Are you a business owner?
Do you have a physical store?
Is your answer yes to both questions? Then, read on and get useful tips for getting the most out of your Google My Business profile!
Google My Business is a free tool from Google where you can provide all useful details of your physical business, such as location, services, products, reviews and more.
Using this free tool, it is a great way to increase your visibility across the platform!
What are the benefits for my business?
First of all, to get discovered in Google and Google Maps. It’s safe to say that still more than 90% of all searches happen on Google, so if you want to attract new customers: be there or be square! Next to that, a Google My Business profile also improves your local SEO. You will more likely appear when someone searches for a nearby business in Google Maps, especially when you keep your information up-to-date!
If you have your own profile, this means you’re also in control of your own online business information. Make sure to keep your customers in the loop about important changes to your store.
Last but not least, it’s a great way to build up trust with potential customers through reviews.
Sounds great, so how do I start?
Step 1: Create an account
Go to Google Business Profile Manager and create your own account. For this, you will need a Google account.
Step 2: Add your business
Enter your business name and select the most fitting category for your business.
Step 3: Enter your location
Add your business address and position a marker on the map.
Step 4: Fill in your contact information
Fill in your business phone number and website address so that customers can reach you. Phone number is not obligatory but highly recommended.
Step 5: Verify your business
Enter your own mailing address (not the one from the store) to get verified by Google. This address is obviously not displayed to the public. Most physical stores will then receive a verification code via a postcard. Other businesses can get verified by phone, SMS or email. Once you have received the code, fill it in and get a confirmation of your verification.
Step 6: Customise your profile
Enter all additional information like business hours, descriptions, photos and more.
Done! Now how do I make the most out of it?
Google determines local search ranking based on three factors:
- Relevance: does your listing match a search query?
- Distance: is your location nearby the searcher?
- Prominence: how well-known is your business?
Here are some tips to work on all three elements and make sure you maximise your ranking score:
- Complete all elements of your profile:
Google says that “businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches” and therefore improve the relevance factor of the ranking score.
- Verify your location:
Make sure to not skip the verification step (step 5) in the account set-up. By doing this, your location will be more likely to show in local search results. This will therefore improve the distance factor of the ranking score.
- Add real images and videos of your business:
Like you build up your brand on social media, it’s important to translate this as well in your Google My Business profile. Add images and videos that tell the story of your brand and store. Make sure to include as much as possible: team members, work environment, products, etc.
- Include keywords in your profile:
Want to improve the relevance factor of the score? Well, make sure to use the right keywords in your description. Not sure where to start? Try Google Trends, Keyword Planner or just simply ask the Dotters ;-)
- Encourage and answer reviews & questions:
A good review can be the deciding factor for turning a potential customer into an actual customer. Reviews will also help you improve your ranking score in Google. Google even provides a direct link to ask customers to review your business. How? Go to the dashboard (home), click on ‘Share review form’ and share the link of the form with your recent customers (via email address).
Don’t forget that you can’t turn off reviews on your page, since this shows that your business is legitimate. If you receive a negative review, simply respond to that in a professional way, be honest and apologise for the inconvenience.
- Keep your business information up to date:
To avoid frustration or angry customers, make sure to always keep your business information up to date. Changing opening hours during holidays is a good example.
- Add special features and attributes:
Such as ratings and check-in/out times for hotels, menu and meal photos for restaurants, buttons like “order pickup” or “order delivery” for food businesses, etc.
You can choose up to 10 categories for your business.
Also adding attributes like “free wi-fi”, “wheelchair friendly” and “payment methods” are a great way to give more information to a customer!
- Add your products:
If you sell products, make sure to add an up-to-date inventory to your profile. Those products can then even appear in Google Shopping!
Well done, you now have a super optimised profile on Google My Business and are ready to boost traffic to your store!
Still need some help with some of our best practices? Reach out to us and we’re happy to help.