Setting up your Google My Business page should be a top priority if you are trying to get found online as a local small business.
It’s free, which makes it an affordable marketing tool for small and big businesses alike. And to really make your Google My Business profile work for you, even if you already have one, you have to optimize it. Here are a few quick and easy ways to do that.
Let's first start with why you need a Google My Business page? Maybe you think since you have a website, your online presence with your web address and maybe some social media links are sufficient. No, your Google listing is a big piece of helping Google searchers find you.
Why do you need a Google My Business Page?
Google is the ultimate search referrer. A Google My Business account ensures that when someone looks your company up on Google Search and Maps, they find it. Once they do, your listing shows searchers where and how to visit, contact, and buy from your business, whether you have a web or physical address.
Google My Business accounts also improve your local SEO. So when someone searches for you, you show up on page one—not page two or worse.
Just to be clear we are talking about the profile that appears on the right-hand side when you search for a business - see below. Go ahead and see if your's comes up. Google search your business name.
Let's Get Started. Set up your profile completely.
Go to www.google.com/business to sign in.
Tip: Make sure you sign up with your business email domain.
Enter your business name. If it does not appear in the drop-down menu, click Add your business to Google. Then select the appropriate category for your business.
Complete all the information for your business.
Verify your business on Google
Now it's time to verify your business. For most businesses, Google verification involves requesting a postcard. Make sure you take this step and verify the business with a physical address.
Add more information to your page
Once verified log into your account and give Google as much information about your business as possible. Why? It makes it easier for Google to match your business to customer searches. In other words, it improves your search ranking.
As Google explains, “Local results favor the most relevant results for each search, and businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches.”
Include relevant keywords
Using the right keywords will improve relevance. Not sure where to start? Try Google Trends.
For example, if you run a vintage clothing shop, search “vintage clothing” in your location. Look at related topics and terms people are using for keyword inspiration. Build those keywords into your page.
Add High-Quality Photos
When you create your Google My Business profile, you’ll be able to add a logo and cover photo—similar to Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest. Without these images, it will be harder for people to recognize your brand online.
Don’t stop there. Show off your location, products, or handiwork by posting additional photos. According to Google, businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for directions, and 35% more clicks through to their websites.
If you can, hire a professional photographer. It makes a difference. And it pays for itself in the end. Ellie Brands offers affordable photography packages that are both high quality and always on-brand.
Boost consumer confidence with reviews
People trust other people more than they trust business. A good review can be the deciding factor that tips prospective customers in your favor. Reviews also improve your Google ranking.
The best time to ask for a review is after providing a great experience. Consider sharing a card or e-receipt that asks for a review. Don't forget to ask employees, partners, vendors to share a review as well.
Google offers businesses access to a free marketing kit with stickers, social posts, and printable posters. The key is making the ask simple and easy for them to do. Create a custom shortlink to make leaving a review easy. It will look like: g.page/[yourcustomname]. You will find this in the review section of your Google My Business dashboard.
Post news, updates, and special offers
Information on your Google my Business profile such as your address, hours, and contact info should always be accurate and up-to-date. Make sure to edit this information if it changes.
You can also create posts for your business to inform customers of updates, new products, offers, and events. Depending on your goal, these posts can keep your profile fresh, drive sales, and encourage visits to your physical or digital storefront. These posts don't have to be frequent if that is hard to manage, just add some every so often to keep your page looking complete and more branded.
Making the most of Google My Business is a must for any business, but it’s especially important for small businesses. Need to sharpen up your brand image and clarify your message first? Contact us so we can partner together to craft a brand that will inspire your customers and employees alike.