Google Business Profile: The Ultimate Guide to Optimise Your GMB

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You can use this guide to optimise your Google Business Profile (previously GMB) for better search visibility on relevant queries by local customers.

google business profile for marketing

Google Business Profile is a free feature of Google that allows business owners to manage their online presence through a portfolio of search engines and an ever-growing utility that includes Google Maps. Experienced SEO professionals use Google Business Profiles to leverage location-based strategies.

Creating a Google Business Profile is the first step to a successful local search. And for good reason, GBP offers the greatest impact for brands seeking local exposure. A feature like Google’s Local Search emphasises the need for a GBP for both new and established businesses.

1. The Basics for Google Business Profiles

It provides a list of nearby businesses and much of the information needed to find a specific business such as:

  • Business address.
  • Business hours.
  • Category.
  • Reviews.

Local SEO for Google Business Profile

Google Knowledge Graph also uses verified information from the Google Business Profile.  It helps to generate insights for a database of companies and related entities relevant to specific searches.

When a new profile is created, a location on Google Maps is created. This syncs with traditional Google Search for easy access and search. It certainly helps that the majority of organic searches come from Google – around 90% of the global search engine market share. It also shows the value of an effective GBP and local SEO.

Use this guide to make sure you’ve completed your Google Business Profile correctly and optimise every possible aspect of the tool. It will also give your business the best performance across Google and third-party platforms that use the Google Maps API to generate location information for users.

If digital marketing is a bit new to you and your business, there are some basics you need to know. And it’s good to understand Google Business Profiles and the value they offer. First off: Yes, using Google Business Profile is free. And, no, a GBP doesn’t replace your business’s website.

Google Business Profiles complement a brand’s already-existing websites by giving it a public identity and presence with a profile on Google. Information provided on a company through Google Business Profiles may appear in Google Search and Google Maps.

Any third-party platforms that use the Google Maps API will also display your Google Business Profile, regardless of the device type used for your search. If you’ve previously used certain Google tools to complement your business (Google+, for example), or your business has been operating for a while, chances are your business is already listed on Google Business Profiles.

Google My Business, Google Places for Business, and the Google+ Pages Dashboard were the best ways to manage your business information previously. These have been automatically updated to Google Business Profile, Google’s universal platform.

2. Set Up Your Google Business Profile

The first step to getting your Google Business Profile up and running is to do a Google search to make sure your business isn’t there yet. You can also use Google’s in-platform search feature to locate your business on GBP.

Find - Google - Business - Profile

If your business has been around for a while (several years or more), chances are it already has some GBP and you just need to claim it.

Once successfully claimed, you can manage the information as if you started GBP yourself. You will be notified if your business profile already exists. You may also be notified that someone else is already claiming your business.

If that happens, follow the steps on Google Business Profile help.

If your business profile hasn’t been created yet, you can set it up pretty quickly. Verification takes a little longer but can usually be completed within a week. Start with the official business name before entering any more important information. Then enter the main business categories.

Start to Build Google Business Profile

You can change and add to this later, but this is a critical part of completing (and optimising) your brand page.

Try to find the best category for your business. There are many variations to choose from, but there should be at least one that best summarises your business. Then you will be asked if you want to add a place for the customer to visit, for example, a shop or an office.

This is valuable information as many companies operate as a service business and do not need/allow customers in physical stores. In such cases, the specific location of your company will not appear on Google Maps. However, the company will still appear in the Services section of the relevant search.

However, the business will still show up for relevant searches in its service area.

Location for Google Business Profile

If you are a business that operates in a particular service area and you do not want to see the actual physical location on the map, select one or more service areas that belong to that business.

Customer services for Google Business Profile

You can then add contact information for the business, including the contact phone number and the current website URL. For businesses with that brick-and-mortar location that people can go to during business hours, you should add the business address next.

Address for your Google Business Profile

Once the address is set, Google Business Profile will ask if you “also service customers outside this location?” It allows you to determine where and how far your business is physically willing to travel to deliver goods or services. If yes, you will be able to browse the business details of the same service area.

You can add or change service area details at any time. If you do not want to service customers outside the store, select No and enter your contact information at the following prompt.

Add contact Info on GBP
After that, you can then click Next to verify the profile.

3. Verify Your Google Business Profile 

You need to verify your Google Business Profile. This is done via postcard by mail, which takes up to five business days. It proves to Google that you can manage and actually represent the business you claim.

Verifying your business is important for profile visibility and performance. It’s important to know that Google won’t show your business or its edit, until your business is verified.

Without verification, you cannot access page insights/analytical information or business reviews from the back end. Verification typically takes less than a week.

Google will send you a verification code postcard that you will use to verify your profile, and your business will officially be live.

After you confirm the verification method, you can add additional details about your business, including business hours, business messaging options, a business description and photos.

4. Publish Your Google Business Profile

After completing this process, you will be redirected to Google Business Profile Manager, where you can manage your business profile and change details. Here are some basic but important tips for optimising your GBP listing:

  • Enter complete data for your profile

Local search results prioritise the results that are most relevant to your search. Businesses that provide the most detailed and accurate information can easily serve when searching.

Don’t leave anything to be guessed or assumed!

Make sure your profile communicates what your business does, where it is and how they can acquire the goods and/or services your business is offering.

  • Include your keywords

Just like traditional website SEO, Google serves search results based on a variety of signals.

Including important keywords and search phrases in your business profile is incredibly useful, especially since your business website is correctly listed in your GBP.

Use these in your business description and whenever you publish a local post for your audience.

  • Make sure business hours are accurate

It’s important to put your business hours but it’s also important to update when it changes. Google offers the ability to customise hours for holidays and other special events.

You need to constantly update your site to keep it accurate and satisfy your users. And in the era of COVID-19, GBP offers even more flexibility in terms of business hours and messages to potential customers.

  • Add photos

Photos help your business profile perform better than most business owners and marketers probably understand.

According to Google, businesses with photos on their profile has 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks on their website than companies without photos. doing.

  • Manage & Respond Your Customer Reviews

Replying to reviews and interacting with customers shows that your business values ​​the customers and the feedback they leave about them.

Positive reviews have a positive impact when potential customers investigate your business. They also increase your business’s visibility in search results.

Encourage your customers to leave feedback by creating a link that you can click to write a business review.

  • Let your customers message you

It can be a bit inconvenient at times but messages to and from customers are only available through the Google Business Profile app.

To do this, tap Customers> Messages> Activate from App.

When enabled, customers can use the Message button that appears to send a message to their business through their business profile.

The message can include an automated response customised to welcome the customer to the incoming message. This contributes to the responsiveness and visibility of the company as the response time is less affected.

For maximum performance and visibility through the GBP, it’s critical to keep message response time under 24 hours.

But obviously faster is better.

Customers don’t want to wait for answers and oftentimes a fast answer is the difference between a customer and a non-customer.

  • Use local posts

You can publish offers, events, products and services directly to Google Search and Maps through posts to your Google Business Profile.

Posts let you engage with your audience and keep your presence fresh on Google. They can also send from their mobile phone, tablet, or computer on the go.

Businesses can also influence the breakout of their knowledge panel with direct feedback about their business and the people they represent.

Some Google-provided tips for making the most out of Local Posts are: Make sure each post is high-quality – free of spelling errors, broken characters, gibberish, or useless information. And they should be respectful and non-offensive.

The best posts include images and links but the links should always go to trusted sites. Not allowed for links that lead to malware, viruses, phishing or pornography.

You can use posts in posts from businesses that handle regulated products and services but you cannot post content related to the product itself.

These industries typically include:

  1. Adult services.
  2. Alcohol and tobacco.
  3. Pharmaceutical products and recreational drugs.
  4. Health and medical devices.
  5. Gambling-related services.
  6. Fireworks.
  7. Weapons.
  8. Financial services.
  • Stay connected during COVID-19

This year has brought us many surprises. The biggest is COVID-19, the madness that COVID-19 has left (and continues to keep) after.

If a store operates unusually due to COVID-19 restrictions, regulations, or safety guidelines, companies can update their profile to GBP to provide their customers with the most accurate information.

Recently added features make it easier to communicate with current and potential customers during a pandemic.

In addition to customisable business hours and Local Posts, a business can:

  1. Mark store temporarily closed.
  2. Manage delivery options.
  3. Add healthy and safety attributes.
  • Use the Special Attributes

A new feature in GBP allows you to list black-owned or women-led businesses in your profile. These also allow for other features like outdoor seating and the like.

If your business is related to health care, additional attributes may be available, such as:

  1. Inform customers whether your business offers online care.
  2. Provide customers with a direct method to schedule and receive online care.
  3. Edit your gender information.

The attributes available to your listing depend on its primary category. Learn more about attributes here.

  • Use the Product Catalog

For merchants with products to showcase, GBP’s Product Editor allows you to do just that.

Most types of businesses are eligible to display their products as long as they are small businesses, medium-sized businesses; and a few business verticals. Large companies need to use local inventory displays to showcase their products.

Offering information about products, including pricing, details, and photos, allows customers to get a better idea of the products offered and interact more with businesses.

These product insights also help Google better understand the business.

5. Add Photos & Videos to Your Google Business Profiles

The most important piece of imagery for a GBP is obviously the logo.

Probably no image will attract attention or have an impact. Google encourages businesses to use a logo so that customers can identify your business with a square image.

Other types of digital assets that should be added to your GBP are:

Cover Photo

Show off your brand page’s personality with your cover photo.

The cover photo is the large photo featured at the top of the brand’s business profile so it will always be cropped to fit a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Interior Photos

This helps customers better understand the business’s in-store experience. It allows business executives to share the inside look of the company so make a good impression!

It also lets potential customers get a visual idea of the store, its layout, and any potential limitations it may have.


Videos are one of the most popular media forms on the web.

This is because they are extremely good at telling a story and/or explaining something that can be difficult to explain.

Additional Photos

Other kinds of photos are used to spotlight features of your business that customers consider when making purchasing decisions.

These photos will differ from the above-mentioned rich media and are dependent on the kind of business you manage.

They can be:

  • Goods and/or services your business offers.
  • Business staff working and/or assisting customers.
  • The exterior of the business and available parking.

All photos should be taken according to Google’s best practices:

  • Format: JPG or PNG
  • Size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB
  • Minimum resolution: 720 px tall, 720 px wide
  • Quality: The photo should be in focus and well-lit, and have no alterations or excessive use of filters. The image should represent reality.

Google also offers the possibility of virtual tours. This will further increase your brand profile awareness. It can also increase traffic to your business with a 360-degree interactive experience.

6. Monitor the Insights from Your Google Business Profile

Measure your efforts

Over the last several years, Google has made great strides in the analytical data available in Google Business Profiles.

Now called Insights, Google offers another way for businesses to understand how their customers interact with their business profiles, including:

  • How customers find your business profile.
  • Where customers find you on Google search.
  • Customer actions.
  • Direction requests.
  • Phone calls.

How Customers Find Your Business Profile

This Insights section shows how customers find you in “Direct” search (they search for your business name or address) versus “Discover” search (they search for categories, products, or services that you offer and your profile appeared.

These sections have the following labels in large quantity ideas reports:

  • Total searches.
  • Direct searches.
  • Discovery searches.

Where Customers Find You On Google Search and Maps

This shows how many customers have found you through Google Search or Google Maps.

Besides Listing on Search and Listing on Maps, you’ll see the number of views your profile received from each product in the timeframe you’ve selected.

According to Google, “views” are like “impressions” on other analytics platforms. To see how many people found you on a particular product on a particular day, place your cursor over the appropriate segment of the graph on the day you’re interested.

These sections have the following labels in large quantity ideas reports:

  • Total views.
  • Search views.
  • Maps views.

Customer Actions

This section shows what customers did after they found your profile on Google.

Total actions give the total of the following types of actions that customers took on your profile:

  • Visit your website.
  • Request directions.
  • Call you.
  • View photos.

The following labels are available as reports in this reporting section:

  • Total actions.
  • Website actions.
  • Directions actions.
  • Phone call actions.
  • Direction requests.

This part of Insights uses a map to show where people are that are requesting directions to your business.

Your business’s location is identified on the map, and some of the most common places people ask for directions to your business are displayed. It even breaks down the total number of directions requests by city or neighborhood.

Phone Calls

This section shows when and how often customers call your business from your Google profile. At the top of the section, Total Calls shows the total number of calls for the selected time period.

The graph offers the ability to view trends by phone calls by either day of the week or time of day.

This lets marketers and business operators know when customers are most likely to call after seeing your GBP.


Finally, GBP allows you to see how often your company’s photos appear in the Photo View Chart and Photo Quantity Chart. The chart also has a line that compares your business’s photo data with the photo data of other similar businesses.

Section of this reporting component includes bulk insights for:

  • Total owner photos.
  • Owner photo views.
  • Total customer photos.
  • Customer photo views.

Final takeaways

Just like any SEO strategy, your Google Business Profile strategy should center around providing as much quality information about your business as possible, not just in your Business Profile but in the sources that Google uses to populate it—your website, review site profiles and even your social media accounts.

No one really knows all the 200 ranking factors Google uses but we do know their ultimate goal: to connect searchers to the best business for their needs through detailed, trusted information. So focus on using your Google Business Profile dashboard to get your Business Profile to represent your business as accurately and thoroughly as possible.

It’s not a one-time thing, though. You also need to maintain your GBP in order to really reap the benefits.

How we can help

Now that you see that optimising your Google Business Profile is the key to getting found in local search, standing out above competitors, and winning customers online, it’s time to get to work on doing just that.

It is however understandable that as business owners, it may be too overwhelming for you to do these, all while running the storefront on a day-to-day basis. So why not reach out to our web experts for help?

Save your time with our Google My Business Management service. When you use our GMB management service, your professional, dedicated Project Manager will continuously monitor the search results in the fight against spam tactics. We will open up new ranking opportunities for your business and give your listing the chance to rank higher by removing competitors that hold top ranking positions.  We will also take care of your Google My Business profile, maintain its reputation and handle all the posting. Get in touch with us today to save time and skyrocket your presence on Google.

To find out how we can help you with your Website + Marketing, using our unique location marketing platform called Top4, get in touch today at

Looking to build customer loyalty through social media? Don’t forget to add your business to

List your business, create your own digital store to sell goods and services, and share posts on social media. Promote your business on Google instantly! Should you need help with local digital marketing then view our new Google Marketing Platform and services Top4 Marketing

Get Found On Google Promote Your Website, Reach local customers today!

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