Local SEO Guide: How to Optimise Your Google Business Profile

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Local SEO has become a crucial strategy for businesses to increase their visibility and attract customers in their target locations. When it comes to local SEO, optimising your Google Business Profile is essential. It a digital storefront providing essential information about your business to potential customers searching for local products or services.

We explain the process of optimising your Google Business Profile to improve rankings in the local search engines and get your business noticed. We cover everything you need to know including creating a compelling business description, managing customer reviews, and leveraging different features, allowing you to make your business stand out from the competition.

It’s important to optimise your profile as it can significantly boost your online presence and drive more qualified traffic to your website. We delve into the key strategies and best practices that will help you dominate local search results and attract customers in your target area.

Understanding Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile is an invaluable tool offered by Google that empowers businesses to manage their online presence and gain prominent visibility in local search results. Acting as a digital hub, it allows businesses to showcase essential information such as address, phone number, website, operating hours, and customer reviews.

Optimisation is crucial to ensure that your business appears prominently when potential customers search for relevant local queries. It serves as a centralised platform to display accurate and up-to-date business information. Consistency and accuracy across all platforms are key to effective local search optimisation.

It provides a platform for customers to leave reviews and ratings, which significantly influence the decision-making process of potential customers. Managing and responding to customer reviews is crucial to maintain a positive online reputation and demonstrating your commitment to customer satisfaction.

Understanding the key components and features of Google Business Profile allows businesses to build a strong local online presence and connect with their target audience.

Claiming and Verifying Your Listing

Claiming and verifying your listing is the crucial first step in optimising your local online presence. It gives you control over the information displayed about your business and allows you to leverage the full range of features and benefits offered. Here’s how to claim and verify your listing:

  • Search for Your Business: Start by searching for your business on Google to see if it already has an existing listing. If it does, you can claim ownership of the listing. If not, you can create a new one.
  • Sign into Google: Sign into your Google account or create a new account if you don’t have one. It’s important to use an account that is associated with your business.
  • Locate Your Listing: Once signed in, search for your business on Google. Find your business listing and click on the “Own this business?” or “Claim this business” link.
  • Verify Your Ownership: Google provides different verification methods to confirm that you are the owner of the business. The most common method is postcard verification, where Google sends a postcard with a verification code to your business address.
  • Complete Your Profile: After verifying ownership, you need to complete your profile with accurate and detailed information. Include your business name, address, phone number, website URL, business category, and other relevant details. Optimise your profile with high-quality photos and engaging descriptions to attract potential customers.

Once you’ve claimed and verified your Google Business Profile listing, you’ll want to understand the key ranking factors to optimise your profile further.

Google My Business Ranking Factors

When it comes to optimising your Google Business Profile for maximum visibility in local search results, understanding the key ranking factors is essential. Google uses various criteria to determine which businesses to display in the coveted “Local Pack” and to rank them within those listings.

Relevance: Google aims to provide searchers with the most relevant results based on their queries. In order to improve your ranking, ensure that your business information, including your business category, matches the searcher’s intent. Selecting accurate and specific categories that align with your offerings increases your relevance and the likelihood of appearing in relevant local searches.

Distance: The proximity of your business to the location from which a search is conducted plays a significant role in rankings. If a user’s search query doesn’t specify a location, Google will prioritise displaying businesses that are closest to the searcher’s current location. Optimising your profile with accurate address information and ensuring consistency across online directories can improve your visibility in local searches.

Prominence: The prominence of your business is another crucial ranking factor. It considers various elements including the quantity and quality of your customer reviews, and the overall online reputation of your business. Encouraging positive customer reviews, engaging with your audience, and implementing a robust reputation management strategy can enhance the prominence of your profile.

Engagement: User engagement with your profile such as clicks, calls, website visits, and direction requests, also influences its ranking. Encouraging customers to interact with your profile by adding photos and responding to reviews can boost engagement signals.

Understanding these ranking factors and implementing strategies by focusing on relevance, proximity, prominence, and engagement, can increase the chances of attracting potential customers and driving more qualified traffic to your business.

Citation Building

Citations play a vital role in local search engine optimisation, and building consistent and accurate citations across various online directories is crucial for optimising your Google Business Profile. Citations are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other websites, and they help search engines verify and validate your business information.

Here’s why citation building is important and how you can effectively build citations:

Establishing Consistency: Consistency in your business information across different online directories builds trust and credibility with both search engines and potential customers. When your information is consistent and matches the details on your profile, it signals to search engines that your business is legitimate and reliable. Inconsistent or incorrect citations can lead to confusion and negatively impact your local search rankings.

Local SEO Benefits: Building citations on authoritative and relevant directories can significantly impact your local search visibility. Search engines use citations as a ranking factor to determine the relevance and prominence of your business in local search results. The more consistent and accurate citations you have, the higher the chances of your business appearing prominently when users search for local products or services.

To effectively build citations for your Google Business Profile, follow these best practices:

  • Start with Major Directories: Begin by creating or claiming your business listings on well-known directories such as Yelp and Bing Places. Ensure that your information is accurate and consistent across these platforms.
  • Explore Niche Directories: Identify industry-specific or local directories that are relevant to your business. These directories can provide targeted exposure to your target audience. As an example, if you’re a hairdresser you could list your business on the Stylebook directory.
  • Monitor and Update Citations: Regularly monitor your citations on various directories to ensure accuracy and make necessary updates when there are changes to your business information. Create a spreadsheet of all the directories the business is listed on, then when it comes to updating information, you can easily identify where it needs changing.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Focus on building citations on authoritative and trustworthy directories rather than pursuing lots of low-quality directories. Quality citations from reputable sources carry more weight in local SEO.

By building consistent and accurate citations for your Google Business Profile, you enhance your online presence, improve your local search rankings, and make it easier for potential customers to find and connect with your business.

Integration with Other Tools

You can continue to improve your online presence, streamline your business, and provide a seamless experience by integrating with other tools and platforms. By leveraging the power of integration, you can amplify the impact of your profile and effectively manage your business.

Online Booking and Scheduling: If your business offers appointment-based services, integrating with an online booking or scheduling tool can streamline the process for both you and your customers. This integration allows customers to easily book appointments directly from your profile, eliminating the need for manual scheduling. It saves time, reduces the risk of missed appointments, and enhances customer convenience, leading to improved customer satisfaction and increased conversions. If you’re a hotel owner you could manage bookings directly on Google, it allows potential customers to quickly find out information about the availability and costs, encouraging them to book.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems: Integrating with your CRM system enables you to seamlessly manage customer interactions and track valuable data. You can create a comprehensive view of each customer by syncing customer information such as contact details, reviews, and interactions, with your CRM. This integration helps you personalise your marketing efforts, deliver targeted messages, and improve customer retention.

Integrating Google My Business with other tools and platforms provides a cohesive and efficient approach to managing your online presence.

Monitoring and Managing Your Profile

Regularly monitoring and managing your profile is crucial for maintaining a strong online presence and effectively engaging with your audience. By actively monitoring and managing your profile you can respond to customer reviews, update business information, and leverage valuable insights to improve your local SEO efforts.

Here are some key points for monitoring and managing your profile:

Customer Reviews: Monitoring and responding to customer reviews is vital for maintaining a positive online reputation and building trust with potential customers. Regularly check your profile for new reviews and take the time to respond promptly and professionally. Express appreciation for positive reviews and address any negative feedback with empathy and a commitment to resolving issues. Engaging with customer reviews demonstrates your dedication to customer satisfaction and can influence potential customers’ perceptions of your business.

Business Information Updates: Keeping your business information up to date is crucial for accurate and consistent online listings. You should review your profile on a regular basis to ensure that your details are accurate and aligned with your website and other online directories. Any changes to your business information should be promptly updated on your profile to avoid confusion.

Insights and Analytics: Google Business Profile provides valuable insights and analytics that offer a deeper understanding of your audience and how they interact with your profile. Monitor key metrics such as the number of views, clicks, direction requests, and phone calls generated from your profile. Analysing these metrics can help you identify trends, measure the effectiveness of your optimisation efforts, and make data-driven decisions to enhance your strategy.

By monitoring and managing your profile proactively, you can maintain a positive online reputation and guarantee accurate business information. Ensure that you regularly review customer reviews, update your business information, and analyse insights.

Best Practices for Google Business Profile

As you already understand, optimising your Google Business Profile is crucial for maximising your online visibility and attracting local customers. By following these best practices, some of which have briefly been mentioned previously, you can enhance your profile and improve your local search rankings.

Complete Your Profile: Make sure that your profile is completed with accurate and detailed information. Provide your business name, address, phone number, website URL, business category, and other relevant details. Take advantage of additional fields like attributes, services, and highlights to showcase unique selling points and important features of your business.

Use High-Quality Images: Include high-quality images that accurately represent your business. Add photos of your storefront, products, team members, and any other visually appealing aspects of your business. High-quality and engaging visuals can grab attention, improve user experience, and increase the chances of attracting potential customers.

Encourage Customer Reviews: Actively encourage your customers to leave reviews as customer reviews not only enhance your online reputation, but also play a significant role in local search rankings. Respond to reviews promptly and professionally, showing appreciation for positive feedback and addressing any negative comments with a commitment to resolving issues.

Optimise Business Descriptions: Create a compelling business description that accurately represents your offerings and includes relevant keywords. Use this section to highlight your unique value proposition and differentiate yourself from competitors. Keep the description concise, informative, and engaging.

Leverage Insights and Analytics: Regularly review the insights and analytics provided to gain valuable data about your profile’s performance. Monitor key metrics such as views, clicks, and engagement to track the effectiveness of your optimisation efforts. Use these insights to make informed decisions and refine your local SEO strategy.


In conclusion, optimising your Google Business Profile is a crucial step in establishing a strong online presence and attracting local customers. By following the best practices outlined in this guide you can enhance your visibility in local search results and drive more qualified traffic to your business. By prioritising Google Business Profile optimisation, you position your business for success in the competitive world of local search, ultimately helping you connect with your target customers and grow your business.

If you need any support with optimising your Google Business Profile or other marketing activities such as SEO consulting or paid search, get in touch with our team of 60+ experts for a free consultation on how we can take your business to the next level.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best