It’s time to update your Google My Business profile
Unless you are brand new, your business probably has a Google My Business profile. The good news is, you can manage what Google tells people about your business. The not-so-good news is that other people can manage what Google tells people about your business also. So, stop ignoring your Google My Business profile and start using it to your advantage.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is your business profile in the Google system; the spot where you manage the information that Google has about you. Google uses your GMB for labeling you on a Google map and providing info in a Google search. If you’ve never managed your GMB profile, start at www.google.com/business.
Why does it matter?
Google uses the information you provide to help with search results, especially searches that are looking for your business specifically, businesses like you, and products or services that you offer. Updating your information matters for 3 reasons:
- People who search for you are more likely to find you and have access to correct information about your business (i.e. website, hours, address).
- Google is more likely to show your information if you manage your Google My Business information.
- If Google is more likely to show your business, then when people search for products or services that you provide, Google is more likely to show you as an option.
In fact, in a Google study, researchers found that having a verified GMB profile meant that:
- Consumers found the information they needed faster
- Consumers had greater confidence in the business
- Consumers were more likely to find a business that matched what they were looking for
Think of GMB as having 2 parts. First, your business profile has basic information about your business. This includes your address, hours, website, and business description. If you can only do the bare minimum, you want your basic info to be correct and updated. Second, you can add extra information, including posts, photos and responses to reviews, to enhance the basics. While Google’s GMB algorithm is a closely guarded secret, an updated and enhanced GMB profile will more than likely be favored in searches.
What do I need to know?
Anyone can suggest edits to any GMB profile. You may not even know that a change has been made to your business information. That’s because Google encourages user-generated content on your business profile through photos, reviews, and business information.
What do I need to do?
Because user-generated content is part of GMB, you will want to regularly check your profile to make sure that your basic information is still accurate. And, while you’re doing that, you can add a post, some photos, and respond to reviews. So, add a reoccurring event to your calendar for 10 minutes each week and use this checklist to update your GMB profile:
- Double check your basic information:
- Phone Number
- Check the “Questions & Answers” section- Anyone can answer, so it might as well be you!
- Respond to reviews- This is your chance to see what people are saying and to have a conversation with customers. If there are inappropriate reviews, you can flag them. For more information on what Google considers inappropriate, go to https://support.google.com/business/answer/4596773
- Add a post- Your post stays live for 7 days, so change it each week to keep your GMB profile optimized. Here are some ideas of what to post:
- New offers or weekly sales
- Event announcements
- New blog post
- New products
- News in your industry
- Promoting events that you sponsor
- Seasonal messages
- Add photos and videos- If you have new photos or video, be sure to upload them. According to Google, businesses that add photos get 42% more requests for driving directions and 35% more website clicks than businesses that do not. Before you upload, be sure your photos and videos are the right specs:
- Format: JPG or PNG.
- Size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB.
- Minimum resolution: 720 px tall, 720 px wide.
- Duration: Up to 30 seconds long
- File size: Up to 100 MB
- Resolution: 720p or higher
Ideas for photos:
- Outside of your building (so people know what they are looking for)
- Inside the building
- Products that you sell
- Photos of your team working with customers
6. Check your Insights- Click on “Insights” in your menu to get information on how people are finding you. Google will tell you things like:
- How people are searching for you (e.g. direct search, product search)
- What search terms they used to find you
- Where they view your business (Search or Maps)
- What they do after viewing your business (i.e. visit your website, get directions or call)
Is GMB worth the time?
Updating your basic information is fast and easy and since anyone can edit your business info, you will want to check it on a regular basis. Responding to Questions and Reviews is a good idea as well. It’s a chance for you to interact with your audience and allows you to be sure that the information shared is accurate. For example, if someone gives you a bad review, but they are actually reviewing a different business, you will be able to intervene before a lot of people see the inaccurate review.
How about posts, photos, and videos? Your photo, video and post engagement will have a lot to do with where they appear on the searcher’s screen. If the searcher has to scroll down to see your posts, you will probably have less engagement. If your business is dependent on the products you offer (think restaurants and photos of food) or what your building looks like on the inside (think museum or spa), then searchers are more likely to scroll down and look through your GMB photos/videos.
Only you can determine if posting photos, videos and updates to GMB is worth your time, but if being part of Google’s local search results helps people find you, then it’s worth committing a few months to test it.