How to Use Your Google My Business Profile to Get More Customers
Your GMB profile is the secret weapon you didn’t know you had.
- How Does a Google My Business Profile Help My Business Get More Customers?
- Where Does My Google My Business Profile Appear?
- How to Create a Google My Business Profile
- How to Complete Your Google My Business Profile
- How to Improve Your Google My Business Profile to Get More Customers
- Update and Monitor Your Google My Business Profile
Your Google My Business profile is a free listing that small business owners all-too-often underutilize. In this post, we’ll go over how to improve each section of your Google My Business profile to turn it into a customer-generating tool for your business.
How Does a Google My Business Profile Help My Business Get More Customers?
The quality of your profile (how complete, accurate, and current it is) directly impacts how high your business appears in search results. Also, the rank of your listing as well as the amount of activity on it (reviews, questions and answers) heavily influence whether potential customers choose you or a competitor.
Where Does My Google My Business Profile Appear?
Google My Business is somewhat confusing since it is not a public-facing directory that consumers can search on. Rather, Google My Business is the database from which Google pulls to display Google Maps and Google Search results. It is also the profile behind the scenes of the Knowledge Panel result, which appears when you search a business name.
Here’s where your Google My Business profile appears in the local section of regular Google Search results:
Here’s where your Google My Business profile appears in Google Maps search results:
And here’s an example of a Google My Business profile appearing in the Knowledge Panel:
As you can see, your Google My Business Profile can appear in a few places on Google search. Customers rely on what Google tells them about your business, so it’s important to make sure your profile tells Google all the right things. The more complete your listing, the higher Google will rank you, and the higher you rank, the more visibility you have.
How to Create a Google My Business Profile
To create a Google My Business profile, you need to do the following:
1. Create a Google Maps listing
2. Select your Google Maps listing
3. Select “claim this businss”
4. Follow the prompts
For a more in-depth review of this, head to How to Create, Claim, and Verify your Business on Google.
How to Complete Your Google My Business Profile
Now that you understand the importance of a complete Google My Business profile and know how to set one up, it’s time to understand exactly what we mean by “complete”. A complete Google My Business profile has all of the following:
- Name, address, phone number, website
- Hours of operation, holiday hours
- Category and attributes
- Weekly posts
- Questions & Answers
Read on to get help on completing and improving each section of your Google My Business profile successfully.
How to Improve Your Google My Business Profile to Get More Customers
The completeness of your Google My Business profile correlates to how helpful it is to potential customers. The less complete, the less helpful and the lower Google will rank it in results. Here’s how to complete every section:
Name, Address, Phone Number, Website
Make sure the contact information you use for your Google My Business profile is up-to-date and accurate, right down to suite number. Customers will lose trust in your business if they try to call and get a dial tone. You’ll also lose their favor if they miss an appointment or arrive stressed because they couldn’t find your location.
Make sure that this information is also consistent across all of your other online listing profiles such as Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, and more. The fewer discrepancies Google can find in your information across the web, the more it will favor you in results.
Make sure your business description includes terms that potential customers would use in a search for the products/services you provide. Keep your description short and to the point, but make sure it encapsulates what you do and highlights your unique value proposition.
This section of your Google My Business profile is important because it allows potential customers to find your business through a general search rather than a branded search. Even more importantly, choosing a category opens up other fields on your Google My Business profile that encourage further engagement among customers. We’ll cover these next.
As mentioned above, once you choose a category for your Google My Business profile, you’ll then have attributes you can choose to highlight. For example, restaurants can include a menu or reservation button; fitness studios can include class schedules; banks can indicate whether they have a drive-thru. Attributes improve engagement with your business and can often be deciding factors for customers, so including these in your Google My Business profile is essential.
Questions & Answers
Anyone can ask, and anyone can answer, any question about any business in the world on Google. Crazy, huh? While it’s good to answer questions your customers are asking, it’s even better for you to preemptively ask these questions and post them, along with their answers, to your Google My Business profile.
Seeding the Q&A section of your Google My Business profile reduces uncertainty for customers and improves their confidence in choosing your business over competitors. Not sure which questions are most popular for your business? Use our free tool to find out and to easily publish these to your profile.
Google My Business Posts
Your Google My Business profile acts like an online directory listing as well as a social media handle. Google enables you to post news, events, promotions, and announcements directly to your listing. Make sure to publish at least one post a week, as posts expire after 7 days. Here are some dos and don’ts for posting to your Google My Business profile:
- Do: Use call to action buttons, emojis, photos, and video.
- Don’t: Use hashtags, write long-winded posts, or include more than one promotion in a post
Did you know that 91% of 18-34 year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? (Source: Brightlocal ) Positive Google reviews both make your business more appealing to customers and improve how high you rank in local search results. So not only will you have a better reputation, but you’ll also have more potential customers taking note of that reputation.
Use this post to get tips on asking for reviews. Customers are willing to write them, it’s just a matter of asking for them and making the process convenvient.
There are a few different types of photos you should upload to your Google My Business profile to help attract customers. Photos of the exterior help customers orient themselves when visiting your business, and also serve as the first impression in most cases. Photos of the interior give customers an idea of what it’s like to actually be at your business. Make sure these photos are taken during peak times with happy customers in it, and also that they capture the atmosphere of your business. Finally, photos of your products and services help to reinforce the quality of what you offer.
When it comes to your Google My Business profile, your photos should not be embellished with any text, images, markups, or logos.
Update and Monitor Your Google My Business Profile
The last way to ensusre your Google My Business profile is helping your business to attract customers is to keep it maintained. This means updating any changes to your contact information, attributes, and offerings as soon as possible. It also means keeping an eye on your customer reviews and responding to them—both the negative reviews and the positive ones.
Your Google My Business profile is at the top of the list for worthwhile small business marketing strategies. Follow these steps for your Google My Business profile and you’ll be on your way to showing up higher on Google Maps and local search results, building trust among consumers, and getting more customers to your business.
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