Now is the time to dust off your Google profile and give it a much-needed update! In today’s Tech News Tuesday episode, we’re talking about some Google Business Profile updates that may affect your local rankings.
Open Hours Impact Local Search Rankings
Google’s local search rankings differ depending on time of day, and favor businesses who are currently open. They’ve been shifting those rankings based on whether businesses are open or closed at the time of the search.
Google search results take into account if your hours indicate you are open at the time of the search. Businesses that are open at the time of the search are favored.
Although it’s tempting for businesses to set their hours as open 24/7 to keep that ranking consistent, we wouldn’t recommend it. More than 50% of reviewers admit to leaving negative reviews after encountering misinformation like incorrect business hours.
Instead, how about this? Check out your competitors’ hours. If you notice this Google behavior affecting your rankings, you could tweak your hours slightly to be open when others aren’t.
Show Off What Makes You Unique Right on Google
You may have noticed that Google is now offering a lot of different attributes that can be added to your profile. The choices vary depending on your industry, but you may see an option to add “has basketball court” if you are a gym for example, or “has vegetarian dishes” for a restaurant.
Google is expanding attributes available for your business including characteristics like “small business”
Google also introduced a new attribute, called “small business” that they may have already assigned to your Google Business Profile. It’s meant to show up in search, Maps, and even in product blocks. Google’s beefing up business listings to provide shoppers with more helpful information—deals, shipping, returns, customer service details, and reviews.
Set Up Automated Responses to Commonly Asked Questions
For those who hate talking on the phone, did you know people can message you on your profile? You can even set up some automated responses. Custom and automated responses to common questions can save you time and seal the deal with customers.
Visuals Speak Volumes
We’ve mentioned the value of adding lots of photos to your profile, and Google Maps now showcases photos with review text and a Place Topic right at the top of your Profile. Visuals speak volumes! Google backs this up, saying businesses with photos are more likely to get directions and website clicks. Products, shelfies, the interior of your business – make the experience inviting.
The best part? Your competitors might not be making the most of this yet, so it’s your chance to stand out. With all the different types of photos and the quality of smartphone cameras these days, it’s easier than ever.
So, it’s time to dust off that profile, snap those pics, and update those details. And remember, when you’re posting on Google, it’s a search engine. Think about what people are searching for and your posts should relate to that. These are the questions that you get asked on a regular basis, and the images people are looking for. You can spotlight your new blog content, a featured product or service, or a special sale.
The bottom line is this: Google Business Profile features are constantly changing, but the importance of claiming and updating your listing is not.
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