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How to position a business profile in Google My Business? Proven strategies to improve the position of your local business search results

Patrycja Lisowska
05/02/2021 | 15 min read
How to position a business profile in Google My Business? Proven strategies to improve the position of your local business search results

Table of contents

    Positioning your business profile in Google My Business (Google Business) is crucial for customer acquisition and is a free way to promote your business. The business profile itself ensures visibility in local search results, i.e. in key places from the buyer's point of view - in the Google search engine, Maps, and Google Assistant (voice search). Therefore, regardless of the type of business you run, positioning in Maps should be an integral part of your internet marketing

     

    Imagine you are on a business trip, in a foreign city and your car refuses to cooperate. To add a bit of a dramatic touch, it so happens it's Saturday evening. So you reach for the phone and enter, or perhaps you even say, "car repair shop Wrocław ". Several business profiles appear on the screen, including addresses and average ratings. But hold on for a second, today is a day off - in that case, your attention is most drawn to the opening hours and the telephone number. You hastily make a few calls to find out if any of the mechanics are on the clock. 

     

    Why is this story being told here? To make you aware of the road that your existing and potential clients go through. Depending on their needs they may pay attention to different aspects of your business profile. In the case of restaurants, it will most probably be a menu and photos of dishes, in the case of hotel services, recommendations from guests, and accommodation prices. All these tips are intended to help the potential customer make a decision. If he does not find the information that interests him most, he will most likely choose a different offer. So there is no other advice but to take care of all these elements to stay ahead of the competition and improve the position of your business in local search results. 

     

    From this article, you will learn what exactly a Google My Business profile is and how to use it to improve the position of your business. You will also learn ways to optimize and position your business profile that will allow you to take your business to a higher level.

     

    What is a business profile in Google My Business?

     

    Google My Business profile - it is a way of presenting the most important information about our company, displayed in the search engine and Google Maps. It allows the customer to easily find our company's data, including address, telephone number, opening hours, or website address. 

     

    The Google My Business tool itself allows us to find a company offering a product or a service that interests us at the moment. It shows available options near our location or a specific place of choice. Thanks to the service, people interested in the products or services we offer have the opportunity to leave reviews about them.

     

    This leads to the conclusion that with the help of a business profile you will easily reach new customers and maintain the interest of regular customers. If you consider Google Maps marketing today, you will quickly strengthen your presence in local search results. Before you learn how to do this, however, learn about the other benefits of increased customer visibility.

     

    If you want to follow the process of creating a business profile in Google in more detail, be sure to check out our guide on how to create a business profile in Google My Business.

     

    What are the benefits of having a Google My Business account?

     

    There are a number of advantages to having a business profile, check out the following examples:

     

    • providing customers with basic information about your business: company name, address, telephone number;
    • simplifying for a potential customer to contact the company;
    • a chance to present our services and products (thanks to photos or a virtual walk);
    • providing answers to questions bothering consumers; 
    • improving the position of a business in local search results;
    • reaching new audiences in our area, and thus increasing sales;
    • an opportunity to collect customer reviews that help build trust in our brand; 
    • the ability to manage your image by responding to reviews; 
    • distinguishing the company from others in the closest vicinity.

     

    As you can see, a business profile carries a string of benefits both for you and for the customers. It makes it easier for you to appear in the minds of buyers, while consumers have a forum where they can share opinions about products and services. 

     

    How to improve the position of a business in Google Maps?

     

    In one of the previous articles, we wrote about the basic optimization of a business profile, which improves its position in Maps.

     

    Let's remind what elements make up the positioning of a Google My Business profile: 

     

    1. In the case of a business profile, always remember to fill in the basic data, i.e. NAP - name, address, phone number. Also, keep your working hours up-to-date so that customers know when they can visit you. A rebound from the already closed door may not only irritate the buyer but also affect the assessment of your business.
    2. Describe the company using the language of benefits, answer for yourself the question of what makes your company unique. Share your story, show both your products and services as well as a mission and vision of your company to the world. 
    3. Before choosing your business profile, i.e. main categories and subcategories, focus on a thorough competition analysis. Surprised? After all, you yourself know best in what area you operate ..... yet it is worthwhile to check which categories your competitors have chosen.
    4. Do not omit a location that increases your chance of a higher position in search results. However, if you run, for example, an online store and do not serve customers at a given address, you can always hide it. Which solution you adopt depends largely on your business model.
    5. Present your offer to customers and thus increase traffic on the website. When describing your services, what you have available are a title, a 300-character description, and even the option of adding a price list. The services are related to the categories in the profile and have a significant influence on the purchasing decisions of consumers.
    6. Make sure you have attractive multimedia in your business profile. Effective photos will surely attract the attention of users and help you stand out from other businesses. Virtual walks without a doubt will awaken the imagination of customers and allow them to look behind the scenes of your business.
    7. Manage reviews by actively obtaining recommendations from your clients and properly responding to unfavorable coments. 

     

    You already know what you need to remember when creating a Google My Business (GMB) business profile. Since the first lesson is behind you, it's time to learn more, not so obvious ways of positioning a business profile in Google Maps.

     

    What is the positioning of a business profile in Google Maps about?

     

    Positioning a business profile is a set of actions to improve the position of your business in local search results. According to Google, the position in the local search results depends mainly on:

     

    accuracy - determines how closely the business profile matches the search query. Hence, the importance of meticulous completion of all data about your business. 

    distance - companies located in the user's vicinity will be displayed first. In other words, the closer our company is to user's vicinity, the higher the position it gains in the results. 

    recognition - determines how well known the company is based on the current activity on the web, articles, mentions about it, or links leading to the website.

     

    How to position a business profile in Google Maps?

     

    1. GMB posts - Inform the customer about any changes

     

    The importance of informing the client about changes has been clearly demonstrated by the pandemic reality. In light of the latest research, 67% of consumers say they would not use the company's services if the reviews indicated that it had not implemented protection measures against COVID-19. So, to help local businesses better communicate with users, Google has introduced two additional features. In the "Info" section in the Google My Business panel, we can mark our business as temporarily closed or define non-standard working hours. Moving to the "Posts" tab and selecting the "COVID-19 - update" section, we will find ourselves in the place dedicated to publishing information related to changes in the company's operations.

     

    Let us focus on the posts alone for a moment. From the business profile's level, there is also an option to share valuable content with users. "Posts" is a section where you can share interesting content, create events, communicate news, promote your products or inform about the offer. Each type of publication provides the audience with up-to-date news, and an additional advantage is the possibility of adding a call to action button under the post, e.g. Buy, Order online, Register. Side note - posts have a certain lifetime, which means they are archived one week after publication, unless a different date range is given. You will probably agree that adding an action button makes it much easier for customers to make certain decisions.

     

    You should publish your posts in one of the 5 categories. See examples of content that are worthy of being included in each of them:

     

    • COVID-19 - update - let customers know here that you have implemented additional security measures;
    • Offer - share information about sales and promotional offers in your company here. For example, the car repair shop can inform customers about a 10% discount on the replacement of winter tires only by the end of the week.
    • What's new - present rather general information about your company here. The restaurant owner will share a post here about the introduction of the seasonal menu, and the marketing agency will boast of the new publication on the company's blog.
    • Event - this is a place to promote the events you organize. It is important to provide the date and time of the start and end of the event and promote it using multimedia. For example, a developer may advertise open days on a new investment this way.
    • Product - product posts indicate the availability of the product in your store, define its price and encourage to buy, via the Grab the offer button. 

     

    So that all customers using the search engine can see your products, you can also add them to the "Products" tab in the Google My Business panel. 

     

    Posts will improve the credibility of your business profile, and additionally attract the attention of the customer, tempted with news and promotions, increasing the number of interactions with users. Spark the curiosity of users regularly and do not let them forget about yourself.

     

    2. Website in Google My Business 

     

    This is one of the additional options that allow you to create a simple landing page based on the data taken from the business profile. The website builder will instantly create a free website optimized for mobile devices where you can present the most important information about your business. These are mainly the company name, contact number, map with a marker, and a gallery made of photos available in the business profile. Every time you make changes to Google My Business, your page will be automatically updated. 

     

    The creation process itself does not cause any major problems. In the business profile panel, it is enough to select the "Website" tab, and after a while, the website builder will suggest the appearance of our new website. If so far we have shared posts about new-ins, offers or products in the business card, they will also appear on the website. The advantage of the tool is certainly the ease of personalizing the website by choosing a theme that interests us, adding the most important content and photos. The user experience will be improved by the CTA buttons. So it is certainly a good solution for start-ups or businesses looking for alternative solutions. Drawbacks? It is a typical one-page, so we will not enrich the website with new subpages, what's more, it is practically impossible to carry out SEO activities on the website. 

     

    3. Link building 

     

    Local link building applies to both your website and your business profile, hence the most important action in this process is taking care of mentioning your business in external sources, such as local forums or in catalogs. The company's position in Google Maps is influenced by the number of links leading to the website, e.g. from NAP websites. These websites allow you to place full contact details of the company and a link to your website, and interestingly, they are often part of larger regional websites. Attention. The link building strategy for regional phrases will bring the expected results only if you ensure the consistency of the name and address of the company in all directories to which you add the company. 

     

    The second practice is to link to the content on your website from the Google My Business profile itself. As you probably remember, you can achieve it through "Posts". For example, try to share a link to the latest blog post, guide, or industry report in News, all in accordance with the principle of content is king! This way, you promote the content available on your website and provide your followers with expert knowledge. 

     

    Of course, it is impossible to list all the practices related to website positioning here, so we focused only on those activities that will result in increased traffic in your business profile. Links and quotes on external websites will improve the visibility of your business in organic search results, while content is a factor contributing to the higher position of your business in Google maps. All of the above-mentioned practices undoubtedly make your business credible in the eyes of Google and prove that the company really exists. 

     

     4. Q&A section

     

    The "Questions and Answers" section of Google My Business is for communication between users and the local business owner. It's a feature that allows customers to ask questions about your business and the whole community, including you, to answer. However, since anyone can share their thoughts here, it's worth keeping an eye on this section and making sure you respond quickly to questions so that they don't go unanswered for a long time. Of course, everyone can participate here - Google's assumption was to create a forum where consumers would dispel doubts about the company's operations. 

     

    If you want to provide an answer, first go to the specific business profile, then in the "Questions and answers" section, select the question you are interested in - next to it you will find the "Answer" button. To receive notifications about new posts from users, you need to use the Google Maps application on a smartphone or tablet. This is quite a setback, but you will not check whether you have received a new query in the Google My Business panel.

     

    By developing the Q&A section, you will create a kind of knowledge base that will be used by your customers looking for specific products or services. Naturally, this data is also processed by Google algorithms, suggesting to users the business profiles that best suit their queries.

     

    5. Attributes in Google Maps

     

    Attributes are nothing more than information important to customers, for example, the possibility of paying by card, the availability of parking in front of the company, or facilities for the disabled. These are any additional tips that may be useful from the customer's point of view. However, depending on the industry, you will only have access to specific attributes that are closely related to your business profile. You also have to accept that attributes are largely completed based on the questions Google asks people visiting your site. It is also worth monitoring whether users have added attributes to us, and even encourage them to share their opinions. Log in to your Google My Business account to edit attributes. In the menu, click "Information" and find "Company-provided", then click "Edit". Search for the attribute you want to add or view the available options. After updating the attributes, select "Apply".

     

    The Google My Business profile is one of the basic tools used to present the most important information about your business. Thanks to GMB, you can update your company's data, appear in Google Maps and local search results, and reach customers with your offer. In addition, the business profile creates an opportunity to connect with current and potential customers through feedback.

     

    Now you know the factors that increase the attractiveness and position of your business profile in Google Maps. If you run a local business, you have to bear in mind that there is no more powerful tool in the fight for a customer in your area. We hope that after reading our guide, you will fully use the potential of your business profile and gather a group of loyal customers around you.

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