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13 essential google business profile optimizations to beat competitors in local search

Google Business Profile, also known as Google My Business (GMB), is a powerful tool for businesses to increase their online visibility. According to the latest statistics, 86% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses. This means that if your business is not present on Google, you are losing out on potential customers.

GMB allows businesses to create a free listing on Google that appears when someone searches for their products or services. The listing includes important information such as address, phone number, website link, photos and reviews. However, simply creating a listing is not enough – it needs to be optimised to ensure it appears at the top of search results.

The importance of an optimised GMB profile cannot be overstated. For starters, an enhanced profile increases your chances of appearing in the coveted “local pack” – the top three listings that appear in a search result. Additionally, it helps you stand out from competitors and creates trust with potential customers who can see valuable information about your business at a glance.

Claim Google Business Profile on Google Maps

To start any optimization strategy, you must first have a Google Business Profile. The good news is that claiming your profile on Google Maps is easy and free. You can either claim an existing listing or create a new one if none exists.

Claiming your profile allows you to control how your business appears in search results and on Google Maps. This includes updating your business information, adding photos, responding to reviews, and monitoring insights about how people are interacting with your business online.

A verified profile also helps establish trust with potential customers who are searching for businesses like yours. It shows that you have taken the time to manage and maintain an accurate online presence, which can lead to increased visibility and ultimately, more customers.

Complete all parts of your Profile

When it comes to Google Business Profile optimization, completing all parts of your profile is critical for ensuring that potential customers have access to the information they need. Your profile should include accurate and up-to-date details about your business, including your contact information, location, and hours of operation. Additionally, make sure that you select the right business category secondary and primary group. By doing so, you will ensure that Google categorizes your business correctly and displays it to the right audience.

If you want your business to rank better on Google Maps or other search results pages, then optimizing your Google Business Profile is a great place to start. One way to optimize your profile is by filling out every section of it in as much detail as possible. When someone searches for businesses in their area on Google Maps or other search engines like Safari or Chrome – which provide results based on location data from GPS signals – they’ll see what’s known as a “local pack” of three businesses that are closest to them based on their search query. 

In short: if you want to be one of those top three spots for local searches related to what you offer (e.g., “coffee shops near me,” “gym in London,” etc.), then be sure that every part of your Google Business Profile is complete! Failure to do so may result in lower visibility and missed opportunities.

Selecting the Right Business Category and Primary Group

In Google My Business, business categories are the primary way for potential customers to find your business. When you initially create your Google Business Profile, you’ll be asked to choose a category that best describes your business. It’s essential to select the right category since it will not only help customers find your business but can also impact search rankings.

When selecting a primary and secondary category, ensure that they accurately reflect what your business does and what kind of products or services you offer. The categories available in Google My Business are diverse; however, ensure that you choose one that is specific enough to match your specialty without being too narrow.

For instance, if you run a flower shop that specializes in wedding flowers, choosing “flower shop” as your primary category won’t help much since it’s too broad and doesn’t specify what kind of flowers you specialize in. Instead, opt for something like “wedding florist” or “bridal bouquets” as your primary category.

Optimise and add High-Quality Photos and Videos

Visual content is key to making a lasting impression on potential customers. One of the most important things you can do to optimise your Google Business Profile is to include high-quality photos and videos. Not only will they make your profile more visually appealing, but they will also give customers a better idea of what your business has to offer.

Make sure that the photos and videos you upload are relevant to your business, and that they accurately represent what you have to offer. For example, if you’re a restaurant, be sure to include mouth-watering images of your most popular dishes. If you’re a clothing store, show off some of your latest fashions on models or mannequins.

Frequent updates with new photos and videos can also help keep your profile fresh and engaging. Try posting pictures of any new products or services you offer, or share behind-the-scenes glimpses into how your business operates. The more visual content you add, the more likely it is that potential customers will take notice.

Regularly Post Updates and Offers

One of the critical factors in attracting potential customers to your business is by keeping them engaged with regular updates and offers. One of the benefits of Google My Business is that it allows business owners to keep their audience updated on their latest offerings, events, and promotions. By updating your Google Business profile regularly, you can attract more visitors to your page, and eventually convert them into customers.

You can keep your post fresh by updating it with current information about new products or services you offer. If you have some upcoming events that you think might interest potential clients, share them with a catchy headline, detailed description, and photos or videos. Offering updates about ongoing promotions that are running in-store or online will also help generate more traffic.

Remember to vary the content of your posts so that they don’t become monotonous. You can get creative by posting images such as behind-the-scenes snapshots of how you create a product or interesting facts about your industry. Keep things fresh and engaging so that people look forward to seeing what’s new from your business.

Create your products and/or service

Creating products or services for your Google Business Profile is an excellent way of presenting your offerings to potential customers. Having a product or service menu on your profile helps customers get a comprehensive understanding of what you have to offer and how it fits their needs. You can also use this feature to highlight what sets you apart from your competitors. When creating “Products” or “Services,” be sure to include a description, photo, and price.

Customize Your Product and Service Description:

When creating your product or service descriptions, make sure that they are unique to the offering of your business. Use descriptive language that accurately conveys the details of each product or service on offer while making them compelling enough for potential customers to choose you over others. If possible, add videos showing how each product/service works in action. 

Add Products and Services Regularly:

Keep the Products/Services section up-to-date by adding new items regularly. This shows potential customers that you are active in your industry and are always expanding on what you have to offer. You can add new products/services when launching new deals, promotions, or seasonal offerings.

Respond to Reviews and Questions

When it comes to Google Business, reviews can make or break your business. Responding to reviews and questions is a great way to build trust with potential customers and show that you care about their experience. Responding to negative feedback can be daunting, but it’s important to handle them professionally. Thank them for bringing the issue up, apologize for any inconvenience caused, and offer a solution. Even if you cannot fix the issue at hand, showing that you listened will work wonders for your reputation.

Responding promptly is also essential as customers expect a quick response. Set up email notifications so that you know when a new review is posted or someone asks a question. And once you respond, don’t forget to follow up on the matter once resolved.

Moreover, responding thoughtfully also reassures happy customers of your commitment towards providing excellent service quality and attention towards their needs. Make sure that all responses are personalised rather than generic as the former shows interest in customer communication.

Ask for Reviews and Questions

One of the most effective ways to build your online reputation on Google is by asking customers to leave a review. You can ask for reviews in various ways, such as after a sale or through email. It is crucial to ensure that you are not incentivising customers to write reviews, as this goes against Google’s review policy.

When requesting reviews, keep it simple and straightforward. Provide clear instructions on how to leave a review, including links to your Google Business Profile. Make it easy for your customers to leave a review by offering guidance and support where needed.

Another way to engage with customers is by responding promptly and professionally to their questions. Responding in a friendly manner shows that you care about your customers’ needs and are willing to go the extra mile for them. Ensure that you answer all questions accurately and adequately, providing relevant information that addresses the customer’s query.

It is also essential always to thank your customers for any feedback they leave, whether positive or negative. Thanking them shows appreciation and helps build trust with potential customers who view your profile. Remember, customer feedback can help improve your business in many ways, so it’s essential always to encourage commenting or leaving feedback on your page.

Enable Messaging & Be Sure to Respond Quickly

One of the latest additions to Google Business Profiles is the messaging feature. This allows potential customers to chat directly with business owners without having to call or email them. Enabling messaging can increase customer satisfaction as they get a quick response and can have questions answered immediately.

When you enable messaging, it’s important to make sure you respond quickly. Customers want answers fast, and if you take too long to respond, they might move on to your competitor. You can set up an automatic message that lets customers know when they can expect a response from you.

It’s also important to be professional and courteous in your responses. Always greet the customer by their name and thank them for reaching out. Address their concerns or questions in a clear and concise manner, without using technical jargon they might not understand.

Utilise Google My Business Insights

If you have claimed and optimised your Google My Business profile, you can start to track your online reputation, as well as your business performance, by looking at the insights provided by the platform. The metrics that are available will enable you to make informed decisions about how to optimise your profile and improve customer engagement.

Tracking clicks, calls and bookings

The insights allow you to see the number of clicks on your website link, the number of calls generated from the listing and how many times users requested driving directions. This information can help indicate how effective your business listing is at generating leads or encouraging customers to visit your physical location. 

Additionally, if you have added a booking button for customers to book an appointment or reserve a table directly from your profile, then this data will also be tracked in the insights section. This enables you to see how popular this feature is with customers and whether it is generating any additional revenue for your business.

Analysing user behaviour

The insights will also provide you with valuable information about user behaviour on Google Maps. This includes the number of views on Google Maps search results and photos uploaded by users. By understanding what aspects of your profile are attracting attention, you can fine-tune that aspect further.

You can also track audience demographics such as age range and gender which allows you to tailor future content more effectively. If most of those engaging with your content are female aged 25-34 years old then consider including more visuals that appeal to them. 

In conclusion, Google My Business Insights provides detailed analytics providing businesses in-depth statistics about customer interactions within their listings which empowers businesses inform strategy based on evidence rather than guesswork. 

Use the Free Google Business website even if you have a professional website

Even if your business already has a professional website, it’s advantageous to utilize the free Google Business Website as well. Google Business Website is a tool that allows businesses to create a simple, attractive website in just a few minutes. It’s designed for small businesses that don’t have their own website, but it can be a valuable supplementary tool even for those that do.

The primary benefit of using Google Business Website is its seamless integration with Google Search and Google Maps. This means that information from your Google My Business listing, like your business hours, contact information, and customer reviews, automatically updates on your Google Business Website. Having a Google Business Website can enhance your business’s visibility in local search results and on Google Maps, which can be crucial for attracting local customers.

One of the most critical optimisation strategies for your Google Business profile is linking it to your website. Linking these two elements will help improve your online presence and boost traffic to your website. When linking these two platforms, ensure that you use the correct URL and that it is functional. An effective link will not only make it easier for users to find you, but it will also enhance your ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs).

You can link your Google Business profile in one of two ways: by adding a URL directly on the profile or by using schema markup. Schema markup is a code that helps search engines understand the content and structure of a page better. By implementing schema markup, you help Google recognise important information about your business, such as its name, address, phone number and location on a map. 

Linking your Google Business Profile to your website has other significant benefits besides improving visibility and generating traffic. It helps build trust with potential customers and enhances their experience with your brand. A well-linked website will provide customers with more information about what they can expect from you and make them more likely to engage with you.

Monitor Your Google Business Profile Regularly

Once you have created and optimised your Google Business profile, it is essential to monitor it regularly. Monitoring your profile can help you keep track of your business’s online reputation and customer feedback. By keeping an eye on your profile, you can identify issues or negative feedback quickly and take steps to resolve them before they affect your business.

You should be checking your Google Business Profile at least once a week, if not several times per week. This will help you stay on top of any notifications, new reviews or ratings, or changes in customer engagement. You can also use tools like Google Alerts or third-party services that allow you to track mentions of your business online.

Monitoring and responding to reviews is crucial for maintaining a positive online reputation for your business. Positive reviews can attract more customers, while negative ones may deter them from doing business with you. Responding to both good and bad reviews shows that you care about customers’ opinions and are committed to providing excellent service.

What does an enhanced Google Business Profile look like?

In conclusion, optimising your Google Business profile is a vital step for any business owner or marketer. It allows you to take control of the way potential customers see and interact with your brand online. By following these 13 actionable strategies, you can significantly increase your chances of standing out from competitors and attracting more customers. Remember to keep monitoring your profile regularly to stay on top of any updates or changes that might affect its performance. With a strong Google Business presence, you can build trust with your audience, drive traffic to your website, and ultimately boost your bottom line.

Digital 6s is a local digital marketing agency  with a presence in Brisbane and Ballarat - specializing in website design and search engine optimization - Digital 6s helps businesses thrive in the digital landscape and achieve their marketing goals.

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