Nowadays in order to gain more visibility on Google, local businesses create a Business profile also known as a ‘Google Business listing’. To Utilize your Google Business Profile, you need management and editing capabilities to work as an effective lead generation and Search Engine Optimization tool.
So how to manage your Google Business Profile?
You need to create a separate Google My Business profile to manage your Google Business profile.
Setting up a Google Business Profile is by far the easiest way for people to find a local business on Google search and Google Maps.
With a Google Business profile, you can interact with your customers through messages, showcase your products and services, build customer trust through reviews, understand how your customers find your business, and even specify what health and safety measures you have put in place to protect them.
Formally known as Google My Business, your Google Business profile can be managed and updated directly on the Google search either from your computer or if you are always on the go, using your smartphones makes it easy to make your business information accurate at all times.
Any business, small-scale, mid-scale, or large-scale is eligible for a Google Business profile. The good news is –
- It’s easy to setup
- Takes minutes
- Doesn’t require any particular computer skills
And I almost forgot… it’s also totally FREE!
Having a well-optimized Google Business Profile in 2022 is going to be more important than ever before for every local business.
Let us first understand what Google My Business is.
What is Google My Business?
Google Business profile or Google My Business is a free Business listing from Google. It helps local businesses to manage their online presence across Google search and Google Maps. It allows customers to find your business online. You can verify your business and update your business information on your Google My Business profile.
For example, if you run a business like a restaurant, a medical store, or a retail shop that serves customers at a particular location, your Google Business profile can help them find you. A verified business is considered reputable on Google.
Google My Business profile helps you to claim ownership of your Business profile and also provides you the rights of management. It gives you the right to utilize its free features to gain visibility on Google.
Now that you know Google My Business, let me tell you about Bing business place which will also help you gain visibility for your business.
Why “Bing Business Place” is important for local businesses?
Bing business place is a FREE service that allows you to manage your business listing on Bing Search results and Bing Maps.
- Bing Business Place helps local businesses stand out from their competitors by updating business information like store time, latest pictures of storefront and interiors, etc.
- To ensure that your users always see the accurate and latest information about your business, you might want to add your business listing on Bing search and maps. It allows you to edit the Business name, address, map location, contact details, website, etc.
- It provides tips on how to make your business listing more visible.
As a local business owner, you should take advantage of both services. Google remains a dominant search engine, but the search behavior of users is constantly evolving and millions of internet users turn to Bing to help them navigate. Bing commands billions of people and high-intent searches per month.
How to optimize your Google My Business profile?
Google Business profile optimization is the key to getting found in local search. An optimized Business profile can improve the engagement of customers, boost the local ranking to provide more visibility with your business, and convert more leads.
Here are the ideas to turn your Google business profile into a 24*7 lead-generating tool for your business.
1. Set up a Google My Business account
Firstly, understand that the Google business profile and Google My Business account are separate entities. In order to optimize your Business profile, you need to create a Google My Business account and later connect it with your Google Business profile.
To create a Google My Business account
- Search for Google.com/business
- Sign in with the Gmail account you use for business
Once you create your business profile, don’t forget to claim your Google business listing on Google maps. It helps your local business to get found.
2. Fill in every section
Completeness of your Business profile helps Google to rank you higher in local searches. You can provide the latest and updated business information to gain trust and build a reputation.
Some of the important aspects of your business profile that need to be filled right away are:
- Business name
- Opening hours/ working hours
- Products and services
- Posts and reviews
- Questions and answers
- “From the business” description
3. Verify your business
Once the profile is created, get your Business verified. To verify your business head to Google.com/business and click on “Start Now”. Verification makes sure that the information in your Google Business listing is correct.
The information includes your business name, address, phone number, website URL, and store time.
Google will send you a verification code which you will have to enter on the website. You can get the verification code by postcard or a phone call, further instructions will be provided after you create your business profile.
4. Include high-resolution photos
Google likes visual content, so utilizing plenty of good quality photos of your business inside and outside.
To add photos to your Google My Business profile, select the photo tab, click “add photos” and choose the photos you want to upload.
Points to remember:
- Add a high-quality cover photo that will represent your brand.
- Showcase different aspects of your business such as products, services, and storefront.
- The standard photo size is 800×600 pixels (Photos smaller than 800×600 will be enlarged to fit the screen and larger images will be cropped to fit the space)
5. Use keywords in your profile
Use of the relevant keywords in your Google business profile is one of the important optimization tips. This will help customers to find local businesses like yours while they are searching on search engines. Include keywords that are most relevant to your business such as services and products you offer or the location of your store.
There are two areas where the use of keywords plays a vital role in getting your business found
- “Name” field: Name field is important because it serves as a link to your business profile.
- “Description” field: Adding keywords in the description field helps your profile show up for related searches. Description area is that place that potential customers will see when they find you in search results.
6. Enable messaging
This feature allows customers to directly send a text message through your Google Business profile.
This is a great opportunity for consumers to get in touch with you.
7. Performance measurement
Monitoring your Google My Business profile on a regular basis is very important. You can set up alerts via Google My Business account. If someone leaves a review you will get a notification on your phone or desktop.
Check how things are working, how many views or clicks you are getting, and whether the visibility is increasing or decreasing. By checking GMB listings you can make required changes in your business plan.
8. Get customer reviews
Reviews from your customer play an important role to show your business higher in search results. If you get a list of search results for a restaurant, which one would you choose? The one with a 5 yellow star rating or the one with a 1-star rating with no reviews at all?
Reviews are the influence customer choice, so this is the key ranking factor in Google’s algorithm.
Keep in mind –
- Always have Good ratings and customer reviews
- While asking for reviews from customers, keep it polite.
- Thank your customers who post a review, whether the reviews are good or bad.
9. Ask and answer questions
Google offers a feature “Questions & Answers” on your Google Business profiles. Answering the questions in this section will give potential customers confidence that you are a credible business.
You can do this simply by logging in to your Google My Business Profile and going to your “Questions & Answers” section.
This guide will help you to know how to make your Google My Business listing accurate and complete. Follow the above steps and you will reap its benefits. It will help you to improve your ranking in local search results.
Have you tried optimizing your Google Business profile? Share your tips in the comment section below.