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Local SEO Checklist for your Google Business Profile Listing (14 Tactics)

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Focusing on the Google 3-pack has definitely been the most efficient thing I could do for my business and for our client's businesses to show up in this list.

After all, everyone Google's right?

For instance, here's a client that had show up #1 on the Google 3-pack by optimizing his website, creating content, and updating his Google Business Profile regularly.

This is the local 3-pack. If you have a Google Business Profile you definitely want to make sure you claim your business online and verify it so you can show up in this list.

The goal should be to show up in this 3-pack for people searching closest to you.

There are several signals that Google uses to help you show up here, we suggest understanding basic SEO from our guide here, however these signals for Local SEO are important to consider:

  • Where is the person searching from? Are they close to your location? You're more likely to show up if the keyword customers are searching for is included in your profile AND they're close to your business profile listing address.

  • The star rating of your profile (we advise clients to try to stay above a 4.0).

  • The number of reviews you have (we advise our clients to get at least 10).

  • Keywords that are in the reviews (we advise clients to advise their customers to include relevant keywords in their reviews AND reply to the reviews with similar keywords)

  • How often you update your profile (we advise clients to treat this page like a Social Media profile by making regular updates)

What I've found in terms of Search Engine Optimization is focusing on this property to show up on Page 1 instead of trying to show up on page 1 outside of Google Ads or Organic results.

I treat this basically as a checklist to regularly update our Google Business Profile and wanted to share it with you.

What I've also found is by tracking my position based on local keywords and creating useful content for people looking for your business keywords also helped me rank higher.

If you haven't claimed your business profile then you need to do this ASAP.

It used to be super easy to claim it but nowadays I've found that Google is cracking down on "fake" profiles by ensuring the business owner proves their profile with a video and documentation. Verification varies by industry and location.

So how exactly do you optimize your Google Business Profile (GBP) for Local SEO? Most importantly, to get on the Local 3-Pack.

Here's the simplest answer: Claim it, use it, and update it regularly.

Here's a more detailed answer (14 Tactics Checklist):

  1. Have you claimed, created, and verified a Google Business Profile Listing... Without this you won't be able to manage the listing at all.

  2. Is your name, address, and phone number accurate? Also, specifically aligned with other listing sites you might be on like Yellow Pages, Angi's List, Home Advisor, etc. This is also known as "NAP Citations" (Name, Address, Phone Number)

  3. Is your website linked to your GBP?

  4. Are your operating hours accurate?

  5. Are you targeting the correct Category for your business and targeted keywords for what customers are actually looking for?

  6. Are you treating your GBP listing like a Social Media account?

  7. Have you added a post/Update this week?

  8. Have you added a new photo this week?

  9. Have you added a new Offer (with the right keywords) this month?

  10. Are you answering questions from customers? Q&A section

  11. Are you asking past customers for Reviews? Have you sent it with your short link so it's easy for customers to do it? Do those reviews have the keywords you're targeting? (How to Maximize your Google Reviews - in depth)

  12. Are you responding to Reviews with thoughtful responses and including targeted keywords?

  13. Have you reviewed your GBP Analytics or Performance to see the data from the month so you can adjust your profile? What keywords are using to find you in search results?

  14. Are you offering direct messages on your profile AND are you responding quickly to customers?

Sounds like a lot of work, right? It is.

If you use this checklist and update your Google Business Profile accordingly it will help tell Google that you're actually paying attention to your profile.

Just take each step one at a time and over time you'll see some positive changes.

Remember though that metrics matter. If you start making these changes and you're not measuring the changes or results then you're basically wasting your time.

I'm guilty of this too. I get all excited making changes then I forget about it a few weeks later and I don't even check to see what happened.. don't do this.

Make sure you're tracking your position with Google Search Console, Google Analytics, SEO tools, and other analytics tools regularly to see if certain keywords are moving the needle for you.

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