Did you know that having a Google Business Profile (GBP) can help your small business appear in search results? That’s right, setting up a Google Business Profile can help with your website’s SEO!
Creating a GBP is completely free, so it’s a perfect tool for affordable SEO if you’re a small business. And because people love using service providers that are close to their own location, having a profile, which is shown on Google Maps, can help steer more clicks your way.
What’s more, this is a level playing field – your small business has just as much chance as a bigger one of creating a well-optimised profile. It’s one way you can compete against rivals with larger SEO budgets than yours!
There’s a couple of things you need to do to optimise your profile and get the full SEO benefits. I’ll walk you through them below. But first, let’s look at how you set up a Google Business Profile, and how Google uses them in its search results.
How To Create A Google Business Profile For Your Small Business
First thing’s first, if you haven’t already set up a Google Business Profile, follow these steps to do so.
Note that Google no longer requires you to show a physical address in order to verify your listing. So if you’re a home-based service provider who doesn’t want to list your home address, you can still set up a listing based on your service area.
1. Visit the Google My Business website: Go to https://www.google.com/business and click on the ‘Start now’ button.
2. Sign into your Google account: If you don’t have a Google account, you will need to create one.
3. Enter your business information: Fill in the information about your business, including the business name, address, phone number, and website URL. If you don’t wish to show an address, you can choose a geographic service area instead
4. Verify your business: Google will send a verification code to either the address or phone number listed for your business. Enter the code to verify your business and complete the setup process.
5. Add photos and other details: Once your business is verified, you can add photos, descriptions, and other information to your listing. This information will help customers find and learn more about your business.
To manage your listing, you can log into your Google My Business account via https://business.google.com/locations, or find your listing within Google Maps. Once you click on your business name, you’ll be able to add products and services, respond to reviews, post updates and so on.
How Google Business Profiles Appear In Search Results
Google’s ultimate aim is to return search results that are most helpful to its users. It does this by considering their location as well as the keywords they’ve entered.
If you type ‘best local dentist’ into the search bar, Google will show a map with pins for dentist near your current location.
Google may also show snippets from profile reviews, descriptions or updates, particularly if they contain a keyword you’ve searched for.
If the searcher views images, photos from Google Business Profiles that are relevant to the search, or contain the keywords, will also appear.
To make the most of your Google Business Profile, it pays to fill in every single field, add images, post regular updates and use keywords liberally.
How To Optimise Your Google Business Profile to Improve Your Search Ranking
Sprucing up your Google Business Profile is a relatively easy, and zero-cost way of improving your SEO, so be sure to do it! Not every business out there has cottoned on to how useful a good GBP can be, so making yours top-notch can give you a competitive advantage.
Be sure to do the following:
1. Fill in the description, and include relevant keywords (which you can find by conducting keyword research). Think of benefits you offer your clients, rather than just listing what you do.
2. Fill in every single part of your profile, including category, products, services, contact information and hours. Make sure you keep your information up-to-date – especially if you change your business hours, services offered or contact details.
3. Upload good quality photos, and include a keyword in each of their file names. If you provide a service that can be photographed (such as event decoration), encourage happy customers to include photos in their reviews.
4. Encourage user reviews. When you’re in your profile, click on reviews, and you’ll see a button ‘get more reviews’. Click on this and you’ll receive a link that you can them send to clients to request a review.
Once a review has been posted, always write a thank-you response that, ideally, includes a keyword.
5. Post regular updates (weekly is manageable) and include a keyword in each post. In addition to sharing timely info on special offers, holiday closures, etc, use this space like you would other social media – post short tips, FAQs, answers to problems, etc.
Include a photo with each update (and pop your keyword in the photo’s file name) and add a call-to-action button that links back to your website. When someone clicks through, that’ll help with SEO too.
Ready To Use Your Google Business Profile?
Once you’ve set up your profile, pop a reminder in your diary once a week to add an update. Don’t forget to also update your work hours if you’re closed for a public holiday or you go away, because people will often look on Google Maps to find out these details.
Don’t forget – your Google Business Profile offer a completely free SEO opportunity that works just as well for your small business as for a larger or more established one – so be sure to make the most of it!
Need help writing your profile description or coming up with regular updates? Keep Up Copywriting can do it for you. Find out about our SEO services for small Australian businesses.
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