G protein-coupled receptor 40/free fatty acid receptor 1 (GPR40/FFAR1) is a member of the GPCR superfamily, and GPR40 agonists have therapeutic potential for type 2 diabetes. With the crystal structure of GPR40 currently unavailable, various ligand-based virtual screening approaches can be applied to identify novel agonists of GPR40. It is known that each ligand-based method has its own advantages and limitations. To improve the efficiency of individual ligand-based methods, an efficient multistep ligand-based virtual screening approach is presented in this study, including the pharmacophore-based screening, physicochemical property filtering, protein–ligand interaction fingerprint similarity analysis, and 2D-fingerprint structural similarity search. A focused decoy library was generated and used to evaluate the efficiency of this virtual screening protocol. This multistep workflow not only significantly improved the hit rate compared with each individual ligand-based method, but also identified diverse known actives from decoys. This protocol may serve as an efficient virtual screening tool for the targets without crystal structures available to discover novel active compounds.