First, you may ask: what is Google Business Profile? All local businesses that want to be discovered in Google searches and maps need to have one, but few pay any attention to it. This creates a huge opportunity for businesses that create one. However, simply creating a profile is not enough. It needs to be optimized and regularly updated to ensure that it stands out from the competition and attracts potential customers.
The first step in optimizing your Google Business profile is to claim and verify it. This will help you to take control of your listing and ensure that the information displayed is accurate. Keep in mind that, since not all businesses qualify for a Google Business profile, you will need to make sure to first verify that your business is eligible. If your business is eligable, then follow these steps to sign up:
- Go to the Google Business website (https://www.google.com/business/) and click “Start Now.”
- Follow the prompts to add your business information, including your business name, address, and phone number. Be sure to use the same information that appears on your website and other online directories.
- Select the categories that best describe your business, and add a description of your services and products.
- Upload photos of your business, including interior and exterior shots, as well as any products or services you offer.
- Verify your business by phone or postcard. This helps Google confirm that you are the owner of the business and gives you access to additional features and tools.
Once you have claimed and verified your Google Business listing, you can now work on optimizing it. The following are some tips on how to optimize your Google Business profile that will help your business to stand out, earning you more traffic and leads.
Optimize your business description
Your business description should be concise and informative. It should provide a clear understanding of what your business does and what sets you apart from the competition. Use relevant keywords in your description to help customers find your business.
Keep your information up-to-date
Make sure that all the information on your Google Business profile is accurate and up-to-date. This includes your business name, address, phone number, and website. If any information changes, update it as soon as possible. Also make sure that all of your business info (Name, Address, Phone) is the same as how it is presented on your website or anywhere else it is shown online. This helps Google to know that your business information is accurate which in turn improves your rankings.
Encourage customer reviews
Customer reviews are an important factor in attracting new customers. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google Business profile. Respond to all reviews, whether they are positive or negative. This shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to providing excellent service.
Use high-quality images
Images are a powerful tool for attracting potential customers. Use high-quality images of your business, products, and services to showcase what you offer. Make sure the images are clear, relevant, and appealing.
Use Google Posts
Google Posts are a great way to promote your business and highlight special offers, events, or products. Use them to share updates about your business and engage with customers.
Monitor and respond to customer inquiries
Make sure to monitor your Google Business profile regularly for customer inquiries. Respond to these inquiries promptly and professionally. This shows that you value customer engagement and are committed to providing excellent service.
List products and services
If you are a small-to-medium local businesses and sell products or services ar your business location, you can get listed in maps for searches such as “Who sells X near me?” and display featured product images, descriptions, and pricing in your Google Business profile.
Accept online booking from your profile
Businesses such as restaurants or salons that want to book customers online can enable this option using one of their supported booking software integrations.
Track your profile’s performance
After you create a google business profile and optimize/maintain it, make sure to regularly review your profile’s statistics such as website clicks to determine how effective your profile is or if there are any areas that need improvement. You can also link your website address in your profile to your Google Analytics using UTM codes in order to track conversions on your website after visitors click through from your profile.
As a result of optimizing and regularly updating your Google Business profile, not only do you create a better experience for your customers, Google will in turn reward you with higher rankings resulting in more traffic and leads from visitors searching for businesses like yours.