How Important Is It to Optimize Your Google Business Profile?

You know how your business has a sign on the front door? Or a website if you are digital only? You have those things because they are MUST-HAVES from a business standpoint. 

Well add another  item to that MUST-HAVE list – a fully optimized Google Business profile.

We’ve written before about why you need a Google Business profile. Having one will increase the likelihood that your business will appear organically in Google Map Packs, and in “Near me” results. Business profile optimization photo

Having a fully completed, i.e. optimized, Google Business profile increases your chances for appearing at the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) even more. 

A well-optimized Google Business profile can help your business stand out in local search results and attract more customers. Fully optimized profiles aren’t just listing your address and website. 

We can help you set up your Google Business profile, or you can do it yourself by following the steps here. Google Business profiles are the first step in making sure you are making the most of Google’s business tools. We handle Google ad campaigns, website SEO optimization and more for businesses who aren’t maximizing Google’s potential. 


Here are some key ways to optimize your Google Business profile:


1. Complete Your Profile: 

Make sure you fill out all the basic business information, including your company’s name, address, phone number, social media links, website, and business categories. Google recognizes empty fields. This can be tricky for online businesses that don’t have physical locations. Should you list your home address? Probably not. While your home address is always findable online through a variety of websites, you don’t want potential customers to accidentally come to your home. 

You can, however, get and list a PO Box. You can also just click the right boxes when you’re setting your Google Business profile. One option is to clarify if you are online only or not. If you are online only, you can get around the issue by marking your service area. 

Select the option “I deliver goods and services to my customers” and your business will be listed without an address. After selecting this option, continue and enter your service areas.


2. Verify Your Listing: 

After you list a business, Google will send a verification email to the email you listed. This adds a layer of credibility and trust to your listing because it proves to Google that an imposter isn’t setting up a fake business in someone else’s name. You don’t have to verify your listing, but if you don’t take the time, Google takes it as a sign about your experience and expertise. Google invests a lot in their “EEAT” policy, which stands for expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Trustworthy businesses with experience know the value of working with Google to do whatever they can to increase their SERP ranking. That means verifying a simple listing. The email is sent right away when you submit your profile. So just take an extra minute to verify it. 


3. Use High-Quality Photos:

Upload high-quality images of your business, including  products you sell, your employees performing work duties, the logo, the exterior of your store (so people can spot it), the interior and photos of yourself. Don’t forget photos of happy customers (who give you consent to have their photos taken).  Photos can inspire people to visit or call you.

We offer custom photography packages because photos, which you can reuse on your website and social media, make or break businesses. Also, the size of your photos impacts where you rank on SERP. Photos that are high resolution, meaning very dense in terms of pixels and size, load slowly. When your website loads slowly, Google dings your site a few points, which means you rank lower in SERP. So investing some money in custom photos, that you re-use on multiple platforms, is likely well worth the investment. optimize business profile photos


4. Write a Compelling Business Description: 

Words matter, especially when it comes to differentiating your business from others. Don’t trust AI to write your business description. Your tagline, a concise and informative business description, are the most important words you’ll ever write. Explain what your business does, what sets it apart, and any special offers or services you provide. We work with a team of professional writers to craft messages, whether that’s ads, social media content, blog posts, for Google Business profile texts. AI can do a lot. But writing good and unique text isn’t one of them. Google also has tools to detect writing produced by AI. And they don’t like it. 


5. Include Accurate Business Hours: 

Make sure your business hours are correct, especially if they change seasonally or during holidays. Google usually shows store hours in their featured spots. And nothing makes potential customers angrier than showing up to a store that isn’t open when Google said it was.


6. Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews:

 Customer reviews are part of what’s known as user-generated content (UGC). You want as much UGC online about your store as possible. Ideally, they will all be positive. If reviews are negative, you can flag them and Google may remove them if the content violates one of their policies. You can do this yourself or we’ll monitor all review websites, and social media, for you so that anything bad people say about you online is removed quickly (if the content violates policies).

But let’s focus on the positive. Most of your customers probably like you, and many want to support businesses they like. But writing a review takes time, so you want to encourage people  to leave reviews on your profile or add photos/videos of your store or products. Positive UGC can boost your business’s reputation and ranking in local search results. Respond to reviews, both positive and negative, to show that you value customer feedback. Don’t argue with negative review posters. But explain your customer service policies, or refund policies. If anything, just write, “We value your feedback.” 

You can encourage feedback by offering discounts to people if they post a Google review, or give those who show you a review a free yet inexpensive gift. photos for business profile optimization


7. Add Posts and Updates: 

Google pushes up websites and companies in SERP when the companies add more content to their websites or Google Business profiles. You can do this in profiles by using the “Posts” feature to share news, updates, and sales offers. You can add quick pictures of your employees or products.  This keeps your profile fresh and engaging. One of our main services is to create content for websites. We run a blog on our own site, and often craft blogs for others. We do this because Google can detect when new pages or posts are added to a website. The more new content that is posted, the more Google boosts your site in SERP. More eyeballs=more business. 


8. Allow and Respond to Messages: 

Google Business profiles have a setting you can turn on so that  customers can send messages directly to your business. Turn it on, then be sure to monitor your email and respond to these messages. If you fear you’ll get too many, set up an auto reply that states a timeline during which customers can expect a response. You can even have a separate Google email so that you can messages coming from your Google Business profile separate from all of your other work emails. 


9. Use Google Questions and Answers: 

Customers can ask questions about your business, and then your response will be posted so others can see it.  You may want to have a friend or family member post questions about the most common questions so you don’t have to field a lot of calls about these issues. Such questions usually include hours of operation, forms of a payment accepted, return policies and more. q&a photo for business profile optimization


10. Regularly Check the “Insights” feature: 

When you are logged into your Google account, any time you visit your Google profile it will recognize you. Make sure you are regularly checking the insights tool. This feature is provided by Google to understand how customers are finding and interacting with your profile. This data can help you refine your profile. If you see that everyone is asking you about your store hours, make sure you’ve filled it in your profile. If everyone is checking your reviews, make sure you encourage people to leave some positive feedback. 

By making full use of your Google Business profile, you can increase your visibility in local search results. You want people to visit your store when they’re near it. A complete Google Business profile will help ensure that happens.

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