Optimizing Your Google My Business Profile
Every business today requires targeted exposure in Google. The majority of businesses understand that this involves the optimization of their websites in addition to Google Ads, but what people don’t realize is that there’s another aspect that must be optimized the way they present themselves: the Google Business Listing.
It is officially known as the Business Profile. This impressive listing offers a continuous snapshot of your company that highlights your top capabilities and allows prospective customers to quickly discover, find out about your business, and connect with you via search results. The most appealing aspect? It’s free.
Yet, despite the 167 billion searches made on Google every month, the study by BrightLocal study revealed that the average Business Profile only averages 1,260 views in the same time period (that’s 0.00000075 %!). In addition, is that only 59 actions are made from those 1,260 views. This is less than 5%.
The issue isn’t with it with the Google My Business platform; it’s the fact that not enough businesses make the most of its incredible features. That’s the reason we’ve put together this guide. In this guide, we’ll provide 13 optimization strategies:
- Register your business profile
- Complete each section on the Google My Business Account
- Be careful with contact details.
- Choose primary and secondary categories.
- Take note of any relevant attributes.
- Create a comprehensive “from the company” description of the business
- Google publishes Google posts every week
- Upload new photos every week
- Answer questions
- Respond to and collect reviews
- Include your products or services
- Set up messages
- Keep your business profile up to date
Implementing these improvements allows you to turn the Business Profile into the best customer acquisition tool that you didn’t even know you could use. Let’s dive into it.
Note: A more well-known term “Google Business Listing” is officially recognized in the eyes of Google in the form of the Business Profile, so we’ll use the term “Business Profile” throughout this blog.
Before we dive into the tactics, first, let’s be sure that we’re all on the same page regarding what an optimal Business Profile looks like and why you should have one. To help you understand the goals you’re trying to achieve and what it is, let’s take a look at the mockup of a bare Google Business Profile versus a fully optimized and optimized one.
Here is Carl’s Google Business Profile is a compact box, while Ernie’s Business Profile would show even more when you scroll. This graph doesn’t cover all of the features available in the optimized Google Business Profile, but it will give you an idea of how attractive and captivating the profile that is optimized will be.
The reasons you should optimize Google Business Profile?
The example above shows that a well-optimized Google Business Page Google assists consumers in choosing your business over your competitors. There are also benefits of improving your business profile to ensure efficient advertising in your local area..
In increasing numbers, users are leaving and entering Google without visiting any other site. Why? because the information on the search results pages answers their queries and results in “zero-click search results.” With the potential for more people connecting with your company via Google Business Profile than your website, you’ll want your page to optimize for high-quality interactions as well as the conversion of customers.
Boost your local ranking
Google’s algorithm to rank Business Profiles looks at relevance and proximity and the quality and activity of the information. The process of optimizing Your Google Business Profile sends these signals to Google to place your business better on the local search outcomes. Higher ranking, as you’ve guessed it, more exposure and interaction with your company.
Making sure you optimize your business Profile can allow your company to be more prominent in Google Maps and on the first page of Google Search results like these.
Are you missing out on opportunities to get your website noticed?
Increase the number of customers you convert
A standard Google Business Profile alone doesn’t provide much to get potential customers. Customers can discover the location of your business and read your reviews if they have a clue to search your company name at all (creative name ideas for your business names are can be found here!).
With an optimized Business Profile through your Google My Business account, potential customers will find you on search results, contact you, browse your website, look up your services and products as well as view/share FAQs, request for a quote, make an appointment, book a reservation and much more. Additionally, you can observe clicks on your site, appointment, or menu links using UTMs or Google Analytics.
How can you improve the performance of your Google Business Profile?
If you’ve realized the importance of improving the look and feel of your Google Business Profile is the crucial element to be found on local searches making your business stand out from the rest and attracting customers online, now is the time to work on just that. There are 13 ways that you can make a Google Business Profile into a 24/7 marketing and lead generation tool for local businesses..
Create an account on Google My Business.
In the first place, it’s crucial to remember that the Google Business Profile is a distinct entity in comparison to a Google My Business account. The latter can be used to access and enhance the earlier. This means that to achieve the optimizations that are described in this article, it is necessary to have a Google My Business login.
You must then instruct Google to link it to you Google Business Profile. To set up an account, visit Google.com/business and sign in using your Google/Gmail account that is used for your business (as opposed to your personal Gmail in the event that you already are using one).
Complete each section
The fullness of information you provide in Your Google Business Profile not only aids Google to make you more prominent on Local Search Results, however, it also improves the number of actions that users take after they see your profile. There’s a lot to share with Google, so here are some suggestions to help you prioritize.
The following aspects of your profile need to be completed immediately:
These sections require a little longer to think about and take more time.
- Categories and Attributes
- Services and products
- From the company
- Questions and Answers (Owner-generated queries)
These sections are in the process of being completed:
- Question and answer (Consumer-generated)
Make sure you are precise with your contact information
These are steps to improving the contact information on Your Google Business Profile:
- Be sure that your business name is similar to the name you’ve used for your store’s signs. In other words, exactly as it is in real life. The addition of a location’s name (unless it’s part of your brand’s name) and keyword phrases are considered spam by Google and could result in you being penalized.
- Check that both your address and business name exactly match the other listings on the internet. This includes using “st” instead of “street” as well as “co” or “co” vs “company” in a consistent manner. Google’s algorithm will take these inconsistent spellings into consideration in assessing your credibility.
- Indicate both holiday and regular timeframes.This encourages customers to come by and avoids the possibility of negative reviews being left by a customer who made the time to visit your shop only to discover that it was closed.
- Make sure you write your “from the business” description
The first thing to remember is that the short description that appears under the name of your business within your Corporate Profile isn’t actually under your control. This is the summary that Google creates to ensure that it is consistent across all platforms.
Descriptions like this are not under your control.
Oh, how frustrating, I am sure. But the good thing is Google does a decent job of providing descriptions.
The only description you have control of can be found in that of the “from to the company” section of the Google My Business account dashboard. The section is located lower on your profile, typically in “reviews.
To improve to optimize “from to the company” area of your Google Business Profile:
- Utilize all 750 characters, including key information within the initial 250 characters.
- Repurpose material from the “About Us” page or mission statement.
- Utilize keywords that your target audience uses to locate businesses that are similar to yours.
- Do not repeat information that is already available in other areas on your page. Make use of this section to discuss your uniqueness from the competition and what your people like about your company.
- Don’t use HTML or links.
5. Choose a category
Selecting a category is an essential step to optimize Your Google Business Profile. Here’s why:
- Be found in search searches. An astounding 84 percent of views for Business Profiles on Google are derived from discovery search (meaning consumers was searching for a product or service or categorical term, and that company’s profile was displayed) as opposed to just 16% from direct search results (the user searched for the business’s name, address or phone number). This is particularly applicable to companies who’s name isn’t a sign of the service they offer (e.g., Fresh Express or Amelia’s Catering).
- Highlight specific features for a category. When you select one of the categories, Google makes available to you features specific to your category that can make your profile more appealing and efficient. For instance, restaurants may have a menu or reservation button. Hotel profiles will show stars hair salons are able to prove that they’ve worked of dealing with curly or thin hair. This information can help customers select you over other competitors.
Your category appears on the upper part of your Google Business Profile.
Google offers a certain number of categories, and it’s crucial to select the right categories. This article will help you improve the performance of your Google Business Profile using categories:
- Please be specific. If you’re a nail salon, you should select “Nail Salon” and not simply “Salon.” When you’re in a restaurant, select “Egyptian Restaurant,”” “American Restaurant” and so on. instead of simply “Restaurant.” The dropdown menu of categories will pop up when you type. However, you can look up the full set of GMB categories here to help that you choose the right one for your company (there are more than 3000 categories, so it’s definitely worth a visit).
- Select additional Categories. Many businesses fall into several categories. Make your primary category the main product you offer (for instance, “Grocery Store”) and then select additional categories to your offerings, for example, “Grocery delivery service” as well as “Gourmet Grocery Store.”
- Do not go overboard with the concept. You want Google to help you connect with customers who require your services. So, select only the categories that align with your services. For instance, if you’re an appliance repair company, then select “Appliance Repair” only, not “Appliance Parts Supplier.” Technically, you provide components for service; however, it’s not a separate product offered by your company. (Pro tip: Do not confuse categorizing categories with attributes or products as they are different categories.)
Keep in mind that Google may require you to verify your business’s identity in the event that you change your category list or add more. This is to guarantee accuracy across their platforms.
6. Select relevant attributes
We’ve already mentioned that after you have selected the category you want to go with, Google will give you an array of attributes that you can mark off to describe further your company. These are the special features prospective buyers seek to find, such as “online gift shop” or “free wireless internet.”
The attributes aren’t specific only to the Google My Business platform (review websites like Yelp include them too). However, Google’s attributes are extremely precise, like “good for working on laptops” as well as “popular for tourists”. Look over the attributes list to find out what I mean.
Uploading pictures onto your business Profile using Google My Business’s Google My Business account dashboard is crucial due to three reasons:
- Make sure you have high-quality. Anyone can add images to your Business Profile. This means that you’ll have a variety of high-quality. By adding your own stunning images, you’ll be able to ensure that your profile is at its best.
- Keep up-to-date. We are regularly adding pictures signals to Google that you’re engaged in your profile and that your profile is current, which positively affects your rank.
- Find images in search outcomes. Google is advancing in image recognition and has begun to add photos to local results.
- Improve engagement. According to Google, their customers are more likely to ask for directions for a business when their Business Profile is filled with pictures and 35 percent more likely to visit the site. In addition, the BrightLocal investigation revealed that companies that have more than 100 pictures get 52 percent more calls, 27717 percent more directions requests as well as 1,065% more site clicks than a typical business. Whoah.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to overdo it and add 100 photos to your profile in one go. Utilize these guidelines to utilize photos to improve the look of your Google Business Profile:
- Include at minimum one new image every 7 days.
- As a thumbnail, Upload your logo.
- When choosing your cover image, choose a picture that best conveys your company’s image–but do not fret about this as Google will show various feature images based on the query.
- For general pictures, check out Google’s photo guidelines for specifics However, we ensure to feature happy customers. Exterior and interior shots, as well as team photos.
- There aren’t any stock photos or photos that feature branding or special effects. Google will try to show your company as it is in reality.
- Make sure you choose images of good quality with clear representations (to be in line with results that are image-enriched).
Google will retrieve an image from a Business Profile and display it directly in local results when it matches the search term.
- Geo-tag your photos to signal to Google the importance of your local area.
- Include your videos as well!
- Make use of Google’s Street View application to include an image in 360o for your account.
Read Google reviews
If you had to choose from the list of businesses that appear on search results, such as the one below, which would you most likely pick? One with four appealing yellow stars or the two listed below that has zero reviews?
Google recognizes they have the primary influence on the purchase decisions of consumers, and therefore, this is one of the crucial aspect of their ranking for their ranking algorithm. You can also observe how the influence of reviews on rankings.
For the majority of searches through Google the top three local results that are displayed (in what’s called”Local 3-Pack”) “Local 3 Pack”) are those with multiple reviews as well as solid star ratings.
Additionally, Google may also display the Business Profile in search results in the event that it has reviews that include these keywords.
Google will make keywords more prominent in your reviews to confirm relevance.
To improve Your Google Business Profile with reviews, be sure to follow these suggestions to distinguish yourself from your competitors:
- Begin with your long-time loyal customers to keep the momentum moving.
- Create the easiest experience possible for customers to create review shortcut links Review shortcut URL or by using the Whitespark shortcut link generator (both are available for free).
- Ask! 62 of customers will write reviews. of clients will write reviews if they are requested. Write them through text, email, social media, or in-person interactions.
- Make sure that customers know that reviews don’t only serve your own benefit reviews can also help other people with similar pain points to come up with an answer and make educated decisions.
- Create a “Reviews” section on the site with an CTA to make a comment.
- Response to customer reviews. The feedback you receive encourages customers to leave reviews, reveals more about your business’s reputation to prospective customers and enhances the search engine optimization locally.
To get a deeper understanding of this strategy of optimization read this article about ways to earn additional Google review.
Be cautious not to encourage reviews by offering gift cards, discounts or cash. That’s not permitted.
9. Add your post to the Google Business Profile
Similar to the social networking platforms, you can post the Google Business Profile about announcements and offers, events, and other products. The posts are posted to the Google My Business dashboard and appear in your profile in the “Updates” section towards the lower part on your Business Profile. They may also get more attention based on the query.
Here’s how postings can help you to maximize the performance of Google Business Profile:
- Posts can increase the number of actions taken by those who come across your profile.
- Regularly posting gives positive rankings signals to Google similarly to the addition of photos.
- The majority of consumers are more interested in search engines than other posting platforms (i.e., Facebook and Instagram, which are where they’re browsing at a leisurely pace) and will more often interact with the content you post on Google posts.
- Customers can follow your Business Profile and be notified of updates and new posts.
Your Google My Business posts will even be displayed on Maps – it’s free local advertising for your company!
Here are some tips to improve the performance of Google Business Profile with posts:
- Post frequently. Not only to provide signals to Google, but also, certain types of posts expire after seven days.
- Make use of offer and event posts for campaigns to market with a timeline. You can select dates, and then the posts will be active throughout the timeframe.
- Include hyperlinks or CTAs in every article.
- As of the time we wrote this article at the time of writing, there’s COVID-19-related post types we’d recommend you to utilize to effectively engage with your viewers during the pandemic..
Answer and ask questions
Have you seen on Amazon that there’s an area where you can ask inquiries and responses in addition to the description of the item and reviews from customers? Google has the same feature within Google Business Profiles.
These answers could motivate for a client to go with your company. But, this area is crucially important to improve because anyone not only has the ability to have a query on a company’s Google profile, but any person can respond. This could lead to incorrect data on your profile or, even more importantly, an answer that is similar to the Q&A section on this pizza restaurant’s profile.
It is impossible to remove the Q&A function in Your Business Profile. However, it is possible to improve it:
- You can set up notifications to keep up to date with questions and answers to questions posed to your profile.
- Create Your own FAQ section. Make a list of the most commonly asked questions that your company receives. Ask, then answer by upvoting your answer on your profile. This is not against Google’s terms & conditions. In fact, Google encourages it.
- Make sure you are thinking about keywords. Questions and answers that include keywords can boost your Business Profile’s position for that particular keyword. Keep in mind your keywords plan to your mind while seeding your Q&A area, but make use of them in a loose and organic manner but don’t use keywords for items.
In monitoring the seeding and monitoring of your Q&A area, you can guarantee accurate information and highlight your top qualities, and cut down on the common obstacles to access.
Notice: Google has temporarily removed the Q&A section from all Business Profiles at present as a result of COVID-19. This means that you might not see this option on yours for some time. For further assistance regarding Google My Business in relation to COVID-19, offers several great suggestions.
Add services and products
Incorporating products and services can be particularly beneficial if your services aren’t clearly stated within your company’s name. This section can also add details to your profile which will help you be ranked higher in search results.
When you add products or services, add the name the description, price, and name (if appropriate). The complete description will pop up when the user clicks on the item. Additionally, Google may link to your items from the category area.
Set up messages
This feature allows searchers to have the ability to send an SMS message to your mobile directly through the Google Business Profile. Since 82 percent of consumers use smartphones (92 percent of the millennial generation) to conduct local searches, it is an excellent chance for your clients to get in touch with you.
If you want to enable text messaging, go to the “Messaging” option in the Google My Business dashboard, and then choose to download this through Google Play or the Apple App Store.
A couple of notes about Google My Business messaging:
- There’s no need to be concerned about showing your personal phone number since you’ll be using an alternative number through Google’s Allo application.
- Make sure you set up notifications for messages on the Google My Business dashboard. In the settings, check out “Customer communications.”
Keep your Business profile with an established Google My Business method
As you can observe you can see, the creation of a Google Business Profile is not an easy task to market. It’s an effective locally-focused marketing device and requires constant actions to enhance the visibility of your website and increase the value of your business. This can include:
- Updated information, even as small as a change to the suite number.
- Uploading posts and posting images every week.
- Continuously keeping reviews pouring in.
- Responding to reviews and monitoring.
- Be aware of the latest features to ensure that you’re using your profile to the fullest extent.
As with every Google SEO strategy, Your Google My Business strategy should be based on providing as much relevant information about your company as is possible, not just on your Business Profile but also in the other sources Google employs to populate it, such as your web site, review website profiles and even your social media profiles.
We don’t know the details of every particular ranking factor. However, we know the primary objective: to connect users with the top business that meets their requirements through precise, reliable details.
Therefore, focus on the Google My Business dashboard to build the most accurate Business Profile to represent your business as accurately and thoroughly as possible and keep it up to date so that you enjoy the benefits.