Google My Business: 9 Tips to Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Is your business googleable? It should be, and in fact, it's crucial you ensure your business is optimized on Google. In this blog post, I'll share 9 tips to optimize your Google Business Profile.
There are a lot of ways to optimize your business and ensure you rank high in Google search. Like many business owners, you may know the importance of website optimization, but becoming googleable can depend on more than using smart keywords and links on your website. Enter your Google Business Listing, or Google Business Profile, as Google officially refers to it. A complete and accurate Google Business Profile provides current and potential customers with a comprehensive overview of your business offerings, location, and contact information.
What makes your Business Profile so powerful is that it appears directly on the SERP - Search Engine Results Page - putting your business one click away from prospective clients. Plus, with your free Business Profile, you can manage how your business appears in Google Search and Maps.
Here are 9 tips to optimize your Google Business Profile.
1. Create or claim your Business Profile
First things first: think of your Google My Business account as the platform from where you will create and maintain your Business Profile. You can create a free account at google.com/business and sign in with your business Gmail address, not your personal Gmail.
2. Fill out every section of your Google My Business account - in detail!
In short, having a complete and accurate Business Profile helps your business rank higher in local search results. There are a lot of sections to complete, as each tab on the left-hand side of your Google My Business account, has its own set of sections. Pay special attention to the following sections:
Primary and Secondary Categories
From the Business
Q&A (Both owner and customer-generated)
*It’s important to note here that you’ll want to ensure your business name matches your business signage and other mentions across the web.
3. Select categories and attributes
Google has a number of categories for you to choose from. Be as specific as possible, and add a secondary category if necessary. Once you’ve selected applicable categories, Google will provide a list of attributes to further describe your business. Think of attributes as things your potential clients want, like “free wi-fi” or “delivery”.
4. Add photos and videos
Adding quality photos and videos to your Business Profile is an important way to both increase engagement and have your images and videos rank in Google search results. Consider adding photos and videos on a regular basis to show you have an active and updated Business Profile.
5. Ask customers for Google reviews
Google reviews are extremely important when it comes to optimizing your Business Profile. You’re more likely to use a company that has great reviews than a company with no reviews, and Google understands this. In fact, reviews that contain specific keywords relating to your business offerings can help your business appear higher in search results. Remember: responding to reviews is just as important as the reviews themselves!
6. Answer some frequently asked questions
Let’s break it down real simple: Google allows anyone to ask and answer questions on a Business Profile....anyone! So, you can imagine why this is an important step to take when optimizing your Google Business Profile. Here are some steps you can take for Q&A’s:
Set up alerts so you’ll be notified when someone asks a question or provides an answer.
Create your own set of questions and answers - think of the most frequently asked questions your business gets.
7. Set up messaging
This allows customers who are viewing your listing to message you directly. This way, you can respond to questions and quickly connect. Don’t worry, Google does not display your personal phone number. Messaging works via the Google Allo app, which provides a different phone number. Make sure you enable alerts for messages in your Google My Business dashboard.
8. Keep your Business Profile up-to-date
Have you moved? Did you change your contact information? Are you offering a new service? It’s important you regularly update your Business Profile so customers and potential clients have access to an accurate business listing.
9. Post to your Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile allows you to post offers, special events, products, and announcements. Take advantage of this feature, as these posts will be included in your Business Profile, and will be visible via Google Search and Maps. Be sure to include a call-to-action with your posts, and set specific post timelines - perfect for limited-time-only offers.