Resolutions For Online Presence: Google Business Profile Optimisation

Listings with accurate and complete information receive 7x more clicks

Could your business profile be hindering your brand’s potential? Beyond your website, your business listing serves as a vital introduction to potential customers, often making an impression before any clicks have even been made. Yet, in the rush to optimise websites and manage Google Ads, the significance of a polished and optimised business profile can often fade into the background.

Consider your business profile as a virtual storefront. Just as it matters in traditional brick-and-mortar stores, this first impression is key to converting curious visitors into loyal customers in the online world. Keywords, accurate information, reviews and ratings all play a significant role in how well you rank on Google search results and maps. In order to rank highly it’s crucial to ensure that your listing is fully completed, so you’re 100% optimised for quality engagement and conversions.

As we usher in the new year, January becomes the ideal month for a digital overhaul, especially for your Google Business Profile. It’s the opportune moment to recalibrate, refine, and set the stage for a successful 2024.

Understanding Google Business Profile Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly known as Google My Business, is an essential tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. It acts as a kind of business card, offering a snapshot of crucial information about your professional services.

Linked to your Google business account, when people search for your business, your Google Business account will automatically pop up on the right hand side of search results as seen below.

When your Google Business Profile appears in the SERPs, it delivers crucial information about your business directly to users—no need for them to navigate to your website immediately. This represents a quick win, allowing you to communicate essential details right in the search results, not only enhancing the user experience but also having the potential to influence their decision-making process if your account is up to scratch.

Google’s Business Profiles ranking algorithm evaluates factors beyond proximity and relevance; it also takes into account activity and the quality of information. By optimising your Google Business Profile, you send positive signals to Google, increasing your ranking in local search results, leading to enhanced visibility and increased engagement with your business. 

5 essential new year resolutions to optimise your Google Business Profile Resolution 1: Accurate business information The optimization strategy here is straightforward: provide as much information as possible. Maintaining accurate business information on your business profile is helpful to ensuring a positive interaction with your customers.

Here are the key sections to complete:

Business Name: Ensure your business name is accurate, consistent, and reflects your official business name. Category: Choose the most relevant category that describes your business. Address: Input the physical location of your business. Be precise and consistent with your address. Keywords will have an impact here. Service Areas: Specify the geographic areas you serve if your business operates in multiple locations. Phone Number: Provide a phone number that customers can use to contact your business directly. Website URL: Include the URL of your business website for easy access to additional information. Business Hours: Specify the operating hours for each day of the week to keep customers informed. Appointment URL (if applicable): If your business requires appointments, provide a link where customers can schedule. Attributes: Add relevant attributes that highlight specific features or services your business offers (e.g., “Wi-Fi available”). Description: Craft a concise and engaging business description to provide an overview of your offerings. The maximum word count is 750 words, but you should ensure the first 250 are a good summary as this is what shows up on Google. Products (if applicable): List specific products your business offers, complete with details and pricing. Services (if applicable): Outline the services your business provides, including descriptions and pricing. Your business profile acts as a direct conduit of essential business details to Google, making it extremely important to keep information up-to-date. Google values accuracy, and businesses with consistent and reliable information are more likely to rank higher in local search results, increasing visibility and attracting potential customers. From precise contact details to operating hours and location, each piece contributes to a comprehensive online presence.

So, resolution 1- fill out everything you can and as accurately as you can. No one likes a bare profile.

Resolution 2: Captivating business descriptions Elevate your Google Business Profile through captivating business descriptions. Writing a short, but compelling business description is a fundamental step in engaging potential customers. It’s an opportunity to convey your brand identity and ethos, allowing users to connect with your business on a more personal level.

There is a 750 character limit, however the first 250 characters will appear first on Google search results and so should hold the most relevant and engaging information.

It’s crucial, however, to avoid keyword stuffing—an outdated tactic that involves overloading a page with keywords to manipulate search engine rankings. Google’s algorithms prioritise authenticity and user experience, making it more beneficial to prioritise genuine, informative content over keyword density.

Resolution 3: Visual appeal with photos While there’s ongoing debate about images impacting Google rankings, it’s clear that high-quality photos significantly boost sales, leads, and engagement. Incorporating high-quality photos has the power to tell an interesting story about your business, shaping how potential customers feel about your brand from the get go.

The process of uploading photos involves more than just posting random images; it requires a strategic approach, as users are more likely to engage with businesses that present a well-curated collection of visuals.

Tips for photo uploading: Upload your own images: As anyone can upload photos of your business, it’s important to ensure you have some high-quality images that you have chosen yourself to show off your establishment in a positive light. Consistent posting: Google will positively rank your listing if it sees you are actively posting, and keeping an up-to-date account. Try to post a new image every 1-2 weeks. Cover photo and thumbnail: Don’t worry too much about what cover photo you want for your page as Google usually takes the lead on this, and for your thumbnail ensure your logo is added for user clarity and an opportunity for brand awareness. Keep it real: Keep it real by only adding unbranded and unedited images. Steer clear of stock photos. Both Google and your customers prefer an authentic glimpse into your real-world business. Geo-tag: Ensure Google recognizes your location by geo-tagging all uploaded images. This simple step enhances the visibility of your business in local searches. Resolution 4: Customer Reviews Management 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.

Google favours businesses with stellar ratings and a good amount of reviews, making it crucial to actively seek feedback from satisfied customers. You can also enhance the visibility of your business profile on Google with the inclusion of keywords within reviews.

Proactively seek reviews from your customers through personalised requests via email, text, or phone calls.

This active engagement is key to accumulating a substantial number of reviews, contributing to improved ranking on Google. Simultaneously, maintain an easily accessible review page on your website, providing timely responses to customer feedback.

Make it a resolution to manage your customer reviews effectively, leveraging this aspect of your Google Business Profile to not only boost visibility but also to bolster credibility within your online community.

Resolution 5: Regular Post Updates The posting feature on Google Business Profile acts as a digital bulletin board, enabling businesses to share updates, offers, events, and more, directly on the search results page. It’s not just a virtual announcement board; it’s a gateway to free advertising on Google as every post becomes an opportunity to showcase the latest and greatest aspects of your business, without the standard costs associated with advertising.

For instance, a local restaurant can use Google Business Profile posts to broadcast enticing “Happy Hour Discounts” or “Weekend Specials,” effectively keeping their audience in the loop about ongoing events. Similarly, a boutique can use this feature to spotlight new arrivals, exclusive in-store events, or upcoming sales, fostering a sense of urgency and excitement.

How to create a post: Sign in to your Google My Business Account: Visit the Google My Business website and sign in using the Google account associated with your business. Locate the Business You Want to Post On: If you manage multiple business locations, select the one for which you want to create a post. Access the “Posts” Section: On the left-hand side of the dashboard, find and click on the “Posts” tab. Create a New Post: Click on the “+ Create Post” button to start crafting a new post. Choose the Post Type: You’ll have several options for post types, including: What’s New: A general update or announcement/ Events: Highlighting upcoming events/ Offers: Promoting special deals or discounts/ Products: Showcasing specific products with details and prices. Add Content: Enter the content for your post. This can include text, a title, event details, offer specifics, or product information. Add an Image or Video: Attach an eye-catching image or video to your post. Visuals can significantly enhance engagement. Add a Call-to-Action (CTA) Button (Optional): Depending on the post type, you might have the option to add a CTA button, such as “Learn More,” “Sign Up,” or “Buy.” Summary In summary, the power of Google Business Profile lies in its simplicity and effectiveness.

Your profile appears when potential customers are actively seeking businesses similar to yours, providing a direct connection. With the amalgamation of photos, reviews, and updates, you’re able to offer customers a quick yet comprehensive understanding of your brand. Therefore, investing time in keeping your profile updated proves to be minimal effort with substantial returns— ultimately translating into attracting more high intent customers to your business.