Optimising your Google Business Profile is pivotal for increasing visibility in local search, standing out among your competitors and winning customers online across Google Maps. Here are a few ways to morph your Google Business Profile into a great tool for marketing and lead generation for your local business.
1. Create a Google My Business Account
You need to start with creating your Google My Business account. It’s different than creating your Google My Business profile as the former is used to access and update the latter. To create an account, type google.com/business in the address bar and then sign in with the Google account that you use for your business – not your personal one. As the next step, Google will ask you the details of your business, such as name, location, contact information, and so on. You must leave nothing out. The completeness of your Business Profile will not only rank you higher in local search results; it’ll also increase how many actions your customers take when they find your profile.
3. Be Careful About Your Contact Information
Follow these steps to optimise your business’s contact information:
- Use the same name as the one on your store signage
- Match your address exactly with your other online listings
- Specify both your weekday and weekend hours
3. Write Your ‘From the Business’ Description
Google allows you to specify your ‘from the business’ description in your account dashboard. You can find it lower down in your profile, typically under the reviews as shown above. It’s important to remember that you’re writing for SEO here. Here are a few techniques you could implement:
- Use all 750 characters, remembering to include key information in the first 250
- Talk about what sets you apart from your competitors
- Use keywords relevant to your business
- Morph the content from your ‘about us’ section or your mission statement
- Don’t include any HTML or links
4. Choose Categories and Attributes Wisely
Choosing categories and attributes relevant to your business is highly important for optimising your Google Business Profile. Statistically, 84% of Business Profile views on Google originate from discovery searches utilising these two factors.
Since Google offers a limited number of categories, you must choose the correct ones. Here’s are some helpful tips:
- Choose a specific category. For example, if you’re a digital marketing and SEO copywriting agency, the closest option would be ‘Marketing Agency’
- Specify secondary categories as well. A lot of businesses fall into multiple categories. If you deliver flowers to people, you can choose ‘Flower Delivery’ as the secondary category, while ‘Florist’ would be the primary one
Google will provide you with a list of attributes that you can check off to further elaborate your business – for example, ‘dine-in’ and ‘take-away’ are checked in the example below.
5. Include Quality Pictures
Google has found that customers are 42% more probable to ask for driving directions to a business and 35% more likely to click through to its website if it has photos uploaded. Here are a few rules to keep in mind while uploading your business’s photos:
- Add a new photo every week
- Have your logo as your thumbnail and something relevant to your business as the cover photo
- Include happy customers, team pictures, and both interior and exterior shots
- Avoid stock photos or ones with branding or special effects
- Prioritise quality over quantity (don’t upload too many pictures)
6. Get Google Reviews
Reviews have the most influence on viewers and thus serve as a key factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. Moreover, your visibility also increases if your business’s reviews contain high-ranking keywords. Follow these steps to optimise your Google Business Profile with user reviews:
- Begin with your oldest customers
- Always respond to reviews – whether good or bad – as it urges other customers to leave theirs
- Statistically, 62% of customers will review your business if they’re asked. So, ask!
- Simplify the review process by providing a shortcut link
7. Post Frequently
The more you post about upcoming events or offers, the more actions taken by consumers who find your profile. Regular activity is ideal for improving your ranking.
Stick to the following rules to optimise your Google Business Profile with posts:
- Post about your business regularly because certain types of posts expire after seven days
- Utilise the event and offer posts for your marketing campaigns. You can select a date range for the posts to appear for a limited time
- Include links and CTAs (Calls to Action) in every single post
- Capitalise on post types to communicate effectively with your viewers. For example, Covid-19 is the current trending post type
8. Be Responsive to Queries
Businesses have a Q&A section on their Google Business Listings as shown below.
Anyone can ask and answer these questions. Since they play an important role in deciding whether a client will visit your business or not, it’s important to keep this section optimised. Here are a few ways you can implement your SEO content strategy in the Q&As:
- Set up alerts by checking off ‘Questions and answers’ in your settings. This way, you’ll stay on top of all the questions and answers posted to your business profile.
- Prepare a list of your FAQs and then ask, answer, and upvote them on your own profile. Don’t worry, Google encourages this.
- Organically include important keywords to improve your Business Profile’s ranking
9. Add Products and Services
If your business name does not clarify what you offer, you should add your products and services to your Google Business Profile. This can help your profile rank for more relevant search terms. Keep in mind to include the name, description, and price (if valid) as well. This way, the full description will pop up once a viewer clicks on your product.
10. Implement a Concrete Strategy
Your Google Business Profile needs to be maintained and updated periodically. It requires ongoing activity to maximise your benefits. Make sure you do the following:
- Update information, no matter how minor
- Keep posting and uploading pictures
- Maintain a steady flow of customer reviews and keep responding to them
- Keep an eye out for new features to maximise your profile’s potential
If you stick to these techniques and provide quality information on your Google My Business Profile, it’ll certainly prove worthwhile for your business in the long run.