The do’s and don’ts of Google My Business

Google business listings are just one area of local search but can mean make or break for the visibility of SMEs, regardless of industry.

As Google has become an increasingly important channel of referrals, often a go-to for any user to help them make choices and navigate the messy middle, the My Business platform has transformed the way we search for listings.

Now, users can view business information in Google’s index. Showing location, contact information, opening times, reviews, and other features. However, that doesn’t mean that SEOs aren’t prone to making Google My Business mistakes – which is why we’ve created this guide to help.

In this blog, we’ll cover:

  • What Google My Business is
  • What are some of the issues you might face
  • Useful Do’s and Don’ts collated by our Local SEO experts

But first, let’s tackle the basics.

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What is Google My Business?

Google My Business – now known as Google Business Profile or BBP – is a free tool that lets you change how your business appears on Google entities. That includes:

My Business is available to both storefront and service area operations, allowing you to directly connect with your customers, keep them updated, list products or services, and more.

On the backend, you can expect a full dashboard with engagement metrics, as well as the ability to amend your business information and how it appears on Google itself.

From an SEO perspective, this tool is especially helpful for businesses looking to gain extra visibility in the search results, as well as providing information in line with Google’s ‘Useful Content’ update, as readers can easily access opening times and other information.

What are some potential issues?

Despite its perks, Google My Business can sometimes be confusing.

Some business owners have reported that verification for some locations can be tricky, as well as experiencing access problems stemming from previous profiles or lost passwords. This can lead to incorrect listings – which is disastrous for everyone involved.

To avoid this, here are some hardline do’s and don’ts to help you get the most from Google My Business.

Do’s and Don’ts for Google My Business


  • Claim your listing: Once you’ve claimed and verified your listing, this crucial first step gives you total control over the information displayed about your business. It also gives you insights and review management, thanks to additional features available to verified owners.
  • Make sure everything is correct: It might seem like a given, but ensuring you’ve got the right details about your business, including name, address, phone number, website, and business hours can improve your rankings. When consistent across all your online profiles, it enhances your trust markers and authority – which is exactly what Google is looking for.
  • Always use top-quality images: High-resolution images that show off your products, services, and premises not only attract your audience but also give customers a better understanding of what they can expect.
  • Encourage Reviews: If your customers are happy – encourage them to leave a review! This not only shows other customers that you’re a business providing a great service, but responding promptly and professionally to all reviews (good and bad) showcases how you’re committed to making customers happy.
  • Use Google Posts: Utilise the features of Google Posts to share updates, promotions, events, and other relevant information directly on your Google My Business listing.
  • Monitor your insights: Take the time to regularly check and review GMB’s metrics to see how customers are interacting with your business. This valuable data can then be used to streamline your marketing strategies and improve your overall business performance.


  • Stay away from keyword stuffing: Long blacklisted as an SEO tactic, steer clear of keyword stuffing your My Business description with keywords to try and get them to rank for target terms. Instead, provide useful information that Google favours instead.
  • Blank negative reviews: Although it can be tempting, ignoring negative reviews does more harm than good. Instead, address customer concerns politely and offer an alternative solution to show your professionalism.
  • Ignore updates: If anything changes with your business information, such as a new address, phone number, or business hours – make sure to update your GMB listing, too. If you don’t, you could end up losing out on hundreds of customers without even knowing it.
  • Violate guidelines: If your content doesn’t align with My Business guidelines, you could be faced with a suspension or penalisation. This can span the misrepresentation of your business, such as using a business name or posting inappropriate content or comments.

Final thoughts

Google My Business is a great way to easily boost your online visibility and attract local customers. By following the do’s and avoiding the don’ts outlined by our SEO experts in this guide, you can boost your business growth, retain and even gain customers.

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