If you want to win in business you have to do more and be more efficient than your competitors. This is no different on the internet. 

GBP (Google Business Profile) is simultaneously one of the most valuable and overlooked tools a local business has. Knowing how to fill it out correctly can give you a competitive advantage and put you in a position to be seen when people search for your products or services on the internet. If you have a local business, optimizing your GBP is the single best thing you can do for organic search.

Should You Even Have A GBP?

The 1st thing to determine before setting up a GBP is if you should actually set one up. Many people believe that you should set up a GBP for any business but this is not true. 

GBPs are for LOCAL BUSINESSES only!

They are not for e-commerce, national, or international businesses. Many people still set one up to try and get more attention but it can actually do more harm than good sometimes because Google sees you as untrustworthy. 

 

The #1 Rule When Filling Out Your GBP

Fill out EVERY section that is relevant to your business!!!!

Most businesses will start a GBP with the bare minimum information and then wonder why they are not showing up in searches. It is Google’s job to provide the most benefit possible to someone searching for a product or service. If you have more information than your competitors and do a better job of saying what you do and who you are there is a better chance Google will recommend you to the people searching for what you do.

 

Business name – Input your EXACT company name

When you input your company name make sure it is your actual company name that is on your website, vehicles, business cards, etc… A lot of people will add in keywords/search terms because they think it will make them rank higher but what it really does is put you at risk to get your profile suspended and not show up at all in Google Search.

Main Business Category – Google allows one main business category and up to 9 sub-categories. 

Choosing the right business category and subcategories on your Google Business Profile is important because it helps customers find your business online and learn more about what you offer. Here are some considerations and best practices to keep in mind when selecting your business categories:

  • Choose the most relevant categories: Make sure to choose categories that accurately reflect the main products or services you offer. Avoid selecting categories that are not related to your business, as this can confuse customers and hurt your online visibility.
  • Use specific subcategories: When possible, select subcategories that provide more detail about your business. For example, if you’re a restaurant, you might choose subcategories like “Italian restaurant” or “pizza restaurant” instead of just “restaurant.”
  • Don’t overdo it: Avoid selecting too many categories or subcategories. Stick to the ones that are most relevant to your business and provide the most value to potential customers.
  • Keep it consistent: Make sure the categories and subcategories you choose are consistent with the information on your website and other online listings. This helps build trust with customers and improves your overall online presence.
  • Update as needed: Your business may change over time, so make sure to review and update your categories and subcategories periodically to ensure they still accurately reflect your business.

Overall, choosing the right categories and subcategories on your Google Business Profile is an important part of optimizing your online presence and helping potential customers find your business.

Business Description

Things to consider when filling out your business description

  • Be concise and clear: Your business description should be brief, yet informative. Use clear language and avoid jargon or buzzwords that may confuse potential customers.
  • Highlight your unique selling proposition: What sets your business apart from the competition? Make sure to showcase your strengths and what makes you stand out.
  • Focus on benefits: Instead of just listing features, emphasize the benefits of your products or services. How will they solve the customer’s problem or make their life easier?
  • Use keywords: Use relevant keywords that potential customers may search for when looking for businesses like yours. This can help your business show up in search results.
  • Consider your target audience: Think about who your ideal customer is and tailor your language and tone accordingly. Are you targeting young adults or families? Is your business more formal or casual?
  • Extra Tip: This is not the place to talk about sales or post links. You are simply telling people who you are, what you do, and why they should buy from you without “selling” or “spamming” people.

Opening Date

  • Enter the date your company opened for business. 
  • Make sure this is consistent across the internet as you don’t want Google to think you are being dishonest for any reason.

Phone Number

If you only serve your local area you should use a local number as opposed to a toll-free number. Seeing a local builds trust with both your potential customers and with Google. 

Google phone numbers are in the following format (555) 555-5555. This is the format your phone # should be anywhere on the internet, including your website and social profiles. It’s not always possible but use this format whenever you can.

Website

Enter your website in this format  – https://yourwebsite.com

Location And Areas

How you list your address/service areas will depend on your business type. Read the descriptions below to determine how to classify your business. It’s important to represent your business correctly to avoid having your profile suspended by Google. 

Storefront, Service Area, Or Hybrid?

Storefront Business

This type of business has a physical location that customers can visit, such as a retail store or restaurant. Customers can come to the business’s physical location to make purchases or receive services.

Service Area Business

This type of business does not have a physical location that customers can visit. Instead, the business provides services to customers at their location, such as a plumbing or cleaning service.

Hybrid Business

This type of business has both a physical location that customers can visit and also provides services at the customer’s location. For example, a salon or spa may have a physical location where customers can come for services, but may also offer mobile services to clients at their location.

What to do for each type of business

Storefront business – Enter your address in the address field

Service Area Business – Do not enter your physical address and enter your service area instead. Service areas can be selected by choosing geographic locations such as counties, and cities. The general rule of thumb is that your service area should not extend more than 2 hrs driving distance from your main location.

Hybrid Business Enter both your physical address and your service area.

Business hours

Your business hours should reflect your ACTUAL business hours. Don’t add extra hours or say you are open 24 hours just to try and increase your visibility. Most of the time not accurately representing your business will lead to less leads and possibly even suspension of your GBP.

Holiday Hours

In this section, you can state whether or not you are open during specific holidays.

Add More Hours

This is where you can add any special hours such as “happy hour” for a bar or “senior hours” at an event center.

More

This section is to provide any additional information that is relevant to your business. Go through each section below on your GBP and select anything that is relevant to your business. 

  • From the business
  • Accessibility 
  • Amenities
  • Croud 
  • Planning
  • Service options

Photos

Photos are a very important part of your GBP profile and should not be overlooked.

Photos for a storefront

There are a few photos you will want for any storefront business. These include:

  • Outside of the business – be sure to include any direction a customer will approach and see your business from
  • Inside of the business
  • “Shelvies” (photos of your products on the shelves)
  • Team photos

 

Photos for a “service area” business

  • Team photos
  • Action photos of your employees performing the service or showing the product you offer
  • Branded business vehicles
  • Showcase your service solving the problem or filling the need it is meant to.

 

Photos for a hybrid business

For a hybrid business you will need a mix of the 2 above. You need location photos inside and outside of your business as well as location and action photos while you are on location.

List services and descriptions

This is one of the most overlooked aspects GBP for service based business. For that reason it can be one of your biggest advantages if you do it properly.

Let’s use a plumber as an example:

The main category is a plumber but there are many services such as removing clogs, repairing pipes, septic, and more. 

What to do:

  • List all of your services
  • Add full descriptions of each service

 

What not to do:

  • Don’t get “creative.” More is not better. Google has thousands of other references of businesses like yours and will know if you are “stretching the truth.” 
  • Don’t sell your services. It’s ok, and even encouraged to say what makes your service different because this applies to the actual service provided. What is not ok is to promote a sale or cross-promote other services.

Add Products

You can now add products directly to your GBP so customers see them in Google search. This eliminates a full step in the buying process. And makes your business seem more legitimate.

To add a product just click on “edit products” within your GBP profile

Just fill out the information in the photo below and you will have an active product on Google that links back to your site so they can make that purchase.

Bookings

Within the Bookings section you can link to a 3rd party where customers can book an appointment, place an order, or make a reservation. 

This section does not allow people to do these things directly from Google. It is only to link to a 3rd party service you are already using.

Updates

Just because you are done filling out your GBP does not mean you are done. Google gives you the opportunity to update people on changes and opportunities within your company. USE IT!

You have 3 options within updates:

  1. Add Update
  2. Add Offer
  3. Add Event

At the very least you will want to post to your GBP once a month. This is something most of your competitors will not do and it is something that Google loves. In the world of search that is what we call a competitive advantage.