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Include Your Google Business Profile As Part Of Your Marketing Mix

Many companies recognize the importance of digital marketing in one aspect or another either through Google Ads, SEO, social media marketing, or a combination of some or all of the above.

One thing we’ve noticed is that many business owners are completely ignoring their Google Business Profile, and that is a mistake.

Previously called Google My Business, your Google Business Profile is free online real estate that can help bring more customers straight to your business.

Why You Should Care About Google Business Profile

Your Google My Business Profile is one of the most important tools you have for answering a customer’s query online. When they type your business name or relevant keywords into Google to find you, this is often the first thing they see if you are using it properly.

It’s no secret that more than 87% of Americans turn to Google to find the answer to all their questions and solutions to their problems. Given that, it makes perfect sense that you’d use all the tools possible to get your business in front of prospective customers. Your Google Business Profile will appear after that first set of ads and before the organic listings which is an ideal spot to get clicks.

There is a wide range of benefits that come from optimizing your Google search and Google My Business Profile. Here are some of them:

  • Improve SEO ranking. Filling out this profile will enhance your business’s local SEO ranking. Done well, it will help you to increase your presence in Google’s algorithm.
  • Make an impression. It’s the first impression your customers receive of your business. It establishes authority when it’s complete.
  • Reviews. This profile enables you to get reviews of your products and services. That helps new customers make the decision to contact you.
  • Map it. You can integrate Google Maps into your business profile, which makes it easier for people to find your business when they are using a mobile app, looking for directions, or making a decision to visit.
  • Communicate directly. Another one of the benefits of your Google profile is that it enables you to communicate directly with your customers. It provides email, phone, or other tools, even directly through the interface, to communicate.
  • Engagement. Your Google Business Profile helps consumers interact with your business. It answers their questions right away, such as what you offer or when you re-open. It also lets them get to your website quickly without having to potentially stumble on the site of your competitor instead.
  • Converts more customers. Your profile also helps you to acquire customers. People who are looking for what you offer, read reviews, and visit or otherwise make an appointment. It turns searchers into customers.

Without a completed Google Business Profile, you could be missing out on Google search tools. There is no cost to set up your profile. While there are a few important steps to take to ensure you incorporate your SEO strategy, most businesses will find this is an easy way to boost your rankings.

Elements To Pay Attention To

There are a lot of fantastic things to learn about your Google Business Profile. It seems pretty simple, and while you may think all you have to do is to engage in some keyword stuffing (don’t do that), there are a few key ways to use this tool to get more results.

Reviews

This is where you want to start. Reviews on your profile provide clear information about what customers can expect. Anyone can leave a review. You can respond to those reviews as well. In fact, you absolutely should respond to every review. Doing so helps increase your visibility. It’s part of the ranking factors for your profile.

Some businesses worry about getting negative reviews, but your reviews are increasingly valuable, with 85% of people stating that they trust online reviews and 91% stating they look at reviews before they buy. Because people find them so important, it is a good idea for you to invest time in asking for reviews. You can even send customers who you know had a positive experience a link to your profile, asking them to leave a review.

It’s our opinion that the only place you should ask people to leave reviews for your business is on Google. Sure, they look pretty on Facebook and don’t even get us started on Yelp, but when they leave reviews on Google, your customers are not only helping your visibility, but they are helping future customers decide to use you.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you need a plumber, so you search “plumber near me” and you see three plumbers listed in the map section. Plumber #1 has a 4.9 rating and 137 reviews, plumber #2 has a 5.0 rating with 14 reviews and plumber #3 has a 4.9 rating and 567 reviews. Which plumber are you more likely to contact? Most of us would check out #3, right? That’s the power of reviews with regard to converting browsers into callers.

Also, reviews allow people to leave honest feedback. Sometimes that allows you to apply that feedback to the operations of your business. It also lets the customer see how you respond to feedback. Do you offer to reach out to make it better? Do you engage in conversation in a positive manner with the reviewer?

We always recommend that you respond to both positive and negative reviews, but be careful how you respond to negative reviews because you’re not really responding to that upset customer. You’re responding to all the future customers down the line. Always remember that you’ll never win an argument by responding inappropriately to a negative review. It’s a losing proposition.

Posts

Another thing that many businesses do not know about or use as often as they could are the posts on their Google Business Profile. Posts are designed to provide you with a way to update your customers and those searching for what you offer with valuable information. You get up to 1500 characters to use. This information shows up right alongside your Google My Business Profile, allowing people to read it immediately.

You can include a picture and a good amount of text using it. You can also use a post to provide a special offer, for example, a discount if they mention the profile. You can use it to post videos and photos, too. This can help you to entice people to click further into your website or to take action right away. Use it to update information on a new location or business hours. Add information like a menu if you are a restaurant. You can also add the services you offer here.

The more information you place here, the more likely the customer is going to act on it if it is valuable info. It is super simple to update over time, and dropping the right keyword here could help to give your business a bit of a search ranking boost, too. Always be sure to use quality content and update this information if it becomes out of date.

Questions And Answers

How many phone calls does your business get each day asking the same questions? It could be hours of operation if you offer a specific product or how they can make a reservation. The question and answer component of Google My Business Profile gives you a way to provide people with the information they need.

Many people will ask questions about you through your profile. With this component of the profile, you can easily answer those questions. The answers are then visible to other people who may want to use them. Again, this is a simple and easy way for you to engage with your customers so they can consistently understand what you have to offer.

Feel free to use this component to ask “yourself” questions and then answer them. We suggest asking several relevant questions (with keywords if possible) and simply responding with the answer.

Insights and Analytics

Putting up a profile is a good step. Optimizing it and getting the best out of it is even more effective. Google Analytics is something you may already know about if you are using Google Ads or doing SEO on your site. It is a way for you to see how well your keyword strategy or digital marketing plan is working. There is also a version of this for your business profile. It is called Google Insights.

Google Insights provides you with information about what is happening with your profile. For example, it helps you see how many people are visiting your profile and the activity they engage in within it. When you use SEO services and digital marketing tools, these tools often reveal useful information to refresh, update, and further optimize your profile and/or your site based on search intent.

Remember, your profile can help with your ranking if you use a relevant keyword or keyword strategy to get Google search results. This information really provides you with a great way to ensure you are getting the most out of your profile.

Products and Services

Be sure that you include your products and services within your Google My Business profile. That’s important because, unlike just about any other tool you have, people are using this profile to get direct information about your business. Give them what they need and encourage them to take action.

Listing your products and services like this, and adding a few keywords in, could also give you another boost to your search engine rankings. Without a doubt, it is critical to have a solid understanding of what people are looking for when they seek out your business. If you offer a range of services, be sure to list the most important ones to customers. That can provide more insight into their needs encouraging them to click to book an appointment or get results.

Messages

If you simply turn this feature on, potential customers can contact you directly through your profile. You’ll receive a message through your Gmail and you can click the link to respond directly. This can be an effective way to begin a conversation with a potential customer similar to direct texting.

Keep in mind, that Google is tracking your response rate, so be sure to prioritize these messages appropriately and do what you can to respond quickly so that you don’t lose the lead.

While this can be a great way to communicate with new customers, spammers have also used this platform to reach out as well. Most follow a standard script. We’ve gotten this one several times from different names:

“Hello, This is Ford Raymond, I will like to know if you do website design and do you accept credit cards?”

Our standard response looks like this:

“Of course, we could handle that for you Ford! But, unfortunately, due to the high number of spam requests on this profile, we only discuss the details of a project like this in person or on the phone. Please feel free to contact us at 678.325.4007. We’d love to help you. Just give us a call. Have a great day!”

The people that send these always ask if you take credit cards and often mention a fairly big budget to get your attention. We’ve never had one call us. One person got creative and said they were hearing impaired just to keep us on that platform or dealing with each other over email.

Spammers are often easy to spot. Just know that they are part of being online and respond accordingly.

Photos

Photos are one of the best components of your profile. People want to see what to expect. Photos of all types are valuable, but Google has some specific ones they really want to see in order to determine if you’re a real business or not.

Pictures we always tell people to include if possible are shots of:

  • The outside of your business- your building
  • Any signage you may have
  • Your logo
  • Your company vehicle- especially if it has your logo or is wrapped
  • Your staff
  • Pictures of what you do if possible- especially before and after shots

Also, use photos as a type of marketing too. You can show people engaging with your products and services. You can also include photos of events you are hosting or other valuable information that you think customers may benefit from seeing. The more information and insight you put into your profile, the more likely customers are going to engage with it, and that means they are more likely to work closely with you and take the action you want them to take.

Optimize Your Google Business Profile

While it’s definitely possible to optimize your profile yourself, we are happy to help with this work as well. With over 18 years of experience in digital marketing, we know that we can get results for you. Reach out to us today to learn more about how your Google Business Profile can help you bring in more business.

 

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