Important Optimizations for Google My Business for 2020
Businesses today need to be highly visible on Google to boost their prospects. This means you need to optimize Google Ads and your website. In addition, there is another aspect that also requires optimizing: your business listing on Google. This entity is called your business profile and it is a robust listing that provides a quick picture of your company.
It showcases your brand’s best elements and allows potential consumers to swiftly find and engage with your business from the search results pages. The best part is this service is totally free.
About 167 billion monthly searches are conducted on Google, however, on average a business profile gets just 1,260 views a month, according to a study by BrightLocal. What’s worse, consumers make a mere 59 actions from these 1,260 views. Google My Business offers loads of features but most businesses are not utilizing them properly. To help you, this article offers effective optimization strategies for the platform.
You can use the optimizations to make your Google business profile a great customer acquisition solution. Note that your business listing on Google is known as your business profile, so we’ll use this term throughout this article.
Why It’s Essential to Refine Your Business Profile on Google
An optimized Google business profile enables consumers to select your brand over competitors. There are also other advantages which we detail below:
Today, Google’s search results web pages offer the answers consumers need. So, they need not access your business website at all. This makes it vital to optimize your business profile to boost conversions and engagement.
Improve Your Local Rank
Google’s business profile ranking algorithm considers relevance and proximity as well as the quality of info and activity. Optimizing your profile signals these to Google so it will improve your ranking in local search results. A higher rank means more visibility and engagement with your brand. Further, optimizing your profile can assist your business to get a higher ranking on search results on Google as well as Google Maps.
Convert More Consumers
An optimized profile can enable consumers to find you via keyword searches, visit your site, call you, research your services and products, view FAQs, request quotes, make reservations, book appointments, and more. In addition, you can monitor clicks to your menu link, appointment, or website using Google Analytics and UTMs.
How to Refine Your Business Profile on Google
Thus, optimizing your business profile can help you get discovered in local searches, stand above the competition, and acquire consumers online. Read to learn how you can convert your business profile on Google into an effective lead generation and marketing solution for your company.
Create an Account First
Your business profile on Google is different from your account on Google My Business. You can use the latter to access and refine the former. Therefore, to utilize the optimizations discussed in this post, you need to connect your account on Google My Business to your company profile. You can easily create your account by visiting Google.com/business and using your business Gmail/Google account.
Complete All Sections
You need to make your business profile complete to help Google give you a higher ranking in search results. It also raises the number of actions taken by consumers when they discover your profile. Ensure to complete the following points in your profile: Name, phone, address, hours, and website.
The following sections take more thought and time: services and products, attributes and categories, queries, and answers (business-generated) and from our business. In addition, complete these ongoing sections: reviews, posts, and queries and answers (customer-generated).
Provide Meticulous Contact Details
Follow these steps to optimize your contact details in your profile:
Ensure your company name is the same one that you utilize on your shop signage. In short, it should be your real-world business name. Do not add keywords or location name as Google considers them spam and may penalize you.
Ensure your company name and location address are exactly the same as in your other web listings. This means you should consistently use “company” vs “co” and “street“ vs “st”. Google’s algorithm considers these inconsistencies while evaluating your credibility.
Provide both your holiday and regular hours. This tells consumers when they can visit you and helps them avoid the disappointment of going to a closed store.
“From Our Business” Explanation
Google creates the short description below your company name in your profile and you have no control over it. It is an editorial summary written by Google to ensure the platform is consistent. You need not worry about this as Google does an expert job in crafting the descriptions.
However, you can control the “from our business” description in your account dashboard on Google My Business. This portion appears in the section for reviews in your business profile.
You can refine the “from our business” description by:
Using all the allotted 750 characters. Provide important info in the initial 250 characters.
Utilizing keywords used by your audience to find companies like yours.
Rephrasing material from your mission statement or “About Us” web page.
Do not reiterate any detail already provided in your profile’s other sections. Use this portion to reveal your brand’s unique aspects and why consumers like your business and product.
Do not include HTML or links
Select a Category
It’s essential to choose a category for the following reasons:
Become visible in discovery web searches. Discovery searches contribute to 84 percent of Google business profile views. It means the user found a relevant business profile after searching for a categorical term, service, or product. In contrast, just 16 percent comes from direct web searches (the user types the business address or name). This is true especially for companies with names that do not reveal their service, for example, Amelia’s Catering or Fresh Express.
Showcase category-specific functions. Next, you can use category-specific tools offered by Google to make your business profile more effective and attractive. For instance, restaurants can offer a reservation button or menu; hair salons may confirm they can manage curly or thin hair. This information can help users to select your service or product over the competition.
Google presents a set category number, so it’s vital to select relevant ones. You can do that with the following tips:
Be specific about your business. Nail salons should not select just “Salon” but “Nail Salon.” Similarly, restaurants should not just choose “Restaurant” but “American Restaurant,” “Egyptian Restaurant,” etc. As you type, you’ll get a list of categories from which you can choose the most appropriate one. Note that more than 3,000 business categories are presented.
Select secondary categories. A lot of companies fall into several categories. Your main offering should be your primary business category (for instance, “Grocery Store”). Next, select applicable secondary categories like “Gourmet Grocery Shop” or “Grocery Delivery Business”.
Choose Applicable Attributes
After you select a business category, Google will present an attributes list that you can use to describe your company. Attributes are features sought by potential customers such as “free wi-fi” or “onsite gift shop”. Google offers granular attributes such as “ideal for travelers” or “ great for using on a laptop”.
Uploading pictures to your profile is important for the following reasons:
Get quality images. You can get quality pictures because anyone can upload images to your profile. You can make your profile more attractive by adding great photos.
Be active. Regularly adding images tells Google’s algorithm that you actively update your profile, which can boost your rank.
Images appear in search results. Google uses image recognition capability and includes pictures in local search results.
Improve engagement. Google research indicates that consumers are more likely to ask for driving guidance to a company as well as more likely to visit its website if its profile hosts photos. In addition, a study by BrightLocal reveals that firms with over 100 images get 1065 percent more site clicks, 2717 percent more driving direction requests, and 520 percent more calls compared to the average company.
Get Customer Reviews
Businesses that have positive user reviews and a good star rating are likelier to attract more consumers. In addition, the Google algorithm gives importance to customer reviews and uses it as a key factor for ranking. For most Google searches, businesses with impressive star ratings and multiple reviews appear in the top three results. Additionally, if reviews contain relevant keywords, Google could show the profile in user search results.
Use these tips to include reviews in your profile:
Begin with your loyal, long-time customers to obtain momentum.
Enable customers to easily provide reviews by giving them a shortcut link to the section.
Ask your customers to offer a review via phone, social media, text, or email.
Remind users that reviews help other consumers to make an informed buying decision.
Include a “Reviews” web page on your site with a request to provide one.
Be responsive to reviews. The feedback can enhance your local SEO, give a good impression about your company to prospects, and motivate users to leave their own reviews.
Keep in mind that Google does not allow you to provide incentives in order to get reviews.
Post On Your Profile
Similar to social media sites, you can post on your business profile on Google about products, events, offers, announcements, etc. These posts appear in the Updates portion of the profile. They can become more visible based on relevant searches. The advantages of posts are as follows:
They raise the number of activities done by users who discover your profile.
Regular posts indicate that you are proactive in Google similar to adding images.
Users are more intent while searching compared to browsing other posting sites like Instagram and Facebook, where they scroll at leisure. Therefore, they are more likely to interact with your posts on Google.
Customers can track your company’s profile and obtain notifications about updates and new posts.
Finally, your posts could show on Maps, which earns your business free local advertising.
Similar to Amazon, Google offers a specific section for queries and answers in business profiles. Customers can use the answers to learn more about your service or product. Anyone can ask a query as well as provide an answer in this section so it’s essential to optimize and edit it. Otherwise, it can create inaccurate info on your business profile.
You cannot turn off this Q&A tool on your profile, but you can optimize it in the following ways:
Configure alerts to get notifications on new queries and replies posted on your business profile.
Select your own Q&As from the frequently asked queries your company gets. Then, you can ask queries and reply to customer questions on your profile. Google encourages this type of proactive action.
Use relevant keywords in the queries and answers to improve your profile’s rank for those keywords. However, don’t stuff keywords but utilize them organically and loosely while optimizing the Q&A section.
Seed and track the Q&A section to minimize common entry barriers, showcase your top features, and ensure accurate info.
Note: Currently, Google has made the Q&A part inaccessible in most profiles because of the COVID-19 situation, so it may not appear in your profile for some time.
Add Services and Products
Adding services and products is especially useful if your company name does not indicate what you offer. Filling this section adds new content and material to your business profile and helps its ranking for pertinent searches.
When including products and services, add the name, price, and description. The searcher can click on the item to see the complete description. Further, Google could link to your items from the category section.
This function allows searchers to text to your phone straight from your profile. 92 percent of millennials and 82 percent of mobile phone shoppers use their devices for local searches. Therefore, this feature is important to enable consumers to contact you.
To facilitate messaging, you can choose the “Messaging” button in your account dashboard. You can install the relevant iOS or Android app for the purpose.
Two points to note about messaging:
You need not display your personal number as Google’s Allo application will allot you a separate number
Ensure to configure notifications so that you get alerts for new messages. For this, check the “Customer messages” option in the settings section of your dashboard.
Utilize an effective strategy to maintain your profile
It’s an ongoing task to keep your business profile on Google up-to-date so you can improve your benefits. Perform the following actions regularly:
Update even minor information like alteration in suite number
Upload images and publish posts every week
Ensure to get a steady flow of reviews
Track and respond to the reviews
Monitor new features to maximize the potential of your profile
To sum up, ensure your business profile on Google provides quality info about your company to searchers. We do not know all the ranking factors used by Google, but we are aware that the platform’s main goal is to help searchers find the best company for their requirements through trusted, detailed information. Therefore, focus on optimizing your profile so that it represents your brand in a thorough and accurate manner. Then, ensure to continue to maintain and update your profile to reap rich benefits.