Google My Business is an important tool for any business looking to improve how they appear on the Internet’s most popular search engine. It’s a critical tool when you consider how Google is increasingly diminishing certain organic results in favour of larger results such as Knowledge Graph items.

A Google Local profile may not only boost the amount of visits to your website, but will also help improve your brand’s awareness within the local area that you are serving. By implementing certain features of Google My Business, whether basic or advanced, you can significantly improve your online presence.

Submit the Most Suitable Business Name & Category

This first tip may seem basic but you would be surprised at how many businesses get it wrong and the impact it can have on your profile. Don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that your local profile’s name should be your exact business name. You may have a few different branded names to play with so identify the keyword for your business name that you would most like to rank for. You can only select one primary category for your business so opt for the one that most matches the services you provide and your SEO strategy. Categories can play an important role in answering local queries people have and in certain situations may unlock additional features specific to that category.

Don’t Forget to Utilise Images and Google Street View

If someone is searching for information related to your business, it’s your objective to entice them further. Flesh out your page with attractive images of your business and the services and products you provide. Hire a professional photographer to snap high-quality images from multiple angles to showcase what you are all about. If you manage a restaurant, for example, potential diners will be interested in your interior and the delicious cuisine you plate up. When submitting your location, don’t just enter the address and click next! You have the option to confirm where exactly your business is situated on Google Maps. On your local profile searchers will be able to see a Street View of your premises and the last thing you want to do is mislead them about your exact location or even worse, highlight a nearby competitor.

Take Your Audience Inside with a Panoramic Video

The unfortunate thing about Google Street View is having to rely on data from Google themselves when it’s possible that the camera hasn’t visited your street in years or at all. But this is where the nifty panoramic feature comes in handy. You can hire a trusted professional who is able to record a 360 degree virtual tour and have it published to your local profile. This is an even greater opportunity to provide potential customers with a glimpse inside your business – in an interactive way to boot! We’ve seen this in action ourselves by one of our clients, R. James Hutcheon Solicitors, who used a virtual tour to showcase their office setup.

Google Reviews Are Powerful for Building Trust

Social proof is vastly important when it comes to winning customers and this is where the power of online reviews comes out in force. Your business may receive reviews from external websites like TripAdvisor and Trustpilot, but your Google local profile also has its own review system that can help convince potential customers of your trustworthiness. A misguided assumption that a lot of businesses suffer with, however, is the expectation that reviews will simply just land. While this is true in some cases, you should be putting effort into encouraging customers to leave a review and guiding them where to do so. This requires a strategic level of thinking and execution as just asking usually isn’t enough. As part of our work with Infratech Automotive Solutions, we delivered a campaign targeting customers requesting that they leave feedback in return for a complimentary product.

Keep Your Customers Updated with Google Posts

One of the latest features of Google My Business that has surfaced within the past year is Google Posts. Typically, your local profile is pretty static. When you set it up for the first time there’s a good chance you won’t need to change any details for quite a while. However, with Google Posts, you have the opportunity to provide regular updates about what your business is up to. This provides a whole new way of communicating with people who discover your brand following a search query. Your posts will appear within the local profile for 7 days, letting searchers know that your business is still active. You may have a new blog post you want to share, new additions to a food menu or perhaps your opening hours have changed. For instance, we recently used Google Posts as part of an SEO strategy with Maghull Coaches to promote their hiring services as well as the the latest round of content marketing.

Answer Your Potential Customer’s Queries

When someone uses a search engine such as Google they are looking to find an answer to a query. It might be that they are searching for a restaurant serving a particular type of food, or they could be in need of a product that fixes a solution. Searchers will eventually narrow down their options and make a decision based on the information that is available. The purpose behind a Google local profile is to provide relevant information without having to visit multiple webpages. Anyone who sees your profile has the opportunity to ask a question about your business which you or a previous customer can answer. This is where you should be visiting your profile regularly to check if any questions are outstanding. Building a collection of answers not only helps that specific users, but will also help future searchers who may have a similar question.

Follow Activate Digital on Social Media

If you found these tips on how to improve your Google My Business profile helpful, then be sure to follow us on social media where we will be posting more advice and useful content in the near future. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Should you have a query about a digital marketing service that we provide, don’t hesitate to call us on 0151 236 4857 or email to find out how we can help.