Google plays a significant role in the success of hundreds of online businesses and companies today. Gone are the days where large tarpaulins and newspaper ads influence your physical store’s sales and customers. Now, you need to establish visibility in the world wide web, specifically on Google, for your business to thrive.
Most online enterprises know that to gain targeted visibility, your company must:
- Create social media campaigns.
- Create and optimize their website.
- Do SEO or search engine optimization techniques to rank high in search engine results pages.
- Develop media relations.
These are just four of the many methods out there that you can use to broaden your virtual reach. But as the market becomes competitive, you also need to step up your game.
One way to do that is to create a Google business listing or a Business Profile by making a free Google My Business account. Yes, you heard that right. It’s free!
Here is everything you need to know about Google My Business and how you need it to optimize your Business Profile.
What are Google My Business and Google Business Profile?
To be clear, Google My Business and your Google Business Profile are two different things.
Your company’s Google Business Profile refers to your business listing on the website. It is the one that appears on Google’s search engine results page and Google Maps whenever an individual searches for your company.
ANYBODY can create a Business Profile; it could be the business owner, a random internet stranger, or an automated business listing generator. Google just needs the business’s name, location, category, and voila–a Business Profile is made.
Once a Business Profile is up (whether you know about it or not), consumers can then leave reviews and comments about the business, ask questions, answer queries, and even add photos. Further, it can include any information that Google pulls in from websites across the world wide web.
For business owners, having a Business Profile without their knowledge can be quite horrific. Anyone can put anything in there, even misleading information and answers. Prospective customers and loyal ones may search your business and see the unruly information and photos on Google. One look at it, and they may decide to look for another store that seems more legit and responsive.
So, how can you solve this nightmare? By creating a Google My Business account. A Google My Business account will give you access to your Google Business Profile. You can customize, enhance, and optimize it to boost its visibility and effectiveness.
As with traditional SEO, your listing should include specific keywords and phrases so Google can pick those up and feature your business on the SERP’s first page, preferably at the top.
4 Ways to Optimize Your Business Profile Using Google My Business
Now that you can access everything in your Business Profile using Google My Business, it’s now time to optimize it to convert more customers and boost your ranking. Here are four smart ways on how you can do that.
1. Complete Your Business Profile
Consumers search for a specific business or shop because they want to know more about it. So, do them and your business a favor by meticulously filling all and every section of your Business Profile.
This includes your store’s basic information like its name, address, contact details, website, and operation hours. Some sections need more time to complete, like your products, services, and pricing, while others need to be updated on an ongoing basis like posts, reviews, and questions.
A complete Business Profile allows you to rank higher in local Google search results. Further, it lets customers know more about your business. It will serve as a basis for them to choose your store over hundreds of others because they saw the 5-star rating other consumers left on your Profile.
2. Perform SEO
Besides websites and pages, Google also ranks Business Profiles. Use the right keywords and phrases to fill your business info, and Google will place you within its top 3 results once users search for a targeted keyword.
Here are some smart tips on how you can perform local SEO for your Business Profile effectively:
- Make targeted information. All information you put in your Business Profile is important–your “from the business” description, answers to user queries, review responses, updates, and posts. So, make it worthwhile by incorporating relevant keywords (that you want to rank for) into these sections.
- Provide quality information. Complete your Business Profile and make sure to provide quality information on all of them. Keep everything up-to-date and accurate. Tell Google that your business is active by frequently publishing posts and recent photos through Google My Business.
- Build trust. You can build trust by rendering excellent services and encouraging your customers to leave an honest review.
3. Get Reviews and Respond to Questions
Customer reviews highly impact the choice of other consumers. A business listing with 4-star ratings and great reviews will likely get picked rather than those without reviews.
Google also knows this; that’s why they also consider customer reviews and ratings in ranking Business Profiles.
So, start encouraging your consumers to leave a review and solid rating. You can do that by:
- Simply asking them to. Research suggests that 62% of customers will leave an honest review when asked. So don’t hesitate to do so through email, text, or in-person conversation.
- Make it convenient by sending the review link to them or posting it on your social media accounts and website. You can also generate a QR code and post it in your physical store.
- Respond to reviews, even to the negative ones, so customers will see how transparent you are as a company. Also, this is an excellent opportunity to include relevant keywords in your responses.
- While you’re at it, make time to answer user questions and queries. Bring them the information they want because, more likely than not, it’s one of their deciding factors in choosing a store.
4. Review Key Insights
Lastly, do not forget to check the Insights sections in your Google My Business dashboard. It provides you with the analytics part of your Business Profile. There, you can view customer actions (e.g., the number of users who visited your website or clicked for directions) and local SEO performance.
Further, you can see what keywords or queries were typed by users to find your business listing. Also, you can view how your photos and profile are faring against other competition.