Do you have a brick and mortar store that you would like to promote online? Or are you a software company looking for ways to improve your local search results? If so, then you need to start using Google Business Profile (which used to be called Google My Business). Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows businesses to create a listing for their business on Google.com. This listing can include information such as the company’s name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and more.
- What is Google Business Profile and why should you use it?
Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By creating and verifying your business listing, you can control what information people see when they search for your business on Google. You can also use Google Business Profile to post updates about your business, such as special offers or events. In addition, customers can use Google Business Profile to leave reviews about your business. Reviews can help potential customers learn more about your business, and they can also improve your ranking in search results. For these reasons, it is worth taking the time to set up and verify your Google Business Profile listing.
An example of a Google Business Profile. Notice that it comes up at the same level as their Ads – and we didn’t even pay Google anything for this.
- How to create a listing for your business
Creating a Google Business Profile listing is simple and only takes a few minutes. First, you’ll need to create a Google account if you don’t already have one. Once you’ve done that, go to https://www.google.com/business/ and click “Manage now.” Enter your business name and address, then choose a primary category from the list provided. You’ll also need to verify your listing by phone or mail. Once your listing is created, you can start adding information such as your business hours, website, and photos.
If you don’t have a physical location for your business, you can still create a Google Business Profile listing. Just select “I deliver goods and services to my customers” when asked about your business location. You’ll then be able to enter your service area and choose how you would like customers to contact you.
- What information should be included in your listing
First, make sure to include your business name, address, and phone number. This basic contact information will ensure that potential customers can reach you.
Next, add a brief description of your business. What do you do? What are your unique selling points? Why should potential customers choose you over your competitors? This is your chance to sell yourself, so make sure to include information that will grab attention.
Then, add some photos of your business. Customers like to see what they’re getting before they make a purchase, so including photos is a great way to give them a preview. You can add photos of your products, your store or office, your team at work, or anything else that would be relevant to potential customers.
Finally, don’t forget to include your business hours and website address. Customers need to know when you’re open for business, and they’ll also want to visit your website before they make a purchase. If you don’t have a website, you can still include links to your social media pages or other online listings.
- How to verify your business listing
You will need to enter a verification code that Google will send to your business phone number or mailing address. Once you’ve entered the verification code, your listing will be verified and you can start adding information.
If you don’t have a physical location for your business, you can still verify your listing by mail. To do this, click on the “Verify by Mail” button on the verification page. You’ll then need to enter your business name and address. Google will send a postcard to your mailing address with a verification code. Once you’ve received the postcard, just enter the code on the verification page and your listing will be verified.
- How to optimize your listing for SEO
Once you’ve created and verified your Google Business Profile listing, you can start optimizing it for SEO. Here are a few tips:
– Use keywords in your business name and address if appropriate. This will help potential customers find your listing when they search for businesses like yours. For example, Sharp Guys Web Design is listed as Sharp Guys Indianapolis Web Design because our largest market is here in Indianapolis. Don’t just throw keywords in willy nilly or it is likely to be rejected by Google or seen as spammy.
– Include keywords in your business description. Again, this will help potential customers find your listing when they search for businesses like yours. On this one, feel free to use the keyword and keyword phrase derivatives throughout. Just make sure it doesn’t read like an idiot wrote it that doesn’t know how to use other words. Remember, local folks are going to see this description of your business.
– Add more photos routinely. Google loves showing off imagery for companies – if you don’t have photos of your business because your product or service isn’t physical, get creative. Try to utilize unique imagery – so even if you use stock images, crop it, run it through a filter, etc. Change the file name to something descriptive before uploading it. Unique images are far more worthwhile than stock stuff other people use.
– Encourage your customers to leave reviews. Reviews are a great way to show potential customers that you’re a reputable business. Reach out to clients with your review link so when people go, they are instantly brought to a screen to leave a star rating for your company along with any words they’d like to share. Google provides the code you can use to get reviews on your Google Business Profile page admin area – you’ll find it when you click this button. Note: Google’s policies specifically say you shouldn’t coerce your clients into getting these reviews by giving gift cards, extra services, etc.
Once your clients leave a review, reply to them as the owner. Google likes to see this as it displays owner engagement.
Why All of This Matters
In my estimation, updating your Google Business Profile is the lowest hanging fruit any business can do to make a direct impact on their bottom line. We use a tracking code to figure out how many of our website leads come from Google Business Profile clicks and it turns out, about half. That means a decent amount of our client base was built off the optimization we have done on our Profile over the years – well worth the time and effort it takes to learn the interface and the few tricks and tips above.