Did you know that Google is the most used search engine in the world? It currently holds more than 92% of search engine market share. Creating a Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is a great way to attract new customers to your business through Google searches and maps.
If you own a business with a physical premises and you’re often speaking to customers, it’s important to set up a Google Business Profile. It will give you more presence on the number one search engine used by your potential customers.
Ensure every section is complete
The completeness of your Google Business Profile not only helps with Google rankings, but it helps your current and potential customers find useful information within a few clicks. There is a lot of information, so take your time – but do ensure that the name, address, phone number, website, and opening hours are completed fully.
Top tip! Use keywords and phrases in the description to help Google understand your business and ensure customers can find you. Optimisations could include your service offering, location, and other service areas.
Choose your category, and choose it wisely
When it comes to picking the right category for your Google Business Profile, it is important to get it right. Why? Because 84% of Business Profile views on Google originate from a discovery search (Essentially meaning that consumers are searching for a product, service or category that the business profile appeared in), versus only 16% coming from direct search.
Once you have picked the category most suited to your business, Google makes available category-specific features that make your profile more customised. For example, if you own a restaurant, you can include a ‘view menu’ option or ‘reservation’ button.
Select applicable attributes
Once you have picked your category, Google will give you a list of attributes you can check off which further describe your business. Attributes are special features those potential customers seek out. Some can include:
- Free wi-fi
- Gift shop on site
- Wheelchair access
- Onsite parking
- Delivery options
While this is a minor addition, it can be make or break to consumers making an informed decision when purchasing a product or investing in a service.
Adding photos to your Google Business Profile is important for these main reasons:
- Ensuring quality: add your own photos to ensure your profile looks professional.
- Be active: Slot out some time each week, or every other week to add photos to your profile. This will ensure that it is up to date, which positively impacts your rankings.
- Get images in results: Google is now recognising images more and is starting to include photos in local results
Top tip! Focus on quality images rather than stock images. You want your business to appear as it does in the real world.
Building trust through reviews
Reviews are a key element in social-proofing your brand, and a meaningful way to build trust and credibility. Google’s review option allows customers to write as little or as much as they like. It can be daunting to think about your business being reviewed on such a public platform. If you are wondering how to get more customer reviews, this can simply be done through an email campaign or even a simple email template that you send to customers once they have invested in your product or service.
Top tip! Always ensure you are active in responding to reviews, even if the reviews are not always positive. It shows customers and Google you are active and says a lot about your business in how you respond.
Update your business hours
While you will often not need to change your business hours, it is important to review them. For example, there are many national holidays or special events – where your opening hours may be scheduled differently.
Once you have set your regular working hours, you can add special opening hours. It is worth noting that if your business is closed for more than six days in a row, you will need to mark your business as ‘temporarily closed’.
If you are curious as to where the special hours show, this will be populated according to the dates you’ve set, and these will show directly on the Google Business Page.
Publish Google posts every week
Google Business Profile posts should be considered as content that can help your listing rank higher so more people can view it. Google Business posts are a great advertising tool when done right.
Top tip! Keep in mind that Google Business posts expire after 7 days of posting. This means if you want to keep showing content on the Google results page, you will need to upload new content on a regular basis. Set time once a week to make sure you stay on top of this.
Set up the messaging option if you are going to be active
This optimisation is particularly useful if you know you will be active on your Google Business Profile. The feature gives searchers the option to send a text message to your phone directly from your Google Business Profile. With more and more users online using their device for local search, this is a great opportunity for customers to get in touch with you.
If you would like to enable messaging, select the ‘messaging’ tab in your Google Business Profile dashboard, and you have the option to install this via the app store.
There are two things worth noting. Firstly, you don’t need to worry about displaying your personal phone number, as you will use a different contact number via Google’s Allo app. Secondly, be sure to set up alerts for messages in your Google Business Profile dashboard.
To learn more about how our digital strategies can improve the performance of your business, speak to our team today for an introductory call.