Formerly known as Google Places, Google My Business is the search giant’s directory of local businesses. If you own a brick-and-mortar business, you should create a listing here to improve your visibility in the search engines. Google My Business listings are displayed in Google Search, Maps, Gmail and other properties. Keep reading for some helpful tips on how to optimize your Google My Business listing.

#1) Verify Your Business

First and foremost, you should verify your business in Google My Business. Even if it’s listed, it may not be verified. Anyone can create a listing, but only the legitimate business owner can verify it. Google supports several different methods of verification, including postcard, phone, email, instant and bulk. Click here to learn more about Google My Business verification.

#2) Upload Photos

A picture really is worth a thousand words, so be sure to upload them to your Google My Business listing. Google recommends submitting photos in either JPG or PNG format. Photos help customers find your business while also giving them a sneak peak of your establishment. There are several different types of photos that can you can upload to your Google My Business listing, including profile photos, logos, cover photos, and additional photos.

#3) Verify Hours and Address

Make sure the hours of operation and address are correct and up to date on your Google My Business listing. If the address is wrong, your listing won’t rank high (or at all) for those coveted local searches. And if your hours are wrong, it could leave some potential customers disgruntled as they attempt to visit your business when it’s closed. Make sure both the hours and address on your Google My Business listing are correct. If they aren’t, update them ASAP.

#4) Respond to Customer Reviews

One of the great things about Google My Business is that customers can leave reviews. When a customer leaves a review on your listing, take a moment to respond. Even if it’s nothing more than “Thanks for the feedback,” responses such as this should customers that you listen. In turn, this creates a higher level of trust while encouraging other prospects to buy your products or services.

#5) Write an Introduction

If you haven’t done so already, write an introduction on your Google My Business listing. This should describe your business and what it offers. It’s best to keep your introduction short, limiting it to no more than just a few paragraphs.