Do you have a new business and are ready to optimize your Google My Business listing? Or perhaps, you’ve had your business for a while, but somehow forgot about optimizing your GMB profile. Regardless of your situation, we have you covered!
Having a complete GMB profile can help potential customers learn more about your business, your location and when they can visit you—all of this without even having to click on your website.
According to Google, “Local results favor the most relevant results for each search, and businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches.”
Ready to make the most out of your GMB listing? Follow these fifteen easy steps to fully optimize your Google My Business profile and start generating more local leads for your small business.
A few things to know before getting started:
- Go to https://business.google.com/
- Select the location you want to optimize
- Click on “Info”
- All fields can be edited by clicking the pencil icon
- Once you enter new information, it will be reviewed by Google and it can take up to 3 days for updates to be published
Table of contents
- Step 1: Add your business name
- Step 2: Categories
- Step 3: Address
- Step 4: Add service area
- Step 5: Hours of operation
- Step 6: Add special hours
- Step 7: Phone number
- Step 8: Short name
- Step 9: Website
- Step 10: Appointment links
- Step 11: Services
- Step 12: Highlights
- Step 13: Business description
- Step 14: Opening date
- Step 15: Add photos
🏢 1: Add your business name
This is where your business name should be listed. Make sure that your business name is entered correctly and that it matches your website and citations. Don’t worry about trying to optimize your name by adding keywords or location modifiers. You’ll get an opportunity to do this as you continue to optimize your Google My Business profile.
For example, if you own a Crumbl cookies location in Scottsdale, there’s no need to add “Scottsdale” in the name field. You can include your city in the address field.
Listing your correct business name will help you get better results and avoid any confusion or getting penalized by Google.
🏷️ 2: Categories
Categories help people understand what your business is, not what it does or sells. For example, a marketing agency would select “marketing agency” instead of adding “social media” as a category. Social media would be included as a service in the Services section.
Make sure that your primary category (the first category you select) is the one that best describes your business.
🗺️ 3: Address
List your correct address and double-check to make sure it matches the address on your website. If you have your business’ address on Facebook, check that as well to make sure it all matches.
Don’t forget to enter your suite number to make it easier for potential customers to find your location since most users will use this address to navigate there.
📍 4: Add service area
Does your business provide deliveries or services? If you provide services such as plumbing or carpet-cleaning, search for and select the areas served by your business.
Brick and mortar businesses that do not deliver or provide services by visiting the customers’ location should leave this field blank.
🕒 5: Hours of operation
Have you ever gone to a coffee shop, excited to get your favorite latte, only to find that they’re closed? No worries, it has happened to the best of us!
Adding your hours of operation to your Google My Business profile is really important to make sure your customers are able to successfully get what they need from your business.
Make sure the hours of operation are up-to-date, listed correctly, and match the hours listed on your website for consistency.
🏖️ 6: Add special hours
Enter the holidays or days when your business is closed or has an irregular schedule. The following dates are usually marked as closed for most businesses:
- Memorial Day (May 25, 2020)
- Fourth of July
- Labor Day (September 7, 2020)
- Thanksgiving (November 26, 2020)
If your company does open for half a day on Thanksgiving, for example, you can include those specific hours on there as well. To ensure special opening hours show up on time, add them to your GMB profile at least seven days in advance.
📞 7: Phone number
If your business practices call tracking, enter the number assigned to your Google My Business profile as the primary phone number in the first phone field. This is the number that will be visible in your profile.
Click to add a second phone number and enter your business’ actual local phone number so it matches your website and citations.
🔎 8: Short name
Adding a short name makes it easier for customers to find your business on Maps and Search.
To add a short name, click on “Add Short Name” and consider using Google’s suggestion. Google usually suggests a name that will match your website. Click on Google’s suggestion and click apply.
If you want to type in your own short name, Google will let you know whether the name is available or not. Continue trying different options that align with your business name until Google allows you to save the changes.
If you ever change your mind about your business’ short name, you have the opportunity to change it up to three times a year.
💻 9: Website
Add your website URL in the website field. If your business only has one location, add your homepage.
On the other hand, if your business has several locations, we recommend adding the URL for that location.
For example, if your business’ main URL is deliciouslattes.com, but you have a landing page for your Scottsdale location, you would add the deliciouslattes.com/scottsdale URL for that location.
🔗 10: Appointment links
Does your website have a “contact us” page or a page for customers to set appointments? By adding this URL to your GMB profile, your customers will be able to easily and conveniently make appointments through Google.
Depending on your business, Google My Business might give you the option to add a “virtual appointment link” as well.
🛎️ 11: Services
Now it’s time to add your services. On the left panel of GMB, click on “Services.” You’ll notice that there is an option for a primary category and you may also add several business categories.
Enter your main service as the primary category. You’ll notice that Google will suggest a service and you may not be able to enter specific wording.
After you add all your categories, you may “add another service” within each category. This is where you’ll be able to type in specific services and add details for each of them.
Service details include the name of the service, service price (optional), and service description. You’ll have up to 300 characters to describe the service.
Pro tip: find your services on your website and copy and paste them into your GMB profile. This will make this process easier and it’s great for consistency.
⭐ 12: Highlights
This is your chance to highlight what makes your business unique or special. Based on your business’s primary category, Google will suggest attributes to help your business show up in specific local searches.
The most popular attributes are highlights such as “Veteran-Led” and “Women-Led.” But, if your business is in the hospitality industry, you’ll have a lot more attributes to choose from. These attributes show as badges on your GMB profile.
Select the attributes that apply to your business in order to maintain your listing accurate and helpful for your customers.
Here’s the full list of Google My Business attributes:
- Lodging options
- Dining options
- Languages spoken
- Popular for
✍️ 13: Business description
Write a brief description of your business in 750 characters or less. To make this process easier, we recommend identifying a description from your website, such as the “about us” description. Copy and paste this wording in the business description section.
This description should tell customers the most important things about your business, what you have to offer, and what makes your business unique.
🗓️ 14: Opening date
Enter the date of when your business location opened in the opening date field. Adding this information is important, as this will help the profile rank for “Prominence” – an important factor in local SEO.
If you can’t remember the exact date of when your business opened, that’s okay. Google allows you to enter a month and year without having to enter the day.
📸 15: Add photos
Last but not least, it’s time to add photos! Although this is the last step we’re covering, this is probably one of the most important things you should be adding to optimize your Google My Business profile. Photos help potential customers get a preview of what your products or services look like.
Another reason why it’s important to add photos is that other uses can also upload photos of your locations. But, don’t worry! If the images you add are high-quality photos, they’ll be more likely to show first.
Here are the different photo categories Google encourages you to upload:
- At work
- Identity photos such as your logo and a cover photo
- Videos- commercials
Need help with optimizing your Google My Business profile?
Partnering with an SEO agency might be the perfect solution! Our team of Local SEO experts can help by putting together a strategy to optimize your Google My Business profile, weekly GMB updates, and reputation management. This will help your business gain visibility on search engines for local searches related to your products or services.
You might also be interested in these articles:
Markitors is an SEO digital marketing company. We work with small businesses to rank their websites higher on Google, resulting in more traffic and leads. Explore what’s in our SEO toolbox: audits and keyword research, digital PR, technical SEO, and local SEO.