Having a strong Google My Business profile is very important if you want to rank well in local searches on Google. If your profile isn’t complete or if you don’t have one at all, it’s going to be very hard to rank.
There are several factors that determine how often your business is displayed in local search results. These include the relevance of your business to the search, the distance your business is from the searcher and the quality of your GMB profile. Even if your business is next to the searcher and is exactly what they are looking for, you probably won’t show if your business isn’t up to scratch.
Don’t worry, however. Optimizing your GMB profile isn’t hard. Here’s how you can make the most of your profile in four easy steps.
1. Start by claiming your profile
Okay, this is an obvious one. But there are thousands of businesses out there that haven’t claimed their profile yet. If you’re one of them you can get started by going to google.com/business, searching for your business and verifying that you own it. If your business is brand new, it might not show up when you search for it. In that case, you’ll need to create a listing for it in Google.
2. Complete your profile in full
Once you’ve claimed your profile, you’ll need to fill in all of the information Google wants from you. Fill in everything! The more information you provide to Google about your business, the better your chances of ranking.
You’ll need to fill in your:
- Business name
- Category (what type of business you are)
- Opening hours
- Phone number
- Your website
- Your attributes (other services you offer to customers such as WiFi or outdoor seating
3. Don’t forget photos and consider a virtual tour
Once you’ve filled in all of your business information, it’s time to add pictures of your business. Upload high-resolution pictures of the outside and inside of your business, as well as pictures of your logo, your products and your services. If you can’t take quality pictures on your own, it’s worth hiring an expert photographer to help.
If you want to take things to the next level, you can hire a Google-certified photographer to take photos of your business and turn them into a 360-degree virtual tour. Doing so will generate twice the interest in your business according to Google.
4. Generate as many reviews as possible
Getting lots of positive reviews about your business is incredibly important. A lot of positive reviews will increase your business’ reputation in the eyes of your customers and increase the likelihood that they choose you over your competitors. But it can also help you show up more often in search results because Google uses reviews as a ranking factor.
Don’t be afraid to ask customers to leave reviews. In many cases, customers won’t leave a review unless they are asked. You should make it as easy as possible for customers to leave reviews, too. One way to do so is to include a link to your Google review in emails to customers.
Complete every step on this list and you’ll be well on your way to having an excellent online profile.