Posted on: September 7, 2021
How many times do you use Google or Chrome a day? How many times a day are your potential customers using these popular browsers? Perhaps the most important question for your business is are you really making the most of your Google Business Profile listing (which is free)?
It’s sometimes easier to keep things updated that you see all the time such as websites, brochures and social media but Google Business Profiles are an important area that are overlooked (or even forgotten). They’re the more visual listing which appears to the right of the search results when a customer browses on a company’s name.
By way of a test, check what comes up on Google when a potential new customer searches for you. How current is your Google Business Profile listing? Is it as impressive and up to date with information as your website?
Making your Google Business Profile listing work hard for you
Below are some steps we’d recommend in making sure that your free listing on Google is working hard for you. In particular, it should encourage more new customers to click through and find out more about your company on its website, or call you direct.
Getting set up
You can set up and access your profile via the My Business area of your Google account. If you don’t have an account already this is where you can get signed up, and it has lots of useful information to help get you started see here. You will need to know some key details about the business to set up the account.
Great pictures that tell your business ‘story’ on your Google Business Profile are really powerful. They shouldn’t be just the standard pictures of your premises, or your logo. Be more creative and appealing by including pictures of your team, your products, positive activities your company gets involved in, your team and customers in action etc. Be warm, welcoming and engaging in your images’ themes.
Once you’ve got everything set up, ensure someone has responsibility for checking and refreshing the listing regularly. You can create extra impact if your listing adapts to play to seasonality or specific customer interests and search phrases that are relevant to you. Check published phone numbers are being answered at all times (or have a voicemail facility that is being checked regularly) and other contact details are correct.
Make the most of posts
Google also lets you add posts to your listing and, as you would with your social media channels. Do make the most of these. You can use them to promote offers, events and news etc. Some examples here would be if you’re hosting an event or special offer for new customers. You can add this to your profile, so that people can see the information and then head to your website to get more details or sign up.
Sharing posts is another way to reach out to potential customers – if you’ve launched a new product or the team has grown due to recent successes then tell people about it. Collectively, posts demonstrate you’re active, your business is successful and this will appeal to people.
Another great tactic is to answer frequently asked questions on to your listing too. This will help customers by giving them information for their queries, but also encourage them to find out more. It makes you look more attentive, customer-focused and proactive – a must if you want to stand out from the competition.
Don’t forget your opening times
The last two years have brought it home to everyone that standard opening hours change, sometimes without any warning. Do keep the opening times area on your Google Business Profile listing current and reflective of bank holidays etc. There is nothing worse than someone thinking you’re open and ringing or turning up only to find the doors closed! Your opening times will also help to manage expectations when customers might hear back from you. If they just encounter radio silence in response to an enquiry, they’ll go to one of your more responsive competitors.
The power of reviews
Encouraging happy customers to post up reviews to your Google Listing is so important. Research has shown that 72% of customers won’t take action until they read reviews, and 15% of users don’t trust businesses without reviews. Fortunately, Google provides a helpful link for you to send to customers and the process is very quick and easy for them.
There are also more tips in our article, Generating positive customer reviews and recommendations
Check your progress along the way
Don’t forget to make the most of the stats and insights Google gives you. You will typically receive monthly updates about your Google Business Profile’s performance and you can also cross-check to that statistics in your Google Analytics, if you have it set up for your website.
Look out for what searches are bringing people to you, which are your most/least popular pages and how posts are performing. Work to replicate success and look to address the gaps in any weak areas.
Your listing via the My Business area of your Google account is a great free tool that helps raise awareness of your business and its offering. As people are keen to source suppliers local to them, or for a specific requirement, it can help you punch above your wait to stand out from bigger competitors.
Spending even a short amount improving the information on your listing can help you attract new visitors to your website, call you or find you in order to visit. Make things easy for them and you’ll reap the benefits.
For more advice on marketing your business contact us or tel. 01483 429111.