showcase your business.

Select Relevant Attributes

Google Business Profile attributes are business features that you can select to help customers understand the services you offer.

For example, if you're optimizing a Google Business Profile for a restaurant, you can select attributes like "dine-in," "takeout," and "delivery," as relevant.

You can get super specific and granular with attributes, which can help your business show up in more specific searches, so take some time here to review all the possible attributes and select each one that pertains to your business.

Manage Reviews

The number of reviews your business has and your business's average review score are strong ranking factors for Google, so try and get as many positive reviews on Google Business Profile as possible. 

Of course, you'll need to focus on providing a good customer experience to get any good reviews in the first place. But there are also things you can do to encourage more customers to leave reviews, such as prominently displaying a Google review QR code in your business or directly asking satisfied customers to leave reviews in follow-up emails.

It's also important to respond to reviews, both positive and negative, on GBP. This shows that you value your customers and their feedback and can help boost your ranking. Plus, listening to constructive feedback from reviews can help you improve the customer experience to get more good reviews!

How Do I Know If My Google Business Profile Optimizations Are Working?

As you optimize your Google Business Profile, we recommend tracking your local search rankings with Local Falcon. 

Local Falcon allows you to scan any area any time to see how your Google Business Profile is ranking among the competition for specific search terms. It makes it easy to keep an eye on your performance over time and see how changes are affecting your position in search results.

In fact, Local Falcon's built-in AI takes care of much of the analysis for you. Falcon AI evaluates your Google Business Profile's overall health, highlighting optimizations you've already done, providing recommendations for errors to fix and improvements to make, and even pointing out vulnerable competitors you may be able to outrank.

So, if you're ready to take your Google Business Profile optimization to the next level, try Local Falcon today!

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