Optimizing GBP Descriptions

by | Mar 29, 2023 | SEO Marketing

As GBP listings become more and more important for local businesses to perform well on Google, we need to make sure we are taking full advantage of the description field. In recent monthly reports, we have been pleasantly surprised by outcomes we are getting by incorporating as many relevant keywords as possible and secondary locations into Google Business Profile (GBP) descriptions. This takes a bit of planning, but the results are undeniable.

SEO Process

Key Elements


With a keyword-packed GBP description, you can not only rank higher in search results for all those delicious long-tail keywords and have a better chance making the Google 3-Pack. Additionally, by including more relevant keywords in your GBP description, ‘rich snippets’ are more likely to appear in search engine results, making it stand out from other websites.


As I often tell clients, your GBP is the only link between Google Maps and your website. We have found that by adding a list of service area locations in the GBP description, it can easily do as well as some of our Location Landing Pages in those secondary, satellite locations. This practice often leads to our clients’ GPBs getting the coveted top spot on primary keywords in these satellite locations.


This is a trite-but-true marketing maxim we need to use in each GBP description. Including some prompt for a specific action or highlights of what makes your business special helps to drive engagement and encourage potential customers to interact with your business, ultimately increasing conversions.


So we’re stripping out all the extraneous language, and stuffing the description full of keywords and locations. Great, sounds super fun to read. The fact is that the Google algorithm is crawling and reading your GBP description more frequently and more closely than end users are, and we are really seeing Google as the primary audience of this particular paragraph. However, emotion sells the product, and when users do end up reading your description, the tone you use will make the audience feel a certain way about your brand and your products or services. Tone also conveys the company’s attitude toward the audience, which often comes through whether you intend it or not. So tone needs to be carefully considered and crafted around those precious keywords and locations.

“your GBP is the only link between Google Maps and your website…”

How It’s Done


Before writing the GBP description, it is important to either research the optimal keywords for the project using Google Keyword Planner, Moz, Ubersuggest, and other 3rd party tools. This piece of writing involves the same technical metrics and data analysis as on-site content, and therefore needs to be afforded the same level of keyword research. We are playing the same numbers game with the GBP description as we are with any online content.


We only have 750 characters to make this happen. This means there isn’t a lot of room for fluff. Things that may seem important to the business owner, like “family owned and operated” or details on how the business was started, aren’t valuable search terms. That type of info doesn’t serve the Google algo and doesn’t inform the customer about the variety of services or products they offer. It may have to be sacrificed to more relevant search terms and locations.

SEO Process

Here is an example of an existing GBP description we came across. This is how it’s NOT done! Locations are in green. Relevant keywords are in red. Branding words are in blue. Calls To Action or Unique Selling Points are in purple.

Custom printed t-shirts and apparel for business, events, fire departments, fundraisers, schools, camps, sports teams and more. Shipping to anywhere within the U.S.

What did this author do wrong?

  • Only uses 164 of the 750 available characters.
  • Only uses 2 searchable relevant keywords, only one of which gets significant search volume in their area.
  • Does not mention a location besides the entire U.S., when in reality it is a very small, local print shop.
  • Does not attempt to impart a voice that helps to establish a company’s brand and tone or supports the development of meaningful, authentic relationships with customers.
  • Does not include either a Call To Action or Unique Selling Point.


Here is a GBP description we wrote for a barbershop in West Hollywood. They are doing quite well in West Hollywood and want to branch out to be the dominant barbershop in all of Los Angeles using an aggressive organic content plan. Here is their new GBP description:

“Entourage Barbershop in West Hollywood is L.A.’s premier men’s hair salon. Our professional stylists are experts in the latest trends. Whether you’re looking for a classic men’s haircut, a beard trim, a hot towel shave, a tight skin fade, or a daring hair line-up, our barbers have you covered. When it comes to modern men’s hairstyles, every detail matters. If it’s a low taper fade, buzz cut, the popular Edgar haircut, an intricate hair design, a slick edge-up, or even nose or eyebrow waxing, we make sure each customer leaves our barber shop feeling confident and refreshed. Serving the entire Laurel Canyon, Hollywood Hills, La Brea, Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles, our Sunset Strip men’s salon will give you the look you’ve been wanting!

Additional GBP Best Practices

Each of these topics could get its own blog, but for the most part, the client needs to maintain the GBP in 3 primary ways.

  • Reviews: Good reviews are a key element of a successful GBP. In fact, if you google any local service, the 3-Pack results are most likely listed in order of who has the most and best reviews. We have found soliciting a review is best done in person at the end of the transaction. The business owner should ask their client three simple questions. 1) How did we do? 2) Is there anything we can improve? 3) Would you give us a 4 or 5 star rating? If the answer is yes to the last question, text the client a direct link to review your business on Google. If you can get your customers to use keywords in the reviews, even better.


  • Products & Services: To make the GBP even more useful, Google lets businesses show their inventory directly on their profile, so customers can see what products are offered before they decide to call or visit the store. Make sure all products and services you offer are listed and up-to-date on your GBP listing. You can either set up automatic inventory updates or manually add products to your GBP.


  • Add Updates: This is a relatively new feature on GBP, and Google is taking it seriously. A business can “Add Updates” to their GBP that look much like a Facebook post. Google is favoring companies who use this feature regularly. You can think of this as just another Social Media post that needs to be made regularly. An important caveat to GBP Updates is that the content and images have to be original. Google will crawl to see if you used the same images and content on your website and on other Social Media posts, and ding you if they see it is duplicate.

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