To succeed in today’s market, every firm must have Google exposure, namely in the form of targeted visibility. While it’s common knowledge that a company has to work on their website and Google Ads, few realize that their Google My Business profile also needs some TLC to improve local search ranking. This effective listing, formally known as your Firm Profile, is a dynamic picture of your business that showcases its greatest qualities and allows prospective consumers to swiftly locate, learn about, and connect with you straight from the search engine results page. What’s even better? It doesn’t cost you a dime to complete Google My Business Optimization. It is guaranteed to bring you more customers and money.
And yet, a BrightLocal analysis found that, despite the 167 billion searches made on Google every month, the Average Business Profile only averages 1,260 views throughout that same time (that’s 0.00000075%!). Even more disheartening is the fact that out of 1,260 views, only 59 result in actual action. Less than 5%, to be exact.
The issue is not Google My Business itself, but rather the fact that far too few companies make use of its many advantages. We hope this manual can help in that regard. In this article, we’ll discuss 13 ways to improve performance:
- Claim Your Google My Business Page
- Get your Google My Business profile fully filled out.
- Carefully record your contact details.
- Choose the most important and least important groups
- Select all that apply in the checkboxes
- Provide an in-depth, first-person account of the company’s history.
- Google blog posts should be published every week.
- Publish fresh pictures once a week.
- Give explanations
- Review feedback and address concerns.
- Don’t forget to include your offerings.
- Preparing Messages
- Keep Up Your Professional Image
Using these tweaks, your Business Profile will become the most powerful free resource for expanding your consumer base. Okay, let’s dive in.
Google’s official name for what most people call a “Google business listing” is “Business Profile,” so that’s what we’ll call it here.
How does a well-developed Google My Business page appear?
Let’s first make sure we have the same understanding of what an optimized Business Profile is and why you need one before we go into the tactics. Let’s take a look at a mockup of an unfinished Google Business Profile and compare it to a full and optimized one to help you grasp what you’re aiming for and why it’s important.
While the Google Business Profile in the image above would display even more information as you scroll down, the profile is limited to a tiny box. This graphic isn’t comprehensive, but it should give you a good sense of how much more appealing and engaging an optimized Google Business Profile can be.
Is your Google My Business page as effective as it might be?
Using the aforementioned comparison, it’s easy to see how boosting your Google My Business profile for local marketing purposes may encourage people to select your company over the competition.
A higher level of participation is needed.
Customers are increasingly using Google as a one-stop shop for all of their online needs. Why? As a consequence of “zero-click searches,” in which users don’t even need to leave the search results page to get the information they’re looking for, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your Google Business Profile is optimized for excellent engagement and conversions.
Raise your profile in the neighborhood.
Google’s algorithm for Business Profile rankings takes into account more than simply proximity and relevancy when determining a profile’s position. Through the use of these signals, Google may place your business higher in local search results once you have optimized your Google Business Profile. As you may well know, a better ranking implies that more people will see and interact with your company.
If you want your company to show up higher in search results like these and on Google Maps, you should take the time to optimize your Business Profile.
Is there a chance you’re passing up on advancement in the rankings? Utilize the LOCALiQ Website Grader to conduct a thorough analysis of your website’s SEO performance at no cost to you.
Grow your business by attracting more buyers.
Simply having a standard Google Business Profile won’t do anything to help you bring in new consumers. If people know to look for your company by name (we need some clever company names), they can learn about your location and see what others have to say about their experience. But with a well-optimized Business Profile on Google My Business, customers will be able to find you in keyword searches, call you, visit your website, learn about your products and services, read and add to frequently asked questions, get a quote, schedule an appointment, make a reservation, and more. Further, UTMs and Google Analytics allow you to monitor customer engagement with your business, whether they’re clicking through to your website, scheduling an appointment, or perusing your menu.
Improving Your Google My Business Listing
To be discovered in local search, to rise above the competition, and to earn online clients, you must optimize your Google Business Profile. Here are 13 methods to make your Google Business Profile work round-the-clock to promote your local company and bring in new customers.
1. Sign up for Google’s free “My Business” account.
Keep in mind that a Google Business Profile is not the same as a Google My Business page. The latter is what you need to access and make the most of. So, if you want to implement the changes recommended in this article, you’ll need a Google My Business account and to instruct Google to link it to your Google Business Profile. Log in using the same Google or Gmail account you use for your company when you visit Google.com/business to set up your account (as opposed to your personal Gmail, if you have one).
2. Fill out all required fields
When clients see your Google Business Profile, they are more likely to take action, which in turn improves your Google ranking in local search results. Here are some suggestions for prioritizing the many pieces of information that must be submitted.
There are several parts of your profile that need to be completed right away:
Additional time and consideration is required for the following:
- Types and Characteristics
- Goods and services
- Originating in the company
- Inquiries and Replies (Owner-generated queries)
These portions are still being written:
- A Q&A Session (Consumer-generated)
3. Carefully record your contact details.
Here’s how to make the most of your Google Business Profile by filling out the contact details:
- Verify that all in-store signage matches the company name. That is to say, indistinguishable from how things really seem in the physical world. Google may punish your site’s ranking if you include keywords or a place name that isn’t part of your brand name.
- Verify that your company’s name and address are consistent wherever they appear online. In other words, don’t switch between “st” and “street” or “co” and “business” while employing these terms. Google’s algorithm considers such discrepancies when determining your trustworthiness.
- Please provide both your usual hours and your hours on holidays. Customers will be more likely to come, and you won’t have to worry about a bad review from someone who drove all the way out there and found the business closed.
4. To paraphrase, please describe your company “from the inside.”
To begin, know that you have no say over the short description that displays under your company name on the Business Profile. This is Google’s editorial summary, which is written to maintain uniformity across the service.
You have no say in the phrasing of this description.
Sorry to hear that. However, Google does a decent job overall when it comes to generating explanations.
The “from the business” area of your Google My Business dashboard is where you may edit the description. This part of your profile is buried, usually behind your reviews.
If you want to make the most of the “from the business” portion of your Google My Business profile:
- Make good use of the whole 750 characters, with the most important details appearing in the first 250.
- Reuse text from existing documents like your organization’s mission statement or “About Us” page.
- Take advantage of the terms your customers type into search engines to discover companies like yours.
- Don’t restate details that can be found elsewhere in your profile. Here is your chance to highlight the features that make your company stand out from the competition and earn the adoration of your target audience.
- Do not use HTML or URLs.
5. Sort the options and choose one.
Selecting a proper Google Business Profile category is crucial. In this section, we will discuss why:
- Help yourself to discovery searches. In contrast to the 16% of Firm Profile views that come from direct searches, the vast majority (84%) of Business Profile views on Google come from discovery searches (where the user specifically types in the name of the business and the profile appears) (the consumer typed in the business name or address). This is particularly important to remember when dealing with companies whose names don’t immediately convey what they provide (like “Big Express Store” or “Tommy’s Catering”).
- Feature characteristics that are unique to each group. If you choose a particular area to promote your business in, Google will provide you with tools tailored to that area to help you get greater exposure. The profiles of hotels, for instance, might include guest review scores, and hair salons can attest to their familiarity with thinning or curly hair types. These specifics may sway customers in your favor.
In the very top section of your Google My Business profile, you’ll see your category.
Only so many categories are available on Google, therefore it’s vital to choose the right ones. Follow these steps to make the most of the categories on your Google My Business page:
- Define your terms. Choose the category that best describes your business; for example, if you own a nail salon, choose “Nail Salon” rather than “Salon.” If you own a restaurant, select the category that best describes your establishment; for example, “Turkish Restaurant,” “Chinese Restaurant,” etc.
- Select the appropriate secondary classifications. The nature of many enterprises makes them suitable for more than one classification. Choose the most applicable main category (like “Grocery Store”) and then choose any applicable secondary categories (like “Grocery Delivery Service” or “Gourmet Grocery Store”) that fit your business.
- Do not go to extremes. If you want Google to help you reach customers who have a genuine interest in your service, you should restrict your selections to those that are directly applicable. If your company specializes in repairing appliances, for instance, you should pick “Appliance Repair” but not “Appliance Parts Supplier,” even if you do technically provide service parts. (Pro-tip: Don’t get categories mixed up with goods or qualities, which have their own sections.)
Also, if you decide to change your category list or add many new ones, Google may ask you to authenticate your company. This is done so that consistency is maintained throughout their service.
6. Choose appropriate characteristics
You’ll see a selection of qualities related to your company that you can use to better characterize it after you choose a category on Google, like we just discussed. Attributes, like “gift store on-site” and “free wi-fi,” are amenities that draw in prospective guests.
Google My Business attributes are not platform-specific (review sites like Yelp have them, too). Google’s ratings, meanwhile, are quite specific, with categories like “excellent for working on laptop” and “popular for travelers.” See what I mean by looking at this list of characteristics.
7. Put in pictures
There are three main benefits to adding photographs to your Business Profile on the Google My Business dashboard.
- Make sure it’s good. The quality of the images used in your Business Profile may vary, since anybody is free to upload them there. The easiest way to make sure your profile stands out is to use your own high-quality images.
- Get moving! Consistently uploading photographs shows Google that you are actively maintaining your profile and keeping it current, which improves your ranking.
- Obtain visual outcomes. Google’s picture recognition technology has improved to the point where it can now incorporate images in local search results.
- Boost participation. Customers are 35% more likely to go through to a firm’s website if the Business Profile has images, and 42% more likely to seek driving directions to the business if the Business Profile includes photos, as reported by Google. A BrightLocal analysis also found that companies with more than 100 images get 520% more calls, 2717% more directions inquiries, and 10065% more website hits than average. Whoah.
Don’t go wild and upload a hundred pictures to your profile all at once, however. Here are some suggestions for improving your Google Business Profile via the usage of images:
- Update your gallery with fresh images once a week.
- Include your logo as the thumbnail image.
- Use an image that accurately reflects your company in the cover picture, but don’t sweat the little stuff; Google will show a different feature photo based on the user’s search terms.
- Include images of satisfied customers, the inside and outside of the business, and the team members working there.
- Absolutely no stock photographs or branded/edited images. Google is attempting to depict your company as it really exists.
- Images should be of high quality and portray things clearly (to align with image-enriched results).
If a picture associated with a Business Profile is relevant to a user’s local search, Google will show it alongside relevant search results.
- Tag your images with a location to show Google that you’re a major player in a certain region.
- Add some video as well!
- Create a 360-degree picture for your profile by using the Google Street View app.
8. Request Reviews on Google
If you were presented with a set of search results similar to the one below, which company do you think you would be most likely to choose? Which would you choose, the one with four glowing yellow stars or the two at the bottom with no ratings at all?
Google has made user reviews a major part of their ranking algorithm because they recognize that they are the single most important element influencing customer purchasing decisions. Reviews have an obvious effect on a product’s position in the search results, which you can verify. The “Local 3-Pack,” which comprises the first three results in a Google search for a local business, often includes establishments that have received many positive reviews and high ratings from their customers.
Also, if Google has reviews for that business and those reviews include the terms in question, the business’s profile may show up in relevant search results.
To further verify relevance, Google will bold terms in your reviews.
Here are some ways to help you stand out from the crowd by using reviews on your Google Business Profile:
- Get the ball rolling with your most dedicated clientele.
- You can make it simple for your consumers to provide feedback by generating a review shortcut link with Whitespark or designing one yourself (both are free).
- Ask! If asked, 62% of consumers said they would write a review. Use all means necessary, including but not limited to electronic mail, text messaging, social media, and face-to-face meetings.
- Customer evaluations aren’t only for your advantage; they also aid others who are looking to solve similar problems and make more educated purchasing selections.
- Include a call to action inviting customers to post reviews on your website.
- The reviews need your attention. Motivating more consumers to submit feedback, providing valuable information to potential customers, and boosting local search engine optimization are all benefits of positive customer reviews.
Look at this article I wrote on getting more Google reviews for a more in-depth look at this SEO method.
But don’t try to entice people to write reviews by offering them money, free stuff, or discounts.
9. Add a status update to your Google My Business page.
You may use your Google Business Profile in the same way that you would a social media page to share news about your company, specials, upcoming events, and items. The “Updates” area of your Business Profile is located at the very bottom of Google My Business and is where you will publish your posts. However, the search query might make them more noticeable.
Here’s how blog entries improve your Google My Business page:
- The amount of actions made by customers who discover your profile thanks to your posts will rise.
- The same way that uploading photographs provides favorable ranking signals to Google, so does maintaining a regular posting schedule.
- Consumers’ intent is stronger on search engines than on other posting platforms (like Facebook and Instagram, where they are casually browsing), therefore your Google postings are more likely to be engaged with.
- If consumers choose to “follow” your Business Profile, they will be updated whenever you make a new post.
If you have a local company, you should take use of Google My Business.
Some suggestions for improving your Google Business Profile by posting:
- Make consistent updates. Not only does this expire specific post kinds every week to convey signals to Google, but also because of the nature of the posts themselves.
- Promote time-sensitive events and special offers using social media. Your posts will be visible for as long as the time period you choose.
- Every post should include links and calls to action.
- Post type exists and is recommended for communicating with your audience during a pandemic for example.
10. Discuss and clarify.
Have you seen that in addition to a product’s description and user reviews, Amazon now includes a section for questions and answers? Google Business Profiles also has this capability.
It’s possible that a customer’s decision to buy from you will depend on how you respond to these inquiries. Though anybody may ask or answer a question posted on a company’s Google profile, optimizing this area is very crucial. This may lead to embarrassing situations like the one described in the following question and answer section of a pizza restaurant’s profile:
- Poorly Optimized Google My Business Q&A
- The Q&A section of your Business Profile is permanently enabled; nevertheless, there are methods to make the most of it.
- To keep up with the questions and answers submitted to your profile, set up notifications.
- If you want to optimize Google My Business for questions, turn on alerts.
Start your own FAQ from scratch. Compile a list of the most common inquiries received by your company. Then, you may upvote your own answers and questions on your profile. There is no violation of Google’s policies here. Google even recommends it!
Keywords should be remembered. Your Business Profile’s search engine rating may be boosted by including keyword-rich questions and answers. Hence, remember your keyword strategy while seeding your Q&A section, but utilize the keywords naturally and sparingly.
You can prevent inaccuracies, draw attention to your greatest selling points, and lower access barriers by monitoring and seeding your Q&A section.
11. Integrate new goods and services
If your company name doesn’t immediately convey what you provide, expanding to include other items and services that can assist. Including useful information in this area of your profile may boost its visibility in search results.
Remember to mention the product name, description, and price when adding items to your cart (if applicable). When a user clicks on a product on a search results page, they will be presented with the detailed description. Your product categories on Google might also get inbound links.
12. Preparing Messages
Thanks to this addition, people may now SMS you straight from your Google Business Profile. Customers may easily get in contact with you since 82% of smartphone buyers (92% of millennial consumers) use their device for local search.
Select the “Messaging” tab in your Google My Business dashboard to enable messaging, and then get the app from Google Play or the App Store to start using it.
Two points about communicating with Google My Business:
- The Google Allo app will provide you with a new phone number, so you may feel safe sharing your regular one.
- Make sure Google My Business message notifications are set up. To enable “Customer messages,” go to the settings page.
13. Build and sustain a strong Google My Business plan to manage your company’s profile.
A Google Business Profile is not a one-and-done marketing project. If you want to build your online presence and get the most advantages from this local marketing strategy, you’ll need to keep working at it. The following are included in this category:
- Changing even something as simple as a suite number requires an update.
- Maintaining a weekly schedule of blog updates and image uploads
- Making sure a constant flow of feedback is being sent.
- Keeping an eye on reports and answering them.
- Keeping abreast of updates so that you can maximize the effectiveness of your profile.
Your Google My Business approach, like any other Google SEO strategy, should focus on giving Google as much high-quality information as possible to utilize when populating your Business Profile from your website, review site profiles, and social media accounts. While it’s impossible to know each and every one of the ranking factors, we do know that they all work together to help users find the most relevant and trustworthy businesses online. It’s important to use the tools in the Google My Business dashboard to create a Business Profile that correctly and completely represents your company, and then to keep it up to date.
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