Google Business Profile…Are you Managing Yours? 

 

Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is often overlooked in social media management. It is not as exciting as Instagram or TikTok, however it is critical. Your Google Business Profile will get you in front of current customers AND new, potential customers. Also, if not maintained properly, your Google Business listing can cause loss of business due to incorrect information. This month in the blog, we will cover best practices for keeping everything up to date.

 

Google Business Profile is typically the first interaction new users will have with your business due to its integration with Google Maps. Think of your Google Business Profile as your piece of property on Google Local, not to replace your website but in addition to it. Keep in mind that Google Maps is the number one mapping phone app, that’s a lot of potential customers at your fingertips. The user sees all vital information on the Google Maps app, including hours, menu, venue details, and images. Google also uses the information provided on your listing to return relevant search results for the user’s requests (i.e. Happy Hour, Italian, beach) when searching within the app.

 

Helpful pointers: 

  • Any users on the web can update your hours, menu details, review your business, and add photos to your listing so it is VERY important to review your listing monthly, as details can change without your knowledge. 
  • You can post content similar to Facebook and Instagram posts with an image/video and copy. 
  • Have your Google Business Profile verified. According to Google, verified locations are more likely to show in local search results. It can take several weeks to complete the process, but once the profile is verified, you’ll have access to edit your business listing, add users, respond to reviews, turn on messaging and add photos and videos.
  • Build out your entire Google Business Profile. According to Google, completed profiles are more likely to show in local search results. Completing your profile includes adding pictures and videos and updating all available areas for your category. The more information Google has, the easier it is to get in front of customers who intend to buy. It’s worth noting that Google has seen businesses with more images and videos receive more requests for directions to their location and more clicks to their website over a business that does not have photos and videos!  
  • Turn on Direct Messaging. This allows guest to message you directly through your Google listing.
  • Turn on Click to Call Option. 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly using the search results from your Google Business Profile. 

 

Now it’s time to manage your profile! Head to Google and search for your business. If you are a manager on the listing, you’ll be able to update the listing directly from the search results. For more than one location, log into the Business Profile Management dashboard and select the listing you’d like to manage. There are two tiers of maintenance for your Google Business Profile: daily/weekly and monthly. These levels depend on how active your profile is. 

 

Daily/Weekly Maintenance: 

  • Responding to Messages:  The message feature can be very active depending on how popular your business is. You’ll want to plan how your team will manage the real-time requests. Messages can be set up for push notifications on a phone, email, or just on your Google Business Profile. Typically, it is best practice to promptly respond to all messages. 
  • Posting Content: Google currently allows you to post content to your profile similar to other social media platforms. Video and images can be uploaded as content along with copy. This content will appear on Google services like Maps and search across the web. Create a specific strategy for your Google Business Profile when possible, however if you are short on time and resources, rework your current social content for Google. Your Google listing is prime property on the web and FREE so take advantage! Google Business Profile offers three posting types:
    • Offers: Share announcements and news. You’ll need an offer title, a start date, and an end date. There is also a spot to add additional details about the offers. 
    • What’s New: Informational or educational content about what’s new. This posting type also has these optional ‘Call to Action’ buttons:
      • Book 
      • Order Online 
      • Buy 
      • Learn More 
      • Sign Up 
      • Call Now
    • Events: This posting type is perfect for promoting upcoming events. You’ll need a video or image, event title, date(s), and event details. This posting type also has these optional ‘Call to Action’ buttons:
        • Book 
        • Order Online 
        • Buy 
        • Learn More 
        • Sign Up 
        • Call Now 
    • Respond to Reviews. Google Business Profile allows customers to post reviews about your business. Get in there and respond to your reviews, good or bad. On the bad reviews, pause before responding. We suggest using the Stop, Drop, Roll method, read about the approach here. Don’t take negative reviews personally, if you see several similar ones, you might actually have a problem that needs to be addressed. So have a look before brushing it aside, these reviews are report cards from secret shoppers. With good or bad reviews, responding to reviews makes your customers feel heard and valued which is an excellent strategy for gaining new ones. It’s easy to do and is an excellent touchpoint to build affinity for your brand. Also, it’s worth noting that surveyed consumers see businesses that respond to reviews as more trustworthy than businesses that don’t. PRO TIP: repurpose those reviews for your social media and website. Lastly, unlike Yelp, you may ask people for reviews, Google provides you with a direct link to write a review. 

     

    Monthly Maintenance

    • Review your listing(s)
      • Business Information 
        • Hours 
        • Holiday Hours 
        • Contact information 
        • Business Category(ies) – more info below*
      • Add new photos and videos. Also, review older photos and remove those that are no longer relevant or beneficial. 
      • Update Menus and Services 

     

    *It’s worth noting that Categories have unique features available, below are a few examples: 

    • Hotels can display class ratings, sustainability practices, highlights, check-in and out times, and amenities.
    • Restaurants and bars can upload menus, add dish images, menus, and note popular dishes.
    • Service-oriented businesses can display a list of services.
    • Healthcare providers in the U.S. can add health insurance information
    • Businesses also have access to different types of buttons based on their categories such as appointment bookings, reservations, and orders.
    • If you sell products, add an up-to-date inventory to your profile. This appears in your profile as well as the products appear in Google Shop.

     

    Google Business Profile is a great tool to help your business get found on Google and the web. Some great video tutorials are linked below to get you started. Or another option is to let us help! Whether you’d like a one time revamp or weekly/monthly maintenance, LASK is available to manage your Google Business Profile(s). Leave the digital marketing work to us so you can concentrate on your business. Email jen@lasocialkarma.com for more info.