9 best practices for Google Business Profile (GBP)

August 2023

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Google Business Profile (GBP) listings may look simple, but they are ripe for optimization—especially if you want to drive the maximum return from localized SEO. Businesses that take the bare-bones approach to their listings could be losing out to their competition.

There is immense value for customers when they can view a robust listing; content-rich listings will always look more professional and are favored by Google’s algorithm. Presented with two near-identical businesses, Google will value the one with the more comprehensive Google Business Profile. With influence over both customer experience and SEO performance, there is always value in improving and managing the relevance of GBP listings.

Of course, there are challenges. One serious barrier to curating GBP listings is the large number of resources needed to maintain data and manage the pages at a local level. It can feel like a never-ending task, especially since local data degrades rapidly. In fact, 60% of listing data goes out of date within two years. Even with the most relevant business information, data on listings also needs to be updated with each new features that Google rolls out month to month.

The work only piles up for businesses with several locations. GBPs are an ever-evolving space, now requiring more than just NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number), hours of operation, and a website address. Listings have evolved to emphasize reviews and other enriched content, allowing businesses to promote sales and events, answer FAQs, and respond to customer feedback. That’s why the demand for listings management platforms that scale to the size of any business, but also keep up with Google, is greater than ever.

ConvergenSEE’s very own Maximizer automates the optimization process by scanning all of a business’s GBP listings data for management in one place. In fact, for businesses with multiple locations, Maximizer can be a critical tool for efficiently improving listings to better meet customers’ needs.

But which optimizations should businesses focus on first? Get to know the best practices for maintaining Google Business Profiles—and learn how listing management tools, like Maximizer, can help businesses fine-tune their local presence online.

1. Data cleansing

Bad data can spoil even the best strategy. When it comes to best practices for GBPs, the first step for businesses is to ensure they are working with a good set of data. Verifying the basics—including names, addresses, phone numbers, and hours of operation—is essential. Ultimately, data cleansing ensures brands and business listings start from a foundation of quality.

2. Listing management

GBPs should clearly tell the story of what a business is and what it offers to customers. It pays to be a thorough as possible. Avoid leaving any fields blank and take the opportunity to provide as much data as possible for each location. The more data, the better; with more context, Google can more accurately judge a business’s relevance to a search query. Still keep in mind that each location, while part of a brand, is also unique; different hours, parking options, unique industry-specific data points, and more all need to be accounted for.

3. Photos

The best way to ensure quality photos of a location is for the business to provide images itself. But keep in mind that GBP pictures can be provided by both users and business owners. While what users post can’t be controlled (not all user images will be high quality), business owners should post a variety of images to each of their GBP listings to showcase each location. This can include the location (inside and out), products, and staff.

4. Listing URLs

Where customers go next depends on what a business features. When it comes to the GBP listings, there are many different types of URLs that can be listed. A lot of them are industry-specific but can be very important when applicable. Website, delivery, order, and menu URLs can all be listed and tracked. Beyond just listing these different URLs, how these pages are built and structured will affect the performance of a GBP listing.

5. Nested locations

Do you manage businesses with brick-and-mortar locations within other businesses or have multiple brands that operate at one location, such as a pharmacy within a grocery store? These are all known as “nested locations”. Nested locations can be tricky to manage as they often share multiple data points with other location. Regardless, they need be listed accurately and included within all sorts of additional directories that exist within Google Maps.

6. Google Questions & Answers (Q&A)

This feature, as the name suggests, allows businesses to post questions, with answers, about each of their locations. Be aware that users can post and answer questions as well. It is very important for businesses to stay ahead of the game and proactively post common questions with answers. Also, businesses should monitor the Q&A feed so they can answer questions from the public to ensure the correct information is being distributed from a trusted source.

7. Reputation management

Google Business Profiles have become one of the dominant online venues where the public will review businesses. This means that consumers are actively leaving reviews, good and bad, and expecting businesses to respond in a timely manner. Reviews and responses are powerful SEO tools within local search, and it’s best practice to respond to as many reviews as possible. For high volumes of reviews, using a reputation management system can help business respond to customers effectively and efficiently.

8. Google Posts

This is another important feature within a GBP listing. Google Posts act as a small microblog that allows businesses to highlight events, promotions, sales, and general content in one place. Posts stay live for a minimum of seven days (depends on setup) and allow businesses to continuously push out rich content that Google will reference to judge relevance to search queries. So don’t miss out: Google Posts offer the perfect opportunity for businesses to share helpful content with their current and prospective customers.

9. Voice search optimization

Whether it’s through a phone, home assistant, or other hands-free device, businesses should also optimize GBPs for voice search. This can be a challenge because ranking first in SERPs does not guarantee ranking well in voice search. The best practice for businesses is to leverage robust FAQs with natural language to anticipate the kind of questions customers ask their voice assistants.

Leave the heavy lifting to us

There is a lot that goes into proper GBP listing management. With GBP listing often being the first (and sometimes only) way people interact with a business and their locations online, it is important to make a good first impression.

Based on the above factors, it is clear to see that the work to maintain and manage a complete listing can quickly grow, requiring a team of people to manage the needs of multiple business listings. This is where ConvergenSEE comes in. Our software and services allow businesses to automate cyclical tasks and hand over the tedious task of data management to our team. Connecting with customers all starts with a listing, so see how ConvergenSEE can make your business’s first impression count.

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