If your local Tri-Cities business is not using this free Google feature, you’re making it harder for clients to locate your company and take advantage of your products and/or services. A Google Business Profile connects you to the top search engine on the Internet and its growing portfolio of tools, most notably, the Google Knowledge Graph and Google Maps. 

This is essential for potential clients to locate your business through search, and especially through voice and mobile search. 

Your Google Business Profile and Local Searches 

According to current statistics from DB Interactive, 41% of adults use voice search at least once per day. In 2020, more than half of all smartphone users used voice search for local searches. And, about 90% of all organic searches come from Google. 

This can be for inquires like: 

  • “Hey Google, where is the closest car wash?” 
  • “Hey Google, who has the best pizza near me in Johnson City?” 
  • “Hey Google, take me to Bristol Regional Medical Center.” 
  • “Hey Google, find the cheapest gas in Greeneville.” 

These voice-activated commands are connected with your smartphone’s GPS technology to help you find what you need, fast. The results are shown on a listing of relevant businesses that includes Google Maps pins and driving directions. You can even ask Siri on Apple phones to show you a location on Google Maps. 

Your Google Business Profile is what this feature uses to know where you are located and to help direct searchers to your location. Without it, you are giving up possible business to other companies like yours. 

Follow These Steps to Get the Most from Your Google Business Profile 

Get your free Google Business Profile and keep it up to date so potential customers can find you and learn more about your Tri-Cities business. 

Claim Your Location

  1. Navigate to https://www.google.com/business/ and click “Manage now.”
  2. Enter your business name and click “Next.”
  3. Enter your address. If you’re a service area business and don’t have a physical store but deliver services (such as a plumber or electrician), click the “I deliver goods and services to my customers” and “Hide my address” checkboxes.
  4. Choose your primary business category. It’s important to pick the most accurate category that describes what you do.
  5. Add your phone number.
  6. Add your website URL. 

Verify Your Business 

This is how Google verifies that you are a legitimate business and are located where you indicate. They either send a postcard to your physical address with a verification code to enter online, or sometimes it will allow a verification by phone. If you are afforded this option, click the “Verify now” link and you will receive an automated call with a verification code. Use this code to log back into your Google Business dashboard and verify your business. Now, you can add information, images and more to your profile. 

If you encounter problems with your verification process, the best option is to contact Google Business Support on Twitter by sending a tweet to @GoogleMyBiz. This typically gets the fastest response. 

Complete Your Business Profile 

Fill out your business profile with accurate, up-to-date information. 

  1. Use your actual business name as it appears on other material. 
  2. List a local phone number. This is a key ranking factor with Google, that you have an actual telephone number with a local area code. 
  3. List your hours of operation. Be sure to return and add holiday hours throughout the year. 
  4. Write a compelling description. Let people know who you are and what you do. 
  5. Upload high-resolution photos of your building’s exterior, sign, interior and plenty of product photos, service photos and other relevant images. 
  6. Upload videos, but be sure they are 30 seconds or less and smaller than 100 MB. 
  7. DO NOT use keywords in your business name or description. These have no impact on ranking. 

Harvest Google Business Reviews 

Place relevant images and links on your company website and social media posts encouraging clients to post reviews on your Google Business Profile. More positive reviews improve your rankings. Google will show a business like yours with 300 good reviews over a similar business with 5 or 10. Consider offering discounts for clients that post a positive review. Many websites also allow you to show a scrolling display of your Google Business reviews. 

Grab Attention with Google Business Posts 

Posts to your Google Business profile are essentially free ads! There are four types of posts you can share with viewers. Here’s recommendations from Mailchimp for using Google Business posts: 

  1. What’s New Posts give you the most visible text in your thumbnail. Without a CTA button, you’ll get 4 lines of text, or about 100 characters. If you include a button, the link will replace the last line, so you’ll only have 3 lines of text.
  2. Event Posts let you include an event title and a date range for the event. However, each bit of info replaces 1 of your 4 lines of text. Without a CTA button, you’ll only have 2 lines of text, and with the button, you’ll only have 1.
  3. Offer Posts include an offer name, a date range for the offer and options for redemption methods such as a coupon code, visual coupon or link to your site. You’ll lose lines of text for the name and date range, so if you include a CTA button, you only get a single line for your description. Redemption methods and coupons only show when expanded to full view.
  4. Product Posts include a product name and a price range. Each replaces a line of text, so when you include your CTA button, you end up with only 1 line of text.

Posts stay live for 7 days after they’re published. If you have several active Posts at the same time, they’ll appear in a carousel with the most recent post displayed first.

Keep your Google Business Profile updated frequently to let searchers know what is happening with your business. Your profile is possibly the most important local SEO tool you can use for your business! 

Get more help with digital marketing for your Tri-Cities business with 1-FIND. Call us today for more information.