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Ultimate Guide to Google Business Profile (2022)

Everything you need to know about optimizing and managing your Google Business Profile to attract new customers.

google-business-profile-guide-worksheet

Google Business Profile Worksheet

Free worksheet to help you get started with your Google Business Profile and maximize your results.

Table of Contents

Many small businesses are missing out on the huge potential within Google Business Profile. 

That’s why every year we make it a point to update our Google Business Profile guide so we can provide new strategies we use to help local businesses stand out online.

Our goal is to give you the best resource for setting up, managing, and optimizing your business profile, so you can grow your business. 

Growing your business online is complicated, especially in 2022. There is so much information everywhere, where do you even start?

Thanks to our research, we see how many home service businesses waste precious time and money trying to spread their message online.

That’s why we made it our mission to make the process easy and cost-efficient for you. 

We guide you on your journey to grow online. It’s because we care about your success.

Our focus is your results.

We’re excited when our Google Business Profile clients get results like these:

google-business-profile-guide-photo-views
google-business-profile-guide-search-results

And these: 

google-business-profile-guide-searches

How do we achieve these incredible results?

By building a strong digital marketing foundation for our clients.

Your Google Business Profile strategy is a critical part of your foundation.

You are probably here because:

  • You’re frustrated. You do not know how to start with Google Business Profile.
  • You have someone managing your Google Business Profile and they’re not doing a good job.
  • You know you do better work than your competition. How can you show that to more homeowners?
  • You love it when local brands build a relationship with you online. So, you want to do the same for your customers.
  • You want to manage your Google Business Profile yourself.

If you are experiencing any of these frustrations, you aren’t alone.

But, you’re in luck because Google Business Profile is one of the best ways for a service business or contractor to get more customers.

The service is free, but you need to use the right approach. Your company information must be correct and complete, among other things.

Not only do we have the data to back up how important it is, but so does Google. 

Some fun facts about Google Business Profile directly from Google: 

  • Customers are 2.7 times more likely to consider a business reputable if they find a complete Business Profile on Google Search and Maps. 
  • Customers are 70% more likely to visit a business with a complete Business Profile.
  • Customers are 50% more likely to consider purchasing from a business with a complete Business Profile.


The right strategy is the key to success. It lets your business show up before your competitors in the search results.

Google learns what you do through your Google Business Profile. The more information you give this tool, the better.

It’s incredible how much smarter the Google search engine is becoming each day. The more you put out there showing you’re a reliable, qualified business, the more Google wants people to use your business.

The results speak for themselves.

Before we get started, we want to congratulate you on doing the hardest part. You realize you need a change.

Without change, there is no progress. Being committed is the first step toward growing your business online!

What Is Google Business Profile (Formerly Known as Google My Business)?

Google Business Profile, also known as GBP, is a free tool for local businesses to list and manage their business on Google Search and Maps.

The profile lets you interact with your customers and manage everything they want to know about your business.

Google Business Profile was formerly known as Google Business Profile up until the fourth quarter of 2021, when the name change took place.

Is Google Business Profile Free?  

Google Business Profile is currently free for businesses and organizations to enjoy the benefits. That is one of the many reasons why the tool is so amazing!    

What Can I Do With Google Business Profile? 

Your Google Business Profile comes with many different functions you can use to manage your local business and interact with current and prospective customers.

You can update:

  • Business name
  • Description
  • Address
  • Contact information
  • Products & services offered
  • Photos and videos
  • Hours of operation


You can also engage with your customers in the following ways:

  • Questions & answers section (Q & A)
  • Respond to reviews
  • Make appointments
  • Post business updates, offers, or promotions in your news feed


Additionally, you can view insights about how your business is performing in local searches which include:

  • How customers search for your business
  • Where customers view your business on Google
  • Customer actions
  • Photo & video views

Why Is Google Business Profile Important?

Google is the most popular search tool. It is likely to continue to be popular for a long time. 

In fact, Google has been used for up to 90% of all searches over the past 10 years.

google-business-profile-guide-search-engines-stats

This graph above shows search volume for common search engines from the past 10 years. Google, the blue line, has drastically more searches than others. These are your home service business customers. 

It’s obvious that your existence on GBP increases the chances your customers find you

Your well-constructed profile is what drives more business.

If potential customers like your page, they call you instead of your competitors.

You’re going to want to optimize (meaning maximize the potential of) your Google Business Profile. It’s the key to making sure your business shows up before your competitors.

We’re here to help you crush the competition.

Recent Changes to Google Business Profile in 2022 

Besides the name change from Google My Business to Google Business Profile, there are some other exciting changes Google made.   

You can now conveniently claim and verify your Business Profile directly from Google Search and Google Maps.

It is also easier than ever to access and manage your Business Profile.

All you have to do is type ‘my business’ in the Google Search box. If you scroll down the page a bit, your Business Profile is displayed. Note that you must be logged into Google with the email account you use to manage your Google Business Profile.

What you see on Google Search and Maps is the same as what was displayed in the old Google Business Profile dashboard, just differently. These are the easiest ways to manage your profile moving forward.

Essentially, Google made it so you never have to leave Google Search or Maps which has improved the user experience.  

Google plans to add additional tools related to how your business profile is performing.

They are also adding tips on what you can do to improve your online presence.

These will only be available through Search and Maps so it’s important to get familiar with the transition.

What Happened to Google My Business?  

The old Google My Business dashboard will still exist and be renamed to ‘Business Profile Manager’. The new Business Profile Manager will mainly support larger businesses with multiple profiles.

Larger businesses still have the option to manage single Profiles on Search and Maps.

As for the Google Business Profile mobile application, it will be retired in July 2022 in favor of Google Maps and Search.   

What Do Homeowners See When They Search With Google?   

google-business-profile-guide-search-diagram

Google search results are either paid or organic. Organic search results are the results that display “organically”, meaning that they are showing up naturally without paying anything.

The other search results are paid. For you to show up in the paid results, you must have a paid advertising campaign.

We are going to break down the terms Google uses for naming the different types of search results. These are what show up in the Search Engine Results Page, also known as SERP.

google-business-profile-guide-serp-meaning

Google Local Services   

Suppose a homeowner searches for a Westchester, NY roofing contractor on their computer.

The first results you see are from Google Local Services. These are a form of paid advertisements. The red arrows below show the Google Local Services results.

google-business-profile-guide-local-services-ads

Google started Google Local Services around 2017. This service made a way for homeowners to hire local contractors with the backing of “Google’s Guarantee”.

Here are the business types which currently support the Google Guarantee:

  • Appliance repair services
  • Carpet cleaning services
  • Cleaning services
  • Electricians
  • Estate lawyer services
  • Financial planning services
  • Garage door services
  • HVAC (heating or air conditioning)
  • Immigration lawyer services
  • Lawn care services
  • Locksmiths
  • Movers
  • Pest control services
  • Plumbers
  • Real estate services
  • Roofers
  • Water damage services
  • Window cleaning services

If a customer problem is not resolved by the contractor, the Google Guarantee takes care of it. Any job booked through Google is covered up to the amount of the job. In the USA, Google pays up to $2,000 per claim.

To qualify for Google Local Services, Google uses a screening process. This process makes sure that your business has insurance and local licenses.

A background check is also performed on the business and its owner. You can find the full guidelines for Google Local Services here.

Businesses that pass the screening receive the badge, ‘Google Guarantee.’  

When using Google Local Services ads, you pay per ‘lead.’ A lead is a phone call or an email received through the advertisement. 

 ‘Google Guarantee’ starts to build trust right away when your customers see the badge, so it is an excellent option if you have an advertising budget.

Then, they might also take a closer look at your Google Business Profile to learn more about your services.

Google Ads   

The next item you see in the search results is Google Ads as shown by the red arrows below.

google-business-profile-guide-ads

Many companies use Google Ads to generate new business. When you run a Google Ad, you usually show up on the first page somewhere in the results.

Google Ads has no selection process so as long as you have a Google Business Profile listing, you can run the ads.

If you don’t have a Google Business Profile listing, you can also run the ads from a Google Ads account.

While in Google Local Services you pay per “lead”, in Google Ads you pay per “click” (also referred to as PPC). In other words, you are charged in Google Ads when your potential customer clicks on the advertisement.

Google sets the cost-per-click based on how many of your competitors are also running similar ads. The more popular the search term, the greater the cost of a click.

Google Maps Results (Google Local 3-Pack)   

When you scroll down further, Google Maps results are next as shown by the red arrows below.

google-business-profile-guide-maps-local-3-pack

Google currently displays the top 3 results. These are called the ‘Google Local 3-Pack’.

On the maps screen, you can:

  • See hours of operation
  • Get directions
  • Visit the website
  • See how many reviews a business has
  • Click on the business name to view their full Google Business Profile profile


After setting up your Google Business Profile, your business shows up somewhere in the Google Maps results. When you are just starting out, it is likely somewhere really far down the list. 

If you eventually show up in the Google Local 3-Pack this is a huge advantage for your contractor business. Homeowners can find you much easier and are more likely to use your services.

Organic Search Results   

Next, we see the Organic Search Results. They are shown by red arrows below.

google-business-profile-guide-organic-results

Organic search results show up for free.

These results are based on several factors that are constantly changing as Google updates its search algorithms.

One of the main factors is how closely related your search phrase is (relevance). Search engine optimization (SEO) factors are also considered. SEO is a complex strategy that changes all the time.

A professional marketing company can help you with SEO best practices. Their strategies help you gain more exposure in the organic search results.

What Does it Mean to Optimize Google Business Profile?   

Digital marketers talk about having a ‘fully optimized’ Google Business Profile. Let’s break down what optimization means in simpler terms.

Google local business optimization is about getting the most from your profile. You need to use all the available GBP features and the right way. It’s that simple.

Optimization is important because if you do what Google wants, you are going to show up to more homeowner customers.

This guide is going to help you optimize your contractor Google Business Profile listing.

How to Claim Your Google Business Profile   

The first step in starting with Google Business Profile is finding out if you are a local qualifying business.

If you are, log in to the Google account you want to use to claim and manage your business.

If you don’t already have a Google account to use, you may create a new account here: https://accounts.google.com/signup

Pro Tip: Do not use your personal Gmail account. You want something just for your business. so you don’t have an inbox full of junk mail. Keep personal and business emails separate as a general rule of thumb.

Security Tips:

  • Set up two-factor authentication for logging in to the account
  • Use a password that is 12 or more characters
  • Use both uppercase and lowercase letters in your password
  • Include numbers and special characters in your password
  • Use a word that is not in the dictionary for your password

These steps make your account safer and help prevent unauthorized access or fraud.

Claiming if Your Business is Already Listed on Google

Even if you have never provided any information to Google about your business, it can still be listed.

Follow these steps to claim the profile if your business already shows up in local search.

  1. Search for your business on Google. If you get an exact match, click the ‘Own this business?’ link as shown in the screenshot below.
  1. Log in to the Google account you created for managing your listing.
  2. Click the ‘Manage now’ button.
  3. Click ‘Postcard by mail’ and enter the contact name of the person receiving the postcard.
  4. Click the ‘Mail’ button when finished.
  5. In about 5 days, you are going to receive a postcard in the mail with a code.
  6. Follow the instructions on the postcard to verify your listing.
  7. Once you confirm your listing, you can access the full benefits of Google Business Profile.


Claiming if Your Business is Not Listed on Google   

In the other scenario, your business doesn’t show up when you Google it.

Not to worry, you can create a new business in a few simple steps.

  1. Navigate to https://www.google.com/business. Click on the blue ‘Manage now’ button.
  2. Log in to the Google account you chose for managing your listing.
  3. Type the business name in the search field. If it is not there, click where it says ‘Create a business with this name’ as shown by the red arrow below.
google-business-profile-guide-new-gbp-name
  1. Enter your business name. Be sure to type the name exactly as you want it displayed on Google with proper capitalization and spacing. Click ‘Next’ when finished.
  2. Enter your business category. As you start typing, suggestions appear. Select your business category that most closely relates to your services and click ‘Next’. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure, you can go back to this later from your dashboard. We have included an example below.
google-business-profile-guide-new-gbp-category
  1. On the next screen, select whether you want to add a location that customers can visit, such as a store or office. Click ‘Next.’
    a) If you selected ‘Yes,’ enter your address on the next screen. Click ‘Next.
    b) If you selected ‘No,’ enter your top locations. You will have limited selections, so start with the most important. You may want to also include the counties. Click ‘Next’ when finished.
  2. Enter your business phone number in the ‘Contact phone number field’.
  3. Select from the three options for the website. If you want a free business website, Google gives you the option to create one for free. We cover later in this guide how to create the free website. Click ‘Next’ when finished. We have included an example of what the screen looks like below.
google-business-profile-guide-new-gbp-website
  1. If you provided your business mailing address in step 6, you have the option to verify your listing. If you did not, this is your chance to enter an address to be verified by Google. P.O. boxes are not eligible and the address is hidden from the public if you use one. Click ‘Next’ to continue to the next screen.
  2. Enter a name in the ‘Contact name’ field. Confirm one more time that the address details are correct. Click ‘Mail’ to receive your postcard. It will arrive in up to 5 days. The postcard has information on how to verify your listing.
  3. Once verified, you can:
    a) Create promotional posts.
    b) Track business data to understand your customers better.
    c) Respond to customer reviews & more!


Pro tip:
While waiting, Google recommends that you do not change your business details. Also, do not request a new postcard. Doing this may result in delays in verifying your profile.

Familiarizing Yourself with the Google Business Profile Dashboard

If it’s your first time getting access to your Google Business Profile, congratulations!

Let’s review the new dashboard look that you can access directly from Google Search. In this section, we are providing a high-level overview of all the options. When we cover optimizing your Business Profile later in the guide, we will go into more detail.

As we mentioned earlier, you can also access your listing directly from Maps. However, when you click on ‘Manage this listing’ from Google Maps, it brings you to the Google Search page results.

To get to your dashboard from a Google search, you can do the following:

  • Type your full business name in the search box as it is displayed on Google and press enter.
  • Type ‘My Business’ in the search box and press enter.

Both options give you the same result, so it’s a matter of personal preference.

For our example, we are using one of our clients. A local roofing contractor, MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc.  

Note that you must be signed in with the Google account you verified the profile with.

From a Windows 10 Laptop, we typed ‘MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc.’ in the search bar and pressed enter (without the quote marks).

google-business-profile-guide-name-search

At first, it seems like the normal Google Search results. But if you look closely, you notice that there are some differences now that you are an authorized user on the account.

Towards the right hand side of the page, you can see your Google Business Profile displayed.

Below where it has your phone number and the appointments link, there is another link that says ‘Edit your business information’. Clicking that link gives you options for editing your business information.

google-business-profile-guide-edit-information-link

After you click the link, a pop-up opens on the screen.

google-business-profile-guide-company-information-menu

This link is essentially a shortcut for accessing and editing your business information. You don’t get the same options as you do in the main dashboard from here.

You can scroll down to see the business information you can view and edit, such as:

  • Business name, categories, and description
  • Opening date
  • Contact information (phone number)
  • Website
  • Address and service areas
  • Business hours of operation, holiday hours, and additional hours
  • Business attributes, amenities, and crowd
  • Health & safety
  • Service options


With the three dots at the upper right-hand corner of the window, you can access Google help and support and send feedback.

google-business-profile-guide-more-options

There are also quick access tools below the ‘Edit your business information link. These include:

  • Adding products
  • Accessing the Questions & Answers (Q&A)
  • Generate a link you can send to customers to leave you a review
  • Add photos

 
The second place where you can access more Google Business Profile dashboard features is directly below the advertisements, where it says ‘Your Business on Google’.

google-business-profile-guide-search-dashboard

This section is the main Google Business Profile dashboard.

At the top, you can see your business logo. The blue check mark at the bottom right of your logo indicates that the profile has been claimed & verified.

Just to the right of that you can see how many views your Profile received within the past month.

google-business-profile-guide-company-views-verified

Notice the link text displaying your Profile views is blue, meaning you can click on it. Clicking the text brings you into the new Profile performance dashboard. We will cover that more in a bit.

Directly below, you have three buttons: Edit profile, Promote, and Customers.

google-business-profile-guide-dashboard-menus

Directly to the right of the three buttons is a set of vertical dots.

google-business-profile-guide-more-dashboard-options

From the three vertical dots, you can:

  • Access Business Profile settings
  • View notifications
  • Add a new Business Profile
  • View your other Business Profiles
  • Access a GBP tutorial
  • Get help & support
  • Send feedback to Google
  • Access Google’s Terms of Service

 
Next up, there is a carousel slider of quick-access notifications that are customized for your business. You might see different options than what is displayed in the image below.

If you click the arrow on the far right, you can scroll through the various choices.

For MCAS Roofing & Contracting, the options are a review link, add exterior photos, create an offer, get a custom email, see call history, update business status, learn more about your profile, and turn on chat.

If you click the three vertical dots next to any of the options, you can learn more or dismiss the notification. If you dismiss the notification, it no longer displays on the screen.

And there you have it! We’ve gone through everything contained in the new Google Business Profile dashboard.

Take a test drive so you can learn where the different options are located. It might seem like a lot at first, but once you’ve spent some time browsing, you’ll find the features much easier.

As a business owner, you should be familiar with all the Google Business Profile features so you can maximize all the benefits.  

How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing   

Optimizing your Google Business Profile is one of the most valuable parts of growing your business with local search.

That’s why we are so excited to be right by your side on this journey of endless opportunities.

Before you begin optimizing your profile, make sure you are verified. Otherwise, you won’t have access to all the features.

Business Information   

To get the most benefit from your listing, you want to add as much information about your business as possible. With the right information, customers can find you easier. Here is where you can outshine your competitors if you do it right!

Pro tip: When you enter any information, make sure the formatting is exactly as it appears on other places online (Yelp, Facebook, etc.). This includes uppercase/lowercase characters, address formatting, or any other information.

The last thing you want is to confuse Google. By keeping your information consistent, you have a better online presence.

If you haven’t already, log in to the Google account which you manage your Google Business Profile with.

As you learned earlier, to find your Google Business Profile dashboard, type your business name exactly as it appears in a Google search.

Click the ‘Edit profile’ button below where it says, “Your business on Google”.

google-business-profile-guide-edit-profile

From here you can access everything that is editable within your profile such as your business information, hours of operation, products, services, and photos.

How to Edit Business Information in Google Business Profile  

Click where it says ‘Business information’ to expand the window as shown below.

To edit any field in the business information window, hover over the section and click the little pencil icon.

google-business-profile-guide-edit-company-name

Starting at the top, scroll through and carefully go through each item. Be sure to accurately fill in each field and do not skip any fields.

Keep reading to learn about optimization guidelines for several of the fields.

Optimizing Your Business Categories  

Your business categories represent the types of services you offer.

For your main business category, you want to pick the category that most accurately represents your business.

The primary business category you choose is a significant factor when it comes to local search rankings.

Start typing in the primary category box and choose from one of Google’s suggestions.

Pro tip: If your business is seasonal, you want to change your business category to reflect the services you provide during a particular season. For example, a landscaper in the Northeast who offers landscaping services during the warmer months and snow removal during the winter. During the warmer months, you want to use “Landscaper” as your primary category. In the winter, you want to change it to “Snow removal service”. Be sure to change it back when the winter is over.

Add your secondary categories by clicking the ‘Add another category’ button.

google-business-profile-guide-add-category

Feel free to add as many service sub-categories as you want as long as they closely represent your services.

Click the ‘Save’ button when finished.

Optimizing Your Business Description 

Next up, your business description. Your business description is another important part of your Google Business Profile.

Many local home service businesses have poorly written business descriptions, so standing out from your competitors is easy. 

Your business description is an opportunity to talk about your brand story, your unique value proposition, and offer your customers a look into why they should choose your products or services.

When it comes to picking keywords in your business description, there’s no reason to complicate things.

After all, the keywords in the business description don’t have an impact on local rankings.

By talking about your business and the services you offer, you naturally include keywords.

For example, if you’re a roofing contractor, homeowners might search:

  • Residential roofing contractor
  • Slate roof repair
  • Siding installation

If you mention in your business description that you are a residential roofing contractor who offers slate roof repair and siding installation, you’ve incorporated the necessary keywords. It’s that easy!

The Do’s of Writing Your Business Description 

Talk about your customer’s problems & how you solve them.

Your customers want to know you understand their problems so it’s important to mention them. They also want to know how you plan to solve them.

Homeowners want to know why your services are good for them. Include 1-2 sentences addressing their problems and your solution.

Talk about your products and services.

Provide a clear overview of which products and services you offer so potential customers know exactly what solutions you provide.

Highlight your strengths.

Discuss why your customers should choose you over the competition. Highlight your experience, skills, and certifications. What makes you unique?

Introduce your brand story and history.

If you have an interesting brand story or you have a family business feel free to mention that. Local homeowners might relate to your story and this could spark their interest in your products and services. 

The Don’ts of Writing Your Business Description 

Don’t include sales pitches and offers.

Using sales pitches and offers in the business description is against Google policy. You are limited to 750 characters, so you want to be sure you are using the limited space wisely.

Google reviews your submission before it is approved and there’s a good chance it’s denied if you violate their policy.

Don’t include prohibited and restricted content.

Google has specific guidelines on prohibited and restricted content that you should familiarize yourself with. Not only will Google reject the business description if you have a violation, but you may even risk losing the entire account.

Here are some examples of prohibited or restricted content:

  • Offensive content
  • Fake content
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Links to pages that contain restricted content
  • Don’t spam keywords

Google’s algorithm can identify if you are using too many keywords in an artificial way. If you don’t comply, another way your listing may get suspended or permanently banned.

Optimizing Your Service Areas 

Service areas are the areas in which you service customers.

Optimization of the service areas is pretty straightforward. Simply enter the counties and top 10 main cities in which you service and you’re done.

Optimizing Your Products & Services 

Clearly defining your products and services lets your customers know exactly what you do. And, helps with their journey of becoming a paying customer.

From the ‘Edit profile’ section, select the ‘Services’ menu.

google-business-profile-guide-edit-company-services

For each category you have, you can add services associated with that category.

To ensure relevancy, be sure to only include services that accurately reflect the category.

For example, if your primary category is Roofing contractor, an associated service would be Roof repair.

To add services under your categories, click the blue ‘Add more services’ button.

Google may offer suggestions based on the business category. Select all the services that are related to the business category you are in.

If you don’t see a service you offer, but want to add a custom service, click the ‘Add custom service’ button to type in your own.

Pro tip: Adding your services to the products section is an acceptable practice that we highly recommend.

To further optimize your products and services, you want to add descriptions.

After you have added the individual services, you can go back to the list of services and click on one to enter the screen where you can add the description.

The same Google guidelines apply to the service descriptions. Basically, no spam, offers, or hateful speech.

You are limited to 300 characters so be sure to include only important information that is directly related to the service description you are writing.

Business Content

There are several components of your Google Business Profile where you need content.

Content is simply a type of information that you produce for your business.

We categorize content as photos, videos, questions & answers (Q&A), and posts.

Photos  

Showcase your products and services on Google. Come up with a plan to capture high-quality photos of your best work. Then, add them to your GBP listing.

Businesses with more than 100 images get 520% more calls than the average business, while those with just one image get 71% fewer.

Also, businesses with more than 100 images get 1,065% more website clicks than the average business, while those with just one get 65% fewer.

Simply put, you’re going to need to be on top of uploading new, high-quality photos regularly to be ahead of your competitors.  

Google has guidelines for the photos you upload and there are also preferred sizes you should use.

Photo Sizes And Types 

  • Cover Photo: The best Google Business Profile cover photo size is 1080 x 608 pixels (minimum 480 x 270; maximum 2120 x 1192). The file formats are either JPG or PNG and the size should be between 10 KB and 5 MB. *Note that on your phone, less may show so you need to be sure the photo is centered correctly. There should also be white space on the edges so if it is cut off, the full image still displays.
  • Logo: 250 x 250 pixels
  • Standard Photos: 720 x 720 pixels minimum

Here is an example of a logo that is sized correctly on mobile:

google-business-profile-guide-photo-vertical
Taking Photos

You want the photos in your profile to look as professional as possible so you can showcase your excellent work.

Also, you should turn on location services for your camera application on your phone. This allows you to add the geographic location data into the photo.

The location data likely has no impact on GBP rankings, but can be useful when you are organizing photos.

When taking a photo, first make sure that your camera lens is clean. Dust, dirt and fingerprints accumulate on your lens and ruin the quality of your photos.

You can clean your lens with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. Or, the inside of your shirt (if it’s clean and cotton).

The orientation of your phone also matters.

If you are taking a photo that needs to cover a wider area, take the photo holding your phone horizontally.

google-business-profile-guide-horizontal-phone

For smaller frames, hold your phone vertical to take the photo.  

If you are doing a before and after photo, make sure both the before and the after photo are taken with the same orientation.

After you are done taking the photo, quickly look at it to make sure it isn’t dark or blurry.

When you are ready to add photos to your profile, don’t use dramatic filters that make them look artificial.  

You can keep the photos organized by creating albums on your phone and labeling by the job type and date. For example, roof-replacement-01-05-22.

Types of Photos 

As a local contractor or home service business, you are going to want to have the right types of photos. This is so homeowners can get inspiration and see the quality of your work.

Here are some ideas for photos

  • Before and after photos. These are absolutely critical for contractors. When you use a before and after photo, make sure that you are taking both photos from the same angle and photo orientation. Try to clear the background of construction materials, especially in the after photo.
  • Finished work. If you don’t have a before photo, it’s important to still post the finished job. Your potential customers might have a similar project they are considering. This can help them choose you as their contractor.
  • Photos of your business. If you have a physical location where customers visit you, it’s necessary to include a high-quality photo of the front of your office. This can help them find you easier if they visit you in person.
  • You or your workers on the job. Photos of work in progress are also encouraged. Homeowners want to see the workmanship that goes into quality work. And, who might be doing the work on their home.  
  • Awards and accolades. You earned them so you might as well show your customers the hard work you put in to achieve the awards.
Have a Plan for Photo Management  

Through helping contractors manage their photos on Google Business Profile, we found that it’s not easy. Having a plan and set process in place for uploading photos is critical for long-term success.

Here are some tips for photo management:

  • Assign a specific person to take the photos and teach them how.
  • Pick someone who has the latest version of a smart phone. Ideally iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.
  • Create a Google Drive folder to store and upload the photos to the cloud.
  • Set up a schedule and pick a day of the week to upload the photos to your GBP listing.

Videos

Adding quality videos to your profile is another excellent way to improve the experience of your prospective customers.

Some ideas you can use for videos include:

  • Finished contracting work that shows a quick overview
  • Touring a job site under construction
  • Drone footage of a finished product
  • Informational or educational videos answering common questions homeowners have
Video Guidelines

When it comes to adding videos to your profile, quality is important. In fact, Google won’t let you upload a video unless the resolution is higher than 720p.

Here are the main guidelines for uploading videos:

  • The video should be 30 seconds or shorter
  • The maximum file size is 100 MB
  • The minimum resolution is 720p

When you take a video on your cell phone, you get the best resolution holding it horizontal.

google-business-profile-guide-phone-horizontal

It is beneficial to include videos taken both vertical and horizontal. The vertical videos are attractive to your prospective customers who are searching for your services on mobile.

Pro tip: To change the resolution on an iPhone go to settings then click camera. Next, click record video. In that menu, you can select different options. To change the resolution on an android phone, click the camera app. Then click the gear icon to go into the settings menu. Instead of the gear icon, you may have 3 dots. Next, click video size to select different options.

When recording, keep the phone steady, avoiding sudden movements. You can use a gimbal to help you limit motion and give a professional appeal.

Don’t post low-quality or distorted videos and don’t overly filter if you are editing.

How to Add Photos and Videos to Google Business Profile 

Let’s get into how to upload photos and videos to GBP.

There are currently several ways to add photos or videos to your profile from Google search on a computer. We will cover three of the methods. And afterward, we’ll show you one way you can upload from your phone.

Note that photo and video uploads are done from the same menu, no matter which method you use.

First, on the right side of the screen where you see your business information displayed in search on a computer.

google-business-profile-guide-add-photos-shortcut

Clicking ‘Add photos’ brings you to the screen below.

google-business-profile-guide-upload-photos-menu

On this screen, you can either browse your computer for the photos or videos you want to use, or left-click and drag the photos to the space provided.

The second way to add photos from search is from the Edit profile button.

Start by clicking on the ‘Edit profile’ button from the Google search results.

google-business-profile-guide-edit

Then click the photo menu from the list of options.

google-business-profile-guide-add-photos

The next screen brings you to the same upload window from the first option.

The third way to upload photos is to click on the ‘Promote’ button that is right next to ‘Edit profile’ and select ‘Photo’.

From your cell phone, one way to upload photos and videos is from the Google Maps application.

Open the Google Maps application and make sure you are logged in with the email address you use to manage your business profile.

Tap the circular icon in the top right of the Google Maps search window.

Then, select ‘Your Business Profiles’.

Next, select your business from the list displayed.

By default, the ‘Overview’ menu is selected. Scroll to the left to reveal additional menu options.

Select ‘Photos’.

Tap the ‘Add photos’ button on the right side of the screen.

Select ‘Add photos’.

From there, you can take a new photo and publish it directly to your profile by choosing the ‘Camera’ option.

Alternatively, you can select photos from your phone that were taken at another time.

When finished, tap ‘Done’ at the top right of the screen.

With so many different places you can upload photos on both computer and mobile, Google makes the process of uploading photos easy for you.

How to Add Business Logo and Cover Photo  in Google Business Profile

As you can see from the screenshot above, you can edit your logo and cover photo by going into the Logo or Cover photo menu.

Then, it’s as simple as dragging and dropping to the space provided or navigating to a folder where the images are stored.

Be sure to follow the guidelines we provided earlier for the dimensions of your logo and cover photo.

Questions And Answers (Q & A) 

The questions & answers section of Google Business Profile provides you with another opportunity to give your potential customers content that helps them with buying decisions.

Answering questions posted by actual people or anticipating questions helps you remove friction from the sales process and builds trust with your customers.

Anyone can post a question. But, often these questions are being posted or read by your potential customers.

It’s important to note that anyone can respond to a question. So, you should be actively monitoring for new questions.

Responding quickly before anyone else ensures that the answer you provide is accurate and to your satisfaction.

Additionally, there can be multiple responses to a question, so even if you have posted a response, you should monitor for misinformation.

You also want to avoid an embarrassing response from someone who knows nothing about your business.

Since the Q & A section of Google is often overlooked, a lot of questions remain unanswered or have poor responses.

Here is a prime example of a question posted to a business, but no response from the owner:

google-business-profile-guide-q-and-a
How to Receive Notifications for Google Questions and Answers 

Google Business Profile sends notifications for the Q&A to the email address registered to your Google Business Profile listing, but it is easy to miss the email. Plus, it clogs up your inbox.

A better way to receive notifications for Google questions and answers is to download the Google Maps app for your phone.

Once you have downloaded the app, log in with the same credentials you use to log in to your Google Business Profile listing. Make sure you have notifications enabled for that app and you should be alerted promptly for any new questions that are posted.

How to Post Your Own Questions and Answers 

Google allows you to post your own questions and answers so you can be one step ahead of your customers and your competition. Make sure to post the most frequently asked questions by your customers. 

If you have outstanding questions from the community, be sure to answer those first before asking your own questions.

Here are the steps to post your own questions and answers:

  1. Ensure you are logged into the Google account that you manage your business profile with.
  2. Click ‘Customers’ from the dashboard menu.
    google-business-profile-guide-customers-button
  3. Click ‘Q&A’ from the options on the next menu.
  4. On the next screen, click the ‘Ask a question’ button on the top right.
  5. Type the question in the box provided and click the ‘POST’ button when finished.
  6. To answer the question, go back to the Q&A menu by following steps 1-3.
  7. The newest question should show up at the top of the list. Click the ‘Answer’ button to open the box where you can type your answer.
    google-business-profile-guide-answer-question
  8. Type in the box a clear and concise answer and be sure to directly answer the question. When finished, click the ‘POST’ button.


You have now posted your first question and answer. Be sure you are actively monitoring with the Google Maps application on your phone so you don’t miss any opportunities to be the first to respond. 

What Questions to Ask and Answer 

Now you know how to post the questions and respond. But, what kind of questions should you be asking?

The same restricted content applies to the Q & A section as we mentioned earlier. So, be sure to follow those guidelines for what not to post.

The best resource for finding common questions is your sales team. They are the ones interacting with your customers. That’s why they’re in the best position to receive questions, comments, complaints, and feedback.

Have your sales team create a list of the most common questions and start there. You can always build the list as you go.

Reporting Bad Questions and Answers 

To ensure customers are receiving accurate info, Google allows you to report questions or answers that are wrong. Or, off-topic.

To report a question or answer, click the three vertical dots that show up to the right of any question and you will see the “report” button.

Here are the options you have when reporting a bad question or answer:

google-business-profile-guide-report-options

The options here are self-explanatory, so choose whichever best fits your situation.

To recap, the Q & A feature in Google Business Profile is a key part of managing your listing. Your customers appreciate accurate information and your prompt attention to their questions.

Google Posts 

google-business-profile-guide-post-example

Posts are another way for you to communicate with homeowners in Google Business Profile. Google learns from your posts and your listing is treated favorably in searches if you post regularly.

At a minimum, you should be posting at least once per week.

Posts also give homeowners an opportunity to engage with you or take additional actions.

You can post about:

  • Announcements or Updates
  • Offers
  • Events
  • Products


Google has even added a Covid-19 post type so you can keep your customers in the loop with changes that may affect them.

Here are some tips to optimize or maximize your Google Business Profile listing with posts

  • Post at least once a week for post types that expire after 7 days
  • Use events and offer posts for anything that has a set timeline. For example, a workshop or a limited time offer. You can also choose a date range for these posts and they last longer than 7 days.
  • Use a call to action (CTA) as a way to get homeowners to take an action. A call to action is a link or a button that leads to an action, like calling you or clicking a button.
  • Post blog content updates, discounts, or educational content

How to Make a New Post in Google Business Profile 

From the Google search results page, click the ‘Promote’ button.

Once you are inside the promote menu, the three bottom options are related to posts.

google-business-profile-guide-post-options

We are going to go through an example using the ‘Add update’ option.

The add update option can be used to let your customers know about a new blog post. You can write a description, add photos, and include a call-to-action button they can use that links to the new post.

After you click on ‘Add Update’, this is what the pop-up looks like:

When adding a photo, make sure you use one that accurately represents what the post is about.

Next, write a description for the post. For the example, we wrote: Are you considering a new roof for your Westchester, NY home? Check out our blog post to learn if you might need one!

Add a button from the dropdown menu. For our example, “Learn More” was the most appropriate.

Here is what the final result looks like:

Click ‘Preview’ for a sneak peek at what the post is going to look like. Then, click ‘Post’ when you are ready to post.

Your post is now live!

Posts were an excellent addition by Google to help you interact more with your customers, so be sure to take advantage of them.

Feedback (Reviews) Management  Strategy

Receiving reviews regularly from your customers builds trust and is proven to help your business grow.

The review management lifecycle looks something like this:

It all starts with delivering your customer with an unforgettable experience.

Your customer service has to be exceptional, and the quality of your work. Set realistic expectations, or under promise and over-deliver.

Have a plan and try to automate as much as you can to make the process simple and repeatable.

Google allows you to respond to reviews so you can engage with your customers by responding to concerns or positive feedback.

A positive online reputation helps homeowners trust your business, converts searchers into leads, and boosts local search rankings.

Whether the feedback is positive or negative, you still want to respond. It shows that you care and are appreciative of your customers.

45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to their negative reviews. Also, 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week.

Not only does responding to reviews make your customers feel important, but it also helps you improve your business processes and procedures. And how fast you respond matters!

How to ask for Reviews 

There are a few ways you can ask your customers for reviews. But, before we get into that, let’s talk about timing.

There is an appropriate time when you should ask your customer for a review. Enough time needs to go by where they can form an opinion and judge their experience with you.

So, it’s best to ask for a review after you’ve finished the job and have answered all of their questions and concerns. All issues should be resolved before asking for the review.

Additionally, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to leave you a review to remove the friction from the process.

How you ask for the review can greatly increase the quality and quantity of the reviews you receive. Encourage your customers to post a photo with the review

Also, ask them to mention the services performed, and who they worked with.

Here are some ways you can ask for a review after the service is complete and all issues are resolved:

  • Provide your customer with a small card in person that has the link to your Google Business Profile and a QR code that takes them directly to your Google reviews.
  • Email your customer thanking them again for their business and ask for the review.  Sincerely express your appreciation and include the link in the email where they can leave the review.
  • Mail your customer a thank you card via regular paper mail. Include the QR code and link to the Google review page for your business.

Where to Find Your Google Review Link 

Click ‘Promote’ from the Google search dashboard.

Then, click the ‘Ask for reviews’ menu.

google-business-profile-guide-review-link

Once in that menu, you can copy the review link for your business. This link takes you directly to the page where someone can leave you a review.

Feedback Management Tips 

We’ve had a lot of experience managing reviews for our customers, so we picked up some helpful tips along the way.

Here are best practices when responding to reviews:

Address the reviewer by name

Addressing the reviewer by name shows that you took the time to read their name and aren’t using a standard reply that seems like a robot.

Thank them for leaving a review and express appreciation

People love to be appreciated. Tell your customer how much you appreciate them taking the time out of their day to leave you their valuable feedback.

Reinforce the positive by mirroring what they liked best and repeating it in the statement

By mirroring the words your customer left, they know you took the time to read their review and care about their message.

Pass along the feedback to your employees

Let your employees know they did a great job, or where they can improve.

For a negative review, apologize and sympathize

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Let them know you care and are sorry about their unpleasant experience.

For a negative review, take responsibility and don’t make excuses

As much as you want to, you have to avoid being defensive. The best course of action is to own up to the negative experience and figure out how to improve for the future.

Offer to make things right

The unhappy customer may take down their negative review if you change their mind. Since reviews significantly impact your success as a business online, you have to try anything you can to keep the customer happy.

Example of Positive Review Response 

Review: ABC roofing company did an excellent job on our new asphalt roof. The service was exceptional and we would highly recommend them to anyone looking for professional roofing.

Response: Dear Mike, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to leave us such valuable feedback! We are thrilled to hear that you are loving the new asphalt roof you had installed and the service was exceptional.

Example of Negative Review Response 

Review: ABC roofing company was terrible to deal with. I called them repeatedly and kept getting the runaround. No one ever answered the phone or called me back within a reasonable timeframe. Very poor communication.

Response: Hi Mike, thank you so much for leaving us your valued feedback. We’re very sorry about your negative experience with our customer service. Please know that your situation was an exception and we take full responsibility. We are always looking to improve our services and will use your feedback to make our company better. Feel free to contact us directly as we would love to make things right if you give us another chance.

If you listen to your customers (and even your competitors’ customers) and you can dramatically improve the customer experience.

There will always be some difficult customers, but if you can take action to avoid the same problem in the future, that’s one less fire for you to put out.

How to Respond to Customers who Leave a Review 

From a computer, log into the Google account you use to manage your Google Business Profile.

Then, on the main Google Business Profile dashboard, click the ‘Customers’ button.

Next, click ‘Reviews’ which is the first of the menu options displayed.

In that window you can see all the reviews your customers have left you. And, you can respond as the business owner.

If you have reviews that you haven’t responded to, the Reply option is displayed. If you have already responded, the options that appear are Delete and Edit.

Follow the guidelines we provided earlier for the best practices when responding to either negative or positive reviews.

If you are signed into the Google Maps app on your mobile device, you will receive an alert when someone leaves you a review. Otherwise, review notifications go to the email address you used to sign up for GBP and any managers of the profile.   

How to Access Google Business Profile on Mobile 

To ensure you are staying up to date with your Google Business Profile, you are going to want the ability to access your dashboard on your mobile device.

Under the old branding, Google had a separate Google My Business application for mobile devices. However, as of July 2022, the Google My Business mobile application no longer exists.

So now you need a new way to manage alerts and conveniently access your profile on your cell phone.

The new application where you can manage your Google Business is Google Maps. The same functions are available from within Maps that you get from the Google search dashboard.

To access your profile on your mobile device, first download the Google Maps application from your app store.

Open the application once downloaded. Then, log in to the Google account you use to manage your Google Business Profile by tapping the little circular icon at the top right of the search box.

On the next screen select your account or ‘Add another account’ if the Google account you use to manage your business profile is not listed.

Next, click ‘Your Business Profiles’ from the same menu and select your business on the next screen.

You are now in the Google Business Profile dashboard on mobile where you can access everything you need to manage your business listing.

Keep notifications turned on so you can see when customers leave reviews, send you messages, engage with posts, or ask questions.

Fast response times are essential to properly manage your profile.

And, accessing your profile on mobile is a great way to quickly make changes or update your profile.

Another reason to actively monitor your Google Business Profile is because anyone can suggest an edit, including your competitors. You can see in the example below an example of the ‘Suggest an edit’ link that anyone can click on.

google-business-profile-guide-suggest-edit-link

Suggested edits made by a random person can be live on your listing without you ever receiving a notification.

Even though Google says they email you when there are proposed changes, you may never receive the email, or simply overlook it. This is why it is crucial to make it a habit to log into the account on your mobile device occasionally and check your notifications.

Google Business Profile Performance  

Monitoring your performance on GBP is a great way to understand how customers are interacting with your profile.

It is also a great way to measure the ROI of your profile.

You can see useful insights such as:

  • How people find and interact with your profile
  • The search terms (keywords) they use to find your profile
  • Breakdown of mobile and desktop visitors
  • Messages & bookings received from customers
  • Calls, direction requests, and website clicks

Google has been expanding the analytics within Google Business Profile, so now you have a gold mine of useful information related to how your business is performing on Google.

How to Access Business Profile Performance 

From the Google search dashboard on your computer, you can access business profile performance from two locations.

First, by clicking the blue link below your business name. And second, from the ‘Promote’ menu.

After you are inside the promote menu, you have to click into the ‘Performance’ menu to enter the insights dashboard.

At the top of the insights dashboard, you can choose the time-period of the data being displayed.

google-business-profile-guide-interactions-insights

Let’s review what you can see in each of the menus that are displayed across the top.

  • Overview: At the top of the overview dashboard, you have a graph of interactions with your business. Interactions are when people call, message, make bookings, ask for directions, and more. If you scroll down a bit, on the left-hand side, you can see how many people viewed your profile. And the breakdown between mobile and desktop. On the right-hand side there is a breakdown of how many searches resulted in your business profile showing. You can also see which keywords your customers typed to find you.
  • Calls: The calls menu shows you how many people called you while inside your business profile. If you have call history enabled, you can also see call history including a breakdown between missed calls and answered calls.
  • Messages: If you have the messaging feature enabled (which we recommend), you can view statistics related to messages you received from customers via the Google profile.
  • Bookings: This menu shows you how many times customers booked an appointment from your business profile. By default, bookings is off. You have to configure it if you want to turn it on.
  • Directions: The directions menu allows you to see how many customers requested directions to your business directly from the business profile. The statistics are displayed in a graph broken down monthly.
  • Website clicks: This menu displays the data associated with website clicks that were generated directly from your Google Business Profile. The data is also broken down monthly in the graph.


Browse through the insights so you are familiar with the layout. You don’t have to check the insights daily, but try to look once a month so you can measure your progress.

Google Business Profile Settings 

The Google Business profile settings allow you to manage who has access to your profile, access advanced settings, and remove your profile.

Where to Access Business Profile Settings 

Settings are accessible from the main dashboard on your computer. Click the three vertical dots and select ‘Business Profile settings’.

google-business-profile-guide-settings

If you are an owner of the profile, you can add and edit permissions from the manager menu.

In the advanced settings menu, there are the following options:

  • Business Profile ID: The unique ID that Google uses to label your business. Use the ID as a reference when you contact Google support.
  • Google Assistant calls: These are either manual or automated calls made by Google to your business phone number to find out information about your business. Basically, Google calls you on behalf of the customer to find out information about booking, wait times (for a restaurant), confirm business details, and more.
  • Bookings from customers: You can toggle this feature as on or off. It is a setting that allows you to integrate booking software with your profile.
  • Automated calls to keep your Business Profile up to date: Another feature you can toggle on and off. Automated calls are made to your business profile to confirm business information.
  • Phone number: This option allows you to hide your business phone number from customers. The default is set to disabled.
  • Labels: If you have multiple business profiles, labeling the business helps you keep organized by using groups. The labels are not publicly visible.
  • Google Ads phone number: If you are running Google Ads, you can set a different phone number so you can track how many leads are coming in directly from the ads.

There are some settings that might not be applicable to a home services company, so only use the settings that fit with your business.

Notification Settings

Notifications help keep you informed about activity happening on your profile.

And, you can control many of the notifications that you receive through your Google Business Profile.

The notification settings are accessible via the same three vertical dots as the general business profile settings.

There are many notifications that you can turn on or off, depending on your involvement in managing the business profile and what features you have enabled.

If you plan on managing your business profile yourself, we would recommend turning on notifications for customer messages (if enabled), customer reviews, questions and answers, bookings (if configured), quotes (if enabled), business profile health, insights, posts, reminders, and feedback.

Other Google Business Profile Features 

There are additional GBP features that can be activated depending on your business needs.

Bookings 

With the bookings feature, you can integrate a booking application directly with Google. Or, you can link to your website where customers can book with you.

To access bookings, click the ‘Edit profile’ button from the Google search dashboard. Then, select the ‘Booking’ menu.

If you want to set up a booking application that you are already using, follow the instructions under the ‘Featured book button’ section at the top.

If you want to direct your customers to an online booking page such as your website, simply click the ‘Add another link’ button under the ‘Links to your online booking tools’ section at the bottom.

google-business-profile-guide-booking-setup

Call History 

The call history function is beneficial for you to see all your answered and missed calls. The function is off by default, so you have to turn it on to get access to the call logging data.

To turn on call history, click the ‘Customers’ button from the Google search dashboard.

Then click ‘Calls’ and click the ‘Turn on’ button to enable call history. With the function enabled, you can see all the related call history for calls that are made directly through your Google Business Profile.

When someone calls you, you will also receive a verbal message from Google before the call is routed.

After Google collects data on your calls and you receive new ones, the data will show up in the future at the same menu.

Google Messaging   

Google Messaging is a way for your customers to communicate with you and ask questions before using your services. As you already know by now, the more features you have enabled on your Google Business Profile, the better.

Google wants you to use its platform as much as possible. It can only benefit you to offer your customers another channel of communication.

Google messaging is only available on mobile so you need a smartphone to be able to respond to homeowner inquiries.

With the Google Maps application, you are able to monitor and respond to any customer messages.

To turn on messaging head over to the main Google search business profile dashboard and click the ‘Customers’ button.

Then click ‘Messages’ from the menu options.

When you are in the Messages menu, click the ‘Turn on chat’ link in the upper right-hand corner as shown below.

google-business-profile-guide-turn-on-messaging

After you turn on messaging, you can enable SMS alerts to ensure you receive an extra notification that there is a new message from a customer.

You can either enable SMS alerts via the messages menu or notifications menu. SMS notifications come via text to your cell phone.

78% of buyers purchase from the first company to respond. This highlights the importance of actively monitoring your messages and responding quickly.

Since Google is also grading you based on how fast you respond, you should try to respond as fast as possible.

In fact, Google thinks this is so important that they send you the message below after you turn on messaging.

google-business-profile-guide-messaging-notification

Google warns that if you don’t respond within at least 24 hours, you may have your messaging turned off. You may even lose the ability to receive quote requests.

Quote Requests 

Quote requests allow interested customers to request quotes for your services directly through your business profile.

Click the ‘Customers’ button from the Google Business Profile search dashboard.

Then, click the ‘Turn on’ button at the bottom of the window to enable the feature.

How to Create a Free Website with Google Business Profile   

Google Business Profile offers a free website builder which is meant to be a short, simple, small-business-friendly option for increasing the visibility of your contractor business.

After all, who doesn’t like free stuff?

In the longer term, you’ll want a more developed website than the one offered by Google. Those who are just starting out or on a budget can use this great option to help you temporarily.

The website provides you with another opportunity to highlight your products and services. Also, it displays customer testimonials and posts you have made on GBP.

Currently, you can only create the free Google website from the Google Business Profile Manager dashboard at business.google.com.

Make sure you are logged in with the Google account you use to manage your business profile.

Click ‘Website’ from the left menu.

Google automatically fills in your website based on the information you have entered into your business profile.

So, most of the work is already done for you, unless you want to add more.

Note that your website is not live until you click the blue ‘Publish’ button at the top right corner.

You can change the theme by clicking on the ‘Themes’ menu. In the theme menu, Google gives you options for different colors and fonts to choose from.

Pro tip: Try to match the theme with your brand colors as closely as possible. You are a bit limited to the customization here, but you can’t expect much for free. 

Once you have selected the theme you like, click the check button as shown below.

google-business-profile-guide-website-theme

The next menu button is the ‘Edit’ button. In the edit menu, you can change the text of the button, headline, description, summary header, and summary body.  

Choose the button text by selecting from the options after clicking the downward facing arrow.

google-business-profile-guide-edit-website-button

For home service businesses like yours, the most applicable option from the button is likely ‘Get Quote’.

Next, move to the next field which is the editable ‘Headline’. Here it makes sense to put your business name the same exact way you have it listed in your Google Business Profile.

In the ‘Description’ field, you should describe your business in one line. Put your main business category in addition to the main location area you serve.

This should be the category that most accurately describes your business.

In the ‘Summary header’, you can introduce what you are discussing in the ‘Summary body’ section. This field is optional, but we would recommend using all the space that is available since it is limited.

For our example, we put the main categories again to introduce the other services.

In the ‘Summary body’, we included a summary and then listed the other services as bullet points. Google allows a lot more text in this section so you should take advantage of that.

See our example below.

google-business-profile-guide-edit-website-example

For your photos, Google automatically pulls in photos from your business profile. You can add more if you click the ‘Photos’ menu.

The header photo is automatically set as your cover photo. Feel free to edit that photo by clicking the ‘Edit Header Photo’ button.

Below the photos menu there is a little gear icon that says ‘More’. If you click the icon, you have the option to Publish Now, get tips for acquiring customers, or change the site language.

Review the information one more time for accuracy and if you are satisfied with what you see, click the ‘Publish’ button at the top right.

Voila! Your website is live and you just built a free website all by yourself!

google-business-profile-guide-website-example

Feel free to scroll through and check out how it looks.

If you ever want to unpublish the website because you are replacing the free one with something more professional, simply click the gear icon for ‘More’ and click ‘Unpublish website. 

Spam & Fraud Fighting 

There are many marketers who follow Google’s guidelines as closely as we do. But, there are also abusers of the system.

The abusers commonly use tactics that try to trick Google’s algorithm and boost search rankings.

While this could have a temporary benefit, Google becomes smarter everyday. 

They will eventually see the abuse and take action against the business. Or, someone can report the spam, which would notify Google to investigate further.

Other spam and fraud schemes include:

  • Name spam: Also known as “keyword stuffing”, the business name has words added that are not part of the legal business name.
  • Fake reviews: A competitor or someone else who wants to harm your reputation writes a fraudulent review. You can sometimes detect these by looking at the customer’s name.
  • Address abuse: The company is using a virtual office, UPS store, or sharing another business’s location.
  • Phone numbers: With lead generation schemes, the business phone number is frequently the same for multiple listings.
  • Websites: Lead generation schemes that take you to a website that doesn’t represent the business listed on Google. Or, a website that has malware.


For an example of name spam, check out the image below. You can see the extra keywords added into the name that are clearly not part of the legal company name.

google-business-profile-guide-spam-example

Reporting Spam & Fraud 

Google has a few ways to report spam or fraudulent listings.

The preferred way to report spam is to first start off by suggesting an edit. The suggest an edit link can be found on the right side of the Google search results page towards the bottom.

google-business-profile-guide-suggest-edit-link-2

The suggest an edit function is an automated machine learning tool that Google uses to correct inaccurate information on Google maps.

Redressal Form 

If you are unsuccessful after using the suggest an edit feature to report the spam, you can take further action by submitting a redressal form. The redressal form is also used to report something that is complete fraud, like the wrong name, phone number, or URL of the business.

Using the redressal form, you can reach an actual human being at the Google spam team where the submission is evaluated.

Fill out all the requested information to get the best result out of your submission.

When you are explaining the reason for your submission, you want to mention the real-world implications of the spam or fraud you are reporting.

Talk about the evidence you are providing. And, how the listing in its current form is misleading online merchants and the community.

Do not use this space to complain about how the listing is impacting your rankings on Google.

When submitting photo evidence or screenshots, you want to upload to a cloud storage platform like Google drive. Then, share a direct link to the file you are submitting.

If you are reporting a business name that has spam, it is useful to provide a link to the Secretary of State website that shows the correct information.

Google tries its best to regulate spam and fraud, but it is not a perfect system.

Often times things slip through the cracks and it’s our job as business owners to monitor and actively fight against misinformation and abuse.

Reporting Fraudulent Reviews 

It is easy for a jealous competitor trying to damage your reputation to leave you a fake review.

To identify a fraudulent review, you can look at the person’s name. If they aren’t one of your previous customers, it is possible they are writing false information to harm your business.

If you suspect there is a fake review, follow these steps to report it.

Search your business name on Google. On the right hand side of the screen, your business information is displayed.

Click the link that shows the number of reviews your business has.

google-business-profile-guide-report-reviews

Click the three vertical dots that are displayed to the right of the review you want to report.

On the next screen you want to choose the option that best fits the reason you are reporting the review.

google-business-profile-guide-report-review-menu

Staying alert and monitoring your business on Google maps helps you identify fake reviews so you can take action immediately.

Set Yourself Up for Long-Term Growth 

Now that you have a fully optimized or maximized Google Business Profile listing and a shiny new website, you are all set to reap the benefits that come along with it.

This is a big step to your online presence and will influence your customer’s first impression of your business. Over time, you can see that you start to show up higher in the local and map search results as long as you maintain your profile correctly.

To set yourself up for long-term growth, you want to monitor and manage your Google Business Profile profile consistently. Google favors active businesses who use all their features on a regular basis.

Weekly posts, regular photo uploads, and engaging with your customers are all part of the critical long-term strategy.

When Google favors your business, you get more customers. It is really that simple.

Whether you decide to manage your GBP profile yourself, or hire a professional marketing company, this guide can help you understand everything that is involved.

We hope that we were able to simplify all the features of Google Business Profile for you. Like we said earlier, our mission is to make local marketing easier for as many local service businesses as we can.

We’re here to improve your business and change your life.

With all the knowledge at your fingertips, it’s up to you to take some action.

Have some questions? Feel free to contact us, we’d be glad to help. 

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