All businesses operating in 2020 need to be highly visible on Google in order to grow and thrive. Most business owners and marketing teams know that this means optimizing their website and running Google Ad campaigns, but many people forget about or do not know about their Google Business Profile.
To help ensure that your business is getting the optimal benefits of your Google Business Profile, the Summa Media team is going to walk you through the basics. We’ll start by discussing what your Google Business Profile is for those unfamiliar, before explaining why it is important. We’ll wrap up by covering 10 ways you can optimize your Google Business Profile today. Keep reading below to learn more!
What is a Google Business Profile?
Your Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows businesses like yours to manage your online presence across Google. It allows you to verify and edit business details, highlight key features, and enables customers to quickly discover important company information.
Why is it Important?
An optimized Google Business Profile allows customers to discover details like your contact information, address, hours of operation, and business offerings all without leaving your page. If any of the information is difficult to find, unavailable, or incorrect you risk losing the customer to a competitor.
Boost Local Ranking
Quality and accuracy of your profile information are contributing factors in your Google Search Rankings. By updating your Google Business Profile with accurate details, Google will reward you by ranking you higher in local search results.
An accurate and optimized Google Business Profile helps to make you discoverable in searches, gives users the ability to call you without leaving Google, allows patrons to make reservations directly from the search results, and more. The fewer drop-off points you have for your leads, the less likely you are to lose them.
How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile
1. Create an Account and Complete Your Profile
In order to optimize your Google Business Profile you must first create your Google My Business account. Once you have created your account you can then connect it to your Google Business Profile in order to get started on the rest of the optimizations below.
2. Google Penalizes Discrepancies
If any of the information on your Business Profile does not match the information on your website, Google may penalize you in the search rankings. Make sure that your business name matches the business name on your website and signage, ensure that your addresses match, and be sure to indicate correct store hours.
3. Optimize Your “From the Business” Description
Your “From the Business” description should be optimized in order to highlight what you want potential customers to know about your brand. Make use of all 750 characters available to you and use your mission statement and website About Page as a guide for what to include.
4. Choose a Category
In order to ensure that you are found in searches and to highlight category specific features, you must select a category for your business. Be sure to be as specific as possible, for example rather than selecting “Clothing Store” select “Children’s Clothing Store” if you specifically cater to children’s clothes or “Vegan Restaurant” rather than “Restaurant” if you specialize in plant-based cuisine.
5. Select Attributes
Attributes are important features that customers might specifically be seeking such as “free wi-fi” or “public restrooms”. Select accurate attributes to reflect your offerings aside from your products and services.
6. Add Professional Photos
Adding photos to your Google Business Profile helps to increase engagement. While customers can add their own photos from their experiences, you should also add professional photos as well to ensure quality images of your goods or services are reflected in your profile.
7. Encourage Reviews
Not only do positive reviews go a long way in helping attract new customers, Google uses reviews as a factor in their ranking algorithm. Ask your happy customers to leave reviews and make it easy for them by providing a direct link to the reviews page. You should also respond to reviews as it is good customer service and helps boost your local SEO.
8. Answer customer questions
Customers can ask questions on your Google Business Profile. Common questions typically involve things like parking inquiries, dietary restriction accommodation, and payment options. Set up alerts so you can stay on top of questions that are posted to your profile. Keep in mind that other users are able to respond to questions as well, so be sure to correct any inaccurate answers you see.
9. Set Up Messaging
Messaging enables users to send you a text directly from your Google Business Profile. This is a great way for them to get in touch with you quickly and efficiently. You do have to turn this feature on from your My Business dashboard, so be sure to do so if you would like to take advantage of it.
10. Update and Maintain Information
Be sure to update and maintain all information so that your Google Business Profile accurately reflects your hours and offerings at all times. For example, if your business was temporarily closed due to COVID-19, but is now reopen, you will want to ensure that your page accurately reflects your current status.
If you are struggling with any piece of your Google SEO strategy, including setting up your Google Business Profile, the Summa Media team is here to help. Contact us today to discuss your needs with our team of Google SEO experts!