Even when your business doors are closed, you still need to “open up” to customers. This is why completing and keeping your ‘virtual shop window’, aka Google Business Profile (GBP, formerly Google My Business GMB), accurate is important for earning trust and driving more business. A key part of your GBP that can help optimise your local search presence is effectively using Google Business attributes to show off unique aspects of your local business.
Giving customers a better idea of what you do and what your business offers enables them to make informed decisions before visiting your physical location. They can be curious about anything, like whether a coffee shop has “Wi-Fi” or a hotel is “dog-friendly”.
Adding relevant attributes to your GBP can help your local listings stand out, improve your online reputation, and make it easier for people to find and learn about your business through search.
We’ll run you through the different types of Google Business attributes and show you how you can use them to contribute to a better customer experience. But first, let’s learn more about these little nuggets of information.
What are Google Business attributes?
Think of Google Business attributes as unique features or mini statements that say something about your business in very few words. Their purpose is to convey useful information to local consumers, so they can decide whether your business is what they’re looking for.
These can be additional offerings, certain characteristics, or specific services that enable you to show up in other searches that are more refined.
Where do business attributes show up?
The attributes appear on your business listing in organic search results just above your address, and underneath your primary information in Google Maps results.
If a user clicks on your profile in Maps to view more information, you’ll also see the attributes positioned above the address. The arrow next to the visible attributes allows users to uncover more attributes.
The types of Google Business attributes
Google Business attributes can be factual (also called subjective) or subjective. The business controls factual attributes, while the fate of subjective attributes lies in the hands of Google and the opinions of customers who’ve used your business.
The owner of the GBP listing can modify these. When an attribute is factual or subjective, it’s set in stone and not up for discussion. For example, if your restaurant has a delivery service or the types of payments it accepts. They are based on facts and help you proactively answer common customer queries on your local listing.
Google sources subjective attributes through user-generated sources answered by local guides or people who have visited your location and left reviews. They are opinions based on customers’ experiences, meaning no Google guidelines exist around these topics. For example, it’s impossible to clearly define if your hotel is an “excellent place to bring young kids” or your restaurant deserves limelight for its “great desserts”.
Examples of Google Business attributes
The attributes you can add to your GBP vary by niche, but you’ve got to provide all possible and relevant information to help searchers choose your location. We’re focusing here primarily on factual attributes, as these are the ones your businesses can control and update in the GBP platform.
Available to most businesses with a physical location, accessibility attributes allow you to share with customers how your business is set up for customers with specific accessibility needs. For example, a hotel can specify if it has a wheelchair-accessible entrance. Accessibility attributes enable you to indicate if your business has one or more of the following:
Your business can advertise specific services to help potential customers fully understand what you do and what you can offer. Service businesses can choose from suggested types of services. For example, plumbers may get “Install shower” or “Repair hot water cylinder” as additional services. If the type of service you provide isn’t listed, you can add your own custom services.
Services specific to catering include attributes like “takeaway”, “delivery”, “brunch”, “rooftop”, “booking possible”, etc. Other service attributes could be stating if your pub has “baby changing facilities” or if your department store has “toilets”.
Share the type of amenities your business offers to add appeal to your ‘virtual shop window’. Customers can view them from Search and Maps, so let them know if your gym has a “squash court”, or if your hotel offers “inclusive breakfast” for guests.
The atmosphere of your business is subjective, meaning it’s an attribute you cannot modify. Ambience goes a long way to influence customers to purchase and is especially important for food establishments, pubs, and bars, so think about how you can best set the mood. Examples of atmosphere attributes could be your business being labelled as “casual”, “cosy”, “kid-friendly”, or “romantic”.
Is cash still king or have digital payment methods stolen the crown? Whatever your POV, customers benefit from knowing the type of payments your business accepts. For example, if you’re a fish and chip shop that is strictly “cash-only”, but neglect mentioning this on your GBP, it can lead to frustrated customers. Nobody wants to place their order and then discover they need to find a cash point.
Payment attributes are:
Credit cards (American Express, China Union Pay, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, Mastercard, and VISA).
NFC mobile payments
Tez mobile payments.
Health & safety measures
COVID-19 spawned the addition of several health and safety Google Business attributes. This helped reassure customers during uncertain times and can help build trust with customers even now. Many people are still traumatised by the pandemic, so it’s worth outlining your mask and temperature policy for both staff and visitors.
Businesses like hairdressers and restaurants can state if they require a “reservation” and if they “disinfect surfaces between visits”. The need for contactless fulfilment also made “curbside pick-up” crucial to consumer decision-making. You can let customers know whether your store offers this option.
Similar to amenities, your highlights are the star features or facilities you want to be synonymous with your business.
Is your pet care facility the only one in the area with extensive fields and gardens for exercise? Let the people know.
Offerings are additional details about your business that vary from category to category. For example, dental surgeries can tell customers if they offer “teeth whitening”, and bars can let customers know if they have specific alcohol offerings such as “happy hour drinks”. Cheers to that.
How suitable your company is to people’s individual needs will boil down to customers’ opinions. For example, they can let other users know if your restaurant is suitable for those wanting fast service and a quick bite to eat.
Google allows food businesses to directly accept orders for delivery or pick-up directly through their GBP. You can partner with approved third-party deliver providers or sign up for The Ordering.app. Don’t forget to add the ‘Place an order’ link, so hungry customers can interact with your business more efficiently.
Delivery or takeaway
Designed for use by restaurants, cafes, and other food establishments, they can let customers know if they offer “delivery”, “dine-in”, or “takeaway services”.
The importance of attributes on Google Business Profiles
Let's explore the importance of attributes on Google Business Profiles.
Google Business attributes offer accessible information to customers above anything else, but they have to be accurate if you want to earn their trust and attract more qualified leads. They are also crucial to Google to ensure the right results are shown to searchers.
If it transpires you are providing incorrect information to users, you’ll quickly slide down the rankings, and Google will instead provide the next best result to users — your competitors.
You can use Google Business attributes to highlight your business’s diversity and inclusivity. Aside from the accessibility attributes we covered earlier, businesses can proudly show who they are and if they are owned by marginalised communities (LGBT+ owned, veteran-owned, etc).
Google wants to help celebrate locations that treat everyone equally and welcome them without questions. You can show your business is a safe and welcoming space by marking your business as “LGBT friendly” and a “Transgender Safe Space”.
Attaching unique attributes about your location can help you stand out in competitive local search results. No two businesses are the same, so think about your USPs that make your business stand out from others and use them to convert searchers to business-generating customers.
These additional descriptors are a uniform way to manage customer expectations. They can see what your business offers and if it suits their preferences and needs.
For example, if the weather is glorious and you have specified in your GBP attributes that your bar has outdoor seating, customers will know they can turn to your location and enjoy a drink or two outside.
Presenting specific details, services, and other characteristics about your business that distinguish you from competitors is a significant advantage. It’s a huge feather in your cap if you can tell users as much as possible about what you can offer them without them needing to contact you directly.
You’ll also be helping Google give users a stellar search experience, so you can expect to see your business name (not your rivals) dancing in front of potential customers.
How to add and update attributes on Google Business Profile
While you can’t directly control every attribute, let’s look at how you can add and update your factual business attributes, so your GBP listing is optimised with the special qualities that customers need to know about you.
Choose the appropriate location you wish to edit if you have multiple locations.
Click the Edit profile option in Google Search and navigate to the More tab.
Add the attributes relevant to your business. Note that the different business attribute options available will vary depending on your primary business category (or niche).
How to do it in Mirador Local
Click on your location from within your account, the services tab, and it will guide you through, including all attributes.
How different industries are using Google Business attributes
Google Business attributes vary from industry to industry, so attributes applicable to restaurants like “dine-in” or “brunch” won’t appear for businesses in the legal sector. Let’s look at how different industries are picking the attributes that best fit their business to give more information to users and improve their local search visibility.
Hotels are capitalising on their attributes options to inform guests of their amenities and facilities. Be sure to list all the amenities and quirks your hotel provides from being “pet-friendly” to “concierge”, “laundry”, and an “outdoor pool”.
As with all attributes you include, ensure they are accurate and available to guests, or you will likely feel their wrath in Google Reviews. If you need further inspiration on the type of things to incorporate in this section, have a peek at what other hotel brands have listed on their GBP.
From health and safety concerns to payment methods and the ability to display order and pick-up options, retail environments can use Google Business attributes to convert online searchers to in-store shoppers. They are a pivotal tool for retail brands, enabling them to display important information on their local store listings.
Remember to choose your primary category wisely, as these can get specific for retail companies. For example, if your speciality is clothing, does your brand identify as a clothing shop, clothing supplier, youth clothing shop, etc.?
Clubs, cinemas, concert halls, theatres, and other entertainment venues can make their facility more marketable by adding special attributes to their listing. For example, does your venue put on “live performances”?
Cinemas can highlight if they show “3D movies”, and don’t forget to mention those all-important accessibility attributes. People with disabilities can find attending a gig a daunting task, so give them the confidence to book ahead of your next performance or show.
Bars and restaurants
There’s a gluttony of unique attributes for bars and restaurants to pick from, but that also serves to make this industry extra-competitive. You can provide answers to questions like:
Can I dine outdoors?
Is a delivery service available?
Can I see your location’s menu?
Is there a private dining room?
Don’t leave any relevant attributes unmarked — the idea is to give as much information as possible to drive dining decisions.
Healthcare & medical facilities
Many of us put off going to the doctor, while dental anxiety is also common across the UK population, affecting people of all ages. Subjective attributes will help with promoting great staff and how your practice helps patients feel comfortable, but you can still tinker with your objective attributes to promote your services.
Offer potential patients peace of mind by telling them about your cleaning protocols (health and safety attributes), your booking methods, and if you’re “accepting new patients”.
Beauty & salons
Women owners dominate the beauty and salon industry, and you can communicate your values by marking your business as “women-led”. Salon owners can list all the services they provide, from “Acne treatments” to “Hair colouring” and “Massage”, so that users can see if your business offers what they need.
Stay a cut above the rest by taking advantage of your main business attributes and services to attract new clients to your clinic, salon, or spa.
How to handle attributes for multi-location businesses
With Mirador Local, batch editing and updating your attributes across multiple location points is possible. This will eradicate the possibility of creating confusion and frustration for your customers, as you can update your attributes quickly if they change.
For example, if you have 100 retail stores and have just implemented a “delivery” service, you can ensure it is updated across your empire via the single dashboard.
Highlighting your business's unique features and services will give your GBP listing greater visibility in local searches and Google Maps queries. They fall partly under your control, so they shouldn't be overlooked when managing and optimising your profile. You'll increase trust and transparency with Google and potential customers by helping them understand your business more.
Many local businesses are attributing their local SEO success to Mirador Local — a bulk posting tool that enables you to update multiple listings in one go. Get in touch if you run businesses across multiple locations, so we can make your life easier.