Elevate Your Local Business with Google Business Profile: An Essential Strategy
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Elevate Your Local Business with Google Business Profile: An Essential Strategy

Posted on 12 February 2024
Elevate Your Local Business with Google Business Profile: An Essential Strategy

In today's digital-first economy, visibility on Google is not just beneficial; it's crucial for local businesses aiming to thrive. With an astounding 46% of all Google searches being local and a significant 86% of customers turning to Google Maps to find local businesses, the potential for local enterprises to enhance their discoverability and attract more customers is immense. This guide will walk you through expert strategies and along with a checklist to maximise your Google Business Profile's impact.  

The Significance of Local Searches

The surge in local search interest, evidenced by a 136% increase from last year, underscores the evolving consumer behaviour towards preferring local and accessible businesses. Furthermore, with 29% of consumers searching for local businesses at least once a week and 45% of local businesses successfully securing appointments through GBP, the platform's role in driving local commerce is undeniable.

Deciphering the Local Pack

The Local Pack is a dynamic feature on Google that highlights three businesses most relevant to a search query based on criteria such as relevance, distance, and prominence. Understanding and leveraging these criteria can significantly boost your business's chances of appearing in this coveted spot.

  • Relevance: This is achieved by ensuring your business profile accurately reflects the searcher's intent.
  • Distance:  factors in the proximity of your business to the searcher, highlighting the need for accurate location data.
  • Prominence:  encompasses your business's overall visibility and reputation, influenced by reviews, citations, and online content.

Comprehensive Google Business Profile Optimisation Checklist

Optimising your Google Business Profile with detailed, accurate, and engaging information is pivotal. Here’s how you can comprehensively enhance your profile: 

Core Information

  • Business Name : Utilise your business name, avoiding the temptation to add unnecessary keywords.
  • Categories : You are allowed up to 10 Categories, and with over 400 options available, select those that perfectly align with your offerings. This choice helps Google understand and appropriately rank your business in search queries.
  • Address and Service Areas : A clear, accurate address or defined service areas improve your business's local SEO. For those without a physical address for clients, specifying a service area is crucial.  Make sure that your address is exactly the same every where you list eg. 2/486 Scottsdale Drive, Varsity Lakes, Queensland  - don't change the spacing, unit 2, Dr instead of Drive, QLD etc  because it is a bot that reads all the addresses to see they are the same, it is essential you list it on your website, Google Business Profile, Socials, Directories and everywhere exactly the same each time. This is called having a cnsistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number):** Consistency across the web builds credibility and aids in search engine optimisation.

Engagement and Visibility

  • Photos and Videos: Regular updates with high-quality visuals can significantly enhance your profile's appeal, aiding in demonstrating your business's value proposition.  Show photos and videos of your team in action, your services and products, before and afters and more.  Photos are a great reference for potential clients and are regarded highly by Google.  Especially if you add in a few videos too (creating a point of difference above your competitors I am guessing).
  • Hours of Operation and Special Hours: Accurate and up-to-date operational hours, including special adjustments for holidays or events, are essential for customer convenience.  Google will rate a business that keeps this up to date over others that don't.

Interactive Elements

  • Reviews:  A robust strategy for encouraging and responding to reviews can elevate your business's trustworthiness. Implementing a system for regular review requests, such as QR codes (if a Bloomtools client, ask us to generate a QR code for you to keep along with some strategies to make it easier for you and your clients)  or automated emails, ensures a steady stream of feedback. We have some software tools that can automate some of this process and make it easier for you to answer, promote and get more reviews in a leveraged way.
  • Questions and Answers:  Proactively manage this section by adding frequently asked questions and promptly responding to inquiries, showcasing active engagement with potential customers.

Advanced Strategies

  • Posts and Updates:  Regular posting about offers, news, or events keeps your profile active and engaging, driving further interaction.  Use the valuable content that you create on your website to add additional content into your GBP (along with your socials as well).
  • SEO and Content Quality:  Beyond the profile itself, the quality of your website’s content that you are directing to and its SEO play a significant role in your overall online prominence.  You don’t always need to list your home page as your website address in your GBP listing - if you have multiple GBP, and locations - create a high quality local landing page and direct it to that (It will boost your location profile within GBP).
  • Social Signals: While indirect, social media engagement can influence your business’s visibility and perceived relevance.

Leveraging Reviews for Enhanced Engagement

Customer reviews are a cornerstone of local SEO and GBP optimisation. Here’s how to maximise their impact:

  • Encourage Detailed Reviews:  Guide customers to mention specific aspects of their experience, including services used, and team names, and to include photos.
  • Respond to Every Review:  Engagement with reviews, especially with personalised responses, demonstrates your business's commitment to customer satisfaction.  It is also highly liked by Google.
  • Location-Based Reviews:  Encourage clients to leave reviews from their location, enhancing local relevance (It lets Google know the areas that you cover for clients) and visibility.

Final Thoughts and Next Steps

For Bloomtools clients, we have an expanded guide (12-page checklist, along with an online workshop to watch) to provide a comprehensive roadmap to significantly enhance your local visibility and engagement through Google Business Profile. With detailed insights into the Local Pack, a comprehensive optimisation checklist, and strategies for leveraging reviews, your business is well-equipped to increase its online presence and attract more local customers.

For businesses looking to delve even deeper into GBP optimisation or would like us to manage this for you, consider talking to us about our professional SEO team that could provide this service for you.

In the ever-evolving world of local SEO, staying informed and proactive is key to outpacing the competition and securing your place at the top of local search results. Embrace these strategies, and watch your local business reach new heights of digital prominence and success.

Tracey VoyceAuthor:Tracey Voyce
About: With more than 30 years business management experience, Tracey Voyce is the CEO of Bloomtools. Tracey has owned and managed many businesses and spent several years training and motivating coaches at the world’s largest business coaching franchise.
Connect via:LinkedIn
Tags:Internet MarketingSearch Engine MarketingLead Generation