4 Simple Tips To Improve Your Business Profile on Google, (without spending lots of time & money).
Google Business Profiles provides potential customers or clients with quick information regarding a business. A potential customer searches through Google and can learn how the business a) was rated by other customers, b) the distance from where they are (by showing the business on a Google map) c) store hours – as well as other information that can be useful for the potential customer or client.
I promised 4 simple tips but first, it’s important to understand what a search result will show a potential customer or client.
Google Local Search Results
I performed a Google search on “web designer Oakland.” (“Local” means specifying a geographic area like “near me,” or “Bay Area” or, in this case, “Oakland.”)
Currently (as of the date of this article), there are 4 different components that show up with a Google local search. In the order of the lay-out:
- Paid ads (top)
- “Local” or “Map Pack” listings (after the ads)
- “Organic” search results
- More paid ads (very bottom)
1) Paid Ads
Appearing at the top of the search result are 3 or 4 paid ads. Be aware: paid ads cost anywhere from $5 to a couple of hundred dollars a day.
2) “Map Pack”
Following the paid ads will be local search results, also known as the “Map Pack” because they are shown on a Google map. Sometimes a paid ad appears there as well, but not always. This is where you want to appear!
3) Organic Search Results
Appearing after the Map Pack are the “Organic Search Results.” At the top of these results are nearly always a directory (or app) like Yelp, Thumbtack, UpWork, Houzz, etc., that provide hundreds of thousands of referrals. These are then followed by individual or company websites. This is because a directory with hundreds of thousands of links, like Yelp, will nearly always outrank a small company website that may have anywhere from 10~5,000+ links.
4) Additional Paid Ads
Usually following the organic search results are more paid ads followed by the Google search result pages.
What do you notice about the search results page?
OK, now that we know the structure of the search results page, what do we notice?
Gold star for those of you who noticed the Map Pack appears before the organic search results.
This is a huge opportunity for you and your business.
At least half of all people are doing searches on their phones. This is extremely important information to consider, as the Map Pack is the first relevant listing (after the paid ads) to appear. And, appearing in the Map Pack offers two simple courses of action for your potential customer: 1) Visiting the website and/or 2) Clicking on the phone number to call.
Finally: The 4 Simple Tasks to Improve Your Profile on Google
The following are 4 simple things you can do today to raise your Profile on Google:
1) Get Client Reviews
When you see 3 businesses listed and one has more 5-star ratings, which one are you going to call? The one with the most 5-star ratings of course. Especially, if the number of reviews for one listing far outpaces the others.
In the following example of a search for “Auto repair Albany, CA” which shop would you call?
It’s a no-brainer – call Dana Meyer Auto Care!
Tip: When asking someone to review your business, encourage them to upload an image that they’ve taken with you or of your business at your business location. It not only provides a nice visual to the testimonial, it also helps to reinforce the location of the business. This means the image will be “tagged” with the geolocation information (your business’ location).
2) Add Photos & Videos
It’s also a good idea to give your potential customers a flavor for what it’s like to work with you by uploading photos and videos. You can include product photos, staff photos and/or photos and videos of your office space. Some services create a 360-degree video of their offices to offer potential customers or clients the chance to virtually “look around.”
A good example of all of a business with nice images is LMB Interiors located in Oakland, CA.
3) Frequently Asked Questions
An often overlooked feature of a Google Business Profiles is the ability to have FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions). These can either be questions you’ve been asked by your clients or customers, or you can make up questions that will allow you to provide information you want potential customers or clients to know. If you see that a business you’re considering has answered things you have questions about – as compared to one that hasn’t – wouldn’t you be more likely to choose the one that has taken the customer into account in this way?
(Be aware that anyone on-line can provide an answer to questions. So we highly recommend you create your own FAQs and control the narrative.)
Here’s an example of a neighborhood bakery, Sweet Adeline Bakery, being asked questions by potential customers. Answering the questions can increase their profile on Google.
4) Create Google Business Profile “Posts”
What is a Google Business Profile “Post” you ask?
Google Business Posts are a feature offered in Google Business Profile listing. You can write a post about an event or your services that will then appear in a Google search and on the Map Pack. The post can include a photo, video, text, and/or website link.
How to utilize Google Business Profile Posts could be another article in itself. But, for now, the following is a view of the Google Business Profile Dashboard where you can initiate creating a Post. As you’ll notice: you can create an offer, give details on a new development, or post an upcoming event that your company is organizing.
Final Thoughts on Improving your Google Business Profile
Like all other search marketing efforts, being consistent over time pays dividends in your business ranking ahead of your competition on Google, especially if you utilize the “Map Pack” – that valuable real estate that appears before the organic search results.
And, while there are many aspects to enhancing your Google Business Profile, the 4 items above are a great start for distinguishing yourself from your competition and standing out in a local Google search result.
If you need help establishing your Google Business Profile or assistance with filling it out correctly, please feel free to contact us!