How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile: Part 5
If you’ve made it this far into our series, good for you, you’re on your way to finishing mastering your Google Business Profile. For the last segment of our series, let’s continue our discussion on Google Business profiles and how to really make your profile yours, and how to use it for engagement from your audience!
How to Make The Most of Your Google Business Profile
You know the old adage that “less is more?” Well, in this case, forget it. The more specific you can make your Google Business Profile, the more effectively Google can link it to the search queries coming in. Plus, the more information your prospects can find out here, the more likely it is that they’ll find a reason to investigate further.
This is what is known as relevance, one of three ranking factors that Google leans heavily on. The other two, distance and prominence, are all combined to create the most practical match for a local searcher’s inquiry. How well does your business’ profile match what has been searched for, how close is your business to the location of the searcher, and how do your reviews from all around the Internet look? Including the right keywords here can be hugely effective, so don’t forget to check your Google Analytics to identify promising ones to use.
Otherwise, there are a few other ways that you can add value to your business’ profile:
Customize Your Attributes
Remember the business categories we referenced earlier? Depending on the ones you selected, your GBP can be adapted to even more closely suit your business.
Add Plenty of Photos!
Don't underestimate the power of a picture, give Google plenty to share. Exterior shots, team photos, common areas, all of these and more can add value. Sticking to these guidelines will help make these photos even more effective:
- Use JPG or PNG formats.
- Keep your images between 10 KB and 5 MB
- Stick to a minimum resolution of 720 px x 720 px
- Use well-lit, quality photos with no added filters
- Put keywords and relevant business/location details in your image file names
- Geo-tag your images with location metadata to help attract area-specific searches
Naturally, you should also make sure that the image you select to represent your business is a good one.
Promote What You Have to Offer
Take advantage of the free space to talk about your products and services. Not only will this help with SEO-based matters, but it also adds context to what your business does.
Use It as a Message Board
Communicate to your target audience through your profile. By posting frequently, you show that your business is engaged—and since these posts are configured to expire, it’s a low-maintenance way to advertise time-sensitive events and announcements. For instance, many businesses set holiday hours. You can easily update your business’ availability for any reason using this tool, while extended closures can be handled from the “From the Business” section of your dashboard.
Answer Some Frequently Asked Questions
Use the Q&A section to clarify common concerns. The Q&A section can be a bit of a double-edge sword, as ANYBODY can answer questions, but there are ways that you can stay on top of it… and no, it can’t just be turned off.
Take advantage of the alerts feature so you can answer any questions quickly after they are asked. Not only does this show how responsive you are, it helps you get the first word in before someone else shares mistaken or wrong answers.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask the questions yourself! While this may feel like cheating, it is something that Google actively encourages. Think of this like adding an FAQ section to your GBP.
Respond—Appropriately—to Reviews and Feedback.
The review function that Google Business Profiles come with may seem like they are primarily asking for trouble (who’s more motivated to leave a review, a happy client or someone with unpleasant emotions and an outlet to vent into?). However, both positive and negative reviews offer an opportunity to either show appreciation or help resolve an issue. Ideally, the latter would quickly be moved offline.
Believe it or not, this is a relatively brief list. With a bit of ingenuity, there’s no limit to how you could potentially use your GBP—so long as you don’t break any of Google’s policies.
Keep an Eye on Your Metrics
Your Google Business Profile offers an Insights section that gives you an assortment of telling data, specifically discussing key metrics, like:
- How many people navigated to your website via your GBP
- Which search terms led to your GBP
- How many phone calls were placed from your GBP
Using Your Google Business Profile to Encourage Engagement
Clearly, a good Google Business Profile makes it very easy for a prospect to engage with your company… however, it still falls to you to encourage them to do so. Seeding a few calls-to-action into your description could be the difference between having someone reach out or not.
You can help keep your current, satisfied customers and clients thinking about you by actively encouraging them to go and leave positive feedback and reviews on your GBP. Who knows, maybe thinking about what you did for them will lead them to other ways they could benefit from your services.
Any positive reviews that your clients do leave will be providing the kind of invaluable social proof that someone checking a Google Business Profile is likely looking for.