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9 ways to maximise your Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile displays your business information on maps, in search results, and gives your business relevance, proximity and prominence online. It is an important tool that you need to manage so that it works for you, not against you.

Did you know: 

As with everything, the Google Business Profile functionality changes regularly, so we have pulled together nine simple ways you can boost your marketing and increase your sales!  

1: Take ownership of your account

Search for your business on Google Maps to see if it is there. If it is, then click on ‘manage this listing’ to access it. If not, it is easy to set up yourself. You will need to sign in with a Google account. You should try not to use a personal Google account, instead you should create a dedicated Google Account for your business. This is useful if you need to give other colleagues access to your Google Business Profile.

Once you have signed in, Google Business Profile will ask you to input basic information about your business including your business name, business type, location and contact details . You must then verify your business which can be done via phone, text, email or video. A code will be sent to your chosen method of verification.

Google Business Profile will often review the information you have inputted to maintain the integrity of business profiles.  Once your address is verified, log back in and continue with your set up. 

It can take up to 7 business days for Google to verify your business and a few weeks for the updated business information to be displayed on Google.

Make sure your business name, address and contact details are all formatted EXACTLY the same (including punctuation, abbreviation and spacing) across all platforms – Google, Bing, Yelp, Yahoo, Facebook, website, Instagram, LinkedIn etc so that Google can help your customers to find you more easily.

Learn more: Find your business on Google – Google Business Profile Help  

Learn more: Get started with Google Business Profile – Google Business Profile Help 

2: Actively manage your Google Business information

Make your business description work for you. Use the full 750 characters. Describe your business and its services/products in an engaging and authentic way – be honest, show your personality and let your brand shine through. Ensure your information, including opening hours, are accurate, comprehensive and up to date. Update your “LGBTQ-friendly” and “Transgender Safe Space” attributes to your Google Business profile, which will appear on a business’ Google listing on Maps and Search.

Check your information regularly (more than once per year!) Select the most relevant and accurate categories, but don’t select too many as it will work against you. 

 Make sure you mention the location where you operate in the description, but don’t clutter it up with offers.

Learn more: Edit your business info – Google Business Profile Help 

3: Add inspiring images

Include more images that just a logo, to give potential customers a sense of what your business actually does. Make sure you update your images regularly. Aim to include 12 images as a minimum: 

Encourage customers to post their own images – they will show up. Images from other people add value to your listing.

Learn more: Manage photos or videos for you Business Profile – Google Business Profile Help  

4: Collect and manage Google Reviews

According to Google (2022), 87% of consumers turn to Google Reviews to check out local businesses,a 6% rise from 2021 – so reviews are highly influential. Your business should make a point of always responding to reviews – both positive and negative. Responding shows that you care and want to connect with your customers. Always thank the person for their review, after all they have taken the time to write it. Be careful responding to negative reviews.

Listen to the feedback you get in reviews. It’s a valuable tool to find out what customers value in your business, and for sourcing ideas to make improvements to your business.

Take conversations offline, if possible, by asking the complainant to contact your business by phone or email. Report fake reviews, and block those that are malicious. If your business also features on Trip Advisor reviews, try to maintain and equal number of Google reviews by asking your customers to add a Google Review 

Learn more: How to read and reply to reviews on Google – Google Business Profile Help 

Learn more:  Remove reviews from your Business Profile on Google – Google Business Profile Help  

5: Utilise the ‘Chat’ function

By turning on the Chat function, your customers can get in contact with your Business Profile on Google. You can answer questions in real time to resolve customer queries in a simple and straightforward way. Once you turn on the ‘Chat’ function, customers will find a chat function on your Business Profile and be able to message you at any time. You are then able to reply to messages and answer the question for the customer.

Ensure you respond promptly to ‘Chat’ messages. Try to respond within 24 hours. This can promote trust and encourage engagement with your business.

Messages will appear on your Business Profile meaning that the messages are visible to the public when they search for your business. This allows for others with the same question to be able to also view your response.

Learn more: How to read and reply to messages from your Business Profile – Google Business Profile Help 

6: Create Google business posts

These are like mini free advertisements where you can feature offers, events and products. They are designed for non-accommodation businesses (accommodation businesses cannot use this function). These impact rankings for your business listing so the key is to add new posts often – eg weekly. You could set up a regular calendar reminder to do this. Posts show up front and centre in the business ‘Knowledge’ panel that pops up when people search. They expand into an ‘advert-like’ box that grabs attention. Include a Call to Action; eg Learn More, Call Now, Book Now, Sign Up, etc and link it back to your website, phone number, etc. 

Learn more: How to make a post and track its status for your Business Profile – Google Business Profile Help

7: Create your Google product catalogue

This creates a highlights reel of your products, experiences or set price services. Include high quality enticing images, add a brief product description (it only shows about 15 characters on the main page), include pricing and link it back to your online store. You can create separate categories for different types of products. 

Keep the prices up to date – make sure you create a calendar reminder to check them regularly.

Learn more: About Product Editor & Product Catalog – Google Business Profile Help 

8: Use Google insights

There are some great reports to tell you how customers find your business, and what they do once they get there. See what is working well and what you can improve on. 

Learn more: Use Insights – Google Business Profile Help 

9: Add Google Reserve

If you already have a Booking Service Provider approved by Google for your events, activities or reservations, you can integrate a customer bookings function into your listing. This will display as a blue ‘buy’ button on the listing. 

Some booking services are free, some charge fees. Your reservation system can advise.

Learn more: Partners (google.com) 

Content published January 2024

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