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October 15, 2021
There are 167 billion searches performed on Google each month. Seems like a lot, right? That’s because it is! Yet, the average Business Profile only averages 1,260 views during that same time — that’s 0.00000075%! Of those 1,260 views, 59 actions are taken totaling less than 5%.
Why does all of this matter? Read on to learn what a Google My Business profile is and why it is essential for your business.
Google is likely the first place your customers search to find important information about your business. Any business today needs targeted visibility on Google. A simple way to do this is to optimize your Google business listing, also known as your Business Profile. The issue is that not nearly enough businesses take full advantage of its features. And why wouldn’t you want to? It’s a snapshot of your business that highlights your best features and enables potential customers to quickly find, learn about, and engage with you. It’s also completely free!
The first step is to claim your business profile — you will need an active Google account to complete this process. Then, enter your business’s address to locate it on a map. Complete every section of your Google My Business account, including selecting primary and secondary categories, marking off applicable attributes, and writing a complete “from the business” description. Verify your account and voilà!
Here are some recommended best practices to optimize the “from the business” section of your Google Business Profile:
Be thorough with your contact information — this is critical for any business that wants to rank high in local organic search results! An optimized Business Profile on Google helps customers choose your business over competitors, but it also maximizes the effectiveness of your local marketing. Local Search Engine Optimization (local SEO) helps you promote your business’ visibility on location-based searches, like a business in a specific area or “near me” searches, where Google picks up the user’s location and provides search results from that specific area. In local SEO, search engines are seeking out relevant and trusted locations.
NAPW stands for name, address, phone, and website. Consistency of these four things across all local listings is widely considered a ranking factor in local SEO. This information should be exactly the same and should follow the same format and spelling everywhere. Consistency is a crucial signal to search engines that your business is legitimate. If search engines find varied details about your company, they are discouraged from showing your listing, making them more likely to provide users with other business listings.
The posts, images, and reviews are ongoing sections. Meaning you should revisit these weekly.
You can post to your Google Business Profile about announcements, offers, events, and products. Posts increase the number of actions taken by customers who find your profile. Posting regularly sends positive ranking signals to Google. Post regularly, remembering that certain post types expire every seven days and include links and calls to action in every post.
Uploading photos to your Business Profile is important to ensure quality, and you can ensure your profile looks its best by adding your own great photos. Uploading photos regularly signals to Google that you are active with your profile, and it is up to date, which positively impacts your ranking. Adding photos also increases engagement. The rule of thumb on this is to add at least one new photo every week. Also, you’ll want to use photos that best represent your brand, so no stock photos.
Reviews are the #1 influence on customer buying, so this is a key ranking factor. Google may also display a Business Profile in search results if it has reviews that contain those keywords. Not sure where to start? Start with your long-time, loyal customers to get the momentum going. Ask! Most customers will write a review if asked. You can ask via email, text, social media, and in-person conversations. Have a “Reviews” page on your website with a call to action to leave one. Respond to your reviews. This is important because it will encourage others to leave reviews. It reveals a lot about your business to potential customers and improves your local SEO.
Finally, unauthorized changes on your Business Profile can lead to major issues with ranking and tracking. It can also show customers the wrong information about your business. In most cases, the unauthorized edits come from your website, 3rd party apps, another owner or manager, or a public user. This is why it’s so important to monitor your Business Profile for unauthorized edits. When you see “Updates from Google” from your dashboard, those edits have already been published. If you see this in your dashboard, review those edits and fix any incorrect information. The longer you have incorrect information on your GMB listing, the more harm it can do to your business.
Your Google My Business should center around providing as much quality information about your business as possible, not only in your Business Profile but in the sources that Google uses to populate it. Google’s goal is to connect users to the best business for their needs through detailed, trusted information. So, focus on using Google My Business to have your Business Profile represent your business as accurately and thoroughly as possible, and then maintain it.
The team of digital marketers at PHOS is ready to help you better understand and utilize Google My Business to your advantage! Let’s connect!