Your Google Business Profile is one of the most important tools you have for helping your customers or clients find you. As a person types in the service they are looking for, with or without a city name, Google places three listings towards the top of the page. These are Google Business Profiles, companies that are within close proximity and offer the services the customer needs. When you learn how to optimize your Google Business Profile for SEO, you’ll be ranking in that section right in front of people looking specifically for the service you offer.
To optimize your Google Business Profile, there are a few very specific steps you need to take. There is no cost to using your profile, but it is up to you to optimize it so that it works for you right away.
Claim and verify your profile
The first step is to claim your profile. Chances are good Google has some listing that has your business on it, simply because of Google Maps. However, you need to claim your profile as your own and start to set it up so that you can gain traction with those who seek out your services.
Having your profile verified, which does not cost you anything, takes only a few minutes to set up. Once you go through the verification process, your visibility in local searches becomes better. People looking for your services are available to you. Google provides instructions on how to request ownership of a business profile.
Complete and accurate business information
Google needs to ensure the information it provides to its searchers is accurate. To do this, you need to be sure your information, specifically your NAP or Name, Address, and Phone, is absolutely correct. These details matter because they will help Google link you to customers.
It is also important to ensure these three areas are consistent across all of your online profiles and listings. Your website, blog, professional listing services, and all of your social media profiles should have the exact same NAP. A misspelling or an inaccuracy such as different phone numbers here can cause you not to gain the traction you deserve.
Accurate information on local search rankings allows you to be easily verified and then found. It allows Google to pull up your information in the search rankings when a customer within your local area is looking for what you can offer to them.
Engaging business description
The next step in optimizing your Google Business Profile is to create an engaging but accurate business description. You want to be sure someone reading this description clearly understands what your company offers. They know instantly from reading your profile that you have what they need to solve their problem.
Incorporate keywords related to your business and services in your description. It is important to choose keywords that are relevant to your local SEO strategy. That means diving deep to learn more about what your prospective customers are typing into the search engines. You do not have a lot of time here to make a statement.
The trick is to write an engaging, SEO-optimized description that is informative and concise. That does not seem easy to do, but with a bit of help and the right description, your Google Business Profile goes to work for you. It does not require a lot of updates over time. It will provide you with ongoing ROI for years to come.
Utilize high-quality visual content
Your SEO description is not enough to get someone to click. That is where visuals come into play. Today’s consumers are visually focused, meaning they react far faster to a photo or video than they do to a lot of text. For that reason, it is critical that your service-oriented business incorporates appealing photos and videos into your profile.
Make sure that you are following all of Google’s rules for photos and videos to ensure your listing ranks. Your photos need to be:
- Between 10 KB and 5 MB
- Either JPG or PNG format
- Resolution of at least 250 px tall and 250 px wide (with a recommended resolution of 720 px tall and 720 px wide)
- A photo that is in good focus and well-lit without any significant alterations or use of significant filters
Consider what people are looking for in those photos. They typically want to see your team, learn about your products or services, and see the results of your work. Avoid stock photos and offer something that is genuine that helps them recognize the value you offer.
Managing and responding to customer reviews
One of the most powerful ways your Google Business Profile works for you is to provide a way for customers to leave reviews. Reviews are perhaps one of the most important components of your SEO strategy because Google sees them as such. Reviews are also important to consumers who are more likely to click on your services if they see a positive review than if they just see sales-oriented messages.
Your positive reviews are an excellent resource for building your local reputation. They help you not just showcase what you do well but also humanize your business to your customers. It helps people get to know you and your company through the words of others.
Encourage your customers to leave reviews. Ask them for them. Then, make sure that you ask your customers to leave very specific reviews, including the name of your location, the city location, and any local lingo that may help you be recognized locally.
Implementing local SEO strategies
The next step in this process is to integrate local keywords into your business description. Local keywords are those that are specific to your city, county, or geo area. By adding your relevant service area to your business description, you help Google to place you in front of people within the region. For example, you may operate your services throughout a large metro area. You want to be sure that you include cities within that geographic area, not just the city your business is located in.
The impact of local SEO on your Google Business Profile is hard to overestimate. The key here is that whatever you use to distinguish your service area is directly going to impact where your profile appears in the Google Map Pack (that’s the three listings towards the top of every search engine ranking page). You want to be present not only where you actually operate but also in all areas you operate.
Utilizing Google Posts for updates
Another important way for you to reach your target customers using Google Business Profile is through Google Posts. These are small bits of information that you can update rather easily within your profile that encourage people to click on your website or click to call you.
Use them for promotional information or announcements. This is a great place to draw people in for holiday promotions, sales, or just to get a free estimate for the services they offer. Your goals should be:
- Use timely content that is relevant to now
- Update it consistently (aim for weekly or every few weeks when possible)
- Make sure the content is engaging and relevant to the people searching for your product or service
- Make it unique in some way – give people a reason to want to click
- You only have a small space, so make sure it’s very concise and right to the point
Implementing attributes and services
Why should a customer who has a list of services available in front of them choose your business to call? Your Google Business Profile should make it clear to them that you offer the services they need but also that you are unique compared to the rest in the pack.
Utilize the attributes area to highlight the unique features of your business. Do you offer free estimates? Does your company service very specific manufacturer systems? Do you use the most energy-efficient products?
Be sure that you include detailed information about each of the services you offer. Chances are good a person is going to decide on whether or not to contact you based on what is in this small description. If a service you offer is not listed there but is valuable to your business model, that could end up costing you leads.
Encouraging customer interaction
Having a profile is not enough to get the best results when it comes to driving sales. Instead, you need to encourage customers to engage with your profile. One way to do this is to encourage them to ask questions (and then answer those questions) for them. Chances are good that others have the same questions.
This also works to help create a sense of community through customer engagement. People feel like they know your company and that they know you. That helps to break down the barrier of not being able to give you a call freely – it encourages your customers to choose you over the company that does not have any information.
Let Our Team Help You with Your Google Business Profile
Your Google business Profile is perhaps one of the most important tools you have for building local SEO. Let Surefire Local help you to master it. We manage all areas of your online marketing in one place – including your Google Business Profile. We will:
- Post updates
- Manage business information
- Upload photos
- Request new reviews
- Respond to reviews
- Post and answer Q&As
- Monitor engagement and customer interactions
You get all of the benefits that come from an optimized Google Business Review. Attend a Surefire Local demo now to learn more.