Google is adding more local results to its results pages. This means when users search for your brand name, your Google Business Profile takes over the right side of the results screen. For general search terms, Google Maps appears more in organic search results so when your Google Business Profile is properly optimised, you'll attract extra traffic faster — and it's also completely free.
How do I make a Google Business Profile profile?
Before you can put your organisation on the map locally, you obviously need a Google Business Profile. If you are not already registered with Google, you can start by creating a profile:
Create a Google Account.
Visit Google Business Profile and create a Google Business Profile with your Google account here.
Download the Google Business Profile app to access additional features.
How does Google Business Profile work?
With Google Business Profile, you have access to a number of obvious benefits — the first and most obvious is that users can locate your business more easily. You can get even more out of Google Business Profile. For example, an active Google Business Profile page — which is regularly updated — helps improve your business’ ranking in the search results. In other words: if you actively engage with Google Business Profile, you’ll be rewarded by Google. Here are some tips:
1. Use Google Posts
Use Google posts to announce updates, promotions, vacancies, or events that are linked to your company. Standard posts are visible for a week and events expire after the specified end date.
Important: maintain your Google Business Profile profile
Creating your profile is a good first step, but maintaining that profile is another story. Many organisations have a Google Business Profile account but neglect it which puts Google Business Profile benefits at risk. Outdated information can also create a negative impression among users.
Welcome followers with a promotion
Especially for B2C companies, a promotion is an attractive way to encourage consumers to follow your Google Business Profile page so they can benefit from future promotions. For example, consumers get notifications when you post on your Page, and you can welcome new followers with a one-off 'welcome' promotion.
2. Post photos
Google isn’t just about the strength of your posts, Google Business Profile ranks clear photos of your organisation (both interior and exterior). Add photos of your employees — with their permission, of course — to highlight the human aspects of your organisation.
You can change your Google Business Profile page cover photo, but Google still has the last word on photo choice. You can propose an alternative image, but Google can just overwrite that image. Their decision is influenced by:
The number of views and engagement levels of the photo.
Preference for static (logo) or vivid photos that you have indicated when creating your Google Business Profile page.
3. Share information about services and categories
A complete Google Business Profile profile includes all the different services the company offers. This maps out what you do clearly, and you can add a separate link to each service.
Clearly identify the category your organisation operates in — Google regularly updates the list of categories.
4. Share opening hours
It’s a good idea to display your opening hours on your Google Business Profile page so you can communicate clearly when your company is open and temporarily or permanently closed.
5. 'Collect' reviews
Reviews also help organisations to improve ranking and visibility on Google. Unfortunately collecting reviews and answering them with "Thank you for your review" is not enough.
It’s worth encouraging customers to use relevant keywords in their reviews. This is easy when your customer is satisfied or after a successful collaboration. Send them a follow-up email with a direct link to the reviews with the question 'What service/product did we provide, and how positive was your experience?'. With the correct phrasing, there’s a good chance that customers will include relevant keywords in their review.
From time to time, you will also have to deal with negative reviews. Naturally this sparks the eternal debate: how do you deal with it? Try to deal with negative reviews as precisely as you can — this is the ideal opportunity to show potential customers that you prioritise customer service.
You can also use physical prompts to encourage customers to leave a review. Google supports Google Business Profile clients with free stickers and posters. You can check here whether you are entitled to this support, but this list is rather limited.
6. Be reachable for customers
If you have the time and resources available, you can use Google Business Profile to receive customer messages. You can activate this by going to Messaging. Choose Android or Apple to receive customer inquiries directly to your phone.
If a certain question comes up frequently, Google will offer the new customer a suggestion to solve their question based on the previous one. Please note: an external Good Samaritan can also provide an answer to these questions in your place.
7. Create a (limited) website via Google Business Profile
With Google Business Profile you can also create a mini-website, although the options are limited. You can choose from a few themes, a header, text boxes, and a call-to-action button. For small businesses and the self-employed, this is an ideal opportunity to provide more information with limited resources than the standard data from Google Business Profile.
Do you need help creating your Google Business Profile?
Do you want to improve your Google search ranking? Our experts are here to help you.
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