Town or city name in your listing name eg “business name | CITY”. Eg Johns Lawn Mowing | Tauranga 

We’ve been adding location names to listings for over 2 years now.

Initially, we thought that there was some risk that this wasn’t within the Google Terms and Conditions for Google Business Profile.

So, we tested it a lot.

We discussed it with many other online marketers. We then had a good read of the Google spiel.

Turns out, it’s absolutely fine to add a location, as it’s not classed as “name spamming”.

It certainly IS a hot debate about though – plenty of local SEO experts will say that you should never deviate from your actual legal trading name – and we respect their thoughts on that.

The Google Business Profile is entirely location based, so adding a name to the business listing name helps people and Google understand the listing more fully.

UPDATE ON THIS POINT: Since mid 2022 there have been many Google Business Profile suspensions, and as a result, we have altered our thinking on this point.

At the moment, while a slight addition to a name is still generally NOT a cause for a suspension, we advise people NOT to change their listing name at the moment.

The entire platform has been very sensitive to change, and we think that a name change at the moment is probably too risky.

Ensure your business category is correct – select a second category too. 

This is another way that Google can understand your business, and group it with other similar businesses.

Very important that you get this right.

We also recommend adding a second category here, to help Google and people understand your business and find the right solution for them.

This is something we’ll always check on in the first week of a new Google Business Profile management campaign, because we know that if it’s not correct, the rankings and calls simply won’t be optimal.

Click on your services tab options, and complete the box with details and information about each service. 

This is often missed by business owners.

Adding information here not only helps with keywords and Google picking up your listing as a preferred option, it also helps potential customers make a decision about using your business.

We’ll usually build these descriptions out in around week 2-3 of a new campaign, and we see good results from this. For many business owners, they simply didn’t know you could click on the box, and add text!

Ensure you have at least a 4.2 average score for reviews. Below that and you’ll struggle to rank well and entice people to click on your listing. 

Our research shows that an average score of under 4.2 often stops people picking your business as the option for them.

People read reviews, people do homework, people are ‘savvy’.

In fact, our research shows that people seek out the negative reviews in particular, to see how you handled negative situations, and they make decisions on that.

Make life easy for your customers and ensure you have lots of reviews and social proof proving that your business, is right for them.

As more and more people use Google to make business decisions, the reviews become more important – everyone knows someone who has been ripped off online and the Google reviews being SO hard to “cheat” or create fakes, adds a lot of trust for consumers.

Take your Google Review game very seriously.

Ensure you have at least 5 reviews. 

If you need more reviews, we’ve got you, read all about it HERE How to get more Google Reviews – 13 tactics that work | Corey Hinde

You can watch the YouTube video HERE if you prefer that talks you through our favourite 13 methods to get more reviews.

Enable the website option on the profile. 

This is another easy way to fully use the platform, and give Google as many reasons as possible to push you to the top of their rankings.

It’s more or less just hit that button down there, and Google will do the rest!

It’s Free, it’s another Google product sending signals to Google itself – so do use this feature!

Google Business Profile will simply build that website for you from your existing content on your GBP profile. You literally do not have to do anything!

Ensure you enable messages – and reply to them as they come in. 

A Google message, much like a Facebook message or email, is the equivalent of a phone call in the pre-internet years.

Your customers are choosing various ways to contact you, so be there, and respond quickly to get that business!

Simply hit the “messages” button as shown below, and follow the steps.

Have the “Maps” app on your phone, you’ll see any new messages via a notification.

Add a Post to your listing, at least once per week, preferably twice per week. 

This is a key part of our recipe for success with our clients listings.

We’ll generally post 2-3 times per week to ensure our customers rank as highly as possible.

We use a mix of styles, and are constantly watching the data to see which posts get the most traction on Google.

The most important metric we track is “calls” on the dashboard so while we might put links in the posts on GBP, we’ll usually add the “Call” button as the call to action option on the post itself. This is useful because when someone finds your GBP posts on Google search or Google maps, they can click the call button directly.

► How to get a QR code for your business to enhance Google Reviews 

► YouTube Video “How to use links to improve your ranking on Google 

✔️SEO New Zealand | SEO Tauranga | Google Consultant