You know the value of having a verified Google My Business listing, you’ve gone ahead and claimed your GMB profile. You may think that setting up your profile is all you need to do, but you’re not done yet.

In order to have an effective listing, you need to ensure your business information is accurate and your customers are leaving reviews so that your target audience is encouraged to visit your company. Here are six steps to optimize your Google My Business profile:

Step 1: Double Check All Your Information

According to a Search Engine Land survey, 43% of 4,000 U.S. business listings had at least one incorrect or missing address, and 37% had at least one incorrect or missing name. If your business information isn’t complete, your customers won’t be able to find you.

Double check your NAP (that’s Name, Address, Phone number) as well as your operating hours, and don’t forget to include the address for all your business locations on your profile. Make sure your URLs (including your website and social media accounts) are correct, and that you select accurate categories—ones that are specific and representative of your company, but aren’t solely keywords or simply descriptive attribute of your business.

Step 2: Add Photos

Google My Business Profile - Add Photos
Image credit: Sathaporn Sumarai/Shutterstock

Visuals make your profile more engaging: business listings with photos receive 35% more clickthroughs to their websites over listings without images. Include pictures of your brick-and-mortar locations, with both exterior and interior shots, in your profile. You should also ensure that your profile photo, which creates the first impression people will receive when they visit your listing, serves as an ideal representation of your company.

Step 3: Use Keywords for SEO

People can’t find your business profile if it doesn’t appear in search engines. Use relevant local keywords in your GMB profile to improve your search rankings. Watch our webinar on how to optimize your online listings with SEO.

Step 4: Flesh Out Your Profile

Google My Business Profile - Flesh Out Your Profile
Image credit: fiphoto/Shutterstock

Besides the basic information such as your contact information and business hours, you can add more details to optimize your profile. For example, you can write a short, descriptive introduction that explains your company to prospective customers. You can also add a 360-degree view of the interior of your business location in order to provide additional visuals of your company.

Step 5: Encourage and Track Reviews

The more positive reviews you receive, the better. With GMB, you can ask people to post feedback (but only if your profile is verified). Keep track of what customers say about your company with Connectivity’s Reviews and Social Media Monitoring tool. For negative reviews, we have some advice on how to deal with online criticism. (Negative reviews can be turned into positives with the right response, so don’t ignore them.)

Step 6: Check On Your Profile

Image credit: Uber Images/Shutterstock

If your phone number or operating hours have changed, be sure to update your profile. Make it a regular habit to check your listing and keep your information up-to-date. You may have decided to stay open late on Tuesday nights, but if your profile doesn’t reflect this new information, customers checking online won’t know about it. Don’t lose clients because of outdated details.

Claiming your business profile is only the first step in making sure your business can easily be found online. To make the most of your listing, check that your information is accurate and up-to-date, encourage reviews, and keep track of what people are saying about you online. By optimizing your profile, you’ll bring more customers through the door.

Top image credit: Google My Business

Katie Shaheen is Connectivity’s Central Region Sales Manager.