How To Optimize Google Business Profile - SEO Sundays

Learn SEO: Optimizing Your Google Business Profile 10-30-22

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Google Business Profile Optimization SEO Sundays 10-30-22


(04:32): All right, everyone, Thank you for joining me there. We’ll let others in as they come into the presentation here. Let’s see. My name’s Bruce Jones. I’ve been doing SEO for 18 years now. I own a couple of different search engine optimization companies an SEO training company and an SEO consulting company, and a couple other things that are related to all of them, SEO. So if you have any questions about that, feel free to ask at the end of the presentation. I think that we’ll talk about going through this, maybe half an hour, 45 minutes, and then leave as much time as you’d like at the end of it here.

(05:14): So if you have any questions, don’t mind holding it to the end, and we’ll go from there. So today we’re gonna talk about Google Business Profile, also known in the past as Google My Business. That’s I think, where I’ll probably make a few mistakes and call it that myself, because it was so ingrained into using it so many different times like that. Somebody asked a question of, is this recorded? And yes, it’ll be recorded. And then we’ll share the video and our copy of the presentation on the website, and actually get all of the words from the presentation transcribed and added as a post as well. Cuz that helps with the SEO for that post.

(06:02): So the first thing would be, why is Google my Business important? Why don’t you just spend your energy on old-fashioned SEO, where you’re doing the things on your website and stuff like that. So this is a screenshot of 2015 and Google search results. So, for example, we’re just doing a Google search for car insurance, you see that there’s ads on the right, and then ads on the top, and then finally the organic listings through here like this. Actually before 2015, I don’t really have a screenshot of that, but in the beginning, Google was, all the organic was on the left, and all the ads were on the right. And I think they rolled them all over into the top of the homepage, just so they could make more money, and go like that.

(06:58): But we all know that they’re ads and we know to stay away from them. And that there are in fact ads and everybody, I think this would be like 5% of the clicks here, and 60 or 70% of the clicks through here. So that was 2015. But now, if we go to 2022 and then we do that same search, then it’s all one column because it’s more mobile friendly now. So that the same search results works for a desktop and for mobile, we have all the ads at the top. Then next, we have the Google My Business listings or the Google Business Profile listings. And then finally we have the organic listings down below, through there like that.

(07:45): So you see, for, I guess when it comes down to if you have local customers, you really wanna be in this three pack here. And so we’ll talk a little bit about how to get your business into the three pack. It’s some work through there. There’s different things that are related to optimizing your profile to help get it to show here like that. (And we’ll go back through.)

(08:19): So here’s some of the like factual information about your Google Business profile. So 4% of local search factors are up at the top, through there. The only thing above Google My Business listings are the paid ads. And so that more and more people are searching just local businesses through there like that, because that’s kind of the biggest presence that’s out there.

(08:54): I would so this is a slide that I put together related to, if you’re already working with an SEO company or if you’re already doing some search engine optimization with somebody else, if they’re not dealing with Google My Business or Google Business profiles, then they’re digging where the gold used to be instead of where the new gold is found today. So that’s kind of how big of a factor it is, because it’s the thing that’s up at the top of the organic results. No longer is it gonna be the organic listings of the different pages of websites.

(09:32): So the first part would be claiming your business listing, if it’s not already claimed. Oftentimes, there’s listings that automatically get generated by Google. It might find find information about your business in a directory, and it creates its own listing automatically. And so, you notice the button down on the right hand side that says, own this business. You would click on that and put your email address in, and then that would give you the provisions for claiming the listing. Usually, it ends up to after you claim the listing, it sends a postcard to that address with a five digit code. You verify, and then you could add and modify the contents on the Google listing.

(10:24): If the listing has already been claimed by somebody else, then you’ll notice this little screen that pops up that says, in fact that, the Google Business listing has been claimed, is already owned by somebody else. So what it does now is, Google sends that other person an email. So that person says, okay, I’ll allow you access or disallow. And if they don’t do anything, maybe it was a marketing company that went out of business, for example, then wait a couple weeks, claim it again, and then Google will say, Oh, that business has been unresponsive. So then they will give you access to it. It’s one of those things that nobody really knows about. But that’s how do you deal with it, just have to claim it a second time. And then you’ll get access to it if the person didn’t reject it on the other side. That’s the existing owner.

(11:23): If you don’t have a listing, if you do a Google search for your business name, that’s how I would start, I guess, would be to search for your business name out there. See if you already have a Google My Business profile. If you don’t, then create one. So first thing would be you’d have to be signed in with a Google account. Think about what account you’re signed in with before you get started here. You could always add other accounts on there, but you might as well start off on the right foot here. Oftentimes, if I was starting a new business, I would make a new Google account for that business, and then start down that path that way. So you would sign in, enter the information, just go to That’s the url. It’s gonna ask you questions like, what’s your business name, what’s the business category, address, phone number, business hours, all kinds of information through that.

(12:27): This would be the screen, it looks like, as you’re doing that search for That’s what it looks like now. If you already have a listing, you could click on the Manage Now button that’ll get you into the screen where you could view that and others. And then this is what the dashboard looks like. So this is like the back end of Google Business Profile Manager. Also, recently, Google has been talking about trying to push people to manage the profile under Google search, so we’ll talk about that a little bit, but I don’t think I have a slide that talks about that here. So, if you just have one business, you sort of have a choice to manage it in this management system, which I think is better or to just, if you don’t do much with managing it, Google, I think is just trying to make it easier for you to, when you do a search for your business, it shows it up on the screen, and you could make some edits through there. It doesn’t have as much information as what’s inside of this dashboard though, but there’s a lot of different things here, that are on the screen. Let’s see.

(13:45): I guess the most important part would be to take the time to fill in all of the blanks related to that. If it asks you a question, take the time to fill it in. A lot of SEO is just actually filling in the blanks for information. So I remember one of my students was talking about, it sounds like SEO is just taking the time to fill in all the right information that other people were too lazy to do. And actually, that’s true. That if you just take the time to fill in all of the blanks, you’ll have an advantage over the people that didn’t completely fill out your application or something like that.

(14:28): Imagine like a résumé. If somebody just had a résumé just with short information, they probably wouldn’t get hired. And somebody that took the time to fill it in as completely as possible, with the right information, would be more likely of getting that job. And the same way here, it would be more likely that Google’s gonna put you at the top, which in turn is gonna help you get more clients.

(14:53): There’s a place that says, if you have an appointment link, or what are your products and your services, it’s a lot of work. I mean, it’s hours worth of labor to fill this in as completely as possible. And a lot of business owners maybe don’t realize the importance of taking the time to filling it in. And that’s kind of why I have a business, that’s one of our service offerings, where we manage it for you and fill in all the blanks. And as new blanks are presented by Google, which they often are, we are aware of that, and we’ll take the time to fill in the blanks for you there. But, I guess just look for something to write in an empty space in the back end of Google, my business would be my overall tip to optimizing it.

(15:45): The first thing besides the business name is the business categories. So there’s 4,000 different categories that Google presents. So you have to pick one of the 4,000 choices, you can’t make up your own, you have to select one of theirs. And, besides the one main business category, you could actually have up to 10 different business categories. So sometimes that’s is of an advantage to pick more than one, as long as it’s things that you do, things that you actually do there. I’ve made a link and a page on my website here that it shows this URL that you could go to, and it’ll end up to be that there’s a list of those 4,000 ones. It might be easier to go there, figure out which ones are the right answer, make sure you use the best choice as the first category, and add the other ones as secondary categories.

(16:50): The other part or one of the next parts would be putting in your business address or not. Depending upon how, if you have a service area, your business or not. It’s important I guess to fill in the correct business address. And so there’s the address that the post office is aware of, and here’s the link to that tool where you could put in what is the commonly known physical address. And it’ll come back and it’ll say here’s the actual address for that location that the post office has on record. So, I would say that if you just start off there, then that’ll be good, because a lot of other places are just looking to the Google address that’s listed to populate other places.

(17:41): Also, the link on the bottom is a place where you could go to Moz Local and you could add your business business information in there. It’ll come back with a report that says, here’s how many places have the address, or the phone number, or other business information incorrect, and then you could fix that. So that’s of value too.

(18:06): Next part would be verifying your Google Business Profile listing. So this would be when it’s time to, when you have that information completed, like I say, you have to fill in the blanks to make sure that it gets verified by Google. Otherwise, you can’t actually manage it. So the normal way here is that you fill it in, a postcard, comes to your office, takes about five days, and then there’s a five digit code. You put that five digit code in the back end, and then it’s a verified listing and you can manage it.

(18:44): I’ve seen other like a particular business, a lawyer that I’m working with recently, that’s moved locations a number of times. And I think Google just didn’t believe that they were really at that spot. And so Google said that they no longer can verify with their new address, this way. They wanna have video verification, which means that you have to be at that location at the street, connect with Google to real person, a human being at Google. And then they’ll ask you questions like, so could you show me what the street looks like there? Can you show me what the building looks like there? And it would have a GPS connection there too, to verify that they’re really there. The person has to walk into the building, has to, here’s my office door. Is there a signage? Is there not signage? Those type of things. And here’s my desk and all of the information. And so, that’s just another way of verifying. Yeah, what’s the world coming to these days?

(19:51): Next part is services. So every business category, you could add services to that business category. And so, when you add a service, it gives you the ability to add up to a 300 character service description. So notice on the right hand side, these are some of the services that I have under my listing. Taking the time to fill those in as completely as possible, and using the right keywords is of value to you. So I’ve seen it before where I’m doing a Google search for something. Let’s just say for example, I’m searching for SEO in a town. I might see that there’s 300 different companies, but then, if I do a search for an SEO consultant in that town, Google shows me six or eight of them. So I’m scratching my head thinking, why are they only showing six or eight? And so what I identified was, the people that were showing had that listed as a service in their services. So that told me, Wow, that’s really important because that was the factor for those companies showing up for that particular search. So if you didn’t take the time to fill that in on yours, you’re maybe missing out on opportunities there.

(21:23): Next part would be after you fill out the services, would be adding different Google Business listing posts. So, I’ll show you here afterwards. We’ll kind of do it live on a real account. But, there’s a place that it says posts, and you could add regular posts like a Facebook post type of a thing, and those expire in seven days. You can also add events, or promotions, or offers. You get to select when the expiration date on those is. An event would be the event date and in the end, doing this is probably the biggest value for optimizing your profile.

(22:10): One of the things that we do since the Google Business listing posts expire in seven days is, use the scheduling tool so that, in the beginning of the month, we just coordinate the scheduling of all of the posts that we’re gonna do for the month, and then let it go that way. And then that way we don’t have to worry about logging in every couple of days or every week or something like that to make sure that we have an active post that’s going out. And I would suggest you doing the same thing too. I’ll show you some different tools a little bit further that explain that.

(22:47): So here is Google Business Listing offers. So that could be something like free consultation, or buy this, get this free, free estimates, things like that. And I would say the best way to deal with this is to put it out there, but with a timeline of a month or two of a deadline. But keep moving the deadline so it’s like a perpetual, you always have an offer that’s going. But it expires at the end of the month. So now there’s a call to urgency for people to fill out that information and turn themselves into a lead, because they think that that offer is gonna expire at the end of the month. Going through there like that.

(23:33): Next would be events. So if you have an event, then you could fill out the blanks inside of the Google listing. It’ll be live on your listing until the event date. And then it’ll be shown as past events. Whenever you create a post or create events and things like that, having that link back to your website, so that people could learn more or, you know, find out more about this particular event would be useful. Taking the time to add the links is an important factor for sure.

(24:19): There’s a photo gallery and adding your own photos is important. Of course, you could always put stock photos on different places like that, but having real photos are more important. So this happened to be a photo gallery from Cash for Junk Cars business that is one of my customers. And I took this as an example to show the numbers of like how many views that they’re getting on their photos in their Google Business listing.

(24:55): There’s different categories for photos, so look across the top through here. So there’s a category for a team, or a category for interior pictures, or exterior pictures. And so, adding a few of those every couple of weeks would be advantageous. I think that in some factors it’s just like proving to Google that you’re managing it and that you are just doing more things, more actions inside of the Google Business listing would be useful for you. So that Google can say, Oh, here’s somebody that’s keeping up and being current. So let’s show that listing instead of these other ones that might not have logged into the Google Business listings in six months, which they might have less trust for that.

(25:52): You could even optimize images before you add them to the Google listing here. By doing a right mouse click properties, there’s information inside of every image that you could add. Keywords and a description of what that image is. You could rename the image. All those things would be helpful.

(26:15): So Google Reviews. Of course reviews are important. So when someone does a Google search and they see the three different businesses that are listed now, people are making a decision depending upon how many reviews there are, and what the review score is. Who they’re gonna work with. So if all of your competitors have a lot of reviews and you only have a few or none, then that would be a good signal that says that you should actively be pursuing getting more reviews.

(26:51): There’s things that you could do to help get reviews. Might be just asking for reviews as part of your business process. Having link in an invoice to a place where somebody can give you a review. I’ve done it before where actually that Cash For Junk Cars client, we help them create a QR code, which links to the link to get a review. And they have that as a sticker that goes on the back of their clipboard. So when they’re standing there in front of the person that’s giving their car up, then, that person, if they wanted to, could just scan that QR code with their phone and come up to give a review. It might be a point that, that the business might say, Hey, we’ll give you a discount, or we’ll give you more money if you give us a review. And so, it’s a way of working that out at that point in time too.

(27:55): So then, next would be the information inside of Google, filling it out as completely as possible. Adding posts and images on a regular basis is great, but now we’re gonna talk about scheduling your posts. So there’s a couple different post scheduling programs that you might consider here.

(28:21): Here’s a list of different ones. So Publer, Content Studio, Buffer, Lumley, some other services like Local Viking at the bottom, or DBA Platform, or the other ones on the right, that I’m a little bit less familiar with. We tried them all and we decided that Publer was the right choice for us. So that’s what we personally use for managing our clients’ listings. And it’s nice because then, you go onto the back end of it, you create one post, you pick all of the places that you want that post to appear. So you could connect it with Facebook, and LinkedIn, and Twitter, and the other particular profiles so that you could connect to them like that. They often start out with just a free service.

(29:17): So, for example, Publer will allow you to connect to three different social media channels. So if you’re gonna create the post anyways, for example, for their Google Business listing, why not have that same post automatically appear on Facebook and LinkedIn? And it doesn’t cost you anything. So I think that would be a useful thing to get your news out there.

(29:41): Some of the clients that we’ve worked with in the past, they might say, But we don’t have a Google or a LinkedIn company profile page. And so, I’m, Well, it’ll take 20 minutes to create one and then we can post to it on a regular basis. Essentially, we could feed it for free because we’re creating the post anyways. And then they agree, Okay, no problem. And now I see they have, excuse me, followers for that LinkedIn profile, which we can kind of see that it worked then.

(30:15): Here’s some information about Publer. What accounts they connect to, pricing so the one on the left, three social profiles for no charge. I think this one is Buffer. And then I could just talk a moment about just the service so that if you don’t wanna mess with initial optimization of your profile, and the constant updating and maintenance of it. Which is kind of important to stay in front of people and prove to Google that you care about your listing. Then you could hire my company to do that for you. And so I have have a team that could take care of that, and I’m happy to explain more about what those are. And in the end, pretty much guaranteed that you’ll see more visitors, increase website rankings for the things that we’re talking about, and going from there. So things in Google are, the name of the business, what are the categories, contact information, adding one post a week, adding more images. Best would be images from your business actually. And adding events, promotions, Q&A, all those. And then getting insights at the end of the month.

(32:05): Here’s the last page of the presentation that talks about all the different resources. Some of them I might have mentioned along through here, are the ones you could explore a little bit more to learn more, and go from there. Next step would be, I’ll just go into one of the listings live, and then we’ll open it up, questions and answers.

(32:30): So here I’m gonna log on to Google My Business or Google Business Manager. Here’s all the different ones in this account. So here’s an example of managing the profile on Google search. So that would be right through here where I could change this information through here. If we go back to this profile managee, and we log in and we switch accounts to a different account. And then we get to view all of the information through here.

(33:36): So, for example, here’s all of the services. So you see that all of those are filled out and there’s quite a extensive list of them. Next would be posts, and here you’ll see each post has 80 to a hundred words that include the keywords. We wanna rank for a link back to different pages on my website here, just within the body of the message and the learn more button. And then, now we could look at the one that was a week previous to that, and here’s another one. And it kind of goes through there like this.

(34:21): Here’s the info tab. So you see these are the different business categories, business hours, here’s all the services. Making sure you have a business description here that includes the keywords that you wanna rank for. And even taking the time to fill in the blanks when you started the business because if you don’t do that, you won’t even show up for those queries from Google.

(34:50): Google has a summary website here that all it really is is just the website. It shows everything that you did on Google My Business. So you need to publish it because in the end, it’ll help you get more back links which help with SEO. And so then it’s just one page. There’s a URL here that you could share on different social media sites, and then it shows, here’s all my Google Business listing posts, here’s all my reviews, here’s the business description, here’s images that we’ve uploaded over time, and then directions and just kind of regular information through there like that.

(35:41): And now I’d love to take any questions anybody might have. And we could go through and we could even share your screen and you can show me your Google Business listing, and I might offer suggestions like that as well. So anybody have something to add? Otherwise, then the website, this all started out was SEO Sundays. That’s a website I developed just for given away free SEO training. There was a lot of people that are searching for that. So I figured I might as well have a chance to get in front of those. And in a couple of days we’ll have this presentation posted here, and then you could see also the last presentations. So we have the video, the slide deck, and then the transcriptions.

(36:53): And I’m here to share more information on an individual basis. It’s not like I’m all about the money. I think that, my belief is that if I make you successful, then in the end I’ll be making myself successful. And that’s pretty much it. So unless anybody else has any other questions, I’ll let you guys go. Thank you very much.

(37:39): And somebody asked the question of, Can you view my listing and give feedback or suggestions? Certainly, I love doing that. So Umma, if you wanted to even just share your screen right now, and show me that, or publish the link to it here. Then I’m happy to give you my suggestions. If you’d like to do it on an individual meeting or something like that. Let me grab a link to my calendar and you could just schedule your own Zoom meeting and we could do it individually here.

(38:20): Yeah, don’t worry, anybody else is welcome to use that link at the same time. Thank you. See you guys later. Bye bye.