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Improve Your Google Business Profile To Get More Customers

Imagine if the world’s largest search engine gave you free online real estate to display your business on the first page (hopefully!) of the search engine results.

That’s essentially what your Google Business Profile is.

This gives you 3 ways to get your business on page one. In no particular order, there’s running a Google Adwords campaign, getting your site to show up through search engine optimization and there’s optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP).

People tend to click on Google Ads roughly 4%-8% of the time depending upon the topic searched and device. They click on the 3-pack or map listings around 10%-15% of the time and they click on the organic links under that around 30% or more.

Given this, showing up in the map pack can help drive more traffic to both your business as well as your website. What’s not to love? Plus, did we mention that this is free to use?

What is a Google Business Profile?

Think of your GBP as your digital business card on Google Search and Maps. It’s the free tool that allows you to manage how your local business appears online. From your address and contact details to customer reviews and eye-catching photos, your GBP is a one-stop shop for potential customers seeking your services in their area.

Importance of Google Business Profile Optimization

Google Business Profile optimization is an important way to enhance your online presence and attract more customers. By ensuring your profile is up-to-date and engaging, you can increase your visibility in Google search results and drive more traffic to your business. Regularly updating your profile with accurate information, high-quality images, and positive customer reviews can significantly impact your online reputation and credibility. Implementing effective optimization strategies can help you stay ahead of the competition and make a lasting impression on potential customers searching for businesses like yours.

Why Bother With Optimizing Your Google Business Profile?

Here’s a stat to get your attention: Moz reports that local searches lead to 88% of mobile shoppers visiting a store within a week. That’s a goldmine of potential customers practically knocking on your digital door. But with so many businesses vying for local dominance, you need a GBP that shouts, not whispers. Proper optimization ensures your profile ranks higher in local searches, putting you directly in front of those all-important searchers.

Understanding Google Business Profile Features

Here’s a quick breakdown of the most important elements of your GBP:

Profile: This is where you fill out the details about your business beyond just the name and phone number. You want to fill out a business description, your hours, your service area, and other important aspects of your business.

Reviews: This is an important component of your profile. It’s where potential customers are going to read about how your customers feel about you. Not only do you want to ask customers for reviews, but you want to respond to all of them- even the bad ones. Responding to reviews is an important way to signal to Google that you are keeping your profile active.

Messages: This is an option that allows customers to contact you directly and communicate with your business directly through your profile. Be advised, that it’s also a way for spammers to contact you incessantly as well, so use this feature as you see fit. When we used it, all we got were spammers.

Photos: Google wants to see pictures of your business to help verify that you are a “real” business, so it’s important to add images of your business, your signage, staff, trucks or anything else relevant to your business. You can use this section to add images of your work and even before and after images (although you can’t label them on your profile).

Performance: This gives you data and analytics about how actively your profile is being used by online visitors. You can see things like how many people clicked on your profile, how many calls you got, how many people were looking for directions, and how many visitors you got from your profile to your website.

Products: If you sell products, this section of your profile gives you a chance to display them directly in order to boost sales.

Services: For businesses that provide services, this section allows you to list all the services you offer your customers.

Q & A: Most business owners ignore this, but this section is an important place to list frequently asked questions to help your visitors overcome objections they may have about doing business with you.

Updates: Often referred to as “Posts”, this section allows you to share news, events, and promotions directly with your audience. Many businesses us this section the same way as they may post blogs to their website.

Getting Started With Your GBP

Now that you understand more about the features of your GBP, let’s delve into the details of getting started. of ranking it. It’s important to do the following to increase your visibility:

  • Claim and Verify Your Business: This is ground zero. Claim your existing profile or create a new one, and then follow Google’s verification process. A verified profile is like a neon sign for searchability.
  • Complete Your Profile: Don’t leave any information gaps! Fill out every section with accurate details, including your address, phone number, website, category (plumber? dentist? Let Google know!), and hours of operation.
  • Become a Review Magnet: Positive reviews are like social proof gold. Encourage satisfied customers to leave glowing testimonials, and be sure to respond to all reviews, both positive and negative.
  • Embrace the Power of Photos: Visuals are king! Showcase your business with high-quality photos that capture the essence of your brand and what you offer.
  • Post Regularly: Don’t let your profile gather dust! Keep it fresh with regular Google Posts, sharing updates, events, and special offers.
  • Get Location Specific: Optimize your website and other online content with local keywords relevant to your area.

By following these ranking factors and the ongoing guidance of Make It Loud, your Google Business Profile will become a local search powerhouse. Remember, in the digital world, the loudest voice gets heard. So crank up the volume and let your business roar!

Strategies for Getting More Visibility

Regularly updating your Google Business Profile can help improve your online visibility and attract more customers. Here are some strategies to keep your profile relevant and engaging in 2024:

  • Post fresh content such as photos, specials, and events to grab users’ attention.
  • Respond promptly to customer reviews and questions to show that you care about their feedback.
  • Use keywords relevant to your business in your profile to improve search engine optimization.
  • Ensure all business information is up to date, including hours of operation, contact details, and services offered.
  • Monitor insights and analytics to track performance and make adjustments as needed.

Remember that proximity is probably one of the biggest ranking factors that Google looks for. In other words, if you search, “dentist near me” on your smartphone, if all other factors are equal, the dentist that is the closest to the center of town will likely show up.

Leveraging Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are a crucial part of your Google Business Profile. They help build trust and credibility with potential customers. Encourage your satisfied customers to leave positive reviews by providing excellent service and asking for feedback. Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, to show that you value customer input and are actively engaged with your audience.

Remember that when you respond to reviews, the person who left the review will get your response. For negative reviews, you want to respond appropriately and remember that you are really speaking to future customers who read your negative reviews before doing business with you. Never try to use this or any other online platform to “win” an argument with a customer. Your business will most likely lose when you try.

Utilizing Photos and Visual Content

Adding photos and visual content to your Google Business Profile can significantly boost your online presence. Visuals grab attention and help potential customers understand your business better at a glance.

Including images of products, services, the interior, or even your team can enhance your profile’s appeal. High-quality, engaging photos are more likely to attract users and improve your profile’s visibility on Google. Regularly updating visual content keeps your profile fresh and engaging, signaling to customers that your business is active and relevant.

Implementing Keywords and Descriptions

To ensure your Google Business profile stays relevant and updated in 2024, incorporating relevant keywords and descriptions is essential. Keywords are words or phrases that people use when searching for businesses like yours. By including these keywords in your profile descriptions, you can increase the chances of your business appearing in search results when potential customers look for services like yours.

Keep your descriptions concise and informative, highlighting what makes your business unique and the services you offer. Optimizing your profile with the right keywords and descriptions can help improve your visibility online, attracting more customers to your business.

Use The Updates

When promoting events and special offers on your Google Business Profile, you can attract more customers and boost engagement. Consider these tips to effectively market your events:

  • Update your profile regularly with event details and special promotions to keep customers informed.
  • Utilize eye-catching images and compelling descriptions to grab attention.
  • Encourage customers to RSVP or take advantage of your offers by highlighting the limited time or availability.
  • Share your events on social media platforms to reach a wider audience.
  • Monitor the performance of your promotions to see what resonates with your audience and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Monitoring Insights and Analytics

To make sure your Google Business Profile stays on top, keep an eye on the insights and analytics it provides you. Track trends in how people find your business, what they click on, and where they are coming from. This data helps you understand your audience better, allowing you to tailor your content and services to their needs.

Regularly check your profile’s performance metrics to see what’s working and what needs improvement. Remember, the key to a successful online presence is staying informed and making adjustments based on the data you gather.

Responding to Customer Inquiries

When customers inquire about your business on Google, it’s crucial to respond promptly and professionally. This shows that you value their feedback and are attentive to their needs. By responding promptly, you can provide helpful information, address any concerns, and showcase your commitment to excellent customer service.

Remember, Google Business Profile can be the first point of contact for potential customers, so making a positive impression through your responses can help attract new business and retain existing customers.

Future Outlook for Google Business Profile Optimization

Google constantly updates its algorithms, affecting how businesses appear in searches. To stay relevant in 2024, it’s crucial to keep your Google Business Profile up-to-date. This means regularly updating information like hours of operation, services offered, and responding promptly to customer reviews.

Optimizing your Google Business Profile for keywords related to your business also helps improve visibility. Pay attention to trends and new features Google introduces to stay ahead of the competition.

Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer and SEO Director at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. More than 14 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this award-winning agency and has taught digital marketing skills to business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center, and other groups.

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