People go to Google for answers. Accurate and helpful answers.

The best this, the closest that.

Sure, Google is manic and mysterious, but it does make it free and fairly easy for a business to at least make its mark online.

What a Google Business Profile Is

Google’s Business Profile service is the world’s largest directory of local businesses.

More than a mere directory, its data is tied into Google’s many ecosystems—from search results to recommendations.

Reviews influence your SEO and site rankings, and SEO in turn influences your Google Business Profile.

Better profiles are served up to users vastly more times than bad or poor profiles are.

Why Optimization and Updates Matter

Ken Bosan, Chief Strategy Officer at Studio 3 Marketing, recently did an analysis of Google Business Profiles and their impact on website traffic, search rankings, and client conversion rates.

His analysis is unique in that data from Studio 3’s several hundred clients can be compared and cross-referenced.

This bird’s eye view has allowed Studio 3 Marketing to speculate, measure, and AB test various changes.

Based on that analysis, here are many of the most important parts of optimizing and improving your Google Business Profile:

1. Data Entry

Fill out every field available to you in your Google Business Profile. As simple as this sounds, it’s easy to overlook, and very important.

These fields range from your business name, address, and phone number, to your hours of operation, and the list of services you offer.

List both the “primary category” of your business, as well as any other “additional categories” that align with what you do.

The more complete and accurate you are with this information, the better. It is a ranking factor that may determine where and when you show up in local queries related to your business, according to Google.

Obsess over it. Invest time into it. Get it Google-verified.

Six out of 10 people will click the “Call” button on your GMB profile right from their cell phone.

One study suggests that GMB profiles considered “complete” get seven times more clicks from users than incomplete profiles do.

Visit your profile frequently and look for improvement opportunities: new data types are accommodated frequently.

Add links to each of your social media profiles, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and TikTok. (An option Google made available four months ago, in August of this year.)

2. Reviews

Encourage your clients or past customers to leave positive reviews of your work.

If you offer on-site services, ask clients to write their review elsewhere, such as when they return home.

Your Google Business Profile provides a link you can copy and include in outgoing emails, asking for reviews.

More than 70 percent of visitors to your Google Business Profile are strongly influenced by the presence of positive reviews.

Regularly respond to reviews left about your business. A simple “Thank you for your kind words and review,” is professionally acceptable, though adding a more personal touch may be best.

Respond to reviews in alignment to your brand and core values

And ignore the urge to stuff your response with so-called “keywords”, if you’ve ever been advised to.

(Ergo, never write this in a response to a Google review: “Thank you for your review of our Best Law Firm NYC. Our Top Truck Accident Attorney New York was honored to work on your personal injury new york city lawsuit and we pride ourselves…..”) Yikes!

3. Integration and analytics

Your Google Business Profile includes links to your website and more. Adding “markup” to each of these links will allow you to see the volume and percent of traffic your website is receiving via your GMB.

4. Updates

Treat your Google Business Profile as a (perhaps more professional) form of social media.

While dances are best left to TikTok, professional and informational company updates should be frequently added to your Google Business Profile.

These updates can range from changes in your hours of operation, to deals or discounts or season’s greetings, new services you’re offering, and much more.

In addition to updates about your business, you should also add new images to your photo library regularly.

Business Updates are served separately from photos.

Core takeaway

Google Business Profiles are powerful.

They’re often overlooked.

And time spent completing, updating, and optimizing them is time very well spent.

Should you have any specific questions, please feel free to reach out to your Digital Marketing Manager.

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