Google Provides Countless Tools to Help Businesses
If you are a business owner, you need to make your business easily visible on Google. After all, Google accounts for over 92% of the search engine market share worldwide. Potential consumers will turn to Google to look for a product or service. If you are not visible on Google, no one will find you.
While many marketers know this means optimizing their website and utilizing Google Ads, many marketers fail to optimize their Google My Business profile. At its core, your Google My Business profile gives prospective customers a snapshot of your business, which highlights your best features and attributes.
It is a quick, easy, and efficient way for consumers to find and learn more about your business all on the search engine results page (SERP). Do you want to know the best part? It costs you nothing.
Even though there are over 3.5 billion Google searches every day, most Google My Business profiles get little views in that same time frame. The issue is not with the platform, but with businesses failing to optimize their profile fully. Google offers businesses countless features that you should take advantage of to help you grow.
Tech Critic understands how beneficial an optimized Google My Business profile can be to any business, which is why we are here to help you learn more about optimizing yours.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free and easy to use tool that Google offers businesses and organizations around the world. It helps brands manage their presence on the search engine, including on Search and Maps, which allows them to provide relevant and useful information to potential customers.
With Google My Business, you can:
- Manage Your Information: You can manage the information that users will find when they search for your business, such as hours of business, products and services offered, physical storefront, website, and more.
- Interact with Customers: Customers can leave reviews on your profile, which you can respond to, as well. You can also post photos and posts to your profile to showcase who you are and what you do.
- Expand Your Presence: Google My Business allows you to expand your presence on Google. You can learn how customers searched for and found your business and where they were coming from. You can even find out how many people used the number displayed on local search result pages in Search and Maps to call your business.
As you can see, this tool has countless benefits that can help your business grow. However, claiming your profile is not enough. There are many things you must do to optimize your account. When you optimize it, you will improve engagement, boost your local ranking, and convert more customers.
How to Optimize Your Profile
Claim Your Google My Business Profile
The first step in optimizing your Google My Business profile is to claim it. To do so, you need to create a Google My Business account. While the profile may exist, the only way to access it and make changes is with an account. Once you have created an account, tell Google to connect it with the business profile.
Creating an account is easy to do and can be done quickly.
Complete Every Section
You want your profile to be as thorough as possible. Completing each section will allow customers to learn all the necessary and relevant information about your business quickly. Not only will doing this increase your rank on local search result pages, but it also gives customers more actions to complete when they visit your page.
You should fill out your:
- Business name
- Address (if a physical store exists)
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
Make sure this information is accurate. The business name should match the sign on your physical store, website, social media platforms, and wherever else your business exists. Your address should match other listings online, such as Yelp, Facebook, and your website.
Additionally, if your holiday hours differ from your regular hours, include that, as well. Be as thorough as possible.
Fill Out the “From the Business” Section
You may notice that you cannot change the brief description that appears directly under your business name. However, Google often does a good job coming up with descriptions that accurately describe your business and ensure consistency across its platform.
However, you can edit the “From the Business” section on your dashboard, which you can find under the reviews section. Take advantage of this space. Use as much of the allotted 750 words, including keywords customers may use to search to find businesses like you. Never include links nor information visible in other sections on your profile.
Explain what sets your apart from competitors and why customers continue to go to you.
Choose a Category and Features
Google offers you a host of business categories to choose from for your profile. They are so vital because they help you get discovered. A vast majority of Business Profile views are because of discovery searches (people search for a particular product, service, or categorical trait) rather than direct searches.
Additionally, once you have selected a category, Google will provide you with a list of features specific to that category. For example, restaurants can include a menu. These features are pivotal in helping a customer choose you.
Remember, be specific. If you are a Mexican restaurant, choose “Mexican restaurant,” not “Restaurant.” If possible, select secondary categories. If you are a Mexican restaurant and offer delivery, search for a category that indicates both Mexican cuisine and delivery. Only choose relevant categories. Do not go overboard.
Don’t forget to include attributes. Customers may seek out special features for specific reasons, such as “free wi-fi,” “delivery,” “dine-in,” and much more. If your business offers it, include it.
Post Quality Pictures
Anyone can add pictures to your Google My Business profile. However, you should also add photos to ensure there are quality pictures of your business on your profile. Doing so also shows Google that you are active, indicating that the profile is up to date, which boosts your ranking.
It also boosts your engagement. Customers are more likely to request driving directions and visit your site if they see quality pictures. There is no need to overdo it, however. Just post every few days to update your profile.
Use your logo as your thumbnail and an image that represents your brand best as the cover. Do not use stock photos. Google wants to represent your brand as it appears in the real world.
Consumers are more likely to choose a business that has reviews, even a small amount, over one that has none. Google knows how crucial reviews are to the decision-making process, which is why they are a key factor in the ranking algorithm.
Reach out to former or current customers to get started. Create easy to use review shortcut links that take the user right to the review platform. Do not be afraid to ask customers for a review. Often, they will oblige.
Additionally, respond to the reviews. Show other customers that you are active and care what they have to say, which encourages them to leave a review themselves.
Include Products and Services
Whenever your name does not paint a clear picture of what your business offers, adding products and services can help. It also gives Google content that can help your profile rank higher.
When including these products and services, be specific. Include the exact name, description, and price (if possible).
This step is essential. You need to show Google that your profile is active, which means you need to update it. Regularly upload new pictures of your business. Google allows you to post on your profile like you would on social media, such as announcements, offers, events, products, and more. Include call-to-actions (CTA) in these posts, as well.
Monitor and respond to all reviews. Make a habit of checking them every day.
If there are any changes in your business, regardless of how small, update it.
Respond to any questions posted to your profile. Often, these are frequent questions many customers may have. These answers may be the deciding factor in conducting business with your brand. Not only can anyone ask questions, but anyone can answer them, too, which often leads to inaccurate answers. Monitor this section to provide accurate and quick answers.
Your Google My Business profile is a useful tool all businesses should utilize. It can increase your digital presence, boost engagement, and improve your search page results ranking. At Tech Critic, we understand how impactful this tool can be to the performance of your business and want to help businesses take advantage of it.