Optimizing your Google Business Profile in 6 Steps!
Your Google Business Profile is your most powerful tool as a small business owner. Locals rely on checking Google to find your location, see when you’re open, what you offer, and check other customers’ experiences. When your profile is optimized, they can tell that you’re legitimate and worth visiting. To give your audience the best experience possible, follow our six steps to optimizing your profile:
Step 1: Make sure your business is verified!
Before you try anything else, make sure Google verifies your business profile. There are a few ways to do this (outlined below), but know that your options will be limited to what Google offers you.
First, by phone. Using the Google My Business app, they’ll walk you through how to verify your business number to make sure they can trust your business is legit.
Second, with good old snail mail. You can request to have a postcard sent to your listed business address. When you get it, there will be a special code on it to help you complete the process online. This method requires a little patience but don’t worry, it benefits Google to verify your business so your time will come. Just hang in there!
Third, video! Recently, Google announced that it will start to verify select businesses with a video call. During this process, an agent will collect details from you in order for Google to complete the verification process.
Step 2: Add pictures!
Humans are visual learners and ever curious. Before visiting a business, your customers want to see what it looks like so they know what to expect. Imagine that you’re giving them a tour with the pictures you post.
If you walk them through the reception area in person, give them a preview through pictures on your profile. Show off any details most customers would see when they walk in that feel unique, like your restaurant’s menu, a shelf or wall of awards you have, or the beautiful sign behind your front desk. These details help them see the personality of your business and get them comfortable with it before they even arrive.
Remember, before you start taking pictures, make sure everything is tidy and has good light. And for bonus points, add some smiling faces from your team, a short video, and a view of your shop from the street!
Step 3: Fill Out All of the Info
Don’t miss a detail on your profile. Google Business Profile is the best place to keep your customers well informed, so list all of your services, make sure all of the contact information is up to date, and include all of your keywords in the profile. (You can even add a link for customers to book an appointment directly with you–we have ours setup! ) Things like this boost your SEO and keep your visibility online high.
Step 4: Keep Hours and Closures Up to Date
Do you have holiday hours coming up? Are you closing for a week for renovations? Keep that information up to date on your Google Business Profile. The last thing you want is a customer going to your store during regular hours and getting the disappointment of finding that it’s closed. So save them the trouble by keeping your hours and closures up to date.
Step 5: Post On It
At the end of the day, treat this like a social media platform, one that your business will benefit from posting on. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be frequently or brand new content. Tell them about a sale you’re running, an exciting big announcement, an event you’re hosting, or simply share one of your favorite posts from another platform you post on. This weekly cadence will keep them up to date, show your potential customers that you’re active, and make you look more professional.
Step 6: Collect Reviews
The new word of mouth is online reviews, and your audience trusts them to check your credibility, and where they check for them most often is Google. To get reviews regularly, build checking in with your customers as a part of your sales process. Make it a habit by asking them about their experience and then prompting them to write a review about it. Most people are happy to support businesses they like, and a review is an easy way to do it! The best part is that reviews add to your credibility and can be reused in your marking. Google makes it easy to grab the direct link of the review and showcase it in a post, newsletter, or email. For five easy ways to get more online reviews, check out one of our other blogs, The New Word of Mouth: Online Reviews.
Six steps may seem like a lot, but after just a few short hours of work, you could reap the benefits of a fully optimized Google Business Profile your customers can’t live without. (And if you want to save those few hours a week for your own customer work, reach out to discuss how we can take this off your plate.)