- Google My Business for Brick-and-Mortar Businesses
- How to Claim Ownership of Your Google Business Profile
- How to Register a GBP if You Don’t Have One Yet
- Initial Google Business Profile Optimization
- How to Promote Your GBP to Increase Visibility
- How to Post Pictures on Google Business Profile
- Post Using Your Google Business Profile
- How to Post Using the GBP Mobile App
- How to Post Using the Web Interface of Google Business Profile
- How Often Should I Post on Google Business Profile
- Can I Schedule Posts on My Google Business Profile?
- Interact With Your Clients Through Messaging
- Looking For a Trusted Partner to Help Increase Your Online Presence?
Believe it or not, many brick-and-mortar stores fail to develop a noticeable online presence. Instead, they rely solely on foot traffic. COVID19’s lockdown showed the world how dangerous this approach can be—just look at how many brick-and-mortar stores shut down for good because of their lack of online presence when the only way to shop was online?
In today’s technological world, having an online presence is the lifeline of any business. Without it, you’re hurting your business—regardless of pandemics and lockdowns.
So, how can you start increasing your online presence?
The answer is simple. Turn to your best friend in the name of business—your Google Business Profile (GBP). You’ve probably heard of Google My Business. This asset gets you your local foot traffic.
When people search for specific terms like ‘hairdressers near me’, ‘car repairs near me’, or ‘nearest sushi restaurant’, businesses with a Google Business Profile show up on a map and lead the consumer straight to their organization. Thanks, Google My Business!
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Google My Business for Brick-and-Mortar Businesses
If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, chances are you already have a Google Business account. If so, your next step is to claim ownership of it.
So, how do you know if you’ve already got an account?
Do a Google search of your business and see what pops up. If your business appears in the so-called ‘3-pack’, check if you own that profile.
How to Claim Ownership of Your Google Business Profile
It’s often the case that you own a Google Business Profile, but it’s been long enough that you simply forgot about it or can’t remember how to access it. Don’t worry—that’s a simple fix. Start by checking the permissions in your Gmail account to see if you have access to a specific GBP location. It looks like this:
If you click on Google Business Places and the section comes up empty, you need to claim ownership of your account. From here, you can contact Google support and ask for help, or you can follow these steps:
- Pull up your Google Business Profile
- Click on ‘Own this business?’ (see the screenshot below)
If you don’t have access to the profile but own the actual business, the Google Support team will help you obtain ownership of the GBP listing.
How to Register a GBP if You Don’t Have One Yet
If you don’t have a Google Business Profile, go ahead and register one—it’s 100% free!
You can create your Google Business Places using this page. Simply create your account and follow the on-screen instructions to register your business on Google Maps.
Initial Google Business Profile Optimization
During the setup process, provide as much detailed information as possible—the more accurate you are in your description, the easier it is for potential clients to find you online, therefore increasing business and improving your bottom line.
If a GBP for your business already exists, go through it to ensure you filled out everything correctly. The difference between an unoptimized and an optimized GBP is staggering—one business’s search results jumped from a mere 50 to a whopping 450—and only a month after optimizing their account! That’s a 9x increase!! Check out the screenshot below.
How to Promote Your GBP to Increase Visibility
The recipe for success is simple—first, take care of the quick initial optimization. And second, increase your online activity by:
- Posting pictures
- Publishing posts
- Announcing new store deals through your GBP
- Respond to client queries (make sure to turn on messages)
How to Post Pictures on Google Business Profile
Download and install an official app from Google called ‘My Business’. This gives you direct access to your Google Business Profile account right from your phone.
Use the app to take pictures and post them online, so consumers have an easier time finding your business and your products/services. You can upload existing images to the My Business app, but from experience, pictures taken and uploaded within the app tend to rank higher. One reason for this may be that the image metadata raises its credibility with search engines.
When posting pictures, include as much detail about your business as possible. GBP allows you to upload pictures of the exterior and interior of your business, your ‘at work’ pictures, your team and your business identity. Make sure you include as many details as possible—this helps build credibility with your users and search engines.
Posting pictures is not the same as creating and publishing posts. Post pictures along with general posts, so your images appear in ‘image search’—this is another strategy to increase the online presence of your business.
Your Google Business Profile account shows you how often your images appear in search results compared to your competitors. Want to stay ahead of your competition? Of course, you do! Just post higher quality pictures than they do!
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Post Using Your Google Business Profile
There are two ways to post using your GBP account:
- Via the My Business mobile app that we discussed earlier
- Through the web interface of your Google Business Profile
Let’s do a quick review of both.
How to Post Using the GBP Mobile App
- Open up the My Business app
- Click ‘Profile’ at the bottom of the screen
- Select ‘Posts’
How to Post Using the Web Interface of Google Business Profile
- Access your Google Business Profile online
- On the left-hand side, find the section that says ‘Posts’
- Hit ‘Create your first post’
How Often Should I Post on Google Business Profile (ex. Google My Business)
If you post at least once every seven days, that’s more than enough. Share information your consumers are looking for—new arrivals, clearance sales, deal of the day, or make an exciting announcement—everything counts toward boosting your online presence! Posts expire seven days from publishing.
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Can I Schedule Posts on My Google Business Profile?
Scheduled posting is available through third-party apps such as localviking. By default, there’s currently no option to schedule a post on your Google Business Profile. However, plenty of alternatives are available that allow you to schedule your posts however and whenever you want.
Interact With Your Clients Through Messaging
Google Messaging is a free channel on Google Business Places, allowing you to provide information to your clients quickly. It’s basically a form of chat. When consumers submit their inquiries, you receive them immediately via email and through your Business Profile.
Google requires you to send a response within 24 hours from receiving your customer inquiries. Otherwise, you lose the messaging functionality privilege. Therefore, treat all inquiries coming through your Business Profile as a priority.
Looking For a Trusted Partner to Help Increase Your Online Presence?
Following these GBP strategies will increase the overall visibility of a business by at least 30%. And the more established the company is, the greater its online presence will be. So start by using these tips to increase the visibility of your business, drive more traffic to your location, and ultimately grow your business.
If you’re looking to boost your online presence even higher, AdHouse Digital Marketing & Advertising can help! Contact us with any questions regarding your business—we’ll happily give you a free initial audit of your Google Business Profile account and work with you to develop a strategic marketing plan unique to your business.
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