Google My Business Profile – Optimizing

Optimize your Google My Business profile and leverage everything Google My Business has to offer, after all, it is literally the best digital real estate that you can own for free.

Make sure you fill out your entire profile

When you are filling out your profile you want to make sure that you are giving Google as much pertinent information about your business as possible. Here is why this is so important, it makes it easier for Google to correlate your business to searches that customers are doing. It’s the absolute best way to improve your search rankings.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

 

Google states that “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.”

So what should you make sure is up to date and correct at all times? Your contact information, relevant information such as phone number, website address, physical address, your business category, attributes that are available and applicable to your business. Let’s not forget the use of the right keywords, this is obviously going to help with search results.

Google is going to determine local ranking based on these three factors:

  • Relevance: This is how well your business profile matches what someone is searching for. You are going to want to ensure that you have complete and detailed information about your business to make sure that Google understands your business so that you can be matched to searches that are relevant.

 

  • Distance: How far a potential search result is from a particular search term that was used. If the user doing the search doesn’t specify a particular location, Google is going to calculate the distance based on what they know about the location of the user.

 

  • Prominence: This refers to how well-known a business is. It also is based on information that Google has regarding a business, information contained on the web such as links, articles, and directories. Google is also considering your review count and review score factors into local search result rankings. Google will also consider how you position in web results, so make sure your SEO optimization is high on your list of priorities.

 

Interested in what is trending on Google Search for 2020?

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

 

You want people to see what your business is about so, make sure you are posting quality photos

 

When you create your Google My Business profile, you are going to want to add a logo and cover photo, just like you have done with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest. If you don’t add these images, it is going to make it very difficult for anyone to for people to recognize your brand online.

Add more photos, not just your logo and cover photo. Make sure that you add photos of your location, products, or anything else you want to make sure is showcased for everyone to see. If you own a remodeling business, post pictures of your latest projects, show them some before and after images. Same approach if you own a restaurant, make sure you post pictures of your food, available menus, and some images of your dining area. No matter what type of business you own, make sure the photos that you are posting are high resolution, not blurry and out of focus. Images should always be crisp and clear.

According to statistics from Google, businesses that have photos will receive around 42% more directions requests and 35% more clicks to take them to their websites.

Not everyone has a huge budget for this, but if you can afford to spend the money, get a professional photographer. Trust me, it will make a difference and in the end it will pay off. If hiring a professional photographer is not something you can budget for then here are some tips on how to take your photos.

Adding photos to your Google My Business profile:

  1. Sign in to your Google My Business profile.
  2. Click the location you want to manage.
  3. Click Photos from the menu.
  4. Choose the photo that you want to add.
  5. Upload your photo from your computer or choose one you’ve already uploaded.

 

Post news, updates, and special offers regularly

 

Information on your Google My Business profile such as your address, hours, and contact info, should always be accurate. Make sure to update this information if it changes.

You can also create posts for your business to keep your customers informed about updates, new products, offers, and events. Depending on your goal, these posts can help keep your profile relevant, drive sales, and encourage visits to your physical or online store.

Create a post on Google:

  1. Sign in to Google My Business and open the location you’d like to manage, for most you will only have one.
  2. From the left hand menu, select Posts.
  3. Choose the type of post that you would like to create from the available options.
  4. Make sure that you enter information accurately in each field. Your content should include necessary details and be concise.
  5. Before you Publish your Posts, always click Preview to double check formatting and spelling. If you need to make an edit, select the back arrow and make your correction.
  6. When you’re ready, select Publish.

 

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

 

If the post option you’ve chosen includes an opportunity to include rich media, don’t pass up on this opportunity. According to Google, people will engage more with posts that have photos, videos, or GIFs included in them.

 

Add special features and attributes

Special features are available for Google business accounts, depending on the category you’ve chosen.

Here’s a rundown of category-specific features available:

If you think your business is eligible for one of these features, but you don’t see them, you may have chosen the wrong category. You can choose up to 10 categories for your business.

You can also add factual attributes to your profile to share more info your customers may care about. If you run a shop or restaurant, you may want to share that it’s wheelchair accessible, offers free Wi-Fi, or outdoor seating. You can even share if your company is Woman-Led.

How to add or edit attributes:

  1. From your account dashboard, click Info.
  2. Find Add Attributes and select Edit. Search for the attribute you want to add, or scroll through all the available options for your business.
  3. Click Apply.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

 

 

Customer reviews should always be encouraged

People are always going to put more trust into an actual customer review of your services or products over just taking your word. A great review can absolutely be the deciding factor that wins prospective customers. Let’s not forget that reviews will also improve your Google ranking.

My philosophy on this, the absolute best time to ask for a review is after providing a great experience. Customers are more likely to leave a positive review while the experience is fresh on their minds. So make sure you have a strategy that gets the review request in front of the customer. There are a few ways to accomplish this, some use QR codes, others share links to their Google My Business profiles, they range from absolutely free to automated managed services that will send text messages and emails asking for reviews.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

 

You can also create a custom short name to make leaving a review easy. It will look like: g.page/[yourcustomname].

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

How to create a custom review URL from your Google My Business profile:

  1. From the GMB dashboard, click Info and then Add short name.
  2. Enter your short name you would like to display. It can be up to 32 characters in length and should be unique. I advise that you be prepared with potential alternatives if the short name you want is already taken.
  3. Click Apply.

When your short name is updated and ready it will be displayed on your business profile.

Responding to reviews

Now to a personal favorite and something that I am very passionate about.

Show current and potential customers that you engage with and value customer feedback by responding to reviews that have been written for your business. Based on a survey that was conducted by Google and Ipsos Connect, businesses that take the time to respond to reviews are considered 1.7 times more trustworthy than those that don’t. This is a very easy way to ensure that you continue to rank and build trust, it literally takes 2-3 minutes to respond to a review.

Positive engagements are going to build loyalty and trust. This also applies to negative reviews as well. Negative reviews, while not exactly something you want, they provide an opportunity so don’t ignore them. Potential customers, and existing ones, are watching to see how you respond and handle the situation, it shows that you care about customer experience and service. If something went wrong, or didn’t meet the expectation of a customer, (even if you don’t necessarily agree) by taking the time to address the negative review with the correct response you can turn it into a positive outcome. Your business will earn trust and be viewed more positively just by listening and addressing the issue that was pointed out in the negative review.

Business integrity, the view that is seen online, can be very easy to lose if you do not address quickly. Also, just be understanding and offer an apology when it appears necessary. My suggestion, have a few responses prepared that would cover negative experiences so that you can immediately respond by just updating a few items rather than having to come up with a new response if it happens again. That will help in most situations, but will not obviously not cover some, it’s a quick response that may potentially be a factor in determining the outcome. Again, this response, lack of response, and time that it took you to respond are all factors that can be seen. Make sure that you are putting as many positive +1’s up for your business as you can, they will add up quickly if you pay attention.

I want you to think about a negative review from the perspective that I am about to explain. Hopefully what I am saying will make sense to you even more and you seriously think about this.

Put yourself in the shoes of a customer, if your perception (pay attention….this is really all that matters) of the experience that you had with a business was impactful enough for you to take the time out of your day to leave a negative review rather than just blowing it off and never shopping with a business again, obviously you want everyone to be aware.

How many times have you been a customer and had a less than positive experience? Then rather than never spending your money with that business again took the time to actually leave a review, seriously – think about that. When and if you did leave a negative review, how passionate were you about making sure the business owner and other potential customers that saw your review would actually use your experience in deciding whether or not they should choose this business?

Think about how many times that you would have just walked away feeling like you were giving that business more of your time that they didn’t deserve. Now think about the one time that you felt passionate enough to make sure your feedback was absolutely necessary. Hopefully I’ve given you something more to think about regarding negative reviews. If you want more insight on them, how to respond to them, reach out and I’ll share my approach. Yes, I actually gave it a name.

I’m just being realistic here, I believe in online reviews 100% and I rely on them every single day. When I am looking for something I need on Google, I’m not shopping for groceries or toothpaste, I am looking for something very specific. I look at the reviews of every business I choose to view the product I am looking for on. I will even go as far to Google the name of that business and the word reviews, because I know Google is not the only place that reviews can be left. Yes, Google is going to be the decision maker in a Google search, but there are literally over 150 review sites that customers can leave business reviews on.

Seem like a bit much to you, maybe, but if you’re a business owner a light in your head just went off. If it didn’t let me flip the switch for you, how can I get all of my business reviews into one location if they are on multiple review websites? How does that help me on search results? Hope that helps drive my point home, if you want to see it in action I’ll show you what your business looks like and how inexpensive it is compared to the results you get from it.

If you think positive reviews are hard to get then we should talk. Yes, if you are not actively using an online reputation management strategy, you are much less likely to get the reviews you deserve. Don’t let a negative experience have a higher likelihood of your business receiving a review than a positive one.

Now that I am done with my reviews rant, make sure to answer questions. Absolutely anyone can respond to a customer question left on your Google My Business profile. If you don’t have the app on your phone, get it and make sure the notifications are on. There are going to be questions that you want customers to respond to and there are going to be ones that you want to respond to personally, don’t let someone else make that decision for you because you aren’t paying attention. Take charge of your business reputation and show people that your business is active, reliable, and trustworthy.

As always, drop me a line if you have questions and be on the lookout for our next blog.

 

Ken G.

 

Google My Business Managed Services

As a business owner, you’ve got a lot of responsibilities. You’re managing employees, taking inventory of supplies, constantly working to improve your products and services, serve your customers to 100% satisfaction, and well, the list goes on. There’s just not enough time in the day to keep up with all of that, plus all of the changes being made in the marketing industry.

Owing your own business is a lot of work and responsibility, but you already know that. From managing inventory, employees, always looking for ways to step up your game to improve your products or services, and always have 100% customer satisfaction, sound familiar yet? You know as well as I do, as a business owner myself, there are just not enough hours in the day. Trying to keep up with shifts in online marketing, let alone keep pace with Google updates that could have impacts to how your business stays relevant.

We are here to make sure that you keep up with the changes, because that’s part of what we do. Interested in a free Google My Business audit yet?

Think of Google My Business is your local online business showcase. When local consumers are searching for products you offer online, your Google My Business profile is literally the first impression you get to make. Are you going to make the cut? Where are you listed? If you are listed is your profile as optimized as it should be to get an instant reaction and that coveted click that takes them to your listing?

Your Google My Business listing should be accurate, giving customers access to your business hours, your contact information, photos to showcase your company, your website URL, where you’re located, areas you serve, and more. If this information is inaccurate or missing key pieces it can turn these customers away and send them to the competition.

Your GMB profile is extremely important. If it’s not properly managed, monitored, and kept updated with accurate information, you are losing what is probably considered the most coveted and let’s not forget, absolutely free, assets in the world of online marketing.

At this point, if you didn’t realize, now you know it’s critical to success. But how do you know what information to post? Are there things that you should keep private? How do you make sure everything stays relevant and updated?

If you’re already a client using our Google My Business Managed Service, you’ve seen the results. We make it a point to stay up to date with the latest trends and changes that Google is making, and we’re making sure your information stays accurate and updated, which allows your business to make a solid first impression with those who find you online.

If you are interested in a free audit of your Google My Business profile, just leave a message in our chat bubble just to the right of this article. I’ll get back with you and set up a time that works with your schedule.

Ken G.

 

Create Your Google My Business Profile

For starters, if you are a local business that has an online presence with a physical location as well, if you don’t already have a Google My Business profile, I am going to show you how easy it is to get. Google My Business is what I would refer to as coveted online digital real estate for showcasing your products, services, and most importantly showing that you exist. Oh yeah, did I mention it’s absolutely free? Other than having to wait for a verification card to come in the mail, it’s a relatively easy and painless process. One more time, it’s free, so other than investing a few minutes of your time to setup there is literally no excuse for not having one.

I’m even going to walk you through how to set up your Google My Business profile to ensure everything is done correctly. The process just takes a few minutes and once your are verified you can immediately start leveraging it.

Setting Up Your Google My Business Profile

 

Step 1.

Follow this link to get to the profile creation page.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 2.

Click the Manage now button.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 3.

Enter your business information, which would be your company name. Make sure when you are doing this that you enter it by the actual name, not a short name, use the actual name of your business.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 4.

If your business listing shows up, select it, if not don’t worry I’m going to cover that part as well.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 5.

Select your business name if it populates in the results, if not again, I’m going to cover that one in just a minute so don’t worry. If your business name does not populate, which would not be unexpected, just enter the name of your business as it is formally called.

Your business name may populate and just need to be completed, or, someone else has already claimed your business listing on Google My Business. I’ll cover that in another article.

If your business is not listed, then proceed by entering the name of your business.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 6.

 

Click next to proceed after entering your business name.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 7.

 

Next you will be asked to choose the best category that best describes what your business does.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

There are multiple categories, so make sure to take your time and look around to find the best primary fit for what you offer and where you want your business to be seen.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Once you have selected the category that best describes your business click next to proceed.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 8.

 

Next you will be asked to provide the location of your business, such as your store or your office address. Here is another situation where if you don’t have a physical location, I’ll cover that part in another step.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 9.

 

For now we are going to go with we have a physical location, again, I’ll cover how to setup without a physical location that customers can visit.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 10.

 

Now you are going to need to input the address of the physical location of your business to move to the next step.

 

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

After you get that information populated we can move to the next step. For the purposes of this setup I have intentionally masked the address due to the fact that it is a real address as Google My Business does not like virtual addresses such as shared office spaces, etc. So make sure when you fill this out you are using a location that can be validated and not seen as a shared office solution where your mail is delivered to. I’ll show you how to deal with not having a physical location in another step.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

 

Step 11.

 

Once you have confirmed the address of your business, the next question that you will be asked is regarding if you service customers outside of your location. In other words do you visit or deliver to your customers, this is considered as “your service area(s)” that will show on your Google My Business profile.

If you don’t have a physical location you can use this option to populate what service areas your business has a presence in.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Once you have listed all of your business service areas by city, state, etc. Click Next to proceed.

Step 12.

 

Here is where you are going to be asked to populate information such as your contact phone number, your business website URL if you have one. Make sure that this information is accurate as it will be used to let customers know how and where to find you.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 13.

 

Once this has been entered the profile creation process has been completed! See how easy that was?

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 14.

 

Now comes the Google My Business verification, a postcard is going to be sent to the address that you provided. That postcard will have a verification code on it that you will need to enter once you receive it to use your profile. This does not mean that you can not proceed with adding information, products, etc. It just means that it will not be visible or listed on searches until this verification process has been completed. Typically it take about 5 days to get the postcard in the mail, so this gives you plenty of time to add content and be ready to go once you enter the verification code on the postcard.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Now, here are the alternative steps if you do not have a physical location that I mentioned above.

 

After choosing the category that best fits your business step shown below, we take a different direction than shown above where your business has a physical location.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

When you are asked if you want to add a location that customers can visit, like an office or a store, select No.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

 

Now we skip to the step from earlier where you were asked to provide your “service areas”, these are the areas that you potentially visit or deliver services to.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Now the next step is different from what we were asked to complete above,

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Now back to the contact details that you want to show your customers, again make sure that this is accurate because you want customers to be able to find you.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Back to the finish and manage this listing section to finalize profile setup.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas citySame process, need to fill in business address, but this way there is no physical address shown on your Google My Business profile for everyone to see.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Don’t forget to look for your postcard in the mail, typically takes about 5 days.

 

If you are interested in a free audit of your Google My Business profile, just leave a message in our chat bubble just to the right of this article. I’ll get back with you and set up a time that works with your schedule.

Ken G.