Having a strong online presence is crucial for the success of any company. With millions of users relying on Google to find businesses, learning how to optimize your Google Business Profile effectively can significantly boost your visibility, attract more consumers, and enable you to grow as a company. Here are several key strategies that will help you make the most of your account.
If you want to improve your chances of being discovered by clients, you first need to create your Google Business Profile (GBP) and attach your contact details. Then, add your company’s description and select the category that suits your field. To further optimize your GBP, share quality photos and posts, get recommendations, seed your Q&A section, and provide messaging options to consumers who want to contact you. Of course, keep in mind that optimization will best be done by the hands of advertising professionals – so don’t hesitate to hire the best SEO agency for the job.
What Is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile is a free-of-charge tool that can help you get targeted visibility on this search engine. GBP allows you to manage how your company appears across various Google products, such as Search or Maps, and ultimately lets potential customers find you and engage with you quickly. Basically, it’s a snapshot that showcases your company’s best features directly on Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
While many are familiar with the importance of good website development skills, as well as quality content writing, innovative and original social media marketing campaigns, or optimized PPC ads in generating leads, not many are aware of the importance of Google My Business listing. However, in order to fulfill its purpose, it needs optimizing, as well. But how to optimize your Google My Business listing – and why should you do it in the first place?
Why Is It Important to Optimize a GBP for Your Local Business?
For starters, keep in mind that companies with GBP are 94% more likely to be seen as reliable – and a fully optimized GBP will allow you to stand out from your competitors. But that’s not all! Studies show that the data people are getting from SERP is oftentimes sufficient, so there is no need for them to visit any other website. Therefore, you can’t rely solely on your site for audience acquisition. An optimized GBP proves to be invaluable when it comes to consumers’ interaction with your company.
At the same time, for a good ranking of your GBP, you’ll need more than relevance to the search and proximity of your company. Google’s algorithm will also look for the quality of information, as well as the previous activity. The more optimized your GBP is, the higher you’ll be able to rank – and the more exposure you’ll get. Keep in mind that you can easily track the clicks from the GBP to your site via Google Analytics.
Through a regular GBP, your clients will be able to see your location and read your testimonials, and that’s only if they’ve performed their research with your company name. However, with an optimized account, they can do so much more! They can discover your company through keyword searches, visit your site, view FAQs, and even book an appointment.
There is no denying that an optimized GBP has become necessary for local search success. Take a look at the statistics that will back this statement up:
#1 The First Step on How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile – Creating an Account
In order to gain access to your GBP, you need to have a Google My Business account – all you need to do is sign in with a Gmail or Google account of your company – and then you can start with GBP optimization.
You’ll need to provide many different details about your company. With every useful information you provide to your potential clients, you’re able to increase the level of visibility and get more people to your website once they find your GBP. Some sections you’ll be able to complete right away, such as your company’s name, address, phone number, site, or hours. However, there will be categories that will require more of your time, such as “from the business” or the Q&A section. Additionally, keep in mind that some sections will be ongoing, such as posts or testimonials.
How to Optimize Your Contact Information?
When learning how to optimize Google My Business, one of the first things to consider is your contact details. For starters, ensure the company’s name on your GBP matches the one you use in the real world – avoid using keywords or a location name since it may cause you to be penalized. In addition to that, be consistent with your company name and address. They need to match across all your other listings, even when it comes to abbreviations. For example, if you’ve used “st” instead of “street” in one of your listings, make sure to use it in all. The more consistent you are, the more credible you’ll appear to Google’s algorithm.
#2 Optimize the “From the Business” Section
On your GBP snapshot, you’ll notice a short description below your company’s name – and keep in mind that it’s a short summary provided by Google and not you. However, you’ll be able to share your own description in the “from the business” section that is located lower on your GBP, usually under recommendations.
In this section, you’ll be able to add up to 750 characters – use as many of them as possible, but ensure the key information about your company can be found in the first 250. Additionally, use relevant keywords for your target audience. It would be best not to include links or mention details already visible in one of the other sections on your profile.
#3 Be Specific When Choosing Your Business Category
When in need of a service or a product, potential clients rarely come up with the exact company name or address. In fact, it is estimated that only 16% of GBP views come from this type of direct research. Therefore, the more precise you are when setting your business category, the more likely you’ll appear in discovery searches.
Once you start typing the category, a dropdown menu will appear – make sure to choose the one that suits your niche the most and is specific about it. You’ll also be able to select additional categories that can enable your clients to learn more about your special services or departments. At the same time, keep in mind that you need to choose only those categories that suit what you’re able to offer.
Once the category is selected, you’ll be able to attach category-specific features to your GBP (such as menus for restaurants) – don’t hesitate to make use of them. After all, they can be a deciding factor for your customers.
Add Your Own Photos to Your Google Business Profile
Studies show that a GBP with a hundred or more photos is more likely to witness customer action – compared to an average company, they get 520% more calls and 1,065% more website clicks. However, the average number of images on GMP listings is only eleven – but some businesses, such as hotels, have a much larger median number.
To optimize your GBP the right way, ensure to:
- Share several new images on a weekly basis,
- Upload your company’s logo for a thumbnail image and a photo that represents your brand in the best way for your cover image,
- Among the rest of the images, you should have team photos, images of the interior and exterior, as well as pictures of satisfied consumers,
- Make sure your images represent the real world (no special effects or stock images),
- Geo-tag all of your images,
- Feel free to attach videos, as well.
Keep in mind that you’re not the only one who can share images to your GBP – in fact, anyone can do it. Still, the more great-quality photos you attach, the better your profile will look. More importantly, if you add images regularly, Google will register your activity, which can only benefit your ranking.
#4 Optimize Your Profile With Relevant Google Reviews
One of the most important things for consumers looking into a company is its reviews – and they play a big role in a GBP ranking. The better your recommendations are, and the more of them you have, you’re more likely to gain visibility among other local results.
Did you know that if you ask your clients to write a review, approximately 62% of them would do it? Whether you opt for email, social media, a text message, or a combination of both, start asking your most loyal customers for a review first. Additionally, ensure that the process of leaving the review is as simple as it gets (by adding a shortcut link, for example). In the end, don’t forget to respond to the testimonials – not only will it improve your local SEO, but it can also lead others to leave their rating, as well.
#5 Post Offers, Announcements, or Local Events Related to Your Business
You can create posts containing CTAs and links to your GBA through your Google My Business account, and they will appear in the “Updates” section. Once a customer finds your profile, these updates can lead them to take the wanted action. Even those who don’t do that immediately can follow your profile and get notifications about new posts. If you’ve worked on getting traffic from social media, keep in mind that GBP posts can represent a similar strategy. Not only that but regular posting shows activity on your account (as with images and videos), which can improve your ranking.
#6 Use the Q&A Feature to Your Advantage
The Q&A section of your GBP can make your buyers choose your company over the others. However, it’s important to note that anyone can post these questions, and anyone can answer them. That is why optimizing this section is important – but how to do so?
Create a list of FAQs for your company (with relevant keywords in mind in order to improve the ranking of your GBP for that particular keyword) and upload questions and answers to your profile and upvote them – it’s not against Google’s terms. This way, you can not only ensure your GBP contains accurate information but showcase the best features of your company, as well.
Set Up Messaging Option
You can provide your potential customers with the option of sending a text message from your GBP to your phone. Keep in mind that many consumers use search engines on their smartphone devices to perform local searches (around 80% of smartphone shoppers), and this option allows them to engage with your company easier.
To enable this option, all you need to do is install it through the Messaging section on your Google My Business dashboard. Since the messages will be sent to the number provided by Google’s Allo app, you won’t have to display your personal phone number. Bonus tip – make sure to set up alerts for when you get these messages.
#7 Consider Getting SEO Marketing Services
When it comes to optimizing your GBP, hiring an SEO services agency can help you outshine your competitors. Those with little to no marketing knowledge and experience, as well as those with not a lot of time on their hands, can perceive the optimization process as challenging – and fail to make use of all the benefits fully optimized GBP can provide.
While optimizing your GBP on your own is possible, partnering with a professional SEO digital marketing agency skilled in local SEO can take your GBP strategy to the next level. Besides knowing how SEO works, these experts follow the latest marketing trends and have the ideas, experience, and tools necessary to improve your profile’s visibility and increase organic traffic. While you focus on other aspects of running your company, you can let professionals do comprehensive keyword research, manage reviews and Q&As, perform SEO audits – and attract more customers to your company.
Let a Professional SEO Agency Help You Create the Perfect GBP Strategy
If you want to increase the ranking of your GBP and, therefore, enhance your online presence, you’ll need to put a lot of your effort and time into optimizing your account. If you’re not ready for the ongoing commitment this optimization requires, note that there are professional services that can help you use the full potential of your GBP – and Made Online, an expert SEO marketing agency, is able to provide them.
Our digital advertising agency is here to come up with and implement a Google My Business strategy that will represent your company in the most accurate way possible and attract the attention of your target audience. Don’t neglect all the advantages you can gain from this amazing consumer acquisition tool – contact us today and prepare to grow.