You know that targeted visibility on Google is crucial for your business. And you know that this requires optimizing your website and Google Ads account, but what you may not know is that this also requires optimizing your Google Business Profile.
The optimizations are not hard to do, but with new Business Profile features always being added and with Google best practices constantly evolving, the problem is knowing what to optimize and how. And that’s why we’ve added yet another account grader to our suite of free tools: WordStream’s Google My Business Grader!
Let’s go over the benefits of the tool and how it works—plus how optimizing your Google My Business account can boost your online marketing performance for free.
Here’s an example of a complete Business Profile, broken into two images so you can see the full extent of the quality information it provides! Notice that it doesn’t just appear in search results but ranks at the top.
A complete Business Profile is both an SEO tool and a customer magnet.
To understand the Google My Business Grader, you first have to understand what Google My business is. Contrary to popular belief, it is not one and the same with your Business Profile on Google. Your Business Profile is your free listing that appears on Google Maps and Google Search. A Business Profile on its own does not do much to help your business: It can only provide basic information, consumers can only interact with it in one or two ways, and you don’t have control over the reviews it collects.
To remedy that, you must create a Google My Business account. This free account grants you access to your Business Profile so you can add more compelling information about your business, create more opportunities for customer engagement, manage your reviews.and make updates as needed—turning your Google My Business Profile from a simple listing to a local SEO and lead generation asset for your business, as seen below.
A Business Profile alone (left) vs a Business Profile optimized through Google My Business (right)
As we just covered, gaining control over your Business Profile through Google My Business enables you to optimize it to rank in results, stand out above competitors, and actually generate leads. The Google My Business Grader audits your Google My Business account to help you identify and perform those optimizations.
The grader will assess four key areas of optimization:
You will get an individual assessment for each of these areas as well as an overall score—including recommendations for improvement.
The best part? As you make the improvements, you can use the Grader again and again to watch your score improve.
You are most likely already familiar with SEO, which is a set of actions performed both on and off of your website to get it to rank as high as possible in search engine results pages. And with 90% of Google searchers not clicking on websites past page one of search results, it’s crucial to SEO your website.
But did you know that 50% of Google searchers are now not clicking on any websites at all?
That’s right, 50% of searches are now what is referred to as “zero-click searches.” This is because the first page of Google search results has evolved from a simple list of 10 hyperlinks that could provide your answer to a multimedia page of rich results containing your answer. And Business Profiles are one type of rich result. They contain everything a consumer needs in order to discover, learn about, engage with, and become a customer of your business—without ever clicking through to your website.
With your Business Profiles potentially capturing more engagement than your website (zoom in to see all of the features), performing SEO on it is more important than ever.
Zero-click searches don’t simply further the importance of SEO, but rather call for a new form of of it: Business Profile SEO. Just as you need to optimize your website by incorporating keywords, maintaining accurate information, publishing new content regularly, and engaging visitors, so too is the case for your Business Profile, and that’s what the Google My Business Grader is for. It will point out the actions you need to take to get your Business Profile to show up as a rich result on that coveted first page, as well as to capture the same type of engagement you would otherwise get on your website.
Google has changed the way consumers find and engage with local businesses. And while Google My Business is an essential tool for aligning your Business Profile with this behavior, its features and best practices are constantly evolving. The Google My Business Grader was created to help businesses both identify and implement the little-known but highly effective features of this incredibly free tool so they can maximize their marketing success on Google.
Adding the Google My Business Grader to our free graders furthers our mission of bringing the power of online marketing to all businesses. If you’re looking to increase your visibility in search results, stand out above your competitors, and attract more customers online, our Google My Business Grader is here to help. Try it out today!
Kristen is the Senior Managing Editor at WordStream, where she helps businesses to make sense of their online marketing and advertising. She specializes in SEO and copywriting and finds life to be exponentially more delightful on a bicycle.
See other posts by Kristen McCormick
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