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5 Tips to Drive Business

Google Business Profile, otherwise known as GBP (and formerly known as Google My Business), is a valuable marketing tool that’s often underused.

But taking advantage of this free listing can help you boost brand awareness on the world’s most popular search engine and gain more customers.

Here’s how to make the most of your GBP:

1. Write an Engaging, Keyword-Friendly Business Description

Besides your business name, your GBP description is the first thing users see when your business pops up on Google search.

So, you need it to be accurate, compelling, and relevant to your target audience.

Here’s how to do it:

Be Concise and Showcase What Makes Your Brand Unique

Provide clear information about what you do. But sprinkle in some personality by highlighting your brand’s story, mission, and core values. 

Let’s look at this example from fashion boutique Aritzia

From the GBP description, we immediately learn Aritzia’s target audience: women. We learn what they offer: clothes. We learn that their core goal is to provide high-quality, contemporary fashion at a valuable price. And we get this key info in the first three sentences. 

Then, they highlight their true “secret sauce”: developing their own brands, searching for top sources across the globe, and paying close attention to details.

It’s short, engaging, and informative. 

Follow Aritzia’s lead with your own quick blurb that focuses on what you do and what makes your brand stand out.

To write your “Description,” log into your GBP account

Click on “Edit profile.” 

“Edit profile" option selected from GBP dashboard

A box will open with all your “Business information” options. Click the pencil icon next to “Description.”

Then, enter your text into the Description box.

Not sure where to begin? Our AI Writing Assistant can help.

Include Strategic Keywords

Besides writing a description that potential customers respond well to, you also need search engines to respond well to it.

This is where SEO keywords come in. Including relevant, frequently searched terms connected to your business and industry can help you rank higher on search engines. Which makes it easier for customers to find you. 

Say you’re a local pet store. It would make sense to include location-specific keywords in your profile to target pet owners in your area.

Google's related searches section for local pet store

But you don’t want to just throw in phrases like “pet stores Wisconsin” over and over again. This kind of keyword stuffing is obvious to readers and search engines and takes away value from your profile. 

Keywords should naturally fit into your writing.

Like this:

An example of keywords occurring naturally in text vs keyword stuffing

To find the right phrases to boost your profile visibility, start with keyword research. This just means finding and evaluating strategic keywords for your specific company to target.

It might seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but don’t worry. Our Keyword Magic Tool can help you find the right phrases to include to boost your profile visibility.

To start, you need a broad phrase or term related to your brand’s niche or industry. This is known as a seed keyword. Seed keywords serve as the starting point from which you’ll find more specific keywords.

For example, “pet stores.”

Type in your seed keyword word and click the “Search” button.

"pet stores" entered into the Keyword Magic Tool search bar

Then, click through the following tabs:

  • Broad Match
  • Exact Match
  • Related 

The “Broad Match” tab will show you variations of your seed keyword. 

"Broad Match" keywords table for "pet stores"

The “Exact Match” tab shows phrases that include your exact seed keyword.

"Exact Match" keywords table for "pet stores"

And the “Related Match” tab shows you search terms that are similar to your seed keyword.

"Related Match" keywords table for "pet stores"

As you come across potential keywords to add to your profile description, save them using the checkbox to the right of any keyword result. Then, hit the “+ Add to keyword list” button. 

"pet stores nearby," "exotic pet stores," and "online pet stores" keywords selected from the list

You can add to an existing list or click the “Create new empty list” text box to create a new one. Click the checkmark to the right to save your selections.

Creating a keywords list window in the Keyword Magic Tool

Further reading: How to Do Keyword Research for SEO (A Detailed 3-Step Guide)

2. Set Up Direct Messaging

Set up direct messaging to answer questions, get feedback, and engage with potential customers. 

An example of replying to a Google review

Image Source: MARA

This GBP feature allows searchers to contact you directly. So, you can quickly provide information and respond to questions that can boost sales and encourage more business.

Responding to each customer’s concern personally shows that you value them. This helps build trust and satisfaction. And happy customers are likely to recommend your business to others.

To set it up, open the “Messages” section on your GBP dashboard.

“Messages” option selected from the GBP dashboard

Click the “Turn on” button and add your contact info so customers can use it to reach out to you.

Turning on chat in Google Business Profile

Then, you’ll receive a verification code from Google to confirm your identity. Enter that code, and you’re all set.

How to Automate Basic Replies

Even if you can’t get to a customer inquiry right away, people want to know their message has been received. According to a 2022 survey, 70% of American consumers expect a same-day response after contacting a company. 

Automated replies give customers a reasonable expectation of when they can expect to hear from you so they don’t think you’re ignoring them.

GBP has an automated, customizable “away message” feature you can use to initially reply to users.

Go to “Messages” > “Chat settings” > “Away mode” to set yours up.

“Away mode” section in GBP settings

Make sure to keep your away messages up-to-date—especially if you add any details like: 

  • Away for the holidays
  • On vacation until …
  • We’re moving to a new location!

Further Reading: What is Omnichannel? (+ Tips to Create Seamless Experiences)

3. Add Compelling Photos That Represent Your Brand

Whether you’re adding to your GBP photo album or uploading a post or product, you want high-quality pictures that show off the best of your brand.

Sassy Cow Creamery's photos in GBP

Image Source: Sassy Cow Creamery

These visuals are key to hooking in new customers and driving engagement.
Here are some best practices:

  • Ensure your pictures adhere to Google’s photo guidelines: Following Google’s standards for file sizes and formatting makes sure they’re clear and upload correctly
  • Post different types of photos: From exterior shots to staff and customer interactions, strive to show a 360-view of your business
  • Add new photos to share updates: Keep things fresh and keep shoppers in the loop on your latest products, specials, and events
  • Showcase your business’ unique features: Share pictures of the things your customers will want to take pictures of, whether it’s a unique dish or a vivid mural

To upload a picture, go to your GBP dashboard and click the “Add photo” icon. 

“Add photo” option selected from the GBP dashboard

Choose “Photo.

"Add photo" section in GBP

Click “Select photos or videos” or drag your files into the box.

“Drag photos or videos” or "Select photos or videos" pop-up window

You can click “See photos” to view your photo right away or hit “Add more photos.”

"Photo uploaded" message with “See photos,” and "Add more photos" button highlighted below

After you click “See photos,” a new screen will appear that says one of three things: 

  • Pending: The photo is processing and not yet public on Google
  • Not approved: The photo was flagged for not meeting Google guidelines (e.g., size is too small or too large, unaccepted file format, you haven’t verified your business profile, etc.) 
  • Live: The photo is posted on your profile 

If your photo is flagged, click “Learn more” and you’ll be redirected to the photo guidelines.

Further reading: Visual Search Guide: What It Is, Benefits, and Optimization Tips

3. Regularly Post to Your Google Business Profile

Think of your GBP as an extension of your existing social media marketing strategy. Taking the time to regularly update your GBP helps you enhance brand visibility and customer engagement.

Posting frequently shows that your business is active and gives searchers an idea of what your brand is all about. And you can use your posts to encourage users to move down the marketing funnel.

GBP offer three different kinds of posts:

  1. Update: Use this for regular posts. 
  2. Offer: Use this for specials and promos.
  3. Event: Use this to promote any kind of special event. 

How to Create and Publish a Google Post

Sign into your GBP account. 

Click the “Add update” button on your dashboard. You might have to click on the drop-down arrow if you don’t initially see it as an option.

“Add update” option selected from the GBP dashboard

Choose “Add update,” “Add offer,” or “Add event.” For this example, we’ll use “Add update.” 

“Add update" option selected from the menu

Now, type in your update. Then, add up to 10 photos.

Next, you’ll see options for a call to action (CTA). While this isn’t a mandatory field, we highly recommend using it. This clickable button makes it easy for users to take a certain action, like buying a product, signing up for a newsletter, or visiting a webpage.

Just pop in your desired URL and choose one of the pre-set CTA titles:

  • Book
  • Order online
  • Learn more
  • Sign up
  • Call now
Adding an update to Google Business Profile

Before making your post public, click on “Preview” to double check that everything is how you want it. Use the back arrow in the top left corner if you need to make any edits. 

Once you’re satisfied, click the “Post” button at the bottom right corner of the page. 

“Post” button selected at the bottom right corner of the “Add update" page

Once published, the post will appear at the bottom of your live profile. 

A post update showing under Lola's Fluffy Friends GBP

4. Make the Most of Product and Service Uploads

According to Mintel, around half of surveyed consumers in the United States have bought products through social media platforms. And adding your products and services to your GBP profile is no different than doing so on a platform like Instagram or Pinterest.

"See what's in store" section of GBP

This makes it even easier for searchers to browse and buy from you. And searchers can quickly find what they’re looking for using sidebar filters.

Product shows under "Women's Apparel" product category

To add a product to your profile, sign into your GBP account and click on the “Edit products” icon. 

“Edit products” option selected from the GBP dashboard

A new window will appear. Click the “Get started” button. Now, it’s time to optimize your product upload.

“Get started” button.selected under "Products" window

Create Detailed Descriptions

Like your business description, your product descriptions can make or break customer interest. 

So, you need your them to be concise, thoughtful, and keyword friendly.

Start by adding the product name, price, and webpage URL in the relevant fields. 

Then, highlight the core features of your product or service that’ll resonate with your target audience.

Let’s say we were selling candles. Some notable elements to hone in on could include:

  • The basics: A rose-gold, vanilla-scented candle with a four-hour burn time, perfect for intimate dinners or a relaxing bath
  • Product components: Blend of natural soy wax and high-grade vanilla essence for a clean, authentic fragrance 
  • Stand-out features:
    • Made locally by company founder, Julia, and her sister, Maria, ensuring each candle has a personal touch
    • Packaged in eco-friendly materials to reduce environmental footprint

Don’t forget to integrate relevant keywords into these descriptions (e.g., “vanilla candle,” “eco-friendly candle”). Use them naturally in your writing so you can boost your SEO without sacrificing readability.

Crafting engaging, SEO-friendly descriptions from scratch for each of your products can take a lot of time and brain power. Save yours with our AI Writing Assistant.

Click on “All Tools” from the left-hand menu.

"All Tools" selected from the left-hand menu in AI Writing Assistant

Type “Product Descriptions” in the search bar. Hit your Enter key. 

You’ll then see three product description tools:

  1. Product Descriptions
  2. Ecommerce Product Descriptions
  3. Amazon Product Descriptions
Searching for "product descriptions" under "All Tools" in AI Writing Assistant

For GBP, we recommend using one of the first two options. 

Then, you’ll see a form where you can provide specific details about your product.

"Product Descriptions" form in AI Writing Assistant
  • Select the language for your product description
  • Set the creativity level to match your marketing style—”High” for more elaborate descriptions or “Regular” for straightforward details
  • Input your product name
  • Define your target audience with specifics about their age, interests, professions, etc.
  • Provide a summary of your product, highlighting key features or selling points you want emphasized.

Use the plus and minus signs to select how many description variations you want the AI to create (you can choose up to eight). Then, click “Generate.”

Within 30 seconds, you’ll get draft product descriptions. Hover over each one to:

  • Check for plagiarism: Confirm the originality of the description
  • Copy: To paste and edit it in your GBP
  • Save: Add the description to the “Saved” tab for later use
A draft product description for "Vision Craft Pro HD" generated by AI Writing Assistant

If the results miss the mark, you can manually edit the copy or go back to the form and adjust the settings.

Choose the Most Relevant Product Categories

Think of your product categories like keywords. The right categories can get you in front of people who’re the most likely to use your products or services. 

In this example, you can see how Luminosa Light Designs Inc. uses the “Lighting” and “Decor” categories to quickly guide searchers to the products they’re most interested in.

"Products" section under Luminosa Light Designs Inc. GBP

To choose yours, click the “Select a category” drop-down and hit “Create a new category.”

“Create a new category" option selected in the "Add product" window

Type in a relevant product category under 58 characters. 

Once all your fields are filled out and you’ve uploaded a photo, click “Publish.” 

Fields filled for a "Bumblebee" dog toy and "Publish" button highlighted at the bottom of the screen

If you have any errors (like a dollar sign symbol in the product price), you’ll be asked to edit them. If not, you’ll see a screen that says “Your product is being added.” 

“Your product is being added" screen

If you have more products to add, click the “Add next product” button and repeat the same process. 

Further reading: The Future of Ecommerce is Now: Industry Insights for 2023 & Beyond

5. Respond to Customer Reviews

Managing and responding to customer reviews—both positive and negative—shows you value customer feedback. In fact, a Google study found that businesses that respond to reviews are considered nearly two times more trustworthy than those that don’t.

Your responses also contribute to establishing your brand’s trustworthiness with search engines. This is a key factor in how Google evaluates and ranks content.

Allocate time to:

  • Thank your customers for positive reviews
  • Address concerns mentioned in negative or bad reviews with professionalism
  • Actively communicate any misconceptions and offer solutions if required

Here’s an example of the owner of a small, local bakery responding to a negative review: 

The owner of a small, local bakery responding to a negative review

And the same business owner responding to a positive review: 

The owner of a small, local bakery responding to a positive review

While it’s important to acknowledge reviews, it can be time consuming. 

Our Review Management tool can help. Use the software to respond to reviews on more than 70 different registered directories, such as Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp.

"Reviews" dashboard explained in Review Management tool

Our dashboard shows you key data points, like:

  • Total reviews
  • Average star rating
  • Weekly and monthly review progress 
  • Your review response rate
Review Management dashboard

Further reading: A Beginner’s Guide to Online Reputation Management

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Often Should I Update My Google Business Profile?

There isn’t a specific “right” number when it comes to posting. But we recommend publishing at least once a week to show searchers you’re active. And make updates as needed on key info like your business hours, new products, events, etc.

Incorporating fresh content also sends activity signals to Google. These signals indicate that your business is engaged and interactive, which boosts your credibility in the eyes of the search engine.

Does Running Google Ads Help My Google Business Profile?

It can!

While you can’t place ads directly on your GBP, Google Ads can still help increase your brand visibility and traffic. So, your profile will also benefit.

And if you’re a local business, your local SEO will get a boost through targeting specific areas. Which helps you reach more relevant potential customers.

What’s the Most Efficient Way to Update My GBP?

The quickest way to update and maintain your Google Business Profile is by using a central management tool. 

Instead of juggling updates, posts, and reviews manually—which can be overwhelming, especially for small teams or busy business owners—a tool like our Listing Management centralizes all these tasks.

Skip the duplicate efforts. Keep a close eye on your GBP and all your other business listings in one spot.


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