One of the most common questions we get is “How do I optimize my Google Business page?”. In this post, I’m going to show you everything you need to know to make the most of your Google My Business Profile. Starting with…

Make sure all the information is correct.

If you’ve been in business a while, chances are your address or phone number might have changed along the way. Maybe even your business name.

Heck, your website domain may have changed too. I’ve seen it more times than I’d like to admit where a clients listing points to an old or outdated website or domain.

But even if you’ve just created a brand new Google My Business listing, it’s still important to make sure all your information is correct.

Add Your Service Areas.

If you’ve just created a new GMB listing, you’ve probably noticed that you don’t have to put in your address anymore, and now you have an option to define a service area.

But if you created your listing a while back, you probably never even noticed the change. It’s great news for you because it means not only can customers see what areas you service, but it’s potentially become easier for you to rank in those areas as well.

If you haven’t already set up your services areas, login to your GMB Dashboard at https://google.com/business

From there, navigate to the menu on the left-hand side and click on info.

Just below your address, there should be an option to add your service area.

From here you just have to add any areas you service. Include ALL of them.

Add More Categories.

When you first create your listing, Google will ask you to choose a category for your business. But once you’ve created your listing, you can add extra categories.

As before, log in to your GMB dashboard and select “Info” on the left-hand menu. From there you can click the pencil icon next to your business category below your business name.

Once you do that, you’ll see a dialog box with an option to “add another category”. Add everything that applies to you.

These are the categories you’re going to want to focus on:

· Pool Cleaning Service
· Swimming Pool Repair Service
· Swimming Pool Contractor
· Swimming Pool Supply Store

While you’re at it, make sure your primary category is the correct one. If you do pool cleaning and maintenance, select the “Pool Cleaning Service” category, if you are a pool builder, select “Swimming Pool Contractor”.

If you offer repair services, include “Swimming Pool Repair Service” as an additional category… You get the idea.

Add a Business Description.

Another new feature Google added not to long ago is the ability to add a description to your listing. To add your business description, do the same as before.

Log in and navigate to the menu on the left-hand side and click on info. Scroll down and you’ll see a section that says “Add Business Description”. Click on it.

From here you can add a description for your business. It’s always my recommendation to keep the description as unique as possible (don’t just copy and paste a description from your website or yelp page if you can help it) and to use up as much of the available space as you can.

Google gives you 750 characters to enter information, use the most you possibly can. As long as you’re not just adding filler to take up space…

Add Your Services.

Another neat thing Google lets you add to your listing is your services and prices. If you hop on back to your GMB dashboard (again, clicking info in the left menu), you can scroll down and see a section called “Services”

If you click this section you can add a list of your services and even your price. You don’t have to list your prices, but if you have a set price for your services I’d recommend doing so.

Regardless, fill out the information, add your service info, and a quick description and you’re good to go. Take the time to list out all the services you offer.

Add Photos to Your Listing.

A study from Synup actually found that “Listings with photos are 2x more likely to be considered reputable and get 35% more clicks”

Even more surprising than that is how few business owners actually take advantage of photos in their GMB listings.

One of the most common responses I hear when telling business owners to add photos to their listings are “But I don’t have any photos worth showing!” and to that I say HOGWASH! (Not really.)

The truth is, you probably already have plenty of images to show and if not, they’re not hard to get. Try for images of things like:

· Pools you’ve worked on.
· Equipment you’ve repaired.
· Before and After Shots.
· Pictures of your truck(s).
· Pictures of work being done (this is a really nice one to have)

Or if you have a brick and mortar store, include a picture of that. If you have an office team or others working with you, share a picture of the team (With their permission of course).

And make sure you include your logo and a cover image as well.

Respond to Reviews (Especially the Negative Ones).

Reviews, especially on your GMB Page can be a major deciding factor in whether a visitor becomes a customer or not.

BrightLocal found that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 30% say they have judged a business based on it’s responses to reviews.

We all look to reviews to see others experiences with a product or service. Was it good? Was it bad? What was the company like? Friendly? Rude?
And that’s why you should always respond to reviews. Especially the bad ones.

Positive reviews should be easy to respond to. Just call them out by name and thank them for taking the time to leave a review. Let them know how happy you are that they’re happy.

But what about those pesky negative reviews?

Many business owners shy away from negative reviews, hoping no one will notice them. Or worse they go on a warpath and make themselves look bad.

Getting defensive is about the worst thing you can do with negative reviews.

We have a whole other post on responding to negative reviews the right way called “How to Stop Negative Reviews Dead In Their Tracks In Less Than 5 Minutes”, but the gist of it is this…

You need to calmly respond to their review, apologize for any frustration, and ask them to contact you to resolve the issue.

Chances are they won’t actually call you, but it looks good that you are trying to fix the problem.

Use GMB Posts to Promote Special Offers & Content.

As of June 2017, yet another feature of Google My Business you can take advantage of is Posts.

Before this feature was added, if you wanted to share content you had to either do it on your website or social media.

But now you can share your content and have it show up right in the GMB Listing. What kind of content do you ask?

· Blog Posts
· Company News
· Special Offers/Coupons
· Product Promotion

Honestly, this barely scratches the surface. You could even share videos if you wanted. Point is, GMB Posts are a great way to share more content from your business.

Especially special offers and discounts.

Enable Messaging.

Another often unused feature of Google My Business is the messaging options.

These days, a lot of people just don’t want to or don’t have the time to hop on the phone. I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this myself. In fact, a study found that 90% of leads would rather receive a text message than a phone call. Enter: GMB Messaging.

GMB Messaging allows visitors to send you a text message on their phone right from your GMB Listing. This is great for answering quick questions and exchanging information, and research shows that it actually converts pretty well. Even better than mobile advertising.

All you have to do is download the Google My Business App to either your Android or iOS device, log in, and bam! You can enable messaging on your listing.

Add an Opening Date.

One last little thing you can do is add an opening date to your listing. This is especially nice if you’ve been in business for a while.

It helps you earn customers trust when they know you’ve been around for more than a few months.

From your GMB Dashboard, hop over to the info panel again and scroll down until you see “Add Opening Date”

Final Thoughts

I know this can all be overwhelming, but just remember you don’t need to do it all at once. Take a breath, grab a drink, and do one at a time.

If you take the time to follow this guide and implement these optimizations you’ll have a solid head start over most any of the competition, and I promise you it’ll be worth it in the end.

And if you have any questions, feel free to drop them down in the comments section!

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