I’ve recorded this video to run through the best way of setting up a Google Business Profile because it’s an area we find a lot of our clients don’t have theirs set up properly when we start working with them and it’s key to your whole Google ranking and your appearance online these days.
I’m going to take you through how we set up one of our client’s Google profiles. It’s a fencing company and I’ll show you the key things to do. The company is a company called MT Fencing Contractors and we’ve already got access to their Google profile, which is this block on the right of the screen here.
There’s a few things in here. We’ve got some photos, location, the company details, the address, the phone number, products where we put their services and I’ll come on to why we do that and how we do that later on. And there’s also Google reviews and posts. First thing you’ll need is to be able to access your own Google business profile.
Claim Google Business Profile
If you don’t already have that set up, when you come to this page you’ll see a little line here saying own this company. And if you click on that you go through a couple of stages and give your details and then Google will email whoever has current access to it to allow you to have access. If you can’t contact that person because they are an old employee then they’ll come back after about three days and there’s another option whereby you can have a card sent through the post or an automated telephone call to your telephone number on here with a pin number. Assuming you’ve got access I’m going to go through the various things we’re looking to set up here, how we do it and why we do it in certain ways.
Edit Company Information
We start off on the left here, edit this profile. This is all the basic information about the company. First thing is the name. Now, we’ve come across companies on a fairly regular basis that are putting into their business name a list of their services. In Google’s opinion, this name should just be your company name.
So this company, MT Fencing Contractors, that’s all. You can add on details of your services after the name, but if you do that, you’re running a very high risk of your Google profile being suspended by Google when they spot it. For example, I spoke to a company recently and their profile ran to about three lines. It had the company name, and then it listed every service they have afterwards. Sooner or later, that’ll get spotted. As soon as it does their profile will be suspended which will impact their Google ranking massively for the coming months. So stick with your company name. However, one exception would be where you offer two services and it looks natural to have the second service in there.
For example, we’ve got a paving client. Let’s just call them ABC Paving. They also do landscaping. So on their website, we’ve changed them to ABC Paving and Landscaping. And on their Google profile we’ve also called them ABC Paving and Landscaping, mainly because we want the paving in there and we want the landscaping in there from a search ranking perspective. So you can you can get away with that. But you have to be very, very careful and make sure it matches up with other places online where you are listed. That was a lot of information on the business name.
Next thing is, is the business category. You can put one primary and five secondary categories in there. The primary one being the most important, and that is how Google is identifying your business.
Now, there are a number of landscaping and tree surgery related ones. I’ve got the main ones here. For this fencing company, fence contractor is the key one for them. If you’re in landscaping, you’ve got landscape gardener, which is also a good one. Tree surgery, tree surgeon, paving, we’ve got paving contractor, and there’s a few other bits and pieces as well.
So pick out the primary category, the one that is most apt for what you do, and then you can add on five more secondary categories depending on the other services you’re offering. And with all of these things, you just click on the pencil icon, and then you add in whatever you want.
Google Business Profile Description
Then there is the description which is a block here of 750 characters and it’s quite visible on your Google profile because it’s just down here. What happens when someone comes here is they’ll see the first four lines and if they click on more they’ll see the rest of it. Here you’ve got about 10 or 11 lines in total. We always recommend the first four lines are a strong sales message about the company, then give a few details on the various services and then end up with the location.
Because this is Google’s database, we’re trying to get as many of the useful keywords for search ranking in there as possible, while at the same time appealing to people. So we have a sales message, and then we have a list of services. So we’ve got residential fencing, commercial fencing, school fencing and so on. Then at the end we’re finishing off with some locations as well.
To edit the description click on the pencil to change the the information in there. Opening date goes in here and on Google Maps they’ll often say how long the business has been trading for, so it’s worth adding.
Telephone number, you can have two telephone numbers in there. The first one, the primary one, is the one that will show up on your Google profile. You can also have a secondary one. The reason for that is one thing Google is always trying to do is find matches for your business all over the internet. If you’re on lots of directories with a mobile number it’s worth having that there, but if your main website and your Google profile has a landline number, use that for the primary phone number. You can have both numbers so Google can tie your company with the various online listings for you.
Then we’ve got a website address there. Short name is no longer used. This finished, I think about a year or so ago, you could have a short name for your Google profile. They discontinued that now. So if you’ve got an old one with it on there, that will show otherwise you won’t see anything.
Google Maps Location
Then you’ve got the location. Sometimes we find the map pointer is in the wrong place. If that’s the case, you can click on the location and you can drag the map around to get it in just the right place. Your opening hours go on here too and they are an interesting one. We’ve noticed Google is starting to show whether a business is open or not on the Google Maps and in other places too. So I do think it’s worth showing long hours there. Even if in the evening you’re just going to answer it on your mobile phone it’s worth putting in long hours so that when someone is searching they do see you showing up. Probably not 24 hours, but for most clients we’re working on the basis of 6, 7, 8 am through to 7, 8, 9 p. m., something like that.
A lot of the other information here is more relevant to shops, restaurants, bars, etc. So we’re not going to bother going through any of those bits. There is an option down here on site services offers online estimates. You can fill that in but it’s not all that important. The only thing about it is it adds this extra line here. We often leave it blank just to have a bit less information on there. When someone’s looking for a fencing company that does on site services, well, they’re obviously going to do that so it’s not really necessary.
We’ve got Google Reviews, which people are hopefully leaving for you. One way to get reviews, obviously, is to ask all customers: “please will you leave a review for us?” A more effective way is to actually send them a direct link to the review page. This box here where it says Ask for Reviews, if you click on that, there’s a special Google Review link there. It goes straight into the review page. So rather than someone having to search for your business and then click on the reviews and then click on leave a review, this will send them straight there and they can click on the stars. They can write some text, they can add photos and so on. So it’s a more effective way of getting reviews.
Our rule of thumb with Google reviews is you always need to ask for them twice because the first time someone will say yes and probably not do anything. But the second time when you remind them, then there’s a far higher chance they’ll actually leave a review. So that’s the reviews. Just coming down to the other bits on here.
I’m going to come back to photos in a minute. We’ve got a product section on here. We think this is probably going to be discontinued at some point because it’s not really used in the way that Google originally intended. The idea they have here is that companies can show the products they sell and people can click on that for more information.
Products and Services
What’s actually happening is we and others are using this to show services because it’s a very effective way of putting a customer’s services on their Google profile and then linking them back to the website. So using this as an example, if I click on here we’ve got Landscaping and Fencing. If I click on one of those, we’ve got an image, we’ve got a block of text, and then we’ve got a link to the website. So from a search ranking and client information point of view it’s fantastic because we get all this information in Google’s database on the Google profile, but it’s not what Google wants.
We do expect at some point, probably in the next 6 months or so, that they will stop using this. But as long as they do, we’ll carry on using it in the same way. And if you want to add in your products and services in there, click this block here, edit products. Then you can add a product and a photo. You can set up more than one category. So for this client we have landscaping and fencing. You can have multiple categories or just have them all under one. We leave the price blank when it’s a service. I know there’s some people do put on a from X number of pounds. My view on that is for these sorts of services leave it blank. You’ve got a description and then you’ve got a link to the website to wherever you’ve got more detail on that product or service on your website.
The other thing I wanted to mention on here is these news posts. In the same way that you can post on social media, you can post on your Google profile. Again, because it’s in the Google database, it’s more useful for search ranking. It’s telling Google more about your company, what you do, and so on.
One thing to note is that they only show the most recent ones here. They do drop off over time. On Facebook it makes sense to put lots and lots of posts. Every time you do a new job, add a post, add on some information. With your Google profile, though, keep them a bit limited and just put the very best quality posts on there, the best images and so on, because it’s not as easy to scroll through and see them as it is with social media, and people won’t scroll through and look at lots.
Ideally, one every two to four weeks and on each one, photo, text and a link through to the website. So it’s using them sparingly. There’s other ways you can do these posts. You don’t just need to have information on your services. There’s other things you can add as well. If I click on the add update button, we got some text in there. We can have a photo there and then we’ve got options on the button. We can have book an appointment. So if you’ve got a booking system on your website, they can link through to that. The Learn More is the one that we tend to use most, which just links straight through to the website.
If you’re doing some kind of an online course or something, there’s a sign up button. There’s also a Call Now, which is useful where you’ve got your telephone number and someone can click on that. Most of the time we’ll use either Learn More or Call Now. Occasionally we’ll use it to promote some kind of an offer, for example coming up to Christmas and there’s a discount to get some extra enquiries in, but generally that’s that’s how we’re using these.
Social Media Links
One or two other things on on the Google profile. There are links to your social media. You can’t tell Google which social media accounts, they have to discover them but you can help them by putting them on your website. There is code you can put into the website that shows where the social media accounts are, but Google is fairly good at finding social media accounts. So this one here is a relatively new website. I would have thought in two or three months time their social media accounts will start showing up here.
One last thing at the bottom here is links to competitors now. One of the views I have with the Google Business Profile is the more you can put onto the page, the better, simply because if you don’t have all that, if you don’t have these services, these reviews, this block of text and so on, people are very easily looking at your competitors. It’s very easy for them to search for you and without all this information above, these competitors move up the page and become far more visible. It’s easy for someone to click on them and have a look at some others. We’re trying to keep them just looking at you, just seeing what you’re offering and what you’re doing.
A few other bits and pieces along here. Google will tell you how many interactions and views your Google Business Profile has had by clicking on that. I’m more interested in the best way of using it rather than looking at the data going on behind it.
Google Business Profile Photos
Photos which are here are very important and we recommend to everybody to add as many photos as possible and to keep on adding the photos. One of Google’s patents is around using the geotag, the location tag that is attached to a photo when you take it on a mobile, within search ranking. So we always recommend when someone’s taking photos, do it on a mobile phone and upload it from the phone so that geo tag remains attached to the photo. There’s three types of photo. There’s just regular photos. There’s the company logo, and then there’s a cover photo. So the cover photo is this image here. The logo is obviously this one and then the other photos are all stored in here.
There are specific sizes for the cover photo and the logo. We’ve got them on our website under resources, social media sizes. We keep them on there just to make our life a bit easier as well. Cover photo should be 2120 by 1192 pixels.
It doesn’t matter if it’s different. However, it’s worth having a landscape photo rather than a portrait one. Because if you have a portrait one, what happens is it will only take up half the space here and you end up with a great big map coming across and a great big street view picture. It’s always worth having a wide photo, even if it’s a different size to what they specify.
The profile image is shown circular, 500 by 500 pixels. A square image, however, if your logo comes up to the edge, it’s worth putting a bit of space around it. So this one here, we’ve not taken it right out to the edges because then we’ll end up with bits cut off when it’s shown in the circle. We’ve put some sort of padding space around the edge and to add or change photos.
All you do is click on the photos button. Click on that and then click on select photos and pick them and upload them. With the regular photos it doesn’t matter what size, doesn’t matter what shape or anything else, just as many as possible. Ideally good photos, but really as many as possible. We notice the profiles that have the most photos tend to do the best in search rankings. So we tend to add a lot there.
Logo and cover photo clicking on those lets you add those up as well.
One other thing I wanted to mention that’s worth knowing is this edit services. We’ve put services in products, but there is actually a services section as well and we’ve noticed Google is adding a lot more to that now. Under services, you can select what to show and Google will keep on adding more. So looking at these here, these blue ones have been added in by Google by looking at what people have mentioned in reviews by looking at the website and everything else. You don’t have to accept them, but if you click on the edit button here, you can have a look through and see which ones are correct and which ones aren’t. So these have all happened since we last updated it. For most of these things here, Deer Fencing, this company does privacy fencing. I think we’re all good with all of those. I’m just going to leave those as they are.
The other thing that they’re starting to do is for each service you can add additional text. So it starts out with just the title here but if you click on a service, you can now add in a block of text below pricing. This is one of the reasons we think this whole products thing is going away because this description of the service wasn’t around a few months ago. We’re assuming that they’re heading in that direction. With our clients, all the main services they offer, we’re putting in a block of text to add a bit more detail about it. And we’re trying to get some of the keywords that we’re focusing on in our search ranking into there as well. You’ll see the main services have all got a bit extra on them.
There’s one last thing which is these three dots here. If you click on there and then business profile settings, there’s one or two other bits and pieces here. If you want to have other people within your company able to access your Google business profile, clicking on there will let you add their details. If you contact Google about a problem they’ll ask you for the profile ID, which is in there. And you can also link your Google business profile with Google ads for advertising, which then means that you’re Google Business Profile shows up on Google Maps at the top of the rankings with sponsored beside it because it’s an advert rather than just a natural listing.
This profile strength here, we tend not to worry too much about because when you added all this information the little circle fills up more and invariably it’s never quite full because Google always wants something and it’s often the chat system to be set up. Here they want us to turn on messaging, which isn’t what this client wants. This client would rather have a phone call or a message through the website, not a chat message. So I’m going to leave that turned off.
That’s everything on the Google Business Profile. It’s one of the most important things you can do in terms of your search ranking for your business. It takes a bit of time to get everything set up properly, and you can come back multiple times to do it. One thing I would say is keep on adding more and more photos because they have proven to be one of the most useful things you can do on it.
Hopefully that’s useful and any questions just get in touch.