A young woman business owner smiling as she opens her business.

As a small business owner, having a Google My Business Profile can be a great asset to your business. It allows you to rank higher in local search, makes it easier for customers to get information about your business, and can be a game changer in terms of bringing more people through your doors. 

It’s important to know and understand all the features that GMB provides and take advantage of them as a business owner. By creating a full profile, you increase your chances of attracting new customers. 

So, here are some of our top tips for getting the most out of your Google My Business profile. 

1. Use Every Section

Having a complete Google My Business profile makes your business rank higher in local search. It also gives customers all the information they need and increases the likelihood they will take actions from your profile. 

When you initially set up your Google My Business account, you’ll be asked to include some initial information. Be sure to complete all of these when prompted:

  • Business name
  • Business address (or service area locations)
  • Phone number for customers to contact you
  • Business website
  • Hours

There are some other sections that you can include in order to have a robust Google My Business profile. These may take some more time and are:

  • Business category: this is a specific category that you can choose during initial setup or add later. You want to make sure the business category is the best fit for what you do. 
  • Products and services: you can include a list of your products and services on your GMB profile. This gives potential customers an opportunity to take a look at what you offer before they come in. 
  • A “From the Business” description: this is a 750 character description of your business as written by you, the owner. You want to make sure that the first 250 characters include important information about your business. It is important that you do not include any links in this section as Google frowns upon this. 
  • Question and Answer section: just like on Amazon, customers can ask questions about your business. Whenever you get a question, be sure to answer as quickly as possible. Additionally, you can create a list of frequently asked questions and answer them.  

2. Upload Good Quality Photos

In your Google listing it’s important to include as much information about your business as possible and this includes photos. When adding photos to Google, ensure that they are good quality, clearly represent your products and services. Clear, unfiltered photos are the best choice when uploading to Google. As customers come in and take their own photos, the number of photos on your listing will increase, but don’t be shy!

When uploading photos to Google it’s important to keep a few things in mind. The first is to make sure that the photos you’re uploading are your own – do not post stock images. 

3. Encourage Your Customers to Leave Reviews

Did you know that positive reviews are the top influence in consumer purchasing? This means that customers like to visit highly rated businesses! Many customers also take into consideration the reviews on Google before deciding whether or not to visit a business. This is why it’s important to encourage reviews from happy clients and customers as much as possible. 

If you don’t yet have any reviews, start out with loyal customers. 54% of customers say they will not visit a business with less than a 4 star rating. This means you’re better off asking for reviews from those you know for sure will provide you with positive feedback. From there, you can reach out to your email list, social media followers, or include a QR Code in-store for visitors to scan. 

4. Respond to Every Review – Good or Bad

Did you know that 40% of customers expect a business to respond to their review within 24 hours? This may be the case, but less than 40% of businesses bother to respond to reviews within the first 72 hours. 

Responding to reviews helps you stand apart from your competitors. It shows that you’re grateful when you receive a positive review and may encourage others to leave positive reviews as well. 

When it comes to negative reviews, it’s still a good idea to respond publicly. Apologize to the customer for their unenjoyable experience – you don’t have to admit to any wrongdoing parsay, but at least publicly offer to make it better. Simply give them a phone number or email they can reach out to so that they have the opportunity to have a better experience next time. 

After their better experience, encourage them to update their review to make it more positive. This will help to demonstrate to other potential customers that you fixed the issue and are responsive.  

5. Post Every Week

Similarly to social media, you can post on your Google business profile. Posts can be created right from your Google My Business dashboard. It’s important to consistently post on your GMB as it will help you rank higher in local search rankings. It also gives you an opportunity to update your customers by making announcements. 

There are four different types of posts that you can put on Google My Business. These include:

  1. What’s New: use this to highlight what’s new with your business. These posts will expire after 7 days. 
  2. Events: promote your current or upcoming events. You can set a timeframe for your event as well. 
  3. Offer: use this for time limited promotions. Like with events, you will need to specify a time frame during which the offer is valid. 
  4. Product: create hype over new products by posting a photo and description! These posts expire after 7 days. 

Use these tips to help optimize your Google My Business listing! It will give you a great opportunity to increase your local search rankings and help to bring more customers through your doors.