Last month Google My Business officially changed over (yes… AGAIN) to Google Business Profile. Long gone are the days of Google+ and yet here to stay is the need to pay attention to this powerhouse profile. Word on Google Street is that the Google My Business app is going away in 2022. Some of you didn’t even know there was a Google My Business product! So let’s catch you up and get you… on the map!
Google is making more changes to integrate the management of your business profile right from Google Search, Google Maps, and other Google’s other products. In its announcements, Google mentioned more functionality being added to the “in-search” merchant experience, saying that “the easiest way to manage your profile is now via Google Maps and Search. Moving forward, additional tools to help you understand how your business is performing and how you can enhance your online presence will be available exclusively on Search and Maps.”
Whether or not you are a local business, using Google Business Profile is a no-brainer! Someone searches for “Coworking Space near me” or “Cake shop near me” and Google is going to pull results for the person searching. If the business has filled out their profile, the person searching will see details about this business, images, hours of operation, reviews, map for directions and more. If the business has NOT claimed their Google Business Profile or has not filled this information out, their results will be pushed down the line.
The more you beef up that profile with regular (at least weekly) posts, new photos, and new reviews the better your page will rank. Most businesses are spending time posting on their other social channels but neglect this powerhouse! Take one of your Facebook or Instagram posts and update your Google profile weekly!
For the business owner, you will now simply search for your business (don’t put in your URL) and in the results you will find EDIT options. I personally like using the old (how quickly we deem something old these days) Google My Business App, but I guess I was one of a few who actually used the app. Here is what your search result will look like:
So what if you don’t have a local business? What if you work from home?
Here are 3 things to keep in mind regardless:
You need to claim your Google Business Profile. Get that website verified and fill out your profile completely.
Pack the info in there. Fill out every single area. I suggest you keep the info in a document that will allow you to manipulate the information such as keywords, services offered, and locations you want to focus on.
Get a business address.
You don’t want to use your home address since Google maps will zoom right in to show anyone searching your home, cars, and even family members in some images. CREEPY! Secure that business address. Whether that is at a local Coworking space (of course I would mention that one since I also own The Village Workspace…a Colorado coworking space) or a mailbox at your local pack and ship store… you need a legit business address. Most have a service where they can notify you and even forward your mail to your home. Be sure your address is specific– the box number is your specific suite. Google will penalize or suspend a business account if they have the exact address as others in that location.
A friend of mine just ran into this situation where her Google profile had no reviews and a customer chose not to use her, pointing out her lack of reviews. (He sounds like a jerk anyway–it was a good thing she didn’t take him on as a client). This friend had used other social channels for reviews, like LinkedIn, and she hadn’t specifically asked her clients for a Google review. This can be a critical feature for any business. People read reviews. Whether we like it or not, our customers will decide our fate many times by posting good or bad reviews. The key is to ask for reviews when you have a happy customer. Send a quick message or email to someone who compliments you and include the link to your Google review page. Make it easy for them. Don’t ask everyone at once either. Get a couple a week or few a month. When you see a business with 5 great reviews all in one day and nothing after that, you might assume it’s their grandmother, mom, and best friends. Keep them dripping in each month. Make that a part of your team’s performance reviews–asking for reviews.
Just like Prince when he changed his name to “The Artist”, it doesn’t matter what Google decides to call itself… it’s still Google! You’ve got to pay homage no matter what people are calling it!
If you need help staying up on all the latest marketing trends and important tasks that need to be done each day, simple reach out–we’d love to set up a call to share our process and see if we are a good fit to work together.