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When mastering local SEO, a Google My Business profile (now known as Google Business Profile) may be the most important aspect to get right. It has, to marketers, become essential to business success. 
A Google Business Profile is an online directory listing on the Google search platform. It is a digital place where a company can add all their business information, including products/services, locations that will show on Google Maps, and where customers can leave online reviews. 

How to keep your GB profile optimised? 

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1. Complete all sections – make sure you fill out every section on your Google Business Profile. This provides your customers with as much information as possible and helps with your SEO ranking. Some sections will be quick and easy, like company name, website URL and opening hours. Other sections may require a bit more thought and time, such as Customer Generated Questions, Reviews and Posts, but it’s well worth it. 
2. Accuracy is crucial – you must ensure that every bit of information on your profile is correct and aligns with your physical store. For example, the company name on your high street signage must match that on your GB profile. Yes, adding locations is highly beneficial but don’t add it as a subscript to your company name, or Google might deduct ranking points. In addition, if you make any changes to your products/services, opening hours, locations or other information, make sure you update your profile immediately. It won’t take long for a customer or a Google bot to spot the error. 
3. Category relevancy – when setting up your profile, you must choose a business category that identifies your business online. Be careful; there are more than 3,000 business categories to select from. Get it wrong, and it’s likely your company won’t appear in relevant search results. This is particularly important if your company name does not appear on your products or services (which many don’t). If you offer more than one primary service, such as website design and SEO, use the secondary category section. That way, you double your chances of appearing in all relevant search queries. 
4. Add all attributes – your attributes are your business’s USPs (unique selling points) which differentiate you from our competitors. By selecting the relevant attributes, such as wheelchair access, you are optimising the opportunity of appearing in more specific searches. 
5. Don’t forget to add pictures – pictures really do speak a thousand words online. As well as showing customers what your product/services look like – and your team – it demonstrates legitimacy, promotes trustworthiness and boosts your SEO ranking. Ensure your photos are high quality and optimised – this is important for page loading speeds. Include ALT titles, text and captions for each image as Google looks for these ranking factors. As with other information, if anything changes, remove the old images and replace them with new ones. This also has the benefit of keeping the information fresh. 
6. Always respond to reviews – 95% of customers will read online reviews before they buy a product. But an even more impactful statistic is that 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to reviews. More than three-quarters of customers will leave reviews online if given the opportunity, so always ask. But to truly optimise your GB profile, always respond to reviews, whether they are positive or negative. It demonstrates that you care and are proactive in sorting out any issues. It also builds online engagement and trust in your brand. A great way to ensure you respond to reviews and can quickly resolve problems is to set up Messaging on your profile. This allows customers to send a text message directly to your profile, and you to respond. 
7. Upload products/services – there’s no point in having a great profile if your customers don’t know what you are selling. So, make sure you add your products/services and don’t forget to optimise product/service descriptions, particularly if your company name isn’t associated with them. 
8. Create online posts – in the same way you add blogs and other online content to your website to boost SEO rankings, do the same for your Google Business Profile. It encourages customers to interact with your posts, regularly adds fresh content, and provides Google’s bots with new information. 
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With these simple ways to keep your Google Business Profile updated with fresh, accurate and informative content, you are a long way towards reaching the pinnacle of local search engine optimisation. 
It’seeze Bristol web designers deliver professional website design for start-ups and small businesses. Providing affordable website packages to suit all budgets, we combine our easy-to-use website editor with ongoing expert local support to create easy-to-manage yet engaging websites that are fully SEO optimised for local searches. Call us today to create the website of your dreams and turn your business into a success. 
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