Whether you’re a small local retailer or a global clothing giant, local SEO is critical to your business’s success. Businesses of all shapes and sizes need one thing in common: customers. In order for your customers to find you, you need to appear in Google’s search results. That’s because Google remains the behemoth of online search, making up nearly 90% of searches.

Recently, Google made some changes to its business profile listings. It’s a great time to update your listing and optimize your Google Business Profile in 2022, and we’ll show you how to do it!

Recent Changes: Google Business Profile

Recently, Google changed its Google My Business listing service to Google Business Profile. Regardless of the name change, the fact that your business’s profile needs to be updated shouldn’t be a surprise. Ensuring your profile has the most accurate and up to date information should be a priority for every marketer. Once you create or update your Google Business Profile, you’ll be listed in Google Maps, Google Search and many other online platforms so don’t delay!

One of the most important items to pay attention to now is your business’s primary category. With more than 3,000 categories, you can really hone in on what category and supporting categories make the most sense for your business.

For example, let’s say you own a lawnmower sales and repair shop as well as related gear and maybe some impulse buy or landscaping items. In the past, you might have listed yourself simply as a “store.” But you would most likely get more interest if you specialize a bit with “lawn mower store.” You can then include more categories like “lawn mower repair service,” “landscaping supply store” and “garden center.”

There are many other business “attributes” your business can add to your profile including accessibility information, minority ownership or contactless payment, the latter of which was recently added during the pandemic. Check back occasionally for updated attributes.

Make Sure to Claim your Google Business Profile

Once you’re listed on Google Maps, it’s important to claim your business. This is a great way to increase your visibility as well as increase credibility and authority. Claiming your business lets Google and customers know that you are personally monitoring your profile and posting accurate information. Did you know anyone can add to your business’s information Google? It’s true, and that’s why you need to check it religiously.

Claiming your business is super simple. Go to Google Maps, do a quick search for your business, open the listing and click “Claim This Business.” You’ll be asked to choose a method of verification, and you’re done.

Furthermore, never miss an opportunity to enhance your Google Business Profile. Including things like your hours, website and a thoughtful, well-written business description builds a more comprehensive, useful profile for customers.

Grow Your Google Reviews

Positive online reviews improve your online reputation and can lead to higher rankings on Google Maps and Google Search – the places you want to be. You can see and quickly respond to reviews with review alerts when any update is made, which further demonstrates your business cares about its customers. One way to garner positive reviews: ask! Ask following a purchase, post a cute sign at the register or include a reminder on the receipt. You also might want to try SMS messaging or an email blast.

Finally, let the people see why they should visit you! Include high-quality photos and videos on your profile. Once you’re verified, it’s super easy to do on your Google Business Profile and through social platforms like Instagram and Facebook. You can even add a cover photo for a real powerhouse punch. All of these gorgeous visuals will appear with your Google Maps profile.

You’ll also want to delete or merge duplicate listings on Google Maps, should they exist.

Here at Highforge, Google Business Profiles are one of our specialties. We can help you optimize your profile and obtain real reviews from satisfied customers. Reach out if we can be of assistance to you. With so many easy and downright customer experience enhancing ways to improve your business’s online presence, how are you going to optimize your Google Business Profile in 2022?