In this article, I’m going to to teach you how to optimize your Google Business Profile so your business can start getting more exposure on local search results.
I will add: if there’s only one thing that you do for your business today/this week/this month/this year, I would say do THIS.
I have seen businesses double their revenue by focusing on their Google Business Profile over other profiles – even their FB pages. Google loves it when you use their Google products, so let’s do your business a massive favor and get your Google Business profile filled out 100% as best you can.
First, you will need to set up your Google Profile. Here’s how to do it if you haven’t set it up yet:
- Go to Google Business Profile https://www.google.com/business/
- Click “Manage Now” button.
- Search for your business. Add your business if it doesn’t show up.
- Sign up with your real business details
- A postcard to verify your business will be sent to your business address.
- Verify your business by following the instructions in the postcard.
After you’ve been verified, here’s how to optimize your Google Business Profile:
- Use your actual business name – but you don’t have to include, “LLC” at the end.
- Choose your “Main Category” wisely, and choose secondary categories that actually apply to your business. Category options are a part of your ranking factor, so only choose categories that apply to your business, otherwise, you run the risk of getting penalized by Google.
- Add your hours! And always update hours for holidays.
- Add your local phone number. It’s best to have a local area code for this profile as to not confuse people. You can get free local numbers through Google Voice.
- Add your website URL.
- Choose your storefront location if you have an actual storefront, or leave it blank if you don’t have a physical address, but travel to your customers. Choose your service areas if this applies to you.
- Add your “Appointment URL” if you have a 3rd party service to take bookings, or a URL on your website where people can book an appointment with you.
- Don’t forget to add your “Opening Date”.
- Take your time and fill out your “About” section on your business like a BOSS. Google gives you 750 characters to use, and we advise using as many as you can. Be sure to highlight your main products and popular services. But do NOT keyword stuff this section. This trips Google’s sensors and can negatively impact your rankings. Bottom line, sound like a human who cares, and not like a robot trying to get the job done.
- Set up messaging on your Google Business Profile so customers can message you directly through Google.
- Choose the most relevant “Highlights/Attributes” your business has to offer. You’ll have a list to choose from so be thorough.
- Reply to all your reviews within 24 hours. Read our article on how to respond to your Google Reviews, especially the negative ones.
- We recommend having at least 25 pictures added with interior, exterior, product, your logo, cover photo, and staff photos to your profile. There is no size limit on these photos, so use the highest resolution you can – best if you have professional photos taken! Image sizes should be 540 pixels (width) and 405 pixels (height) and in JPG, PNG or BMP file format.
- If you can hire a videographer to add a 360 degree virtual tour of the interior of your location, even better.
- Start publishing 3-4 posts a week there, too. Google allows you to “post” on their platform the same way FB and Instagram does. Take advantage of this! These posts will show up in search results. The more relevant and timely, the better.
- Add all of your individual services, products, or menu items if applicable. Upload photos with each product, service, and menu item as well.
- Set up the free website offered in your Google Business Profile Account. In the case you don’t have one up yet, and it’s not quite in your budget to have one designed, you have a free and quick option to get you started. While I don’t recommend you rely on this option for the long term, it is a viable option for the short term. Even if you already have a website, I would still highly recommend for you to create this free website option on your Google Business Profile account. When you do so, include the URL of your actual website inside the Google website option.
- Just be sure that your actual website URL in your Google Business profile is your actual .com, not this free website option.
Optimizing your Google Business Profile if you have multiple locations or you travel to service your clients:
If you have a business with more than 1 location, or you have a business that travels to peoples’ homes, there are several more necessary steps that you have to take in order get more exposure on Google. If this is your case, we recommend you schedule a strategy call to discuss your business.
Since this post was written for businesses with just one location, we can’t get into all the nitty gritty here. For more information on how to properly set up your Google Business Profile for multiple locations, please contact us at: [email protected]
Additional Tips On How To Optimize Your Google Business Profile Posts:
- Image sizes should be 540 pixels (width) and 405 pixels (height) and in JPG, PNG or BMP file format.
- When it comes to posting, avoid being too “sales-y”. Use these posts to educate, entertain, and inspire your customers. These posts should be used to engage with your audience and to build a connection. Be fun and don’t be afraid to highlight your business’s personality. Speak directly to your Ideal Client Avatar.
- Include local events and geographically significant markers.
- Include keywords for your services.
- If you are already posting consistently on FB and Instagram, you can simply copy and paste your posts into GMB with the same photo. You have the open to add a “Call To Action” and we recommend using one for each post. (Don’t forget to name your actual image file with your business name and location, too!)
- Scan your reviews to see what your customers are mentioning, and then use those exact keywords to create posts and content. If you notice that your customers leave reviews about how “clean” your business is, then make a post specifically about why this is important to your business. If customers are talking about how fast you were able to get them in, prioritize this as a piece of content as a Google Business post.
Author’s Final Thoughts:
When it comes to getting more exposure on Google, setting up and fully optimizing your Google Business Profile is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to start marketing your small business. Since this is a free service offered by Google, we can’t stress getting your Google profile filled out as completely as possible.
Let us know how it goes! And if you need any help throughout the process, just send us an email to: [email protected]
Keep pushing the needle forward!