In today’s digital era, having a strong online presence as a retail store or local boutique is more crucial than ever before. With millions of people searching for businesses online every day, it’s essential to make it easy for potential customers to find you online and in person. This is where Google Business Profile comes in handy.
Google Business Profile is a free marketing tool that enables businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By optimizing your Google Business Profile, you can make your business stand out from the crowd and attract more customers.
If you want to leverage a location-based marketing strategy for your local storefront, you need to optimize your Google Business Profile (GBP)! SEO for your GBP focuses on getting your profile to rank well in search results and increases your business’s chance of showing in the top three Local Map pack. Even with great SEO on your website, your GBP has the potential to bring you more local traffic because it isn’t focused on only online shopping.
An optimized Google Business Profile has many local SEO advantages & goals: customers can find you on the map, call your location, read reviews, get directions, send you a message, ask a question & read previous answers, view photos to determine if what you offer is what they’re looking for, and visit your website if they don’t find what they need right there in Google.
Of course, the goal of a local optimized Google Business Profile is that your customers do find what they’re looking for right then and there.
Steps to optimize your Google Business Profile
Claim Your Google Business Profile
The first step to optimizing your Google Business Profile is to claim it or create it.
To claim an existing Google Business listing, you want to click the link that says “Own this Business?” If your listing doesn’t already exist, you should create a Google My Business Account. Once you sign up, verify your business by following Google’s instructions.
Optimize your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) data by ensuring it’s accurate and consistent with your business website and social media profiles.
Use Google’s Initial suggestions to set up your GBP Basics
Google wants you to use this tool! So when you first create or claim your listing, you’ll be greeted by this at the top of the search results page for your business. Complete the suggested info sections until your Profile Strength is a full green circle.
Add High-Quality Photos and Videos
Visual content is a vital factor in attracting potential customers to your business. Therefore, it’s crucial to add high-quality photos and videos to your Google Business Profile. Ensure that the photos and videos showcase what your business offers, such as products, services, or ambiance. You can also add virtual tours and 360-degree videos for visitors to see the inside of your store.
It may be tempting to add all of your awesome new photos at once, but we recommend spreading out your business updates over time so that your profile looks recent and active. So upload 3-5 photos one week, and then wait a week or two to add a few more.
Provide Accurate Business Information
Apart from your business name, address, and phone number, providing accurate business information is key to optimizing your Google Business Profile. This includes your business hours, website, email address, descriptions, and services offered. Ensure that this information is always updated and consistent across all your online platforms. Keep in mind that your address should be the same everywhere; ste. and suite are seen as two different versions of an address so be consistent!
Engage with Your Customers through Reviews and Q&A
Another essential element of optimizing your Google Business Profile is engaging with your customers. You can do this by responding to reviews and questions posted by visitors. This shows that you care about their feedback and enhances your online reputation.
Anyone can answer a question posted to your GBP, not just your admins or managers. So respond quickly and well to make sure the answer that you want to show is the one that’s there!
Use Posts and Updates to Promote Your Business
Google Business Profile lets you create posts to attract potential customers to your business. You can use posts to highlight upcoming events, promotions, and new products or services. On the other hand, offerings enable you to create promotions such as discounts or free shipping. These features allow you to showcase your business in a unique and engaging way.
Some types of posts that a local boutique can create are:
- Offers: Provide promotional sales or discounts from your business, like free shipping or a 20% off coupon for the first 50 customers who visit your store.
- Updates: Provide general information about your business. For example, you can share a new collection of clothing or accessories that you have in stock.
- Events: Promote an event at your business. For example, you can invite customers to a fashion show or a trunk sale.
- Products: Show what’s in your store, so customers know what you sell as soon as they find you online. You can also add a link to your online store or website.
You can even track the performance of your posts by viewing insights on how many views, clicks, and calls they generate.
Fill Out Your Products & Services
As a retail shop, you may want to list out Brands you carry or Services you provide that enhance your customer’s shopping experiences. Be creative, use your keyword research, and be accurate.
For example, our client Scissors & Scotch is a men’s grooming experience that offers a ton of services! You bet they list out and describe each one on each franchise location’s unique GBP (as applicable): Barber Shop, Grooming services, Haircut, Hair coloring, Beard conditioner, Beard trim, Beard sculpt, Buzz cut, Head shave, Long haircut, Scissor cut, Shape up, Shave Straight, Razor shave, Hand massages, Hand scrubs, Junior cuts, Nose waxes, Paraffin hand dips, Spa services, Traditional barbering
Common GBP Mistakes
- If you’re adding a new user to your GBP, please wait a week to make any big changes!
- Don’t try to “trick” the algorithm by putting a ton of location data or keywords in your Business Name on your GBP. This is actually against Google’s TOS and can result in your GBP listing being removed altogether.
- Use tracking UTMs on any and all links you use on your GBP. In Google Analytics, clicks to your website from your GBP may show as Organic. You can control this by specifying how you want traffic from your GBP listing too appear in Analytics using the campaign, medium, and source parameters.
Optimizing your Google Business Profile is a critical factor in attracting more customers to your retail store or local boutique. By following the tips outlined in this blog, you can ensure that your Google Business Profile stands out from the crowd. Claim your profile, add high-quality images, provide accurate business information, engage with your customers, and use posts and offerings to promote your business. Invest time in optimizing your Google Business Profile, and you’ll reap the rewards of increased online visibility and customer traffic.