Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is a great tool for getting local leads. It’s also an underused tool – many businesses just claim their profile and then forget about it. On the other extreme, some businesses over-optimize their profile, resulting in Google suspending their profile. So is Google Business Profile even worth your effort?
Google Business Profile is perhaps the best tool to help with local leads. Its main purpose is to provide local search results – you’ll notice this in the “three pack” in Google search results as shown below:
Since Google Business Profile is part of Google Maps and all about local search, not all businesses are eligible. For example, stores and restaurants are ideal candidates for local search because they have a physical location where potential customers can come to. Plumbers and electricians are also ideal because they have a service area where they will go onsite to a customer’s home or business.
Virtual businesses, including web designers that work out of their homes, are typically not good candidates for Google Business Profile. Many virtual businesses try to get around this by using a P.O. box or a virtual address at a UPS store. This is in violation of the terms and conditions for Google Business Profile, so these profiles will get suspended when Google performs its regular checks. Another workaround is to use a home address, but most people don’t want a photo of their home showing up when people search for their business. JVF Solutions does have a physical office where we regularly have in-person client meetings, so that’s why we’re able to have a Google Business Profile.
How to Get Started:
You can’t attract leads if you don’t have a profile. So, if you haven’t already, claim your Google Business Profile. This will give you control over the information that appears in your profile and allow you to make updates as needed. If you’re not sure how to claim your business, type it into Google Maps to see if it’s already listed. If it is, click on “Claim my business” and follow the instructions. You’ll also find an option to add your business in the menu. If you need help, set up a complimentary consultation with us and we’ll walk you through it – at no cost!
Complete Every Section of Your Google Business Profile:
It’s important that you fill out every section of your Google Business Profile, including your business name, address, phone number, website URL, hours of operation, and business category. This will help ensure that your profile is complete and accurate. It’s also important that you make sure that your contact information is accurate and up-to-date. This includes your business phone number, email address, and physical address.
Make sure that you add primary and secondary categories. You want to choose categories that best describe your business. This will help ensure that your profile appears in relevant search results. Just make sure that what you’re selecting is accurate as not having accurate data can get your account suspended. Also, select any applicable attributes for your business, such as whether you offer free Wi-Fi or have wheelchair accessibility.
Finally, write a complete “from the business” description that accurately describes your business and what you offer. Be sure to include relevant keywords in your description as it will help improve your search engine rankings.
Add Content to Your Profile:
Publish regular Google posts to keep your profile fresh and up-to-date. These posts can include news about your business, special promotions, or other relevant information. We like to post things like team updates, links to blog posts, and examples of our work.
In addition to the images you can add to posts, you can also add photos to your Google Business Profile. Again, consider adding photos of your products or services, as well as photos of your team or location.
Google Business profile also gives you the option to list your products and/or services. So take the time to add in at least three or four (and add more periodically if you can). The more content you add, the better (provided it is useful and accurate content).
Be sure to answer any questions that customers may have about your business in a timely manner. This will help build trust with potential customers and improve your search engine rankings. There is one caveat here is scammers will often reach out to businesses via their Google Business Profile.
Set Up Messaging:
Messaging is another great way for potential customers to contact you. It provides text-based messaging similar to sending texts on your phone, however, you’re responding as your business. The same caveat from above also applies here.
Collect and respond to reviews:
This is the primary reason many businesses use Google Business Profile. Having several positive reviews will help attract new clients. So encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile. But also respond to those reviews in a timely manner – especially if it’s a negative review. Address the issue, correct it if you can, and then contact the reviewer to update their review if things got fixed.
Maintain your Business Profile:
Finally, make sure that you maintain your Google Business Profile on an ongoing basis. Every month or two, visit your profile and make sure the information is accurate. If you’ve got new products or services, add them to your profile. You can even do this while making content updates such as adding posts or photos.
Google Business Profile is a tool that few businesses fully take advantage of. If you follow these tips, you’ll start noticing results within a few months (unfortunately, it doesn’t happen overnight). If you have any questions or need any help with setting up your Google Business Profile and/or optimizing it, please contact us. We can even set up a 30-minute no-cost no-obligation consultation where we’ll help you get started.