There are at least 8.5 billion Google searches per day. Seems overwhelming, right? These numbers say about the extent of people’s dependency on Google in their daily lives. Google holds around 92% of the search engine market share. Thus, it is directly evident that having a Google Local Business profile is important to keep your business running regardless of whether you have an online store or a brick-and-motor store.
But, how do you create a Google Business Profile? What is Google My Business? Can users get local directions to your physical store? How can you take customer testimonials and display them on the Google local business profile? Please hold on for a few more minutes and you will get answers to all of these questions.
The first step in making your business online is to create a Google Business profile account and optimize it for a search engine to help people find your business locally. In this article, we offer techniques to optimize GBP and improve your business local presence. Let’s go get it without any delay.
What is Google My Business?
Google Business Profile is a free business listing practice on Google that lets you provide basic details and images of your business, including your location, products, and services. By creating your Google Profile for business, you increase the chances of website visibility across Google services. All the business information you have entered may appear in Google Search, Google Maps, Google Shopping, etc.
Is Google Business Profile worth it?
Well, here’s what the stats say:
- 64% of consumers use Google Business Profile or Google my Business to locate the address of the businesses they are willing to visit.
- 42% of marketers revealed that Google is emerging as the homepage for local companies. Still not convinced? Scroll down for more statistics.
- The top three factors that influence the consumer’s decision:
- Photos: 24%
- Google Reviews: 21%
- The position on the Search Engine Results Page: 21%
Please note that you can create your Google Business Profile is possible only if your business has a physical location or can provide services by meeting with clients in other locations. If you have an online business only, then you can use only Google Ads and Analytics.
Here are the top ways to improve your business visibility using a Google local business:
A well-crafted Google Business Profile can serve as a free advertising method to improve your store’s visibility and drive web traffic. We have listed down some of the top techniques to improve your company’s local presence:
1. Keep track of updates from Google
Google constantly reviews all the Google Business Profile (GBP) accounts to spot inaccurate or outdated information. If anything goes wrong with your account or it hasn’t been updated in a while, Google provides suggestions to improve your profile.
Any information related to your business will be monitored by Google and you will receive updates for GBP, Maps, or any other platform. However, the updates aren’t visible to you until you accept them manually in your GBP account. Enabling the updates will allow Google to offer suggestions and improve your business presence.
2. Evaluate messages
Users can now directly message you from your Google Business Profile. All you have to do is log in to your Business Profile and follow the step-by-step instructions under the “Messages” section.
- Once your message button goes live, make sure to respond to customer messages within 24 hours. Otherwise, Google deactivates your messaging button.
- Google uses GBP messaging as a method to measure the trust and reliability of a business. The higher customer trust your business has, the better your local presence increases.
- Also, if you respond quickly, Google rewards you by informing the customers about your average response time.
- If Google tells your customers that you take only a few minutes or hours to respond, more customers are likely to engage with your business.
Thus, your brand gets an improved local presence. You can quickly manage your business profile using Google “My Business” mobile app from the play store.
3. Publish images
The above chart shows how image optimization improves your Google Business Profile visibility and brand reach. On adding photos and optimizing them frequently, you get 520% more calls, 2717% more direction requests, and 1065% more website clicks. Nothing works better than adding photos to your GBP to attract the audience.
Photos are an excellent way to let your customers know that your business is legit and trustworthy. Photos provide a visual look at your store, product, or service. It thus helps users to understand what your company is and what it can offer.
- You should post high-quality images frequently but, make sure not to include stock photos that are against Google’s policy.
- It was found that businesses with frequently posted photos received higher direction requests than those without photos. Profiles are likely to get higher engagement rates with more pictures.
4. Reply to reviews
Reviews are great ways to improve your business presence using Google Business Profile (GBP). For a while, assume that you are the customer and are looking for a contractor. Several contractors are available in your vicinity. But, you aren’t sure about whom to choose. If you are inexperienced in the industry, you may have no idea whether the claims on the contractor’s website are accurate or whether they are legit contractors. Reviews are the best way to learn about a business using third-party confirmation.
5. Don’t try to use spammy tactics
Being the most powerful search engine in the world, Google is smart enough to detect when someone is using illegal techniques like automating content, creating doorway pages, keyword stuffing, buying reviews, etc. to cheat the system. Potential customers will recognize and trust honest reviews. Google and review sites know when you have paid some websites to provide fake five-star reviews for your business.
- Review sites detect spammy reviews and are more likely to flag your website as dishonest website.
- The flag is displayed as a popup whenever users visit your website. Thus, they are warned not to trust your site when the users visit one of your pages.
- The same thing happens when the business offers incentives for people to leave positive GBP reviews. It may severely backfire on your online reputation.
- Consequently, customers may not share their honest reviews even in case of negative experiences.
6. Respond to negative reviews
Here’s how responding to negative reviews or comments affects local businesses:
From the infographics, it can be interpreted that over 89% of users are more likely to use a business that responds to its customer’s reviews without fail.
Instead of spending your money on the wrong tactics, you can improve customer trust and in turn your site’s visibility by responding to negative reviews and assisting your customers in resolving their issues.
- Keep track of your customers consistently. If anything goes wrong, be polite, understand and address it to make sure that people leave your business with a smile.
- Remember that there is no business in this world that has only positive reviews.
- When your website gets negative reviews online, reach out to the customers to apologize and empathize with them. It gives a message to the public that you care about your customers.
7. Make use of Google Tools
Google comes with tons of tools that can help you boost your local business profile visibility online. One of them is Google Marketing Kit.
- Google Marketing Kit allows you to create free stickers, posters, and social media posts for promoting your business.
- You can also create witty and engaging posters of your positive reviews, featuring blurbs from the text and share across social media platforms to grab users’ attention.
- Once your GBP profile is created, users can follow your local business profile just like they would do on Facebook or Instagram. Followers can get access to your company’s latest social media posts, offers, blog posts, events, and product updates.
- Using the Google Posts tool, you can advertise new coupons, deals, and events. It allows you to include images, videos, and creative call-to-action buttons to drive user engagement. Google Posts offers analytics where you can learn how users interacted with your posts and use the data to create better posts next time.
While this is not everything that works always, new techniques come up each day. You are recommended to experiment, learn and implement the best practices. Once your Google local business profile is optimized for the Google search engine, customers can easily find out your business locally, thus you get higher traffic and in turn better visibility online. Hope this article helped you. Follow SEO Board for more of this type of content and get ahead of the curve. Thanks for reading!