If you are like many business owners, your Google Business Profile may not be on your mind day to day. After all, it’s not making any demands or giving any cause for concern, so it’s an easy thing to neglect.
But if you are not actively keeping your GBP healthy, you may be missing out on an opportunity to have an alternate trust point in place for potential customers, especially if you run a business from a particular location or within a designated service area.
Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Let's explore some of the ways that you can optimize your Google Business Profile to ensure that you’re making the most of all the benefits that this service can bring to your business and its reputation.
- If you don’t already have a Business Profile with Google, be sure to create or claim one. Thankfully, Google makes this very easy to do (and it’s free)! If you’re not sure if you have one already, you can check by searching for your business on Google Maps, or look for it in your profile. If you do have one, make sure you’ve claimed it as yours. And if you don’t have one, you’ll need to create one.
- Complete all content sections with as much detail as possible. Be sure you have an accurate NAP - name, address, and phone number. Add your business hours, as well as a compelling description of who you are and what you do. This is also a great place to post photos and even a video to demonstrate your brand and services to customers. Remember, this may be the only exposure some people will get to your business, so it pays to make this count.
- Keep your posted information consistent. Just about nothing is more off-putting to potential customers than inaccurate contact information on a website or business profile. Your NAP - business name, address, phone number, and hours should be identical across all platforms you maintain. Otherwise, you may be giving the impression that your business doesn’t actually exist, or at the very least, that it’s being run in an extremely disorganized manner. What if your business doesn't have a physical address? Read this article.
- Update your profile regularly. We all know how vital updates are to social media presence, but your GBP will also benefit from the occasional freshening up. And while it may not provide the posting capacities of Facebook or Instagram, it is possible to add new photos, images or service information. Consider checking in on a weekly basis to see what you might be able to add or post so show that business is alive and well. Even if you don’t do this as frequently as every week, adding seasonal or holiday-related content is a good way to show that you are active and engaged with the community.
- Respond to all reviews. It’s always a good policy to respond to customer feedback, whether positive or negative. In fact, responding to negative feedback is a great way to turn it back around, especially when the response is thoughtful, considered, and polite. And of course, it’s good manners to say thank you when someone leaves a good review.
- Answer questions. Google Business Profile offers a Q&A feature for users. This can be a useful tool for getting more information out to the public about your business, but it can also be problematic when the system is relying on user-sourced information to provide answers. That’s why it’s a good idea for you as the owner to respond directly to questions within this feature, and also to respond to anyone that has answered incorrectly.
- Don’t forget to use the Chat feature. Google does provide a way for customers to get a hold of you directly using the Chat button. This is an optional service that you as the owner will have to opt into, but it is one more avenue of communication should you choose to utilize it. As with any messaging feature, there is the potential for the occasional spam message, but these are easily reported to Google in the event that you should receive them.
Hopefully, you have a better idea of what Google Business Profile is how easy it is to use, and how you can make it work better for your business. Look to our team if you have questions or need any help.
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