What is Google Business Profile and Why You Need To Optimize Yours
Your Google Business Profile can be used to supplement the presence of your current website by giving your business a public presence on Google. Although you have your main business information on your website, the features and information you will input in your profile will appear on Google searches and Google Maps. This information will also be indexed by Google for consistency across third-party platforms that uses the Google Maps API.
Google’s Local Search also utilizes Google Business Profile. This allows customers to see businesses near them while also getting specific information to narrow down their search. Some information provided through Google Local Search includes the business’s address, operating hours, recent reviews, and user-generated photographs if available.
Aside from giving customers easy access to your business information,
Google Business Profile can also be a powerful tool to get valuable insight about your customers while also increasing your revenue. Why Optimize Your Google Business Profile?
To put it simply, having an optimized Google Business Profile is a key factor so you can be easily found on local search, stand out from a sea of competitors, and gain customers and revenue online. According to StatCounter GlobeStats,
around 90% of organic searches for worldwide search engine market share come from Google. To put things into perspective, there are about 3.5 billion searches per day. And with all these searches going on daily, an optimized business profile is a sure-fire way to help consumers find and choose your business over your competitors. It can also help convert customers towards your business, improve your engagement, and the most important one, boost your business’s local ranking on Google Search. How to Start Your Google Business Profile
If your business has been running for a few years or more already, it is possible that you already have a Google Business Profile. If this is the case, all you have to do is claim the business and verify your ownership and you will be able to manage all the information and see the insights with no problem. However, if Google hasn’t created a business profile for you yet, setting it up is just fairly easy to do, too.
Type in your official business name to see if there is already a profile created under the name. If not, you will also be asked to input your main business category. On the next prompt, you will be asked if you want to add a location customers can visit. If you have a walk-in store where people can purchase your products or services, go ahead and click “yes”. This will then prompt you to enter the specific address of your business in the next few screens. On the other hand, if your business offers services that do not require customers to visit your office or store, you can simply click “no” and you will be prompted to input the general area or location that your business services. From here, the next screen prompts can vary depending on the nature of your business information. Keep inputting your information until you arrive at the verification page where you will be asked to input your mailing address. Verifying your Google Business Profile
If you don’t have an existing Google Business Profile, it is possible that your verification process will take a bit longer to complete but you should be able to finish this process within a week.
The verification process for your Business Profile is done via Postcard by mail. This proves to Google that you are able to manage the profile and is actually affiliated with the business that you are claiming. It is also crucial for the publishing, visibility, and performance of your profile.
12 Optimization Tips For Your Google Business Profile
Now that you have created or claimed your profile, it is important to know which components to optimize to turn your Google Business Profile from a simple online profile into a powerful marketing and lead generation tool for your business.
1. Use relevant keywords
Using relevant and appropriate keywords and search phrases in your profile will help make your business easier to find. Same with other SEO websites, Google analyzes a variety of components and signals to serve search results. You can also use these relevant keywords when posting a Local Post to amplify your reach.
2. Accomplish every available section
Completing every section of your profile will help in getting a higher rank in local search results. This will also affect the interaction pattern of your customers when viewing your profile. Here is a simple guide on the important information that should be fulfilled when editing your Business Profile.
First Priority Information: Business Name, Complete Business Address, Complete Contact Information, Website, Business Hours Second Priority Information: Category and Attributes, Products and services, From the Business Write Up, Questions and Answers From the Owner Ongoing Information: Posts, Reviews, Questions and Answers from Customers 3. Always update your business operating hours
Make sure to always have updated business operating hours in your profile to keep it accurate and avoid customer complaints. You can easily do this inside your Business Profile account.
4. Optimize your contact information Use an identical business name to your store signage. Do not add a location or keywords as this is considered spam by Google and can get you penalized. Make sure that your business name and address are exactly identical across different platforms. Inconsistencies can lower your credibility within Google’s algorithm. Input both your regular and holiday hours. 5. Make sure to create a “From the business” write up
This section often appears on the lower part of your profile, under the reviews section.
Maximize the allowable 750 characters and input key information within the first 250 characters. Utilize the keywords and phrases customers use to find about businesses within the same industry. Include information about what sets you apart and what customers can expect from your business. Do not add links or HTML. 6. Add business photos
Things to note when adding photos to your profile:
Make sure to use high-quality photos to ensure that your profile will look professional and polished. Add photos regularly. This tells Google that your profile is up-to-date and active which can positively impact your ranking. Refer to Google’s photo guidelines for specifications but make sure to have photos of happy customers, interior and exterior photos of your business, and of course, happy team photos. Do not use stock photos, special effects, or photos with branding. Use geo-tagging. This shows Google your presence in your area. You can also utilize Google’s Street View app to add a 360º photo to your profile.
Lastly, make sure that your photos follow Google’s best practices:
Use JPG or PNG format Minimum allowable resolution is 720px tall, 720px wide File size should be between 10KB and 5MB Make sure that photos to be used are well-lit and not blurry; have no alterations or excessive filters. 7. Manage & Respond to Customer Reviews
Responding to customers will showcase the values and customer orientation of your business, and will also affect your business’s visibility in search results. Encourage your customers to leave their feedback by creating a link that they can easily click on.
Customer reviews is also a key ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. The first three local results that display (in what is known as the “Local 3-Pack”) for most Google queries are the ones with several reviews and strong star ratings. In addition, if a Business Profile has reviews that contain search words pr phrases, Google may also show it in search results. However, don’t use discounts, gifts, or cash to get people to write reviews as this is against the rules.
8. Select applicable attributes
Google’s attributes are some of the unique characteristics that potential buyers look for. You can utilize this to show a more complete view of what customers can expect when visiting or business. Although attributes are not exclusive to the Google Business Profile platform, Google’s attributes are quite detailed, such as “excellent for working on a laptop” or “popular with tourists.”
9. Utilize Posts for Your Google Business Profile
You may add news, deals, events, and items to your Google Business Profile just as you do on social networking networks. Consumers who see your profile may take more activities as a result of these posts. In the same way that uploading photographs offers favorable ranking signals to Google, posting on a frequent basis does as well. Customers may also follow your Business Profile to receive notifications of new postings and changes.
Tips for using posts to improve your Google Business Profile:
Post on a regular basis. Certain post kinds have a seven-day expiration period and must be updated. For marketing campaigns with a timetable, use event and offer posts. You may select a time frame, and the postings will be visible for the duration of that period. Every post should have links and CTAs. As of the time of writing, a COVID-19 post type is available, which we recommend you utilize to properly engage with your audience during the pandemic. 10. Ask and answer questions
This area is very critical to enhance because anybody may not only ask but also answer questions on a business’s Google page. This might lead to inaccuracies in your profile.
Make a list of the most commonly asked questions at your company and start your own Q&A section. Then, on your own profile, pose a question, respond, and upvote your response. This does not violate Google’s terms of service. Keep in mind keywords. Term-rich questions and answers can help your Business Profile rank higher for that keyword. So, while seeding your Q&A, keep your keyword strategy in mind, but use them sparingly and naturally. Set up notifications to keep track of the questions and answers that have been submitted to your profile. 11. Add products and services
If your offers aren’t obvious in your business name, adding items and services might assist. Filling up this section gives your profile additional material, which can help it rank for more relevant searches.
Include the name, description, and pricing when adding items and services. When a customer clicks on a product, the complete description will appear. Google may also include a link to your items in your category section.
12. Make sure to set up messaging
Customers may send a text message to your phone directly from your Google Business Profile using this function. Select the “Messaging” tab in your dashboard to allow messaging. You can install it from Google Play or the Apple App Store.
You won’t have to worry about revealing your real number because Google’s Allo app will use a new number for you. Make sure to also set up message alerts. Check the box next to “Customer messages” in the options menu to activate this.
Customers might find your business in a number of ways. However, Google Business Profile puts crucial information about the business in front of potential consumers seeking your product, service, or experience.
It may also assist with local SEO, consumer engagement through reviews or articles, and offering important insights into your customers’ purchase pathways. Above all, it’s a free and useful tool that you can easily utilize to help your business reach its fullest potential.
Contact me if you need help setting up your Google Business Profile.