Search engine optimization (SEO) is complicated. Researching keywords, monitoring algorithms, identifying trends, tracking performance…shampoo, rinse, repeat.  It’s never ending and always evolving.

Fortunately, Google Business Profiles are free, quick to set up, easy to optimize and can be a powerful tool for improving your local search rankings and driving traffic to your website or business from Google Search and Google Maps.

Formerly known as Google My Business, Google Business Profiles allow businesses to populate online profiles complete with physical location, phone number, website, product and location photos, hours of operation, specific services, FAQs, and more.  Even a business without a physical address that sells products online can have a Google Business Profile.

Google determines local search rankings based on relevance, distance, and prominence.  Therefore, make sure your profile is thorough, descriptive, and compelling.

  • The 750-character description of your business should highlight what sets your business apart from your competition and include keywords that potential customers may use when searching for your services. However, the keywords should appear naturally within the text and not be “stuffed” into the copy which can actually hurt your search rankings.
  • Use a properly sized profile image (720 x 720 pixels) and cover image (1024 x 576 pixels) to ensure they display correctly across different devices.
  • Use enticing photos of your products, staff, and location to engage visitors. Images in search results attract more attention and clicks than text-only search results since images provide an enhanced user experience.  Exterior photos help customers recognize your location.  Interior photos give customers an idea of your brand’s style. Product photos make it immediately clear what you offer.  Be aware that customers and clients can also upload photos to your business profile.
  • You can also upload videos that are less than 30 seconds or shorter and smaller than 75 MB.
  • Include a thorough list of your products and services.
  • Compile a custom list of up to 10 possible questions someone might ask about your business, product or service and post the answers – another great opportunity to include keywords!
  • Some businesses can take advantage of industry-specific features such as uploading a menu for restaurants or a list of accepted insurance carriers for healthcare providers.
  • Posting to your Google Business Profile allows you to promote special events, announce an upcoming sale, or announce a new product or service.

In addition to increasing your visibility on Google, your Google business profile can also help you gain credibility with customer-generated reviews.  Don’t worry about not getting a perfect review every time.  According to Google, a mix of positive and negative reviews is more trustworthy.  Plus, when you reply to all reviews – good and bad – you’re showing a desire to engage with your customers.

Be sure to schedule a reoccurring profile review and make the necessary updates. Are you closed for an upcoming holiday? Have a new product photo?  A new point-of-sale display?  Be aware that your profile is public, and people can suggest changes which Google may accept. As you review your content, you will have the ability to correct any incorrect content generated by the public. Also, Google is notorious for making updates to its products and Google Business Profile is no different.

Need help increasing the visibility of your brand?  Contact the branding experts at Electrum Branding.