Google Business Profiles: Six Mistakes to Avoid
Google Business Profiles, still often referred to as Google My Business, have become a pivotal feature of search engine results pages. They provide quick results for search engine users looking to find a service or company, giving your potential customers a way to get in touch with you without even accessing your website!
Because of this, it’s vital to remember that digital marketing goes beyond your website and that your Google Business Profile needs to be optimised to effectively target your potential customers from every angle. Here I'll unpack the most common mistakes business owners make for you to avoid!
1. Incorrect Operating Hours
One of the most common, and easily avoidable, mistakes business owners make are not updating their opening and closing times. It’s easy to overlook, but it's one of the most important aspects of your business information that you should always update. You could directly lose customers if they wrongly believe you are closed when, in actuality, you’re open for business.
You should also make sure to update holiday operating hours to keep your customers informed about when they can get in contact with you. It's particularly important if you have an advantage over your competitors and have better operating hours than them over holiday periods, because it helps direct customers to your business instead.
To update your opening and closing hours, follow these steps:
Search your business on Google. You should be shown an interface similar to the below. Now navigate to and click ‘‘Edit profile’
A pop-up box will open with various information that you can edit as an owner of the business. Move to the "Hours" tab:
This is where you will find your operating hours. Move to the ‘Hours’ subheading and click the pen icon to edit. Then make your changes and press save. Google will show you a message to inform you that the changes are being reviewed. Generally it takes around 24 to 48 hours to be approved, however sometimes they can be instant.
2. Not Listing Services and Products
An often overlooked feature of Google Business Profiles, you can add your exact services and products onto your profile. You can create and add custom categories, custom products, and custom services to make sure your business represents itself accurately. It also means that any business is able to add its services or products to their profile regardless of how niche it may be.
You are also able to add a description and price to your listed services and products, making it easier for users to find key information in less steps. Rather than your customer having to search a product, find your site, access your site and then find the product they’re looking for - they can simply find all this information from your Google Business Profile after a simple search on Google.
How to edit your products
Firstly, search your business on Google and then navigate to ‘Edit Products’.
Now click 'Edit Products'.
Here is where you can add all your product information and visual content including a product image. Make sure to include as many details as possible to help users understand what you have to offer them.
You can also categorise your products by adding new categories:
How to edit your services
To edit your services, the process is slightly different. Instead, navigate to ‘Edit Services’.
3. Ignoring Customer Reviews
One of the most common reasons why users look at business profiles is to look at their reviews. Google will show your customer review in your profile directly to users in results pages meaning that users can instantly see if you have a low rating or low number of reviews. If you neglect customer reviews, it can start to harm your brand's reputation particularly if there are bad reviews without a response from the profile owner.
Similarly to encouraging reviews on platforms like Reviews.io and TrustPilot, you should also be actively seeking and managing customer reviews on your Google Business Profile. You should look to interact with your customers, thank positive reviewers, respond professionally to negative reviews and offer your side of a story if a user misrepresents a situation or has reviewed your business even though they have not used your services before (a common issue with Google Business Profiles).
By interacting with customer reviews, you are showing users that you’re committed to customer satisfaction and are an active business that will respond to customers quickly.
4. Lack of Visual Content
We all know that visual content is a powerful tool in digital marketing. From images and infographics to video content, they allow you to engage your target audience in new ways. It’s been found that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text, meaning that visual content is the best way to convey information to your audience quickly and effectively.
That is precisely why it’s surprising to see a number of Google Business Profiles lacking visual content from business images to service listings without images. You should take advantage of the visual content you can add to your profile. Make sure to add business images, regular updates with images attached and ensure products/services are listed with an accompanying image.
5. Not Adding Regular Updates
Google allows you to add regular updates to your profile, keeping users informed about your latest ventures! They help keep users informed about key updates, add engaging visual content to your profile and show that your business is active.
To make it easier, you can re-use your social media content and post it onto the profile. This will also help improve brand recognition across your online profiles. You should aim to add a post every month to keep your profile active and regularly updated.
How to add updates to your profile
Open your business profile on Google and then simply scroll down. You will see in the regular updates section an ‘add update’ button as well as a large ‘add a post’ button.
Once you click this button, you will be able to add your post as well as preview it.
You can also specifically opt to add offers and events by clicking the "View all updates" option.
6. Ignoring Google Business Profile Insights
We can’t make informed digital marketing decisions without regularly reviewing performance. Popular tools include Google Analytics and Google Search Console, but don’t underestimate the value of Google Business Profile Insights!
Google Business Profile Insights breaks down data related to your local search performance, including:
Number of views
How users found your profile
What device users were using
Search terms your listing appeared for
Google Business Profile Insights is unique because it focuses on your local search appearance. It’s easy to access by logging into your profile and accessing your report. You should use this data to make sure your profile is appearing for your target search terms and users are interacting with your profile, e.g. writing reviews and contacting your business.
What to do next
In the battle to the top of search engine results pages, Google Business Profile offers businesses a way to get their company in front of local users. If you’re looking to improve your organic performance, whether through a local SEO campaign or national SEO strategy, get in touch with our SEO team today to start transforming your organic visibility!