Many search engines have been working to encourage partnerships on a small-scale level. They do this by allowing users to access special features and functions to further specific goals.
One of them is Google. And one of their more successful forays into this new level of user involvement is by providing them with a scalable, efficient digital marketing strategy.
If you’ve been trying to create a strong online presence for your business, you’ve probably made a Google Business Profile. It helps you change the way your listings work, allowing you to connect with your target audience, prospects, and practically anyone in your area with greater efficiency.
To monitor your progress, you use a free Google rank tracker.
Not only will this process improve your rankings on a popular search engine, but it also promises positive outcomes that you’ll notice on your bottom line.
But like any other marketing strategy or platform you use, this move needs serious thinking and planning to give the results you want. It includes taking time to build, prepare, and optimize a complete Google Business Profile. Optimizing it will be your key to success.
How do you do that? Here are some steps you can take to optimize your Google Business Profile.
1. Focus on Your Business Description
With Google Business Profile, you can directly provide useful information about your enterprise straight to the search engine’s algorithm with your business description. This alone can increase your chances of being seen by your prospects and target market, boosting traffic and conversion rates. Basically, you get to use a platform evolving in real-time to advertise your brand for free.
The business description section of a Google Business Profile currently accommodates up to 750 characters, counting all spaces, letters, and numerals. It’s wise to make the most of this limited space.
Create a brief but concise business description that allows viewers to understand what your business is all about and what you can offer them. If you provide services in multiple cities, you should mention this as people will want to know if you can cater to them right where they are. Of course, make sure you include all of the relevant ways to contact your business.
2. Review Your Name, Address, and Phone Number
Some businesses might not pay as much attention to these details when they put them in. After all, they should know them well already.
But confidence in your knowledge about your business shouldn’t stop you from reviewing your contact details. It’s crucial to check if the details of your name, address, and phone number are exact. This is to avoid misrepresentation and ensure your potential customers can reliably reach out to you for inquiries and transactions.
Check whether your business name is listed correctly. It should be consistent with your other online profiles and accounts. Also, don’t use a shortened version at the risk of confusing your clients further.
As for your address, see if all the appropriate details are there. Typos may seem innocuous. But if they lead your clients somewhere, you risk ruining your business’s integrity. So, update the information if you find any mistakes.
Some businesses might not prefer to list their physical location. Users have the option to hide or remove business addresses as they wish. But if you intend to invite people to visit your brick-and-mortar store, filling out this section is a must.
Finally, check your phone number details. Always use your company’s primary number. Include the international or local code if you’re planning to reach customers abroad. For that, you should also consider adding a toll-free number. This is a convenient and free way for them to contact you over the phone.
If your company has more than one phone number, include the relevant ones, so customers can have alternative numbers to dial in case one doesn’t work. Of course, you should check if you didn’t put in your personal numbers by accident.
3. Verify Your Business Profile
Verification is a must for your Google Business Profile. This is a way to prove to Google that you are, in fact, the business that you claim and portray on your profile. Your profile’s visibility and performance will depend on how trustworthy it is in its presentation. Verification is also required for you to access helpful features like insights, analytics, and business reviews.
You can get verified by receiving an official postcard. It usually takes up to five business days to receive this by mail.
There are other ways to verify your account, as well. You can do it through text, email, video, or phone calls.
There are times when more than one method may be required to verify your business. This depends on the business category, public information, region, support hours, and volume of pending verifications at any moment in time. The latter is to be expected. After all, all profiles must be handled this way to ensure their integrity.
You’ll receive a notification once you are verified. But suppose the first method you use was not successful. In that case, you can click the “Get verified” button again on your page to try a different verification method.
Upon completing the verification process, your business will officially go live. The search engine will then include it among the listings for businesses they may suggest whenever users look up products or services. Feel free to update your details at any time to reflect your business’s status.
4. Include Your Business Photos
Brand image matters more than you think. This is why you need to support your branding with visuals.
A key aspect of your Google Business Profile is your photo section. While some businesses overlook this part, you should use it to legitimize your brand more.
Add recent photos of your storefront, products, and services to your profile. By adding photos regularly, Google sees that your profile is active and updated, which improves your ranking. Updated media tends to attract more viewers, allowing you to reach more people who want to know what you can offer them. Consider making a cover photo, logo, and business photo to truly cement your status as an active business, as well.
At this step, there are content policies that you must follow along with requirements like size and format. You can use photo editing apps to enhance your images. For the best results, they should be taken in high-resolution.
Include images relevant to your business, such as how the storefront currently looks, the interior, and staff pictures. These usually get included in local search results thanks to Google’s image recognition feature. That’s another level of exposure your business can leverage.
5. Garner Customer Reviews
Reviews play a crucial role in establishing a lasting impression on users. Depending on how others feel about your business and brand, your Google Business Profile reviews may work for or against you.
Prospective customers are naturally drawn to a business with high ratings and rave reviews. Also, it’s common practice for buyers to explore brands and companies they’re unfamiliar with further. This lets them see if they can count on you for what they want or not. One of the places they will check will be your reviews section.
While it’s important to garner customer reviews, what’s even more important is ensuring they’re positive ones. You can achieve this by focusing on your customer service, product quality, and other aspects customers may have issues with. Reviews can function as a sounding board on which you can gauge how well you’re meeting client needs and where you need to improve.
6. Indicate Your Operating Hours
Another piece of information most commonly searched by prospective customers is your store hours. The one you indicate in your business listing should match what you put on your other profiles and business website. They should be updated accordingly whenever changes occur.
Google also allows you to edit your operating hours based on holidays and local or business events. Updating this section regularly can improve customer experience and generate more trust.
7. Introduce Your Products and Services
There’s a delegated tab for introducing your products and services.
For the former, click on the product section and add your details. Select the appropriate category, add your products’ names, and upload a photo of each product. You should use keywords to make it easier for the algorithm to highlight them every time a search is made.
The process goes much the same way for the latter. You start by choosing your service category and go through each one you offer to your customers.
Whichever you choose, make sure you provide concise yet comprehensive descriptions.
8. Set Up Messaging
Customers can chat with you directly if the messaging feature is enabled on Google Business Profile. This messaging feature is similar to those of other social media platforms, allowing users to communicate in real-time. It makes it easy for your customers to contact you whenever they have questions, concerns, or purchases. This ease of access is another draw for potential customers, making them more invested in your brand in the long run.
All that’s needed to fully benefit from Google’s business features is to smartly design the way you present your business. Small moves like these pay off in the long run. And the best part is that they are completely scalable. You can continue on an optimized Google Business Profile as your enterprise grows in scope. You get all this value without paying a fee.
Have you checked your profile yet? Has it been verified? Are the photos you posted of what your business is doing at the moment? It’s time to put some work into your profile.