Google Business Profile optimization can drive traffic, engagement, and sales for local businesses. Here’s how to ensure your GBP checks all these boxes.

Here, you’ll find:

  1. What is Google Business Profile optimization?
  2. Benefits of Google Business Profile optimization
  3. 11 pro tips on how to optimize your Google Business Profile listing
  4. Examples of optimized Google Business Profiles
  5. How to monitor your Google Business Profiles
  6. How to find a Google Business Profile optimization service
  7. Checklist for optimizing your Google Business Profile

Google Business Profiles (formerly Google My Business or GMB) are a key component of local search engine optimization (SEO).

They’re also a powerful tool for local businesses to boost awareness, engage customers, and make sales.

But to make your profile stand out, you need more than just the basics. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about optimizing your Google Business Profile and tracking results.

What is Google Business Profile optimization?

Google Business Profile (GBP) optimization is the process of using all available tools to complete your Google Business Profile. Adding contact information like your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) is only the beginning.

With a Google Business Profile account, you can also add details like your business’s:

  • Hours
  • Category
  • Description
  • Products
  • Services
  • Specials
  • Updates

You can also use Google business optimization tools to invite customers to:

  • Chat with your business online
  • Call your business directly from your GMB listing
  • Order food for pickup or delivery
  • Rate and review your business

Think of it as an ongoing process, not a one-time task. Keeping your profile current and leveraging native tools for engagement, leads, and sales are all important parts of Google business search engine optimization.

Benefits of Google Business Profile optimization

Developing a robust Google Business Profile is essential for local SEO. As a service area business or a company with a physical storefront, here’s how you can benefit from investing in this platform.

Improve local rankings

Without an optimized Google Business Profile, any local business will struggle to rank at the top of relevant local search results. Setting up a complete, updated Google Business Profile is an important first step in creating local SEO citations.

“Google Business Profile is a critical feature when we help our clients establish high-performing local SEO,” explains Sam Yadegar, CEO of HawkSEM. “Over the years, Google has gotten better and better at understanding who a brand is and where they are located. When done right, Google Business Profile will help you show up for ‘near me’ search terms without having to technically target them within content

With this Google business SEO strategy, you can also improve your online presence on Google Maps or in local packs. As a result, you can ensure your business is visible whenever local customers use Google search and maps.

Share up-to-date information

From holiday hours to seasonal sales to special events, your business has a lot of updates to manage. Website updates can require a lot of advance planning, and social media updates may not reach your entire customer base.

By keeping your Google Business Profile up to date, you can ensure existing and new customers can always access accurate business information. An updated profile can also lead to happier customers and cut down on negative reviews.

Convert customers

No matter how your business sells products or services, you can set up your Google Business Profile to convert customers. GMB profiles support interactive:

  • Website links
  • Phone numbers
  • Product listings
  • Service listings
  • Food pickup and delivery

Engage customers

Some business owners use Google Business Profile exclusively as a broadcast channel. While you can certainly use the platform to promote your offers and updates, Google Business Profile is also a useful tool for engagement and messaging.

From your Google Business Profile, you can chat directly with potential customers. You can also invite customers to leave reviews — and respond to them.

How to optimize your Google Business Profile listing

How can you get the most out of your Google Business Profile? Use these Google Business Profile optimization tips as a guide.

  1. Complete your Google Business Profile
  2. Upload images and videos
  3. List products and services
  4. Set up food ordering
  5. Publish regular updates
  6. Respond to questions
  7. Enable messaging
  8. Respond to Google reviews
  9. Ask for more reviews
  10. Review your profile regularly
  11. Run Google Ads

1. Complete your Google Business Profile

One of the biggest SEO mistakes local businesses make is neglecting to complete their Google Business Profile. Remember, business location data is only the beginning.

In addition to filling out your NAP, provide your:

  • Primary category, which is a key ranking factor for local packs
  • Description, which can include relevant keywords (but no links)
  • Link to your homepage or local SEO landing page
  • Social media profiles, including links to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube
  • Service area if you travel to customer locations
  • Business hours, including hours for specific services


2. Upload images and videos

Give customers a glimpse of your business by uploading images and videos to your profile. Google Business Profiles supports three types of media:

  • Logo: Start by uploading a logo, which adds branding to your profile
  • Cover photo: Provide a cover photo that depicts your business location
  • Business photos and videos: Add extra media that showcase your products and services


Note that any images or videos you upload may also appear in relevant searches or on Google Maps. Always aim for high-quality media to put your business in the best possible light.

3. List products and services

Depending on your business type, you can list products or services (and sometimes both). For each product or service, you’ll need to provide:

  • Name
  • Category
  • Description
  • Price
  • Image


Linking to a landing page is optional. Make sure to add one if you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to purchase products or services online.

4. Set up food ordering

If your business offers food pickup or delivery, this option is one of the easiest way to use your Google Business Profile to drive revenue. Restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, and specialty food stores can all set up food ordering.


Enable food ordering for your Google Business Profile, and then add your service providers. You can either list third-party providers or link to your own ecommerce page.

5. Publish regular updates

Is your business offering seasonal items? Have an upcoming event? Need to share holiday hours?

Use Google Business Profile’s update feature to keep customers up to date. Business profiles support three types of updates:

  • Standard updates, which can include descriptions, media, and buttons
  • Offers, which inform customers about limited-time discounts or specials
  • Events, which tell customers about happenings you’re hosting


6. Respond to questions

Customers can submit questions about business hours, locations, offerings, or specials. When your team receives questions, make a point of answering them promptly.

Your Google Business Profile will automatically display these FAQs for other customers to reference. So it’s important to be responsive and provide good customer service.

Note that you can’t delete questions and answers from your profile. However, you can request removal of any inappropriate or offensive Q&As.

7. Enable messaging

Another option is allowing customers to chat with you directly from your profile. It’s a good idea to use this option if your business receives a lot of basic questions via emails or phone calls. Enabling chat may reduce other forms of outreach and help your team work more efficiently.


But if you allow messaging, it’s important to ensure your team is available to respond promptly. Customers typically expect responses within 24 hours, but a growing minority prefers a response within an hour.

8. Respond to Google reviews

Read and respond to your customer reviews — both good and bad. You can reply to positive reviews with something as simple as, “Thank you, we love to hear that!”

Don’t ignore negative reviews. Responding to them shows that you’re paying attention to what your customers have to say. In some cases, a thoughtful reply can turn a negative situation around.

When responding to bad reviews, maintaining professionalism is key. Never engage in a fight with customers, use foul language, or respond if you’re fired up about what someone has said.

Unfortunately, you can’t simply delete an inaccurate or malicious review. However, you can request that a customer edit or remove a bad review once you’ve resolved their perceived issue.

You can also flag an inappropriate review. Just don’t bother flagging any and all negative reviews, as Google’s moderators will ignore these requests.

Google will remove reviews that:

  • Are spammy or clearly posted just to manipulate ratings (this includes duplicate reviews and obviously fake reviews)
  • Contain foul or offensive language
  • Incite hatred (such as racism and violence)
  • You have posted in an attempt to improve ratings
  • A competitor has posted to try to bring your ratings down
  • Contain harassment or threats
  • Are unrelated to your business (such as random comments or political rants)
  • A disgruntled former employee who might have quit or been let go has posted

“It’s best to have a person on your team who regularly maintains your GMB account and promptly responds to client feedback, especially negative reviews,” explains Stefan Chekanov, co-founder and CEO of Brosix. “You’d want those resolved as quickly as possible; a bad word-of-mouth reputation is very difficult to bounce back from.”

9. Ask for more reviews

One way to make up for negative reviews or to improve your overall rating is to ask for more reviews. On your Google Business Profile dashboard, click the “Ask for Reviews” button.


You’ll see a link that you can copy and paste into emails, social media posts, or instant messages. You can also click the “Email,” “Whatsapp,” or “Facebook” buttons to initiate a request instantly.

10. Review your profile regularly

Optimizing your Google Business Profile once is a good start. But it requires regular maintenance. Posting frequent updates for your audience is a great way to keep your profile fresh.

It’s also helpful to check your Google Business Profile dashboard periodically. Google automatically displays your profile strength and recommends updates to help you improve results.

“Once people finish with the initial setup, they stop updating their GMB profile,” says Stoyan Mitov, CEO and co-founder of Dreamix. “This is not social media, but it won’t hurt to treat it as such, so post often and interact with your customers. Are people asking the same questions often? Do a Q&A. Locals struggle to find the entrance to your business? Post a photo specifically showing how to get there.”

11. Run Google Ads

Most optimization options for Google Business Profiles focus on organic efforts. But you don’t have to stop there.

HawkSEM often recommends paid campaigns to support organic efforts. “We recommend running ads on Google local maps for super relevant keywords,” explains Rambod Yadegar, President of HawkSEM.

Examples of optimized Google Business Profiles

Curious how an optimized Google Business Profile looks? Use these examples as inspiration to build out your own profile.

Google Business Profile with product listings


Above, the listing for Ninth Street Flowers features a tab for products. Customers can tap to view complete descriptions and pricing for each item — and then purchase online or with a phone call.

Google Business Profile with service listings


Technically, Google Business Profiles can display products, services, or both. Above, the Mr. Tire Auto Service Centers listing features both a packaged product and a list of services provided.

Google Business Profile with online orders


Above, the Arepa Culture Google Business Profile offers both food delivery and food pickup. Customers can also browse the restaurant’s menu directly from the listing.

Google Business Profile with pricing


By listing ticketing options and pricing, you can give customers the information they need and convert them directly from your Google Business Profile.

Above, the Sky Zone Trampoline Park listing features prices with links to the local business’s official website.

Google Business Profile with current deals

North Carolina State Farmers

With the right setup, a Google Business Profile listing can show multiple storefronts at the same business address. Above, the North Carolina State Farmers Public Market profile lists all the vendors at the location.

Google Business Profile with business owner updates

Cocoa Cinnamon

Publishing Google posts regularly is a great way to keep customers engaged and up-to-date. Above, the Cocoa Cinnamon listing features recent updates that share current, accurate information.

Google Business Profile with a messaging option

Fullsteam Brewery

With Google Business Profile’s messaging option, you can provide customer service and improve conversion rates. Above, the Fullsteam Brewery listing features a chat option.

How to monitor your Google Business Profile

The easiest way to monitor your Google Business Profile is to use Google’s free tools. You can access insights by clicking the “Performance” button on your Google Business Profile dashboard.


Then you can click through to view the insights. The “Overview” tab shows all interactions with your Google Business Profile during the time period.

Google Business Profile

This tab aggregates all interactions with your profile. It’s helpful for seeing how often searchers are calling your business, booking services, asking for directions, or messaging your team.

Scroll down to see how people find your Google Business Profile. Are customers finding you mainly through mobile search, desktop search, or Google Maps on mobile or desktop? This data can help you pinpoint where to focus your efforts — such as mobile SEO.


This tab also shows the top search results that display your Google Business Profile. This data can inform your local SEO, Google Business Profile, and keyword strategy.

“Google gives plenty of useful metrics for tracking performance, and I’d say the most crucial of them is the ‘Searches’ metric,” explains Chekanov. “You can gather the queries people use to find your business and then optimize based on those keywords.”

For outcomes like food orders, directions, phone calls, and website clicks, Google shows less detail. Yet the data is still helpful for quantifying these conversions and spotting patterns over time.

website clicks

Based on your Google Business Profile data, you may learn that traffic and engagement increase during certain weeks or months. You can prepare for these seasonal spikes by planning to be more responsive or to publish posts more frequently.

How to find a Google Business Profile optimization service

Google Business Profiles are relatively easy to set up. Yet, optimizing them fully, staying on top of new features, and keeping them updated can be too much for a small business to manage.

When you work with an experienced digital marketing agency, you can entrust it to a dedicated team. Here’s what to look for in a Google Business Profile optimization company:

  • Local SEO focus: Whether you work with an SEO or an SEM agency, partner with one that has proven experience with local SEO — including managing local citations.
  • Strong track record: When you hire an agency, ensure you get the full value of SEO. Review the agency’s marketing case studies to see what they’ve achieved.
  • Insightful reports: Any agency partner worth the investment should provide regular (e.g., monthly) reports with actionable insights that drive further optimization.

Can a digital agency really improve your local SEO and optimize Google Business Profiles? HawkSEM helped VIOS dominate local search keywords. During our partnership, we:

  • Increased the total terms ranking for the website by 74%
  • Saw a 128% increase in organic new users to the website
  • Increased organic website sessions by 128%

Curious how an SEO for Google business agency could work for you? Reach out to learn more about our marketing strategy services.

The takeaway

Optimizing your Google Business Profile can benefit local businesses in every industry and location. After all, you want your customers to have easy access to the latest information and updates.

You can feel confident that your online presence is thorough, polished, and set up for success when you have a fully optimized Google Business Profile.

To learn how HawkSEM can help, contact our SEO experts for a free consultation.


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This article has been updated and was originally published in December 2021.

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