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How to optimise your Business Profile on Google

Key take-aways

Google My Business helps businesses set up a free Business Profile on Google and connect with new potential customers and optimise their digital presence across the internet. You can claim or create your business listing in just a few easy steps and, once you’ve verified that you own the business, you’re ready to start making the most of your profile. Here are some simple ways to optimise your profile to ensure you’re getting maximum value from it.

1. Provide as much information as possible

2. Make it easy for users to contact you

3. Regularly update and improve your profile

4. Take advantage of category-specific features

Eye-catching images will grab the interest of people who are searching for businesses like yours, so take advantage by posting photos regularly on your Business Profile on Google.

1. Provide as much information as possible

Once you've claimed or created and verified your profile with Google My Business, the next step is to make sure all of your information is complete and error-free. The most critical information on any listing is your business name, logo, address and phone number, so double-check that these are accurate and up-to-date.

Your Business Profile will also include a business category, website link, reviews, photos, opening hours, and a unique short name, so check these carefully too. Research shows complete profiles are twice as likely to be considered reputable, so it's well worth the small time investment to help your business appear trustworthy online.

Sharing this information helps prospective customers feel more confident that your business can meet their needs. Your Business Profile will appear when users are looking for relevant products or services on Google Search and Google Maps. There has been a 500% increase in the number of "near me" searches that contain phrases like "can I buy" or "to buy" over the past two years, showing that more and more people are using these platforms to make decisions about where to go and what to buy. If your business doesn't show up on Google Maps when a relevant search is made, the potential customer may find what they need elsewhere.

For example, a South London bakery owner might want to let prospective customers know that it opens at 7am to avoid missing the early morning rush. If potential customers can easily see if this business is open or closed when they're searching for a breakfast venue, they're more likely to consider visiting the bakery.

Business category

Categories are used to describe your business and connect you to customers searching for the services you offer. For example, if your primary category is "Pizza restaurant", Google may show your business in local search results to people who search for "Restaurants", "Italian restaurants", or "Pizza" in their area.

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2. Make it easy for users to contact you

Your Business Profile on Google lets you connect with potential customers to have conversations about your business, products or services. By providing a phone number as part of your profile, you enable prospective customers to call you from their smartphone with the tap of a finger. It's possible for people to do this from Google Maps or Google Search, which means contacting you with a question is seamless and convenient.

But that's not the only way to engage with users who are interested in your business. You can also chat with prospective customers in real time by activating instant messaging for Google My Business. Using the chat feature, business owners can monitor queries as they come in and send details to potential customers instantly.

A shoe shop in Cambridge, for example, might receive an enquiry via their Business Profile asking if they have a particular size and style of shoe in stock. Using the chat feature, the business owner can respond instantly from their smartphone and encourage the customer to come in and complete the purchase. Even if the owner is the only person working in the shop that day, instant messaging means they can respond to potential customers at their convenience whenever there is a lull in footfall.

Local results

Local results appear for people who search for businesses and places near their location. They're shown in a number of places across Maps and Search. For example, you'll probably see local results if you search for “Italian restaurant" from your mobile device. Google will try to show you the kind of nearby restaurant that you'd like to visit.

3. Regularly update and improve your profile

In the offline world, a shop that wants to attract potential customers doesn't leave the same display in its storefront each season. Think of your Business Profile on Google like your digital equivalent. If your shop window is up-to-date and looking fresh, it will have a better chance of driving traffic to your website or enticing people through the door of your physical shop.

Take advantage of photos and posts to keep your profile reflecting well on your business and looking the best it can be — and don't forget to review those opening hours too.


Eye-catching images will grab the interest of people who are searching for businesses like yours, so take advantage by posting photos regularly on your profile. Photos of products, spaces or team members give users an impression of your business and can help you stand out against the competition. Businesses with photos get 42% more requests for directions than those that don't, showing just how important images can be when users are deciding where to go.


Keep in touch with your past customers and new potential customers using posts for Google My Business. Posts let you share photos and text updates that are visible to anyone who visits your listing, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your brand's personality or highlight reasons somebody might want to drop in. Consider using posts to showcase new stock, announce a special offer or communicate news or event information. Featured posts appear on a Google listing for up to seven days — after that time, they'll only show in the "Posts" tab.

Opening hours

Keep an eye on your opening hours throughout the year to make sure visitors don't show up when you're not open. Google My Business lets you set your general opening hours and then customise them for public holidays or any other reason a prospective customer might encounter a "closed" sign.

4. Take advantage of category-specific features

Depending on your business category, you may see special features available for your business listing. For example:

  • Hotels can show class ratings and list the amenities they offer.
  • Bars and restaurants can include links for online orders and reservations.
  • They can also link to their menus or add menu items directly.
  • Health and beauty businesses may be able to add a booking button or add a menu of their services.

These special features can help ensure that users understand what you have to offer and make it more convenient for them to interact with your business. If these options are available to your business, be sure to take advantage. Even if they aren't, pay close attention to the business category and the attributes you choose for your listing.


Your business category helps ensure that you appear when users make a relevant search. Be as specific as possible in your selection. For example, choose "women's hair salon" rather than simply "salon". If you have multiple service types that you offer, you can list these as secondary categories on your profile.


Adding "attributes" provides potential customers with more information about your business, and not all business types are offered the same attributes. When you edit your business information in Google My Business, you'll be able to see which attributes your business can enable, such as payment types, accessibility options or free WiFi. Attributes such as "women-led" or "LGBTQ-friendly" can help your business stand out from other options.

Using Google My Business to engage with prospective customers can help your business to better serve their needs. Keep your profile information current and correct and take advantage of all the features on offer — that way you have the best chance of being visible to potential customers who are actively looking for a business like yours.

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