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  • Writer's pictureJustin Silverman

How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile, Even When You're Busy

Business owner with laptop optimizing Google Business Profile - google business profile optimization

Are you struggling to boost your online presence and attract more customers through your Google Business Profile? We know the pain. Many businesses today understand the need for a strong online presence, and they know that search engine visibility is key. Yet, they often miss the crucial point of optimizing their Google Business Profile. But don't worry, we at Merchynt are here to help you with the process of Google Business Profile optimization, even when you're busy.

This is the digital space where potential customers discover and engage with your business directly on search engine result pages (SERPs). And the best part? It's free! But despite Google handling a whopping 167 billion searches per month, a BrightLocal study revealed that the average Business Profile only gets 1,260 views, with a mere 59 actions taken from those views. Clearly, there's a gap to be closed, and we’re eager to help you do it.

Given the increasing trend of 'zero-click searches,' where users find all the answers on SERPs without visiting any further websites, it's more important than ever to make your Google Business Profile stand out. To step up your game, you need to tread beyond just creating a profile and dive into the deep waters of Google Business Profile optimization. This ensures your business profile doesn't just exist, but excels, acting as a magnet to online traffic.

Now let's dive into what Google Business Profile Optimization looks like:

  • Complete and Accurate Information: Ensuring your profile is complete, with detailed information such as your business name, address, contact numbers, working hours, product or service details, and more.

  • Keyword Optimization: Utilizing relevant keywords in your profile to enhance visibility.

  • High-Quality Photos and Videos: Using appealing and authentic visuals that represent your business effectively.

  • Customer Reviews: Building a solid online reputation with positive customer reviews.

Take a closer look at these and more in the infographic below:

Infographic depicting how to optimize Google Business Profile - google business profile optimization infographic infographic-line-5-steps

Stay with us to unravel the steps of Google Business Profile Optimization and get on the path to improving your online visibility effectively.

Understanding Google Business Profile: A Brief Overview

Let's start with the basics.

What is Google Business Profile?

Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is a free tool provided by Google that allows business owners to manage how their business appears on Google Search and Maps. Essentially, it's your business's listing on Google. It includes important information about your business such as your business name, location, operating hours, and customer reviews.

Having a Google Business Profile is like having a storefront on the internet. It's often the first point of contact between your business and potential customers searching online, hence the importance of keeping it well-optimized.

Why is Google Business Profile Essential for Local Search Success?

A well-optimized Google Business Profile is crucial for success in local search. In fact, 92% of online searches happen on Google, making it the most popular search engine. When your Google Business Profile is optimized, your business is more likely to appear in local search results, and even feature in the coveted "local pack" - the list of businesses that appear at the top of Google's search results page.

Higher ranking on Google's search results means increased visibility for your business, more customer engagement, and ultimately, a potential boost in sales. As Justin Silverman, founder of Merchynt, puts it, "an optimized Business Profile can help your business rank higher on Google Maps and on the first page of Google Search results."

How Google Business Profile Information is Used by Google's Knowledge Graph?

Every piece of information you provide in your Google Business Profile contributes to Google's Knowledge Graph - a database used by Google to enhance its search engine's results with information gathered from a variety of sources.

The Knowledge Graph uses this information to help Google understand your business and the products or services you offer. This, in turn, enables Google to match your business with relevant search queries. So, whether a customer is searching for "Italian restaurants near me" or "emergency plumbers in my area," a complete and accurate Google Business Profile can help your business become a relevant suggestion for those searches.

In the next section, we will guide you through the steps of setting up and verifying your Google Business Profile, a critical step in the Google Business Profile Optimization process.

Setting Up and Verifying Your Google Business Profile

Starting with your Google Business Profile setup is the first step towards achieving optimal online visibility. Let's walk through this process together.

How to Start a Google Business Profile?

Creating a Google Business Profile is a simple and free process. To begin, navigate to Google My Business, click on "Get on Google", and follow the prompts to establish your listing.

Start with the official business name before inputting more crucial info like your main business category. You can change and add to this later, but selecting the most accurate and relevant category for your business is imperative .

Next, you'll be asked if you want to “add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?” This is an essential detail as many businesses operate as service-area businesses and do not need or allow customers at the brick-and-mortar location.

If you're one of those businesses, select the service area(s) that pertain to the business. The specific location of your business will not show up on Google Maps, but your business will still appear for relevant searches in its service area.

Finally, add contact information for the business, including the contact phone number and the current website URL. If your business has a physical location that people can visit, add the business address next.

The Importance of Verifying Your Google Business Profile

After setting up your profile, the next crucial step is verification. Verification proves to Google that you can manage and do, in fact, represent the business you claim. This process typically takes less than a week and is done via postcard by mail .

Without verification, you won't be able to access page insights/analytical information or business reviews from the backend. More importantly, Google won't display your business or its edits until the business is verified.

How to Verify Your Google Business Profile?

Google will send you a verification code postcard that you will use to verify your profile. Once you receive the code, enter it in your Google Business Profile to complete the verification process. After verification, your business will officially be live, and you can start adding additional details about your business, such as business hours, business messaging options, a business description, and photos .

At Merchynt, we understand that as a busy business owner, you may not have the time to manage your own Google Business Profile. That's why we offer Google Business Pro services to help businesses like yours optimize their profiles and reach more customers.

Now that your Google Business Profile is set up and verified, let's move on to the next step: optimizing your profile.

Optimizing Your Google Business Profile: A Step-by-Step Guide

Google business profile optimization is not a set-and-forget task. It requires regular updates and attention to ensure that your business is easily discovered by potential customers. Here's a step-by-step guide on how you can optimize your Google Business Profile, even when you're busy.

Entering Complete Data and Using Keywords

Start by filling out all the fields on your profile, including your address, phone number, and hours of operation. Make sure your business name matches exactly with your other online listings and your store signage. Use relevant keywords in your business description to help customers discover your business more easily when searching for those keywords.

Keeping Business Hours Accurate

Another important aspect of Google business profile optimization is keeping your business hours up-to-date. This includes both your regular and holiday hours. Accurate business hours help customers know when they can visit your business and avoid any confusion or disappointment.

Adding High-Quality Photos and Videos

High-quality photos and videos can greatly enhance your profile's appeal. They provide a visual representation of your business, products, and services, giving customers a better idea of what to expect. Remember to follow Google's photo guidelines and make sure your pictures match the searched keywords.

Managing and Responding to Customer Reviews

Reviews are crucial for building trust with potential customers. Responding to reviews shows that you care about your customers and value their feedback. It's also a good opportunity to address any concerns and improve your business operations.

Enabling Messaging and Using Local Posts

Enabling messaging and using local posts can significantly enhance your engagement with customers. Google posts are a great way to announce offers, events, and products. They appear in the "Updates" section of your Business Profile and can even appear on Google Maps, providing free advertising for your business.

Utilizing Special Attributes and the Product Catalog

Google offers a variety of special attributes that can further describe your business. This can range from "free wi-fi" to "valet parking". These attributes can help your business stand out and attract customers who are specifically looking for these features. Additionally, the product catalog feature allows you to showcase your products directly on your profile.

Optimizing your Google Business Profile is a continual process. Keep revisiting and updating your profile to ensure it remains relevant and attractive to potential customers. At Merchynt, we understand how crucial this optimization process is, and we're here to help you every step of the way.

Leveraging Google Business Profile Features for Optimization

Successfully optimizing your Google Business Profile is not a one-and-done task. It requires continuous effort and engagement, leveraging all the features that Google provides for businesses. In this section, we'll guide you through some of these features and how to utilize them effectively.

Understanding and Using Google Posts

Just like on social media platforms, you can post updates about your business directly on your Google Business Profile. These posts can be about anything from special offers and events to new product announcements. They appear in the "Updates" section of your Business Profile and can become more prominent based on the search query.

When you post updates, it not only keeps your profile fresh and engaging but also signals to Google that your business is active and responsive. In turn, this can boost your visibility in search results. It's worth noting that your Google posts can even appear on Google Maps, providing free advertising for your local business.

The Role of Customer Reviews and How to Respond to Them

Customer reviews play a critical role in google business profile optimization. Google knows that reviews significantly influence consumer buying decisions, making them a key ranking factor in their algorithm.

Encouraging customers to leave reviews and responding to them promptly shows that you value their feedback and are actively engaged with your business. Furthermore, Google may highlight your business profile in search results if it contains reviews with relevant keywords. It’s also important to note that Google will embolden these keywords in your reviews to further validate relevancy.

However, always remember to keep your responses to reviews genuine and professional. Be sure to avoid incentivizing reviews with discounts or gifts as this is against Google's policy.

The Importance of Regularly Checking Your Profile for Accuracy

The information on your Google Business Profile needs to be accurate and up-to-date. This includes your business name, address, phone number, operating hours, and more. Regularly check your profile to ensure that all listed information is correct. If your business moves or changes its hours, update your profile immediately to reflect these changes. This not only helps customers find you but also builds trust and credibility with Google.

How to Use Attributes to Provide Specific Details About Your Business?

Attributes are special features or services that your business offers, like "free Wi-Fi" or "on-site parking." These features can help your business stand out in search results and attract more customers. Once you select a category for your business, Google will provide a list of attributes you can choose from.

Consider your business's unique selling points and choose attributes that accurately reflect these. For example, if you own a cafe with outdoor seating and vegetarian options, make sure to highlight these attributes on your profile.

Optimizing your Google Business Profile may seem like a daunting task, especially when you're busy running your business. But with a little time and effort, you can make your profile work for you, attracting more customers and boosting your local search rankings. At Merchynt, we're here to help you through every step of this process, ensuring your business shines online.

Monitoring Google Business Profile Insights for Continuous Optimization

Having an optimized Google Business Profile is just the beginning. To ensure your profile continues to attract and engage potential customers, you need to regularly monitor its performance. This is where Google Business Profile Insights come in. This tool provides powerful analytics that can help you understand how customers interact with your profile and where you might need to improve.

Understanding How Customers Find Your Profile

One of the key pieces of data provided by Insight is information on how customers find your profile. Insights categorize these searches into two types: "Direct" and "Discovery". A direct search means customers found your profile by searching for your business name or address. In contrast, a discovery search means customers found your profile by searching for a category, product, or service that you offer.

Insights further break down these searches into 'total searches', 'direct searches', and 'discovery searches'. This data is invaluable as it tells you whether your customers are actively searching for your business or if they are discovering you while searching for products or services you offer. This knowledge can help you fine-tune your optimization efforts.

Tracking Customer Actions, Direction Requests, Phone Calls, and Photo Views

Insights also provide data on what customers do once they find your profile. This includes actions such as visiting your website, requesting directions to your business, calling you, and viewing your photos.

For instance, the 'Direction Requests' feature uses a map to show where people are requesting directions to your business from, breaking down the total number of requests by city or neighborhood. This can provide valuable information on where your customers are located, allowing you to target your marketing efforts more effectively.

'Phone Calls' data shows when and how often customers called your business via your profile. This allows you to understand when customers are most likely to call after seeing your Google Business Profile, which can inform business operations and customer service planning.

Keeping Your Business Information Up-to-Date

Regularly reviewing and updating your business information is crucial for maintaining optimization. The information on your Google Business Profile should always be current and accurate, including your business hours, contact details, and the goods and services you offer. This is not just important for Google; it's essential for providing a positive customer experience.

At Merchynt, we understand that managing and optimizing your Google Business Profile can be a challenge, especially when you're busy running your business. This is why we offer professional Google Business Profile Services to help you get the most out of your online presence. We can help you keep your business information up-to-date, respond to reviews, upload high-quality photos and videos, and monitor your profile insights to ensure you are always on top of your Google Business Profile optimization efforts.

Conclusion: Stay Ahead with Google Business Profile Optimization

In a digital-first world, Google Business Profile optimization is not just a nice-to-have - it's a must-have. As we've highlighted throughout this guide, a well-optimized Business Profile is your ticket to better local search visibility, increased customer engagement, and ultimately, a more successful business.

However, we understand that as a busy business owner, you may not always have the time or resources to dedicate to optimizing your Google Business Profile. That's why we're here to help. At Merchynt, we specialize in Google Business Profile optimization, offering a range of services from setting up and verifying your profile to responding to reviews and monitoring insights.

We believe in the power of data and the importance of continuous optimization. Our Google Business Profile SEO service will not only help you set up an attractive and fully optimized Business Profile but also ensure that it remains updated and relevant.

Google Business Profile optimization is not a one-and-done task. It's an ongoing process that requires regular updates, prompt responses to reviews, and continuous monitoring of insights. But the payoff - increased visibility, more customer engagement, and a stronger online presence - is well worth the effort.

Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on Google Business Profile optimization. We hope that it has provided you with useful insights and practical steps to improve your local search performance. If you have any questions or need further assistance, our team at Merchynt is always ready to help.

For more tips and guidance on optimizing your Google Business Profile, be sure to check out our blog for the latest updates and industry insights. From all of us at Merchynt, here's to your business's online success!


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