Optimization Checklist

Business Name: Enter your business name how it appears on your business card, or how you normally refer to it.

  • If there are multiple, public facing practitioners at your location, then do not allow them to have their own listings. Doing so is technically allowed but will water down the visibility of the main listing.
    Do not add extra keywords to your business name with the intent of ranking the listing for them.
    Do not add the location name or city.

If you are a divorce lawyer:

Yes: ACME Inc.

No: ACME Inc. Divorce Lawyers

Short Name: Use your business name as your short name.

Update: Editing short names is no longer allowed.

If you already have a short name, you should keep it as-is. Deleting your short name won’t allow you to add a new one.

Primary Category: Select the primary category which best represents your business. Do not overthink this.

  • You can only select from a pre-defined list.

If you are a divorce lawyer:

Yes: Choose Divorce Lawyer as your primary category.

No: Choose Law Firm as your primary category.

Secondary Category: Select as many secondary categories that apply to your business.

  • Do not add categories if they do not directly apply to your company’s offerings.

If you are a divorce lawyer, choose:

Family Law Firm
Attorney
Law Firm
If you are a mortgage broker, but not a direct lender, do not choose:

Mortgage Lender

Address: Put the physical street address on the first line and suite numbers on the second line.

  • If an employee of your business is not actively at your location during business hours, then you should be hiding your address.
  • Put the street address on Address Line 1 and any suite number on Address Line 2.

Line 1: 1645 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.

Line 2: Suite 1200

Service Area: Add the cities, postal codes, or regions that you service.

  • Only use this if you meet customers at their locations.
  • There are some businesses which have customers which visit them, and also go to customers’ locations. It is fine to have an address and list a service area on the same listing.
  • Your visibility will be significantly reduced outside of a 20 mile radius (about 32 km), regardless of the service areas you list.

If you service the entire USA – listing the country as a service area does not mean you will have visibility everywhere.

Business Hours: Enter regular, customer-facing hours of operation.

  • If you are able to extend store hours by being available a little longer via phone – then include these as opening hours on your listing. Doing so improves visibility as your listing will be shown more when competitors’ hours have marked them as closed.
  • Add special hours for holidays and other events.

Christmas Day: Closed

December 1-23: Extended hours.

If you are a seasonal business: remove operating hours when closed, and re-enter when the season comes.

More Hours: If you have a second set of hours, enter them here.

  • You must enter your regular business hours before adding this.

Seniors Only: 7am to 8am

Drive-Through: 10pm to 8am

Primary + Additional Phone Numbers: Use your local business number as the primary number. If you have a toll-free number, you can add it as an additional phone number.

  • If using call tracking, use this number in the primary phone field. Add your local business number and toll-free number in the additional phone fields.

Primary Phone: 310-123-4567

Additional Phone: 1-800-123-4567

Primary + Additional Phone Numbers: Use your local business number as the primary number. If you have a toll-free number, you can add it as an additional phone number.

  • If using call tracking, use this number in the primary phone field. Add your local business number and toll-free number in the additional phone fields.

Primary Phone: 310-123-4567

Additional Phone: 1-800-123-4567

Appointment URL: Add the URL of your contact page or booking system.

  • Like your website URL, add the following at the end:
    ?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=organic

Contact Page: https://www.YourCompany.com/contact/

With UTM code: https://www.YourCompany.com/contact/?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=organic

Service/Menu/Product Information: These sections allow you to provide information about company offerings directly to the listing. Many companies gloss over this, and it hurts their engagement.

  • Services are only available for specific types of service-focused businesses.
  • Menus are only available for restaurants.
  • Products are only available for certain retail businesses.
  • Create separate sections for each category of your services/menu/products.
  • If you offer many services/products, I would recommend only adding the most popular offers. Be sure to update these if they are seasonal.
  • Enter the offer names as they are described normally by your business.
  • If your offer names are highly branded (e.g. a car inspection service named “Full Scan Pro”), then be sure to specifically call out what the service is in terms that customers would understand in the description.
  • Add a description for each product/service. You can use the same description used on your website or in store (there is a 300 character limit).

Service Name: Car Inspection

Service Description: We provide full car inspections to customers in Irvine. This service is available for all sizes and types of vehicles. If you do not require a full inspection, and would only like specific areas looked at, we can do this at a discounted price as well.

Business Attributes: Define the attributes that correctly describe your business.

  • You can only select from the list provided (similar to business categories).

  • Only include attributes that accurately describe your business. Your customers can verify this on their end, and Google will weigh their input heavily.

    Google continues to add new attributes as markets shift (e.g. in response to the pandemic).

    ‍Check this section regularly – and add new attributes which are relevant to your business.

If you have a wheelchair accessible storefront, that offers a happy hour, patio, and bathrooms, some attributes to list would be:

  • Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Happy Hour
  • Wheelchair Accessible

Business Description: This is the elevator pitch for your business.

  • It should be written with prospective customers in mind (people who know nothing about your business).
  • Focus on the business as a whole, rather than specific products/services or promotions.
  • Use the most important keywords that people would generally search for to find your business.
  • Remember: You are writing for humans. Not search engines.
  • Do not use website URLs, special characters, or emojis.
  • There is a 750 character limit.

ABC Media is a digital marketing agency located in Vancouver. Known for having the most five star reviews in the market, ABC offers results focused digital marketing services for service-focused businesses.

Store Codes: These help multi-location businesses manage listings. Do not worry about adding these if you are not bulk uploading locations.

  • There can be no spaces or special characters.
  • For a business with 10 locations, numbering them 1-10 as store codes is feasible.

Labels: You can add labels to your listing to help organize your account (for businesses with multiple locations).

  • You can assign up to 10 labels per location.

For a business with many locations in one city, adding labels based on sector of the city may be helpful:

  • North
  • South
  • East
  • West

A business with different types of locations can add labels based on location type:

  • Full Service
  • Limited Service

Google Ads Locations Extensions Phone: Must be a local phone number in order to show in search results (cannot be a toll-free number).

  • Leave this field blank unless you are actively running a Google Ads campaign with location extensions. If this sounds like gibberish to you, it usually means you aren’t running an Ads campaign and do not need to worry about this.
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