The 10 Mistakes Small Business Make When Setting Up Their Google Business Profile

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By Jeffrey

Avoid these blunders and optimize your GBP for success!

Starting a new business is exciting, but setting up your Google Business Profile (GBP) can be tricky. Don’t let these 10 common mistakes jeopardize your online presence.

1. Inaccurate information
Double-check that your business name, address and phone number are accurate across all platforms. Consistency is key! There is nothing worse then checking your GBP and finding out that you’ve been missing calls or emails because the information you have there is outdated.

Setting up a regular review cadence is a great way to ensure that the information is always up to date. Checking in once or twice a month to make sure things are still correct can save your business thousands of dollars.

2. The wrong categories
There are over 5,000 categories on Google Business Profiles. Selecting the one that is best for you can be overwhelming but researching and selecting the most relevant categories for your business can impact your visible on Google. The right categories help customers find you.

3. Ignoring reviews
Respond to all reviews, positive and negative. If we see negative reviews of a company on Google it certainly helps if that company has a gracious response. Responding to reviews, both positive and negative is one of the most important ways that is in your control that you can leverage to manage your reputation online.

Encourage happy customers to leave reviews to build trust. Build a system that makes it easier for customers to leave reviews. The less barriers your customers have to leaving you reviews, the more reviews you’ll get and having at least 100 reviews is huge social proof for your business.

4. No photos
High-quality images that showcase your business can make or break a potential customer’s decision! Keep your photos fresh and updated. Customers want to see what the business is like, who is working at the business and establish their expectations. The more high quality photos you can put on your Google Business Profile the better.

Start with just a couple photos if it’s too overwhelming. Get a photo of your place of business and a group shot of the people who work there. If you’re single proprietor try and get an action shot of what you do or at least a head shot so people know who they’re interacting with

5. Not posting updates
Posting business updates, news and promotions regularly keeps customers engaged and informed. A consistent posting schedule reflects positively on your business.

This isn’t the most critical if your business doesn’t have regular updates. Once every couple of months might be sufficient.

But if your business has sales, promotions, or news that affects customers make sure you get it on there. Not only does it help potential clients and customers know what is happening on your business it also can have a significant impact on Google map rankings.

“Responding to reviews and posting regularly completely transformed our online presence” – Jane, local cafe owner

6. An incomplete profile
Fill out all relevant details, amenities and operating hours to provide a seamless customer experience. Make sure you have a phone number, a website with a valid email or contact form, an address, and your business hours. Any of this information missing is just an opportunity for customers to pick a different business.

7. Not using Google Q&A
Monitor questions from customers and provide timely, accurate responses. This is another way to engage existing customers. If they have questions that you feel are broadly relevant you can ask them to post them on your Google Business Profile. Questions provide a way for potential clients and customers to make a decision about your business. Pin important FAQs for easy access and to address potential objections.

8. Not claiming your business
Not claiming your business decreases your credibility. A claimed business demonstrates that the owner is on top of things and will likely be trustworthy. It can be a bit of a hassle but this single simple action builds authority. Don’t delay! Claim your business now to enjoy the benefits.

9. Not using Google Ads
Although not specifically related to Google Business Profile, strategically running Google Ads can boost visibility and attract customers. If you’ve ever looked at Google Maps listings on a computer you’ll see the top couple of results say “ad” next to them. Placing a small amount of spend in this way can drive more eyeballs to your business.

It’s important not to rely on ads for business though. Google constantly changes their ad rules and algorithm and having a strong organic presence on Google is one of the best long term investments you can make in your business. Allocate budget and resources to properly and prudently leveraging this powerful marketing tool.

10. Not analyzing analytics
Regularly monitor insights to understand engagement, track performance and optimize your GBP. Data drives decisions! It’s not always the most fun or glamorous part of being a business owner but making data driven decisions can radically improve your business’ performance.

There is no easy way to get your GBP setup and optimized. It takes a lot of effort up front to make your Google Business Profile pop but once it is setup and running it will drive new clients without much thought. Avoiding the 10 things we talked about is a great checklist for starting!

If you are interested in having one of the experts here at Small Business To Go help you get your GBP setup we would be happy to meet with you and figure out how we can best help you. Use the form below to reach and and get started.

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