Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing Like a Pro

google my business
NOTE: As of December 2021, Google My Business (GMB) is now Google Business Profile (GBP). This article has been updated from the original postdate of March 12, 2019 to reflect this new name change and relevant information. 
Why Have a Google Business Profile Listing?
Having a Google Business Profile listing is where the most experienced SEOs start when optimizing a business’ online presence. This is a great idea, considering that it’s the only way for your business to show up in the map section of the search. If you aren’t on the map, how will your customers find you?

The Purpose of Business Profile Listing
For many, digital marketing is a totally new venture that holds an overwhelming amount of information, tips, and tools. In the same way, Google Business Profile can seem intimidating, so we will walk you through the whole process, starting with the basics.

Google Business Profile is free, and it’s in your best interest to use it, but it does not replace your website. Instead, it serves as a complement to your website, giving your business a solid identity in the eyes of the public on the most popular place for online searches.
Just by optimizing your listing correctly, you can multiply your visibility in organic search.

Create Your Business Profile Listing Listing
Once you have created or claimed your Google Business Profile listing, you’ll need to ensure that all of the information is correct and present.
Do a quick Google search for your business and make sure that a Google Business Profile listing doesn’t already exist. If you’ve been around for a while, chances are high that a listing has already been created for you, and you simply need to claim it.
Once a new listing is created, a location for your business is generated. That location then synchronizes with search, making you available to pop up on searches. Right now, Google reins with about 90% of all organic searches, meaning that if you aren’t utilizing your Google Business Profile (GBP), you need to be!
Keep reading to learn the steps to setting up your listing properly so you can start seeing a positive change in your online presence.

Create and Make Changes to Service-Area Business Details

Once you are signed into your Google Business Profile account, click “card view.” You’ll be able to do this by simply selecting the cards icon on the right side of the screen, above your location(s). Next, follow these points to manage your service area details.

  • Select any listing, then click “Manage location.”
  • Click Info.
  • Choose the “Address” section.
  • A window will show; click “Yes” beside “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their locations.”
  • Enter all information for your service area. It can be set based on the ZIP codes or cities that you service, or you can choose an area around your location.
  • To list your complete address, your correct business hours, and more: choose the box beside “I serve customers at my business address”
  • Select Apply to save your changes.
  • To establish where your business will provide goods and services, set the service area

Once you have submitted all necessary information for your business, you’ll need to verify your listing. This is vital if you want visibility and good ratings for your listing.
Even though this is all part of the digital game, it might be most efficient to verify your listing by mail. This is because it’s an easy way for Google to know you can receive mail to the address you provided, which helps Google eliminate false listings that are floating around the Internet. Remember: Google doesn’t show your business or new edits to the listing unless it has first been verified. Plus, you won’t be able to access the insights, analytics, or reviews for any pages until you do so.
Verification usually happens in a week or less. Google will send you a verification code that you can use to make your listing officially go live!

Tips for Your Business Profile Listing 

  1. Be sure to provide complete data for your listing. This allows for your listing to appear in the most closely related searches. It’s vital to have up-to-date information.
  2. In order to prevent competitors from clicking on any paid ads you have through Google Ads, simply set up automatic IP blocking by ClickCease. It’s free to try out.
  3. Make sure that the listing details are clear. They need to speak to potential customers about what you do, where you are located, and how customers can purchase from you.
  4. In order for your listing to rank well on search for the topics you want it to show up for, utilize keywords in your listing just like you would with your website.
  5. Your business hours are highly searched on Google when people are wanting to use your services. Make sure your hours are recorded accurately and that you update them with any changes that occur. Google even allows you to create custom hours if you need to for holidays and/or special events.
  6. Everyone is more attracted to images or videos than to blocks of text. Interactive media catches our eye as we are scrolling, so make sure your listing is optimized with accurate, high-quality photos (especially a profile photo) so that people can get a real sense of what you offer. Studies show that listings with photos garner an incredible 42% more requests for directions through Google maps than those without photos.
  7. Whenever you receive reviews on your business, it is crucial that you reply to them, whether they are good or bad. Google sees reviews as an indication of your customer service—if you are ignoring the compliments, or worse, the critiques, Google sees that as poor customer service. Be sure to let your customers know they are heard, and don’t use a canned response.
    1. Reviews help your rankings, so it’s a great idea to encourage your customers to leave feedback on their experience with you on Google and other platforms.

How Do People Interact with Your Listing?

Insights is Google’s way to help you understand how your potential and current customers are interacting with your Google Business Profile listing. It shows how customers are finding your listing, where they are finding you, their actions and requests, any phone calls, and photos! Read more about these below.

How are Your Customers Finding Your Listing?
Within Insights, you can find out how your business is found through direct searches. This is different from “discovery searches,” which occur when someone searches for a category, item, or service and you appear in the results.
The Insights reports will list these three search types for you to view data: total searches, direct searches, and discovery searches. You can click through each of these and find out a good deal about how you’re faring online in search.

Where are Your Customers Finding You on Google?
In this section, you can find out just how many people are visiting your site via search or maps. If you look next to “Listing on Search” and “Listing on Maps,” you can find out how many views, or impressions, your listing received via each product in a designated time frame.
Want to know how many people found you based on a particular product? Just hover your cursor over the segment of the graph you want to learn more about. Here are some sections you can pull information from:

  • Total Views
  • Search Views
  • Maps Views
  • Customer Actions

“Total actions” shows the activity of your customers on your listing based on these categories:

  • Website Visit
  • Directions Request
  • Phone Call
  • Viewed Photos

Here are the labels in the Reporting section:

  • Total Actions
  • Website Actions
  • Directions Actions
  • Phone Call Actions
  • Directions Requests

Insights uses a map in this section to show where people are when they request directions to your business. Your business’s location will be shown on the map along with some of the most common places that people request directions from. Plus, you can see the full breakdown by city and neighborhood of the total number of directions requests.

Phone Calls
Here, you can see both the frequency and the time with customers called your business through your Google Business Profile listing. Under “Total Calls” you can find the number of calls you received within a given timeframe. With the graph, you can also see trends of phone calls, broken out by time of the day or by the day of the week. This way, marketers and operators know the most popular times that customers call after seeing your listing.

The last section of your Google Business Profileis where you can see the data from your customers’ interactions with your images. You can find out which of your business’ photos are being viewed and how often they are being viewed. You will find this information on the “Photo Views” and “Photo Quantity” graphs. Further, the graphs show you lines that indicate how your business’s photos are doing in comparison to your competitor’s photos. Other sections in the Photos category include Total Owner Photos, Owner Photo Views, Total Customer Photos, and Customer Photo Views.

Need Help Starting or Optimizing Your Google Business Profile Listing? We Can Help!

Creating and managing your Google Business Profile listing can be a lot of work. Here at Uptick, we have a roster of experts in the field. Contact us today to set up a meeting and find how we can help you increase your online presence!

About Lance

For nearly a decade, Lance has worked with Uptick in search engine optimization in some capacity, initially building our SEO department from the ground up. His expertise in the world of optimization makes him the ideal person to keep Uptick on the cutting edge of the ever-evolving SEO sphere. A graduate of Samford University, Lance is a member of Samford University’s Entrepreneurship, Management, and Marketing Advisory Board, creating the university’s first digital marketing course. He has spoken at the Birmingham chapter of the American Marketing Association, co-hosted ‘Grow With Google’ small business events, and presented to the Birmingham and Huntsville chapters of the Public Relations Council of Alabama. Currently, he spearheads Uptick’s SEO sales, business development, and overall strategies.

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