Our Google Business Profile Checklist is your must-have resource for optimizing this free and easy tool to boost your business’s online presence.
Even if you don’t have an in-depth understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), odds are that you’ve at least heard of it. It’s no secret that Google is a huge piece of the puzzle that is your online presence. But there’s one essential tool that often gets underutilized in SEO strategy — the Google Business Profile (GBP).
This powerful feature not only puts your business on the map (literally) but also significantly impacts your search engine rankings. In this Google Business Profile checklist, we’ll walk you through the steps to claim, optimize and make the most out of your GBP.
Step 1: Claim or Create Your Google Business Profile Listing
The first step is the most important. If you haven’t already, head over to Google Business Profile and follow the instructions to either claim your existing listing or create an entirely new one.
You may have an existing listing even if you haven’t created one for your business yet. Google auto-generates and updates business profiles based on your website and user feedback. If that’s the case, you have an unverified, unmanaged business listing out there that can do more harm than good.
Step 2: Verify Your Google Business Profile Listing
Once you claim or create your listing, it’s time to verify your ownership. This step ensures that you are who you say you are and that you have the authority to manage the profile. You wouldn’t want just anyone to be able to claim your business profile, after all.
Typically, Google will send a postcard to your business address with a verification code. There are a few — more uncommon — verification methods, like phone calls. Once you get your code, you’ll log back into your Google Business Profile account and complete the verification process.
Step 3: Optimize Your Profile
Now that you’ve claimed and verified your Google Business Profile, it’s time to fine-tune it for maximum impact. Think of your profile as your digital storefront; the more inviting and informative it is, the more likely potential customers are to step inside.
Here are some key strategies you can use to drive more online engagement and boost your search rankings.
- Name: This one may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure your business name appears exactly the same on every platform, including your website, social media and GBP. For example, if your website says “Infomedia,” don’t put “Infomedia, Inc.” on your GBP.
- Address: Ensure your business address is accurate and matches your website and social media platforms. Consistency is key for trust and credibility with both search engines and potential customers.
- Hours: Double-check that your operating hours are correct, especially during holidays or special events. You don’t want your potential customers to drive all the way to your business only to find out you’re closed, and your GBP was wrong.
- Website: Provide a direct link to your website to encourage visitors and engagement. Not only does this benefit your website’s traffic, but it also shows Google that your business is legitimate and established.
- Contact Information: Include a phone number and email address where customers can reach you directly. This builds trust and demonstrates your commitment to customer service.
- Business Category: Select the most relevant category that accurately represents your business. Choosing the right category ensures that your business appears in the right searches, increasing the likelihood of attracting the right audience.
When creating your business description, you want to find a compelling message that effectively communicates what your business is about. Highlight key services or products to help potential customers clearly understand what you offer. A well-crafted description sets the tone for your business and can motivate potential customers to learn more.
A picture is worth a thousand words. We’ve all heard it, and that’s because the right content helps you tell the right story. Be sure to upload high-quality photos and videos that showcase your products, services and the overall tone of your business. Great content allows potential customers to get a glimpse of what they can expect when they visit or engage with your business.
Next, you want to detail your specific services or products. This section is especially useful for businesses like restaurants, salons or stores with a range of offerings. By providing detailed information about what you do, you’re helping potential customers understand what sets you apart from the competition.
Google Business Profiles include a section for Q&As. Users usually submit questions like, “Is outdoor seating available?” or “What is the parking situation like?” While anyone, including other users, can answer these questions, you want to promptly respond to any questions from your business’s GBP account. It signals to Google that your business is active and engaged. Q&As also provide an opportunity to build trust with your audience and provide quick, easy-to-find answers to common questions.
Step 4: Update Frequently
Regularly publishing Google Posts with updates, promotions, or events keeps your profile fresh and engaging. It also helps improve your visibility in local search results. By consistently providing new information, you demonstrate to both potential customers and search engines that your business is active and relevant.
Step 5: Manage Reviews
Engage with your customers by responding to reviews, both positive and negative. Review management not only shows that you value customer feedback but also enhances your online reputation. A thoughtful and prompt response to reviews indicates a strong commitment to customer satisfaction — allowing you to turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Are You Ready to Maximize Your Online Presence With Our Google Business Profile Checklist?
By following this Google Business Profile checklist, you’re taking a significant step toward improving your online visibility and search engine rankings. Remember, an optimized profile helps potential customers find you and sets a positive first impression. If you need some help or even just more information, reach out to us. We’re here to help you make the most out of your online presence!