Any business today needs targeted visibility on the search engine, and most businesses know that this also requires optimizing their website and Google ads. However, most businesses do not know that there is a third entity which also needs optimizing, a Google Business listing. It is officially known as your business profile; this listing is a dynamic snapshot of your business. It highlights the best features and enables potential customers to find, learn about and engage with everyone quickly.
Why do you need to optimize your Google Business profile?
An optimized business profile helps the consumers choose your business over competitors. However, the following are some benefits of optimizing your business profile for effective local marketing-
1. Improve engagement.
It has been observed that more and more consumers are entering and then exiting Google without going to any other website because the information in the search results pages is answering their questions resulting in ‘zero-click searches’. With more and more consumers interacting with your businesses through Google Business Profile than your website, you will want the profile optimized for quality engagement and conversions.
2. Boost your local ranking.
Google has a unique algorithm, and its algorithm for ranking the Business profile does not just consider the proximity and relevance but also the activity and the quality of the information provided. Optimizing your Google Business Profile sends these signals to the search engine to rank you higher in the local results. A higher rank means more overall visibility and engagement with your business.
3. Convert more customers.
A regular Google Business profile alone does not offer much in acquiring customers. The customer can find out where you are located and also read all your reviews if they know to search the business name in the first place. However, if you have an optimized Business profile through the Google My Business account, consumers can discover you through keyword searches, visit your website and also call you and research your products and services. They can also request a quote and book an appointment.
How to optimize Google My Business profile?
Following are the ways to optimize your Google My Business profile-
1. Create a Google My Business account.
One should note that a Google Business Profile is an entirely different entity from a Google My business account. The second one is used for gaining access and optimizing the first one. This means that to make the optimizations laid out, you should have a Google My Business account and then tell the search engine to connect it with the Google Business profile.
2. Complete every section.
The overall completeness of your Google Business Profile not only helps the search engine to rank you higher in the local search results but it also increases the number of actions the customers take when they stumble upon your profile.
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3. Be careful with the contact information.
Following are some of the steps one should take for optimizing the contact information in the Google Business Profile-
- It is important to ensure that your business name is very identical to the one you use normally.
- You should indicate your regular and holiday hours, and this encourages the customers to visit you and also avoids the possibility of a negative review.
4. Write your description properly.
It is very important to write ‘from the business’ description properly. You should make use of all the 750 characters with key information in the first 250 characters. You should make use of the keywords your audience uses to find businesses like yours.
5. Choose a category.
- Get found in the discovery searches
According to a survey, 84% of the business profile views on Google originate from the discovery searches.
- Highlight category specific features.
After choosing a category, Google makes available to you category-specific features which make your profile attractive and effective. The search engine offers a number of categories and you should ensure that you choose the correct ones. You should only choose the categories that match your offering.
6. Select applicable attributes.
Once you choose a specific category, the search engine will give you a list of attributes you can check off to describe your business further. Attributes are the special features which the potential customers seek out.
7. Add photos.
You should upload photos to your Business Profile through your Google My Business account dashboard for the following three reasons-
- Ensure quality.
It is a fact that anyone can add photos to your Business profile. This means that you will get a range of quality.
- Be active.
Adding photos signals Google that you are active with your profile and it is up-to-date. This impacts the ranking positively.
- Get images in results.
The algorithm is advancing and it is starting to include photos in the local results.
You should include the following tips to use photos to optimize your Google Business Profile-
- Try adding at least one new photo every six-seven days.
- Upload your logo for your thumbnail photo.
- For your cover photo, use something which represents your brand.
- For the general photos, refer to Google’s photo guidelines for specifications.
- You should focus on quality images.
8. Get Google reviews.
Reviews are the number one influence on consumer buying and this is a key ranking factor in their algorithm. For most of the searches which are performed on Google, the first three local results are the ones with solid star ratings.
Following are the tips to stand out from all the competitors-
- Start with long-time customers to get momentum.
- Make it easy for your customers and create a review shortcut link.
- Remind the customer that the reviews are not just for your benefit, they help the individuals who have the same points as them to find a solution and make an informed decision.
- Respond to all the reviews.
9. Post to your Google Business Profile.
You should also post to your Google Business Profile about all the announcements, offers, products and events.