Is your Google Business Profile (a.k.a. Google My Business) working as hard as you do? If you haven’t optimized your listing, it might not be! In fact, a whopping 56% of local businesses haven’t claimed their business profile. That’s free traffic (and potential sales) just left on the table. Read on for a crash course in using this free service to drive traffic to your website and through your doors.

First, what is a Google Business Profile?

If you open up a Google tab and search “restaurants near me,” all those listings you see on the page with addresses, star-ratings, and map pins are Google Business Profiles. You can search for any kind of business, from restaurants and salons to plumbing services and colleges, and you’ll see dozens or hundreds of Google Business Profiles.

Each of these listings is free and simple to manage. And the better you manage and optimize your profile, the higher your business will rank on this list.

New to Google Business Profile? Claim your business first

If you’ve never claimed your Google Business Profile, you can do so by searching for your business on Google Maps. If you don’t see your business listed, select “Add your business” on the Google Maps menu. This support article is a great starting point to help you claim your business and set up your initial profile.

Three simple ways to optimize your Google Business Profile

If you already have access to your Google Business Profile but haven’t updated or optimized it lately, verifying your business’ basic information is a good place to start. Since 70% of all searches run through Google, you want your business to be on Google’s good side, which means keeping your address, phone number, website, and hours up-to-date. Any inaccuracies between your business profile and your website can actually hurt your website’s SEO ranking!

Next, update your business category and company attributes. Here’s where keyword strategy comes in. You can only choose one primary business category, so make sure it’s as accurate and tailored as possible. You can add additional subcategories to cover the main services your business offers. The goal here is to be as specific and succinct as possible.

Once you’ve updated your business category, add attributes to share more details about your business and how it operates. What forms of payment do you accept? Do you offer curb-side pickup or drop-off? Is your business woman-owned? These extra attributes will show up next to your business name on your profile.

Don’t forget to add pictures!

Businesses with recent, high-quality photos on their profile get more website clicks, foot traffic, and phone calls. What a simple way to help your business get noticed, right? You can add photos to your business profile or even feature photos added by your customers. This is especially beneficial for visual businesses, like restaurants and home or personal services. Your product photos may be amazing, but verifiable customer photos show searchers what a true experience with your business would be like.

The key takeaway? Your Google Business Profile is your virtual storefront. Don’t ignore it!

At MediaSpark, we help our clients keep their profile polished and up-to-date. But that’s not the only strategy we use to keep you in front of your ideal customers. To chat about your business, connect with us here or at (402) 505-5433.