Your products and services may be top-notch, but if potential customers can’t find you online, they’ll go with a competitor that’s easier to find. That is why having a solid online presence is critical to the success of any business today, and Google My Business (GMB) is a key part of that. In today’s world of SEO and digital marketing, this is an essential tool to help potential customers find you. As a business owner, you need to understand how GMB works and why it’s so important in your overall marketing strategy.

In order to stay ahead of the curve, it’s crucial to have knowledge of how Google My Business works and how it can benefit your thriving company. By doing that, you can ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward online and taking advantage of all the opportunities that this powerful tool has to offer. You don’t even have to worry about spending a lot of money on marketing; GMB is a totally free platform that you can use to reach new customers. To have a full understanding of how this service can help you, take a closer at the details below.

What Does an Improved Google Business Profile Look Like?

By having an insight into what an optimized Google Business Profile looks like, you can get a better idea of why to utilize this tool not only for your business’s success but also for your customer’s convenience. Customers can easily find basic information about your company, like your hours, website, contact information, and even photos. But before anything else, you must first recognize what a Google Business Profile is. It is a business listing that appears on Google when someone searches for your type of business in your area. When you set up and verify your GMB listing, you can control how your business appears across Google products, including Maps and Search, which is essential for your business’s online visibility.

GMB offers a variety of features that can help you manage your business information, engage with customers, and get insights into how customers are finding you online. But in order for all these to be possible, you need to have an improved profile that will provide searchers with the relevant information they need about your organization. When potential customers see your profile, you want it to be eye-catching and informative, so they’re encouraged to click through to your website or visit your store to see if you have what they’re looking for. They’ll be able to see at a glance what you have to offer and why they should choose you over other businesses in the area. You’re more likely to stand out from the competition and attract potential customers if you have all of these details.

To achieve this, your profile should include the following:

  • Address: If you have a physical store or office, you’ll want to include your full address so customers can find you easily. If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar location, you can still list your service area instead so people in your coverage area know that you can serve them.
  • Contact details: Be sure to include your business’s phone number and even website address so customers can get in touch with you or visit your site to learn more about your offerings. Without this information, they’ll likely move on to a competitor because they can’t take the next step with you.
  • Hours of operation: Let customers know when you’re open for business so they know when they can come to see you or take advantage of your services. This is especially important if you have limited hours or are closed on certain days. Operation hours can prevent frustrated customers and wasted trips.
  • High-quality photos: Customers like to see pictures of your business, products, or services, so they know what to expect when they come to you. People are visual creatures, so make sure your photos are appealing and make a good impression. Include high-quality images that show off your business in the best light possible.
  • Relevant categories: Include relevant categories so customers can find you more quickly when they’re searching for businesses like yours. This will help them see that you’re a match for what they’re looking for, and you’re more likely to show up in search results. You can choose up to five categories, so choose wisely.
  • Catchy tagline or description: Use this space to give customers a taste of what you’re all about. Use keywords that describe your business so you show up in relevant searches. But don’t stuff your tags with too many keywords, or it’ll look like spam. A short, catchy description will do the trick.
  • Customer reviews and ratings: Customer reviews and ratings show that you’re a trusted business with happy customers. This can give potential customers the confidence to choose you over a competitor with no reviews. Encourage your customers to leave reviews by making it easy for them to do so.

Why Is It Important To Optimize Your Google Business Profile?

The ideas above are just some of the many reasons why you should take the time to optimize your Google Business Profile. But for a broader perspective, consider these other advantages:

Encourages Participation

Customers who are searching for businesses in their area are more likely to find and visit companies that have completed profiles. Why? Because a complete profile adds credibility to your business. It tells searchers that you’re a legitimate business that is invested in connecting with them. It will show you are twice as likely to be considered reputable by searchers than businesses with incomplete profiles because you’ve taken the time to fill out all the details.

Improves Your Local Ranking

Google My Business is one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO. So if you’re not already on GMB, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to improve your visibility in search results. And if you are on GMB but you have an incomplete profile, you’re not getting the full benefits of being listed. Make sure you’re taking advantage of everything GMB has to offer by optimizing your profile to the fullest.

Increases Customer Conversions

A well-optimized GMB profile can help increase customer conversions by providing searchers with the information they need to make a purchase decision. When customers can find what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to do business with you. So take the time to fill out your profile completely and include all the relevant details about your business to make it easy for customers to find you and choose you over a competitor.

Boosts Your Brand Awareness

Brand awareness can help your customer recall your business when they’re ready to make a purchase. And what better way to increase brand awareness than by appearing in Google’s search results? When you optimize your GMB listing, you’re more likely to appear in relevant searches, which can help boost your brand awareness and reach new customers. This is especially important for small businesses that are looking to increase their visibility and reach a wider audience.

Helps Generate More Leads

Lead generation is one of the most important goals for any business. GMB can help you generate more leads by providing customers with your contact information and making it easy for them to get in touch with you. When customers can find your phone number, email address, or website easily, they’re more likely to reach out to you when they’re ready to convert.

How To Make Your Google Business Profile Stand Out?

Now that you know why it’s crucial to optimize your GMB profile, let’s take a look at how you can make your listing stand out from the crowd. By following these tips, you can ensure that your profile is complete and accurate and that it includes the information customers are looking for.

Here are a few ways you can do just that:

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1. Sign Up for Google My Business

Of course, the first step is to sign up for GMB. You have to create your GMB account before you can begin optimizing your profile. Creating a GMB account is easy and only takes a few minutes. Just go to business.google.com and click “Start now.” Then, follow the instructions to create your account. Be sure to sign up with the same email address that you use for your Google Analytics and Google AdWords accounts. This will make it easier to connect your GMB listing to your other Google products.

If you already have a Google account, such as Gmail, you can use that to sign up for GMB. Just log in with your existing account and follow the instructions to create your business listing. Once you’ve completed your account, you’ll be asked to verify your business. Google will send a verification postcard to your business address. Once you receive the postcard, simply follow the instructions to confirm your listing. Now that you’ve signed up and verified your account, you’re ready to begin optimizing your profile.

2. Fill in All the Sections

When you’re creating your GMB listing, be sure to fill in all the sections. This includes the basics and won’t take you more than a few minutes:

  • Business name
  • Address
  • Hours
  • Phone number
  • Website

But it also includes sections that will take a bit more time to complete, such as:

  • Business description
  • Product and services
  • Categories and attributes
  • Questions and answers

While other sections are to follow, such as:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Posts
  • Reviews

So take the time to fill out your profile completely. The more information you include, the easier it will be for customers to find you and learn about your business.

3. Include Your Business’s Contact Information

One of the most essential pieces of information on your GMB listing is your contact details. Be sure to include your business name, address, and phone number. And be sure that this information is accurate. Incorrect or outdated contact information can lead customers astray and cost you business.

If you have multiple locations, be sure to create a separate listing for each one. This way, customers can find the location nearest to them and get the correct contact information and hours of operation to ensure they have the best possible experience with your business.

Here are the steps to follow to make sure your contact information is accurate:

  1. Ensure your company name matches your store labels. In other words, the same as it initially appeared in reality. Including a location name (unless it is already a part of your trademark) or terms is regarded as spam by Google and may result in a penalty.
  2. Verify that your corporate physical location matches your other online listings.  If it is not, you may have a case of duplicate listings, which you will want to take care of as soon as possible. It can confuse customers and search engines alike. They can also result in decreased visibility for your business in the search results.
  3. Confirm your ordinary business hours as well as your working holiday days. You wouldn’t want customers to come to your location when it’s closed, would you? This information will encourage customers to visit your business when it’s most convenient for them.

4. Create Your “From the Company” Description

The “From the Company” description is a short blurb about your business that appears on your GMB listing. This is your chance to tell potential customers what makes your business special. So take some time to craft a description that accurately reflects your brand and what your distinction is in the market.

Here are some tips for writing an effective “From the Company” description:

  • Keep it short and sweet: The description should be no more than 750 characters. This is just enough space to give customers a taste of what your business is all about without overwhelming them with too much information.
  • Use keywords: Include relevant keywords and phrases that potential customers might use to search for your business. This will help your listing show up in more search results.
  • Highlight what makes you unique: What makes your business stand out from the competition? Be sure to mention any awards, distinctions, or specialties.
  • Include a call to action: Encourage customers to take the next step, whether it’s visiting your website, calling your store, or stopping by for a visit.

 

5. Select a Category

One of the most important elements of your GMB listing is your category. This is how customers and search engines know what type of business you are, and it’s important to choose a category that accurately reflects what your company does.

Here’s how to choose the right category for your business:

  • Think like a customer: What category would a potential customer search for to find your business? Use that as your starting point. Such as “pet store”, “plumber”, “auto mechanic.” By thinking like a customer, you’ll be more likely to choose a category that they’ll actually search for.
  • Be specific and accurate: Don’t choose a broad category just because it seems like it might apply to your business. The more specific you can be, the better. If you’re not sure, you can always consult Google’s list of suggested categories. This can help you narrow down your options.
  • Select extra categories: If you have a business that falls into more than one category, you can select up to two. Just be sure that they are all relevant and accurate. This can support your business showing up in more search results and help potential customers find you more easily.
  • Avoid overdoing it: Don’t try to game the system by adding irrelevant or inaccurate categories just to get more exposure. This can actually hurt your visibility in the search results. If you want Google to link you with buyers who need your solution, select only categories that are relevant to your offering.

6. Choose Attributes That Are Relevant to Your Business

Attributes are additional details about your business that appear on your GMB listing. They help customers learn more about what you have to offer and what they can expect when they do business with you.

  • Products: The types of products you offer in your company, such as “clothing” or “furniture.”
  • Amenities: Things like Wi-Fi, parking, or whether or not you’re wheelchair accessible.
  • Services: The types of services you offer, such as delivery, take out, dine-in, or reservations.
  • Specialties: Your areas of expertise will fall into this category. Such as “vegan-friendly” or “kid-friendly.”

You can select up to nine attributes for your business, but be selective and only choose the most relevant ones. This will help ensure that potential customers see information that’s useful to them and help them make a decision about whether or not to do business with you.

7. Include Photos and Videos

Make sure your GMB listing is visually appealing by adding photos and videos. This will help it stand out in the search results and give potential customers a better idea of what your business looks like and what they can expect from you. By including visuals, you’re more likely to ensure:

  • A well-rounded view: Include a mix of photos that highlight different aspects of your business, such as the exterior, interior, products, and staff that potential customers will see when they visit you.
  • Accurate expectations: Customers can get an idea of what it’s like to do business with you before they even step foot in your door. This can help prevent any surprises or disappointments that could lead them to take their business elsewhere.
  • Consistent look and feel: All of your photos should be high-quality and have a consistent look and feel. This will help create a professional image for your business that instills confidence in potential customers.

This doesn’t mean that you should spend hours creating the perfect photos and uploading hundreds to your website. But, by including a few quality visuals, you can make a significant impact on potential customers. Your usage of photos and videos in optimizing your Google Business Profile should be:

  • At least one visual a week: It is not important to have thousands of photos and videos, but you should have at least one quality visual to upload each week. This helps keep your listing fresh and up-to-date.
  • Have high-quality visuals: Even if you just have a few visuals, make sure that they are high-quality. This includes things like well-lit photos, sharp images, and videos with good sound to have an impact on potential customers.
  • Avoid stock photos: If you do use stock photos, make sure that they are relevant to your business and look professional. Avoid using generic images that could be applied to any business in your industry.

8. Get Reviews on Google

Collect reviews if you want to rank better in search and map results. Reviews serve as real-world indicators of what people genuinely think about a business and are a critical aspect in determining a firm’s ranking in local search. Not only that, they serve as social evidence for your future customers, assisting them in deciding whether or not to do business with you. The most effective method of collecting reviews is to solicit them. Pursue customers that have previously expressed satisfaction with your product or service.

To make collecting reviews easier, create a templated email but ensure that you personalize it when feasible before sending. This will make the customer feel appreciated and more likely to oblige your request. If you want to collect reviews but don’t know how to start, consider using Google Review Management software. This type of software will help you organize and track reviews, as well as respond to them. Google knows that when you’re active in review management, you’re more likely to get reviews, which is why they reward businesses that use this software.

9. Make a Post on Your Google Business Profile

Just like with any other social media platform, you need to be active on your Google Business Profile if you want to get the most out of it. This means posting updates on a regular basis. But, unlike other platforms, the posts on your GMB profile can’t just be about anything. They should be relevant to your business and offer value to potential customers.

Here are a few ideas of the types of posts you can make on your GMB profile:

  • New products or services: If you have something unique to offer, let your customers know through announcements. They will be excited to see what you have in store and may even be more likely to visit your business.
  • Promotions or discounts: Customers love a good deal, so use your GMB profile to let them know about any special offers you have. You can even include a call-to-action in your posts, such as “Click the link to learn more!”
  • Upcoming events or workshops: If you’re hosting an event, use your GMB profile to promote it. You can include all the details, such as time, location, and cost. You can even have a link to purchase tickets directly from your post.
  • Visuals from behind the scenes: Customers love to see what goes on behind the scenes of their favorite businesses. Share photos and videos from your business, such as employees hard at work or your products being made.

10. Have Questions and Answers on Your Google Business Profile

Another way to make your profile more interactive and informative is by including a Questions & Answers section. This is where customers can ask questions about your business, and you can provide answers. It’s a great way to show that you’re knowledgeable about your industry and that you’re committed to providing excellent customer service.

To get started, you can answer some of the most frequently asked questions about your business. You can also encourage customers to ask their own questions by posting something like, “Do you have a question about our products or services? Ask away!” This way, you can ensure that customers always have the information they need and that your profile is always up-to-date.

11. Arrange Messaging Feature

The messaging feature on GMB profiles allows customers to contact businesses directly from their profile. This is a great way to improve customer service and make it easier for customers to get in touch with you. To set up messaging, go to your GMB profile and click on the “Info” tab. From there, scroll down to the “Messaging” section and click on the “Enable Messaging” button. Once you’ve done that, you can start responding to messages from customers. This can assist you with building rapport and developing relationships with your customers.

12. Manage your Google My Business Profile

Now that you know all the ways to optimize your GMB profile, it’s time to put them into action. As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into managing your GMB profile, but it’s well worth the effort. Don’t forget to check back often and update your information as needed. It is imperative that you are committed to managing your profile as it is like having another employee working for you 24/seven. By following all of the tips above, you can be sure that your GMB profile is helping your business in the best way possible.

Conclusion

There you have it! It is clear that having a complete and optimized Google My Business profile is crucial for businesses of all sizes. Not only does it help to improve your website’s search engine ranking, but it also provides potential customers with easy access to your business information and other important details.

If you have not yet created or updated your Google My Business profile, be sure to do so today! By following the tips above, you can be sure that your profile is helping your business in the best way possible. Don’t let your competition get ahead of you, and to ensure that your company is getting the most out of its potential, make sure to keep it looking its best.

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