All businesses today need visibility on Google. You already know that this means you need a website or if you already have one you need to optimize your website for organic search. What you may not know is that there is another entity that also needs setup and optimization to help with your Google visibility and this is your Google Business Listing (also known as Google Profile).
If you don’t know what this is, check out my earlier post – “A Beginner’s Overview of Google My Business – What, Why, and How?”.
So now that you know what a Google Profile is and why you need it and how you can get one for your business, I hope you’ve set up one for your business.
However, most businesses will claim their Google My Business account, add the bare minimum details, and forget about it and this is a BIG mistake!
All businesses must take full advantage of the impressive features offered by Google My Business. The success to local SEO is to ensure that you have and continue to manage an optimized Google listing. Google’s algorithm for ranking Business Profiles does not just consider location proximity and business relevance but also the activity and quality of information of your Google Profile. Optimizing your Google Business Profile sends signals to Google to rank you higher in local results. Thus when leveraged correctly, Google My Business can lead to increased sales and improved customer loyalty.
Ensure your information is accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date
The completeness of your Google Business Profile not only helps Google to rank you higher in local search results, but it also increases the number of actions customers take when they find your profile.
First complete the Business Name, Address, Phone Number, and Website. This information will be indexed by Google Search, Maps, and Google+, providing a foundation for your local SEO. Your information should be consistent with what is currently listed on your website and other online listings.
Secondly use the Description, Category, and Attribute fields to define what your business does as accurately as possible. Be meticulous with the information you put in.
Thirdly upload photos to showcase your business logo, business banner, business location, and possibly the products and services you offer.
Ask for reviews and then respond to them
Google knows that reviews are the #1 influence on consumer buying, so this is a key ranking factor in their algorithm, thus reviews are important for your business’s authority on local SEO. Google My Business provides a great tool to capture and display customer reviews directly on your Google Business Profile. Use this feature to ask for reviews from past and current customers as this will greatly increase the completeness of your Google Profile and help you show up higher on relevant local google searches.
Speak directly to your customers through Google My Business Messages
Google My Business also provides a 1-click option for consumers to interact with your business. Through the ‘Call’ and ‘Message’ features potential clients can easily get in touch with you to find out more details and/or make a purchase. Having these setup and enabled is critical for your local SEO success.
Add posts to share business updates
Just like with social media platforms, you can post to your Google Business Profile about announcements, offers, events, and products. Google My Business provides the opportunity to keep consumers updated about your business with Google Posts. Google Posts allows you to add text, photos, gifs, and even call-to-action buttons. Regularly posting information about your business will also help with keeping up a good local SEO standing.
Update the Q&A section
As with Amazon.com, Google Business Profile also provides a Q&A section. This provides another great opportunity for your business. By monitoring and seeding your Q&A section, you can ensure accurate information, highlight your best features, and encourage potential customers towards your business. Make a list of the most frequently asked questions your business gets. Then ask, answer, and upvote your answer on your own profile. Keep your keywords in mind when creating and/or answering questions. Setup alerts so that you are informed on any questions begin asked on your Google Profile.
So it is clearly evident that Google My Business positions your important business information in front of potential customers who are looking for your product, service, or experience. It helps with your local SEO, offers a chance to engage with your customers via reviews or posts, and provides useful insights on your customers’ purchasing paths.
So don’t waste this wonderful opportunity to promote your business, just go ahead and optimize your Google My Business listing today.
If you need help with setting up and optimizing Google My Business for your own business reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org