Whether you already have a website or are just starting to build your online presence, you can make a business listing that helps you stand out from the competition. The online business listing with the widest reach is Google, with 75% of all search engine searches worldwide and 90% of mobile searches. Your company’s presence on Google My Business, Google’s business listing service, is incredibly important for local search engine optimization (SEO).
Through Google My Business, you can determine how your business appears in both Google Search and Google Maps, so refining your listing is essential for attracting and maintaining potential customers.
If you do not already have a Google My Business account, Google offers instructions on how to easily create one. Once you create an account, your business will receive a local ranking position, a rating that will determine how prominently your business will show when customers are searching for businesses like yours. Google defines the local ranking position of your company based on relevance, distance and prominence.
In this post, we will show you how to improve your Google My Business profile and capture more customers.
Make Sure Your Information is Complete and Up to Date
Based on Google’s My Business Guide, “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”. Take some time to enter your information in Google My Business, including your physical address, phone number, and category. This will allow customers to know more about what you do, where you are, and when they can visit you.
We recommend checking your information every 3 to 4 months to make sure everything is up to date. Has the category of your business changed? Update your category if you’ve added a business unit or changed some of your product or service offerings. Others you should update frequently are your company description, opening hours, location, and any pictures associated with your business.
Specify Special Business Hours
Google gives you the option to add special opening and closing hours for holidays and special events. With this feature, you can specify hours for days that differ from your usual business hours. You can also specify whether your business is open for different holidays. Impress your customers by showing them that your information is always up-to-date, even when circumstances are out of the ordinary.
In addition to providing important information about your business, your listing is also a great place to provide a visual showcase with pictures that show what you do. Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don't have photos.
In addition to your profile picture, logo, and the picture you’d like to appear first on Google Maps results, you can post photos of products and events to keep customers in the know and show them what you do best. If you have a website, put its photos to work by also posting them to your listing using Google My Business.
There are several types of photos you can add to your business listing:
Profile photo: Add a profile photo to help customers identify your business on Google. It should be a different than your business logo, as Google provides a separate section where you can add your logo. For example, your profile picture could show the outside of your business, your team at work, or one of your products or services.
Logo: Add your logo to help customers can identify your brand. Make sure that your logo is square-sized, as these display best on Google.
Cover photo: Add a cover photo to showcase your page’s personality. Your cover photo is the large photo featured at the top of your Google+ page. Note that this photo will be cropped to fit a 16:9 aspect ratio.
Additional photos: Google gives you the option to add different kinds of photos to spotlight different features and benefits of your business. Make sure that your photos are at least 720 x 720 pixels.
Reply to Customer Reviews
Google gives customers the option to actually interact with your business listing and write reviews on your business. These reviews can allow you to take genuine word-of-mouth advertising online, which will help new customers to find you on the web. If you reply to these comments and reviews, you will prove to new and existing customers that you appreciate their business.
Add All Locations
It’s important to add all of your business locations to Google My Business to ensure that you reach all customers in the area. Take a look at this useful tutorial about managing multiple business locations, which shows you how to easily add all location.
Google is a powerful tool for business owners. With easy updates to your Google My Business listing, you can harness that tool. Improving your listing can both help attract new customers and show your current ones that you care about them. It’s also a way for you to have fun defining and enhancing your business’s online personality.