Working with hundreds of businesses on their Google Listings, there hasn’t been one scenario where they did not have Google Business Profile. If your business has a physical location, it’s one of the first things you’ll have set up. Formally known as “Google My Business“, as you know helps put your physical location onto Google, Google Maps, and Google Street View. So how do you benefit your Google Page so you can separate yourself from other businesses? Well to keep it simple, Optimize your listing, get customer reviews, and make sure all your other online platforms sync and match your Google Business Profile. I’ll speak more below on some tips that will help you gain some ranking over your pesky competitors.
In this blog post, we’ll cover some of the best strategies for optimizing your page after you’ve finished setting up your Google Business Profile.
Claim other popular online listings
Once you’ve set up your Google Business Profile, you should claim your other online listings on sites like Bing Places, Yelp, Apple Maps, TripAdvisor, and Facebook. These listings can help improve your visibility in local search results and provide more information about your business to potential customers. Plus it helps a bit with SEO, search engines look for consistency among online directories. However, it was not as powerful as it once was since people started spamming every directory possible. So just get yourself on the top 10 or so, and you should be set.
Optimize your website to match your Profile
Make sure your website (schema) is optimized for local search by including your business’s name, address, and phone number on every page. Schema is a structured data vocabulary that helps search engines better understand the content on your website. When used in conjunction with your Google Business Profile, schema can help improve your profile’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) by providing search engines with detailed information about your business, such as your address, hours of operation, and customer reviews. This can ultimately help attract more customers to your business.
Get reviews from customers
Customer reviews can help improve your visibility in local search results and provide social proof to potential customers. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile and other online listings. Google did say you can’t pay for reviews so watch out for that. Just give customers more reasons and reminders to leave a Google Review. You don’t have to be pesky, but persistence does help. Usually asking the first time they will forget, so if there is an opportunity in an e-mail or a flyer may give you a slightly better chance. Customers usually leave reviews when they are really upset or delighted by your business. So if you can do the little extra to make your customers feel awesome, your reviews will come naturally.
Add your own Photos and Videos
Customers can add their own images and video to your Google Profile, however not all of them are Foodie Bloggers are knowledgeable photographers. Although it does help to have user-generated content, it’s better when you have a newer listing to add your professional imagery yourself. If you own a restaurant, there’s a big draw to having a well-lit image of your food over a sometimes dark or unclear of your food. If you own a gym, customers can sometimes post sloppy images or messy change rooms. So it helps a lot that you can combat these with what your business actually looks like. If you’re hiring a Google-Trusted Photographer for Virtual Tours, ask them about adding some still imagery to your business profile as well.
Use Google Posts
Google Posts are a great way to provide fresh content to your audience and promote your business directly on Google search results and Google Maps. It doesn’t always show up all the time clearly unless people are searching for you, but it does help a lot. Creating and publishing posts regularly shows you are active on Google (which Google algorithms seem to like). Plus you can keep your audience up-to-date on your latest offerings, promotions, and events. It’s also an effective way to improve your visibility on Google search results and stand out a bit more.
Monitor your online reputation
Monitoring your online reputation as a business is important because it allows you to stay on top of what people are saying about your business and address any negative feedback or comments. There are a bunch of ways to monitor your online reputation, including setting up Google Alerts to receive notifications whenever your brand is mentioned online, regularly checking reviews on business directories and social media platforms, and monitoring your social media accounts for comments and messages. It is important to respond professionally and not generically. I’ve seen many businesses repeat the same paragraph over and over. When you do respond, try to respond the next day when your emotions are cooled. Although it sucks, since it’s online for everyone to read, keep in mind the customer is right and don’t blame or shame them.
Use Google Search Console and Google Analytics
Setting up Google Search Console and Google Analytics for your website is important because it provides valuable insights into how your website is performing and how people are finding and interacting with it. Google Search Console helps you monitor your website’s presence in Google search results, identify and fix technical issues, and optimize your content for better search engine rankings. Google Analytics provides valuable data about your website traffic, user behavior, and conversions, which can help you make informed decisions about your marketing strategy and website design.
Use local and niche business directories
Submit your business to local business directories, such as Chamber of Commerce websites or local business associations. These directories can provide valuable backlinks to your website and improve your visibility in local search results. If you’re in the food industry, do a quick search of restaurant directories, if you’re in the service industry, do a quick search for service directories etc…. oh and the Better Business Bureau helps validate your business as trustworthy and credible too.
Get a Google Virtual Tour
Google Virtual Tour is a 360-degree interactive experience that allows potential customers to virtually walk through and explore your business online. It provides an immersive experience that can help increase engagement, build trust, and ultimately drive more customers to your business.
In addition to the visual appeal, Google Virtual Tour is an essential tool to optimize your Google Business Profile. By adding a virtual tour, your business becomes more visible on Google search results, Google Maps, and Google Street View. It also enhances your online presence and provides potential customers with a comprehensive view of your business, giving them a better understanding of what you offer and helping to increase their confidence in your business. The official Google Tour is a powerful way to attract more customers, build trust, and stand out from the competition. Any questions about setting up a 360 Tour you can ask here.
Use Google My Business Insights
Use the insights provided by Google My Business to track your page’s performance and identify areas for improvement. To make the most of Google Insights, start by regularly reviewing the data to identify trends and patterns in how people are interacting with your business. Use this information to make informed decisions about how to optimize your profile and better engage with your audience. For example, if you notice that a large percentage of your traffic is coming from mobile devices, you may want to prioritize optimizing your profile for mobile users. Or the ones I pay attention to a lot to is the Call-to-Action buttons (Calls, map directions, website clicks), monitor these and see how they are growing. By using this tool to gain insights into your audience and their behaviors, you can see what is working and what areas you may have to focus on.
I provided a lot of little tidbits that will help you get on your way. Optimizing your page after setting up your Google Business Profile is an important step in improving your local SEO (Search engine optimization). The truth is, from what I’ve seen, that many newer, growing businesses now invest heavily in SEO and Search Engine Marketing. So it’s best you get a team member to work on this for you (it’s a lot of work). If you can’t afford one, hiring a young staff member that is good with this technical jargon can help, and give them split responsibilities. Or if you can afford it, investing in an SEO company will help you tremendously in the long run. However, be careful there are a lot of shady SEO companies as you know. So try to hire local, and know what you’re looking for and all the red flags about shady companies. I’ll probably write a post about that later. So stay tuned!
Feature Photo by Ruben Ramirez