Google Business Profile is a free tool that every business owner should make use of. When you optimise your My Business profile, it makes you more discoverable in Google search results. Also, an optimised profile ensures that your business comes across as trustworthy and reliable.
There are many benefits of Google Business Profile for startups. The most important benefit is that if a consumer Googles your business and your profile is completed and optimized, they will be more inclined to trust your business and pay you a visit.
Here are 10 ways to optimise your Google Business Profile account:
1. Claim your listing on Google
Before creating your business profile, it is worth checking if your business is already listed on Google Business Profile. To see if your business already has a profile, simply Google the name of your business. If your business has a profile check for these things:
a. Is the business address correct?
b. Is it claimed, or unclaimed:
c. If it is claimed, you need to gain access to the profile
d. If it is not claimed, create a Google Business Profile account to claim it.
Setting up a Google Business Profile Account is simple and user friendly. The steps are clear and it won’t take long for the profile to be set up. Navigate to Google Business Profile to start creating your profile.
Once your profile has been created, you will have access to your dashboard where you can look at all types of elements, such as posts, insights, and reviews:
Watch this video to guide you through the process of managing your Business Profile directly on Google.
2. Add your business to Google Maps
Adding your business to Google Maps will ensure that clients can easily navigate to your premises by simply searching for your business’ name on Maps. The more information that your listing has, the easier it will be for your clients to find you on Google.
This can be done directly from your business dashboard:
3. Fill in every section
When you complete every section of your Google account, it helps Google rank higher in your local search results – making you more discoverable to clients. Not just that, but it also increases the number of actions that possible clients can take to find your business profile.
These elements of your profile will be completed first when creating your account:
- Name of your business
- Address of your business
- Contact details of your business
- Website link to your business
- Trading hours of your business
Some sections of your profile will take a bit more time and thought to complete:
- Category and Attributes
- Products and services
- From the business
- Questions and answers (Owner-generated queries)
Some sections require continuous action and will be ongoing changes on your account:
- Questions and answers (Consumer-generated)
4. Ensure all contact information is listed and correct
When filling out the contact information section, it is important to ensure that all contact details are correct and duly completed. This will ensure that clients can reach you easily when they have any queries and give you the opportunity to showcase your customer service.
Also, keep this in mind:
a. Make sure the business name that is displayed on Google is exactly the one you use on all of your signs and communications, like social media. This ensures that clients can easily identify your business. Keep this in mind if you undergo new branding.
b. Make sure that the Google address and all other addresses you have listed on the web lines up. This eliminates confusion as to which address the client should use. Keep this in mind if you are relocating.
c. Make sure to list regular and holiday hours. It helps clients know when they can expect your business to operate during public holidays or the festive season. Keep this in mind if you celebrate different holidays.
5. Add a complete description
The description that appears below your business name, is created by Google. This means that unfortunately, you will be unable to edit the description. However, Google is creative when it creates these descriptions for businesses
There is one section that allows the business owner to edit a description, and it is called the “from the business” description. This is listed underneath the about section of your Google profile.
Here are some tips to optimise this section:
- Use the first 250 words of your description for important information about your business.
- Make use of the 750 word limit and use as much of it as you can.
- Make use of your “About Us” page on your website to inspire the content on Google.
- Use your SEO keywords when writing your description.
- Don’t repeat any information that is already visible on your profile.
- Use this space to talk about what sets you apart from your competitors.
- Don’t include links in your description. Make use of the post feature
Making use of social media marketing is crucial for the success of a business, so why not have Google posts as well? These posts serve a purpose, it allows the potential client to understand your business better, without having to look you up on social media platforms.
You get to display your company culture, your products or services, and any promotions that you will be running. Not only that, but it shows the potential client that you are a real business and if they like what they see, they might just pay you a visit.
7. Upload good quality photos
Photos show the potential customers that you are a real business, especially when other clients post on your Google profile. You might think, why are images so important. Well, Google says that clients are 42% more likely to request the direction to a business when they have photos on their profile, and 35% more likely to click through to its website.
Here are some things to keep in mind when uploading photos to your profile:
a. Upload only good quality photos
b. Use your logo for your thumbnail
c. Add at least one new photo every seven days
d. Refer to Google’s photo guidelines for photos
e. Use your own photos, stay away from stock photos
f. Add videos to help promote your brand
g. Make use of Google’s Street View app to add a 360º photo to your profile.
Once you have uploaded the initial photos, it is important that you do the following:
a. See if images show up in results. Google the name of your business and then navigate to the images section of the results. See if your images are visible there.
b. Be active in uploading images. Constantly uploading images shows the potential client that you are active. It also shows them updates, and loyal clients can see any renovations that you make.
8. Reply to questions
Google offers the feature where people can ask questions directly to a Google Business Profile. Valid questions such as “is there a bank nearby” or “is the parking secure” can be asked through use of this service.
The questions asked in this section are usually when people couldn’t find the answer on your Google or business profile. As the business owner, it should be your responsibility to answer these questions. For two reasons:
a. The prospective client gets their answer.
b. They will feel important and cared for, so they will be more willing to support your business.
There is a section that allows you to set up FAQs (frequently asked questions) that can assist prospective clients when they are researching your business on Google.
Here are some tips on how to optimise this feature:
a. Take note of the questions that people ask on your page.
b. Take a look at which among them are similar or ask the same thing.
c. Add the questions that get asked more than once to the FAQ section.
It is not always guaranteed that you won’t get asked a question just because it is in the FAQ. When that happens, politely answer their question and point them to the FAQ section where they can browse and ensure that all of their questions are answered.
9. Respond to reviews
Responding to reviews is crucial when it comes to optimising your Google Business Profile. Whether they are good or bad, responding to them creates a great impression of your business. It shows that you are humble (when receiving compliments or good reviews) or it shows that you are willing to accept your mistakes (when receiving recommendations or bad reviews).
It is also important to ensure that you receive reviews on your profile. A business with no reviews is likely one that you would stay away from, correct? The same goes for your customers. Ask them to write reviews on your profile.
It not only serves as an information tool for people, but reviews can also boost your SEO ranking. Have a look at the blog that can help you optimise your Google reviews.
10. Maintain your profile
After you have put in hours of effort to set up your account, like any other informative platform, it needs to be maintained. Constant updating and improvements should be made to optimise the Google Business Profile as much as possible.
An updated profile also shows prospects that you are an operational business and that you also care about the image that you put into the world.
Here are some ways in which you can maintain your profile:
- Always keep your business information up to date.
- Upload posts every week.
- Source reviews from customers. Make the process easy for them.
- Always keep an eye on reviews, then reply as needed.
- Stay on top of new features and update on Google Business Profile.
Having a Google Business Profile will benefit any business to help drive awareness, revenue, and even popularity. It helps create a clear image of who you are as a business and ensures that clients always know what you are up to.
Make use of this free tool!