Kwabena Okyire Appianing

Social Media marketing in Ghana

About the author

Kwabena Okyire Appianing

Considered the #1 authority on engineering profitable customer acquisition campaigns, Kwabena is the digital marketing, social media, d marketing expert other experts go to when they need help

7 Hacks for Google Business Profile Local SEO

Table of contents

As a local business owner struggling to drive foot traffic and boost visibility online, I was at my wits’ end trying to figure out how to improve my Google presence. That’s when I stumbled upon Google My Business and discovered what a game-changer it is for local SEO.


After optimizing my GMB listing and implementing several powerful hacks, I’ve seen incredible results—a 2X increase in website traffic, a surge in online reviews and engagement, and most importantly, more locals walking through my doors each day.


In this article, I’ll share my journey to Google My Business mastery and the exact seven hacks I used to achieve local search dominance in my community. If you want to learn how to leverage GMB to connect with more local customers and outrank your competition, you’ll discover actionable tips to supercharge your local SEO efforts.

By the end of this article, you will have a proven GMB optimization checklist and local SEO blueprint to drive more foot traffic, boost your local visibility, and establish your business as a pillar in the community.


The step-by-step hacks outlined below are based on extensive research into local search ranking factors and GMB best practices. Since optimizing my own listing, my website traffic has doubled, my online reviews have tripled, and I continue to see a steady stream of new local customers discovering my business each week.


I’m going to walk you through exactly how I optimized my GMB profile for relevancy and authority, earned high-quality online reviews, leveraged features like posts and Q&A to engage customers, utilized data-driven insights to refine my local SEO strategy, and implemented monitoring to keep my listing updated.

My foray into local SEO began when my wife opened her bakery three years ago.


 I was confident her tasty artisan breads and pastries would be a hit with people around the neighborhood. 


However, month after month, we struggled to bring in enough foot traffic and revenue to keep the business afloat.


I knew the bakery’s survival depended on better connecting with searchers online to drive more locals into the shop. 


Yet my piecemeal attempts at getting new customers failed to move the needle. It wasn’t until I discovered the power of Google business profile that everything changed.


Once I implemented Google business profile optimization best practices, I started reaping the local SEO rewards. 


My wife’s bakery emerged as a pillar in the community, allowing me to grow my team and fulfill my entrepreneurial dreams.


Now, I want to guide other local business owners down the path to Google business profile success. These seven hacks encompass the exact techniques I leveraged to achieve local search dominance. 


With laser focus and persistent execution, they can help your business attract more local customers too.


Optimizing My Google Business Profile  Listing


When I claimed my Google business profile listing for the first time, it contained barebones details about my wife’s bakery’s name, address, and phone number. 


The drab default photo depicted a nondescript storefront. It lacked any content that reflected the warmth and charm of my baking business.


I realized immediately that optimizing the bakery profile would be crucial to appearing reputable and connecting emotionally with potential customers. The content had to convince searchers my wife’s bakery could satisfy their cravings for crusty sourdough, flaky croissants, and mouthwatering cakes.


Armed with that mindset, I set off on my Google business profile optimization journey, starting with the basics…


Complete and Verify Your Business Information

The foundation of your Google Business profile is your NAP or “name, address, phone number” details.


When entering and verifying this vital information, be sure to:


Use your exact registered business name

Input the physical location address customers will visit

Provide the primary phone number customers use to contact your business

Select the accurate category and sub-categories for your business type

Correct business details serve two key purposes. First, they build trust in searchers who see consistent NAP information across your Google business profile, website, and other listings. Second, accurate information helps Google match your Google business profile with searchers’ queries targeting your local area.


After double and triple checking the fundamental details for my wife’s bakery’s Google business profile, I shifted my focus to conveying what makes my business unique through rich media and content…


Upload High-Quality Photos and Videos

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, for local businesses, high-quality photos and video content can make the difference between showing up prominently in Google local packs or barely registering on searchers’ radars.


Yet far too often, local businesses rely on low-quality, poorly lit default photos provided by Google. Fuzzy, dull images diminish perceived credibility. When optimizing your Google business profile, priority #1 is uploading custom photos and videos that accurately showcase your business to searchers.


For best results, adhere to Google’s image guidelines by:


Uploading interior and exterior photos depicting your actual business location

Capturing high-resolution images well-lit with great detail and color

Displaying your products, services, staff and customers (with permission)

Including a prominent photo featuring your storefront and branding

Adding images that convey what makes your business special

Video content can also help your business stand out while building a connection with potential customers. Video brings your business to life, telling a story in ways static images cannot.


Your priority for videos should be:


Giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at your business

Demonstrating your production processes

Highlighting signature products and offerings

Encouraging viewers to visit your location

Keeping videos short, authentic, and engaging

After meticulously selecting 20 high-quality photos and 3 short video clips for my Google business profile profile, I turned my efforts toward optimizing content to convince searchers my wife’s bakery could satisfy their cravings.


Craft an Engaging Business Description

Your business description is invaluable local SEO real estate. Here you have an opportunity to introduce your brand to searchers in Google local results. That includes conveying what you offer and why you stand out from competitors.


When brainstorming how to effectively showcase my wife’s bakery, I asked myself:


What customer pain points can I solve with my baked goods and service?

Why should searchers give my wife’s bakery a try over alternatives?

What makes my offerings unique compared to other bakeries?

After reflecting, I realized locals frustrated with grocery store baked goods could rely on my wife’s bakery for access to:


Fresh, artisan breads and pastries baked daily

High-quality ingredients from local farms

Warm hospitality perfect for gathering with friends

Custom cakes tailored for special events

I incorporated this positioning along with some search-friendly keywords into an engaging description:


Daniel’s wife’s bakery bakes fresh, artisan bread and pastries daily using high-quality local ingredients. Our team prides itself on amazing customer service and creating the perfect gathering place for friends. Contact us to order a custom cake tailored specially to your event!


This overview helped reinforce my wife’s bakery’s differentiators while answering the questions searchers have around offerings, quality and service.


With my wife’s bakery’s name, address, photos, videos and description fully optimized, my Google business profile profile was starting to look ripe for local SEO success.


Yet I knew if I stopped there, leaving the job half finished, untapped opportunities would remain on the table. The next step involved utilizing all the features Google business profile provides for customer engagement…


Customer Engagement Hacks for Google business profile Dominance

Optimizing your core Google business profile listing details and media is the required starting point on the path to local search visibility. But customer engagement is the engine that keeps driving your brand forward. Interacting and building relationships with local searchers is what earns customer loyalty and word-of-mouth buzz.


Here are three customer engagement hacks that proved most valuable for my wife’s bakery:


Encourage Customer Reviews

In the world of local search, online reviews equal trust and social proof. Multiple positive reviews build confidence in your business and services.


Despite amazing customer service though, many local business owners I’ve met still struggle to generate reviews. Why? Either they’re not actively encouraging customers, or they haven’t made the review process fast and frictionless.


To finally kick my wife’s bakery’s reviews into high gear, I set a goal of 10 new 5-star reviews per month. These four strategies delivered the influx I was seeking:


Point-of-sale reminders: My staff asked customers about satisfaction before checkout while highlighting the link to leave a Google review.

Follow-up email requests: Customers who signed up for my newsletter received a personalized email after their purchase inviting them to share their experience. This generated over 50% of new reviews.

Incentives: I offered a complimentary cookie to customers who showed me they left a review while in my wife’s bakery. Sweet tooth cravings spurred many to action!

Responses to ALL reviews: I made sure my team replied to every single review, expressing gratitude to happy customers and resolving issues for dissatisfied ones. Seeing a real human respond builds tremendous goodwill.


Within 2 months, my wife’s bakery’s reviews shot up from 4 to over 50, helping drive enhanced local visibility that brought in waves of new local customers.


Leverage Google Posts

Google Posts are bite-sized updates you can publish directly to your Google business profile listing. Applicable for limited time sales, events, announcements and more, posts keep your brand top of mind for those searching locally.


For my wife’s bakery, posts have been invaluable for promoting:


New artisan bread offerings and seasonal pastries

Popular bulk-order deals around holidays like Thanksgiving


Special events like cake decorating classes and wife’s bakery anniversary celebrations

Well-timed Google posts helped my wife’s bakery convert searchers into customers on multiple occasions. During Christmas week, I announced an eye-catching post highlighting panettone holiday cakes available for advanced ordering along with a 20% discount code. That single post generated over $5,000 in holiday cake orders—one of our biggest revenue weeks ever!


The best practices I’ve refined for creating posts that convert searchers include:


Posts with high-quality photos tend to attract the most clicks and engagement

Prominent calls-to-action telling viewers what you want them to do works best

Limiting post text to 70-100 words keeps it scannable for the short attention spans of today’s consumers


Promoting scarcity and discounts triggers urgency


Resharing evergreen posts on applicable trends or events can multiply views

While most local businesses still overlook Google Posts, their simple nature combined with the direct visibility on Google makes them a no brainer for promotions and events you want to spotlight locally.


Monitor and Engage with Q&A

Google allows anyone to ask and answer questions directly on your Google business profile profile under the Q&A section. As a business owner, actively responding to questions here is a tremendous opportunity to engage in helpful conversation that builds loyalty and trust.


I check my wife’s bakery’s Q&A section daily and respond to every question within 24 hours. Being responsive and transparent to reasonable inquiries and concerns is table stakes for modern consumers. They expect business owners to have open, ongoing dialogue on public platforms.


Monitoring Q&A also allows you to catch inaccurate or malicious posts spreading misinformation before they spiral out of control. I once noticed someone leaving vague warnings about a health code violation at my wife’s bakery that simply never happened. By addressing the post directly with citations confirming our wife’s bakery’s flawless health inspection history, I was able to diffuse the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt).


Conversations in your Google business profile Q&A allow your business to:


Demonstrate expertise and thought leadership on relevant topics

Provide helpful information and resources to common customer questions

Promote great experiences customers are likely to have at your location

Address concerns transparently before they go viral or get out of hand

Showcase your dedication to customer service

Overall, Q&A represents an amplifier to broadcast your brand’s voice while showcasing how much you care.


While optimizing your central Google business profile profile and embracing customer engagement deliver tremendous local SEO gains, deriving maximum value requires tapping into the data behind the scenes.  ..


Google business profile Insights and Monitoring Opportunities

Scaling any endeavor relies on using the right data to inform smart decisions. This certainly applies when expanding your local search visibility through Google business profile as well.


Luckily, Google provides business owners with a robust dashboard called Google Business profile Insights to track key metrics around how customers find and engage with your profile. The insights uncovered here can help tailor your local search approach for efficiency and impact.


Additionally, actively monitoring changes and notifications to your Google business profile listing helps you address issues early while ensuring profile accuracy.


Let’s explore two facets of the data and monitoring imperative:


Uncover Insights to Guide Your Strategy


Diving into my wife’s bakery’s Google business profile insights proved eye-opening. I discovered insightful trends about my customer behavior from metrics like:


Search queries – The top keywords customers use to find my Google business profile listing inform SEO opportunities


Calls – Tracking weekly call volume helps schedule staff appropriately


Customer actions – Seeing spikes in direction requests showed deliveries were gaining traction


Photos – Higher performing photos justify expanded marketing budgets


Review responses – Quick replies consistently generate more 5-star ratings

Analyzing this data on a regular basis enabled me to tailor my local approach. I expanded delivery options to meet demand from phone/direction requests. Monitoring search queries and reviewing response data guided more productive SEO and customer satisfaction initiatives.


No matter your line of business, Google Business Profile Insights contain golden nuggets applicable to your localization strategy. Review monthly and quarterly trends to spot customer preference shifts and emerging opportunities.


Here are some common Google business profile insights you should factor into local search decisions:


Most popular days and times – When do customers engage most with your listing? Staff accordingly.


  • Peak wait times – Train staff to prompt check-ins during expected surges.
  • Top customer origin locales – Target nearby neighborhoods with marketing.
  • Most-clicked ad links – Double down on profitable ad types.
  • Highest performing posts – Emulate these for future content.


Let data guide your next local growth chapter. Audit insights, set metrics-driven goals, and watch satisfied customers pour in.


Regular Monitoring to Maintain Accuracy

Consistency breeds local search authority. Nothing hurts your reputation and Google business profile credibility more than inaccurate details and outdated information.


Local customers pay close attention, punishing perceived outdatedness or inconsistency harshly. Dropped phone pins in the wrong location or even slightly off hours can deter potential patrons from ever stepping through your doors.


That’s precisely why actively monitoring your Google business profile listing should become a regular routine.


For my wife’s bakery’s profile, I implemented Sunday night reviews to scan for any discrepancies popping up over the past week, including:


  • Incorrect business information
  • Unauthorized edits by pranksters
  • Wrong store hours entered
  • Bad photos
  • Spam posts or questions


In Google business profile, even minor issues left unchecked can spiral into lasting visibility losses. By getting ahead of inaccuracies, I maintained the consistency that reinforced my wife’s bakery’s local search prominence.


Consistently monitoring your Google business profile presence safeguards against misinformation and keeps data updated across Google surfaces where customers encounter your business. The time invested pays dividends through accuracy and authority.


Evolving our Google business profile Strategy Brings Lasting Local Search Dominance


Looking back, optimizing and actively managing the Google business profile listing proved the digital turning point for the bakery business.


As I saw search visibility and online engagement rise, locals previously unaware of my wife’s bakery started visiting and becoming regular patrons. 


Positive word of mouth expanded, reviews piled up, and my staff struggled to keep cases fully stocked with fresh inventory flying out each day.


After experiencing the fruits of Google business profile success firsthand, I cannot overstate its marketability for established local brands or small businesses aiming to find their footing.


These seven hacks encapsulate proven optimization best practices, along with customer engagement and monitoring steps I leveraged for local SEO prominence. They represent a blueprint you can replicate to make Google business profile work for your organization at any scale.


While Google business profiles may not remain the forever dominant force in localization, its current reach through Google searches and maps remains the lynchpin to local relevancy. By dedicating your focus here as a local business owner, you hold the keys to connecting with searching customers in your community.


I’m rooting for your wild success in harnessing your Google business profile’s possibilities to drive real local results. Feel free to reach out if you have any local SEO questions during your journey!


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