How to Perfectly Optimize a Google Business Profile for the Green Industry
Boost Your Online Visibility and Attract More Potential Clients With This Free Tool
How to Perfectly Optimize a Google Business Profile for Irrigation, Lawn Care and Landscape companies.
Did you know that one of the most useful marketing tools is actually free?
Google Business Profile (GBP for short and used to be called Google My Business Listing) is a free tool that allows you to create a business profile and manage your online presence. In addition to being a dedicated place on Google to share information about your company, a GBP profile can also help you connect with potential customers and improve your SEO.
Internet users can access your GBP in one of two ways:
1. From Google Maps.
When a user searches for a local service, the top three most relevant results will appear in the Google Map 3-Pack. If you click on one of those results, the map expands while simultaneously opening the business’s GBP.
2. From a Google search.
If someone knows the name of your business, they can search for it and go directly to your GBP listing. In addition to any organic search results and sponsored ads, a knowledge panel will appear on the right side of the screen with all of your business’s information.
On mobile, the GBP listing will appear at the very top of the page.
As you might have guessed, you’ll need to have a GBP if you want to appear in the Google Maps 3-Pack. To help you increase your chances of that happening, we created this guide so that you’ll know current best practices.
Step 1: Get Verified
If you don’t already have a GBP account, you can get one here. We mentioned it’s free, right?
You can start filling out some basic information like your business name, address, phone number, website, etc., but to access the entire dashboard, you’ll need to be verified.
To get verified, you’ll be prompted to have a postcard sent to your business address. It usually arrives within 3-7 days. The postcard will have a PIN that you’ll need to enter into your GBP. Once you’ve been verified, you can access the full dashboard and begin optimizing your listing.
NOTE: If you’ve already set up a Google Business Profile, but you can’t access it, or you don’t remember when or how you set up, resist the urge to start over. Having duplicate listings can cause a lot of problems, including confusing your customers and diluting your SEO efforts.
You can check to see if you already have a GBP and get access if you forgot your password by following these steps:
1. Click the Manage Now button (shown above).
2. Log into your email account.
3. Type in the name of your business. If your business name doesn’t appear, you’ll be able to start fresh.
If it does appear, you already have a GBP, and you either need to claim it or get access through an account recovery or a request from another owner (if someone else has claimed it).
Step 2: Add Your Business Name
Your business name should be consistent across all instances on the Internet. If your business name is Acme Lawn and Landscaping, LLC, then that is how you should type your name in your GBP.
Don’t try any spammy SEO tricks like adding the name of the city you’re in if it’s not the same as your business name. For example, don’t say Acme Lawn and Landscaping Philadelphia, LLC.
Step 3: Choose Your Business Category
For example, if you do both irrigation and lawn care, choose the service that is your primary revenue generator or the service you’d like to be most associated with. Later, you’ll be able to add all of your services, and that’s your opportunity to list everything you offer.
Google has some pre-populated categories, and you’ll have to choose one of theirs to move forward. If there’s nothing that matches exactly, choose the closest one and then add custom services in the Services section of your profile.
Step 4: Define Your Address and Service Area
Like your business name, make sure the way you write your address is consistent with how it’s listed every else.
For your service area, choose the city you’re located in and any other cities within a close radius that you service.
As a general rule of thumb is to choose cities within a 30-mile radius. If you go beyond that, Google thinks you’re trying to claim too large of an area for your territory, and you run the risk of not getting ranked for any areas.
Our GBP experts optimize green companies’ Google Business Profiles, ensuring they are getting the most out of this free and powerful tool.
Step 5: Specify Your Hours, Phone Number, and Website
This section is also straightforward, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to be accurate. Make sure your business hours reflect when you’re actually open or answering the phone. There’s nothing more frustrating than a customer trying to reach you when you claim to have 24-hour service, but you close at 5 pm.
Your phone number and website should also be consistent with how this information is displayed elsewhere. It might seem like a small thing, but even a www or https:// is critical. If those elements appear in your website name, include them. If they don’t, then make sure to exclude them.
Step 6: List Your Services
This section is relatively new, and it allows you to list all of the services your company provides. We recommend being thorough here because Google will use this information to figure out when and where to display your business name.
You also have the option to add custom services if there’s something you do that Google doesn’t have a category for.
Step 7: Provide a Business Description
This part of your GBP is a bio where you can talk directly to your customers, describing who you are and what you do. This is not a place to stuff keywords in hopes of earning a high SEO ranking. Instead, write naturally.
Step 8: Add Photos of Your Photos
Add as many relevant photos about your business as you can. The photos you can add include logos, your office (interior and exterior), your team, and past projects.
Photos can help you attract new business, but there’s a bigger strategy at play. Having photos can also help you rank higher in Google Maps. We recommend using keywords and locations in your photos. This isn’t a surefire method, but it can potentially help.
Another photo strategy that can help optimize your listing is to use a tool called GeoImgr to geotag photos with coordinates. The coordinates become part of your image data, and it can be a powerful local SEO signal for Google.
Step 9: Collect Reviews
Reviews on all of the major platforms are important, but Google is the granddaddy of them all. By collecting Google reviews, you’ll also help your business listing rank higher in Google, increasing your chances of showing up in the Maps 3-Pack.
You can automate the review gathering process by using a variety of free and paid tools. One of the best free tools is the Whitespark Google Review Link Generator.
It’s also vital that you respond to all of your reviews, both positive and negative. A negative review is never pleasant, but it shows that you’re human, and it gives you a chance to explain what went wrong and correct the situation.
Step 10: Create Google Posts
Your Google Business Profile is like a social media profile, so you can and should create status updates. These posts should be promotional and reflect current offers. The reason for this is that they appear prominently in your business listing and can include a clickable call to action to help convert a potential customer on the spot.
The Bottom Line
Of all the tools available to help grow your business, GBP are one of the most powerful. Even better, this resource is totally free to use.
Need some help getting started or want someone to do this for you?