It has become a reflex among consumers to Google a store, a product, or a service before spending money. According to recent studies, 97% of people learn more about local companies online than anywhere else.
Because of this, it has become increasingly important for local and small businesses to optimize their Google My Business (GMB) profile. Even if a company has an excellent reputation in its community, with the shifting lifestyle trends of today, a single faulty Google search can turn away a potential customer.
Surely, we all don't want that. So here's how you can optimize your GMB profile to connect with your target clients.
How Google My Business can boost your business growth?
A fully optimized Google My Business profile is the easiest way to increase your search engine visibility, as Google prioritizes the profiles created on its platform before other websites and listings. Not to mention, it’s free.
At the core of the program, Google My Business allows businesses to reach out to their local customers online. In US alone, 83% of shoppers hop into Google first before visiting a store, while 56% of in-store shoppers still use their smartphones to browse offers despite being in the physical store. This means a good GMB profile helps in online and offline customer conversion.
What does it mean to optimize Google My Business?
Customers are 2.7x more likely to consider a business reputable if they find a complete Business Profile on Google Search and Maps. Furthermore, customers are 70% more likely to visit and 50% more likely to purchase from local stores with a strong presence on Google.
GMB profile optimization is the process of supplying and maintaining targeted data in your business profile to match it with relevant searches. Aside from your complete and updated business information, one crucial step in doing this is by creating an engaging and interactive Google My Business presence by replying to customer reviews.
What is the difference between Google My Business and Google Business Profile?
Google rebranded “Google My Business” into “Google Business” in 2022. Aside from the name change, Google also shifted the name of the “listings.”
This isn’t the first time Google shifted the name of Google Business, as it was previously called Google+ and Google Local. Regardless of these changes, the previous names of Google Business can still be utilized for online content, including the acronym “GMB.”
How do I improve my Google Business Profile?
Adding details to your GMB profile can be tricky, as Google automatically indexes these details in searches related to your products and services. One error in your website link or contact number can significantly affect your revenue.
Aside from this, supplying information that doesn't match your niche can cause a mismatch in searches–leading you to unmatched and unqualified leads.
Here's how you can optimize your GMB profile to match you with the most relevant searches.
1. Use personalized business details
Completing your business details means more than providing your website, phone number, and address. Specific details are crucial, especially for local and small businesses.
a. Detailed business hours
Instead of just placing a general window hour, specify your operating hours for each day of the week.
b. Specific location
For the location, you must provide the complete street address, service area, and place maker, especially for local businesses. Providing a photo of your store is also suggested.
Here’s an example of an optimized GMB profile with detailed business hours and specific location.
c. Engaging description
Consider your GMB profile as a marketing page. Thus, write a simple yet striking business description with relevant keywords.
2. Introduce your offers
Help potential customers discover what your business has to offer. Upload clear photos of your products, updated price lists, menus, and more. It is also best to include a call to action such as Call Now, Get Offer, Learn More, or Order Online.
3. Answer the Q&A portion
It's been verified that consumers are using the Google Question and Answer section. A 2018 survey showed that the visibility of local businesses online showed a massive 80% increase with the launch of the GMB Q&A.
4. Post relevant business content
Google allows business profile owners to post updates regarding their offers. This may include text, photos, or videos to promote their businesses. To do this, just log in to your Google Business profile either through Google Search or Google Maps. Go to your profile and click “Promote” or “Add Update.” A dialog box will appear where you can write your post. Click “Publish” when done. Your post will automatically save as a draft which you can publish later.
How often should I post on my Google Business Profile?
At a minimum, business profile owners should post at least once every 7 days. However, it’s best to treat it like a social media platform and post daily for optimal results. Businesses with updated GMB profiles tend to have improved rankings and conversion rates. Google easily crawls content generated from their platform, boosting your searchability.
4. Reply to customer reviews
Aside from visibility, optimize your GMB profile by building trust and customer relationships with your audience. Replying to Google customer reviews can be the best and easiest way to do online organic marketing for local businesses.
Can you have more than one Google My Business profile?
If you run multiple businesses or run a single company with various locations, it’s best to create multiple Google Business listings under one account. This will allow you to monitor and manage all your listings efficiently. Here’s how to do this:
Add a new location to a single business:
- Sign in to your Business Profile Manager
- Click the “Businesses” tab
- Use the drop-down menu and choose a business group
- Add location and enter your business details
- Follow the prompts to create a new profile
- Organize your businesses and other listings via the Business Group
What are the top three ranking factors of Google My Business?
To make the most out of your GMB profile, it's essential to understand how Google connects you to customers. Google has made it easier for business owners to know which optimization strategies work for them through their Business Profile Performance.
Optimized profiles indexed by Google can achieve 50% growth in total customer actions and a 400% increase in search impressions, including small businesses and enterprises. Here's how to achieve it:
1. Relevance to the audience
The relevance of your business to audience search is the most important Google ranking factor. Here is the best combination of keywords that you can use:
Main Category + Location
Example: Car Dealers Duluth Atlanta
Main Category + Prominent Location Near Your Business
Example: Mediterranean Restaurant Near Mount Rushmore
"Best" / "Cheapest" / "Nearest" + Main Category + Location
Example: Best Car Insurance Company Lakeworth Georgie
Use these combinations of keywords all over your profile description, replies on reviews, Google My Business posts, and answers to the Q&A section.
Proximity is vital for businesses targeting local customers. Upon supplying your complete address, Google Maps automatically calculates your distance to every relevant search.
A strategic business location is still the best way to have the best proximity to most Google searches. If this doesn't apply to you, using location-based keywords on all your GMB content is essential.
The best thing about the rise of online review platforms such as Google My Business is that it allows local businesses to match up with enterprises through online engagement. The company that takes advantage of Google reviews mostly gets better search results regardless of its competitors' prominence.
Experts suggest that regular customer reviews can make your rank higher in searches. The best way to do this is to diligently reply to online reviews, as it encourages customers to continue to help you in boosting your presence.
How to write the best replies to Google My Business reviews?
Leaving your Google reviews unattended can be counterproductive, even if you have a well-optimized GMB profile. Here's why:
- Inactive Google My Business reviews decrease your relevance on Google searches;
- Unattended negative reviews drive off potential customers and affect your Google ranking; and
- Unrecognized positive reviews lead to poor customer loyalty, which is crucial for local businesses.
So, it's best to keep a steady flow of replies to your Google My Business profile. To do this, you will need copywriters, customer service representatives, and marketing experts.
Or you can get an AI review reply generator that automatically writes optimized reviews.
Writing Google My Business review replies with AI
We know how hard it is to strategically use location and category-based keywords to boost your visibility in Google searches. This is why we designed an AI review reply generator that combines the intelligence of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools and copywriting experts to align your replies to relevant searches.
Writing Location-based replies
An AI reply generator automatically copies relevant location-based keywords from customer reviews to double your search score.
Aside from this, it translates replies to the source language of reviewers, which can boost your relevance on searches in the language used.
You can easily change your replies based on your niche. This way, you can ensure your responses use relevant category-based keywords.
Optimizing your GMB profile through writing replies can be complicated – but it doesn't have to be. Using an AI review reply generator allows you to focus your time, efforts, and resources on other activities that will improve your products and services.
Use our AI review reply generator for free to check its compatibility with your business.
This post is part of the hero article “Optimize Your Hotel Listings to Increase Bookings - All You Need to Know".
Frequently Asked Questions:
A Google My Business profile lets you list your business on Google Maps and local search results. Your profile can contain essential business information such as your address, contact details, opening and closing time, offers, and more. Providing customers with these details is more likely to increase conversion rates.
You can increase your visibility on Google searches and get new customers by optimizing your Google My Business profile. To do this, ensure your profile has updated business information, engaging photos, a regular flow of customer reviews, and review responses.
Google Business is an effective way to lead customers to your business. A fully optimized Google Business Profile generates up to 35% increased clickthrough rate to their websites and 42% more direction requests on Google Maps.
Google My Business allows business owners to create a free listing on Google Search and Google Maps. With a fully optimized GMB profile, you can boost your online reputation, increase your visibility on relevant searches, reach out to new customers online, improve your conversion rate, and generate customer insights.
Google doesn’t allow you to see the Google accounts that viewed your profile. However, Business account owners can check how often their profile’s been viewed through Google Maps and Google Searches. You can use this data to monitor your business’s popularity with current and potential customers.