Attention business owners in St. Mary Parish! Did you know that 97% of people learn more about a local company through the internet, and 72% of local searchers visit a store within 5 miles? Your key to tapping into this local search demand lies within your free Google Business Profile. 

Consider this platform as your digital storefront on the world’s biggest search engine. A complete and optimized profile can drive more website traffic, improve your local reputation, and ultimately attract more local customers.

This article will provide actionable tips to help optimize your Google Business Profile for your St. Mary business to maximize impact. You’ll learn about key profile elements to focus on and how to monitor your profile. With these best practices, you can showcase your brand to local searchers and turn them into customers at your doorstep.

What is Google Business Profile?

A Google Business Profile is a free online listing that provides your business with a digital presence when customers in St. Mary Parish or nearby areas search for your business on Google.

Through a Google Business Profile, you can customize your business’s digital storefront by adding detailed information about your business, photos of your location, offers or events, posts about your products/services, and more. 

You also have control over core business information, such as your address, phone number, operating hours, and more. Additionally, you can encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your Google profile, which can boost the online credibility and reputation of your St. Mary Parish business. 

How Do I Setup a New Google Business Profile?

Before setting up a new Google Business Profile, it is recommended to first check if Google has already created a profile for your business. To do this, sign in to the Google account you want to associate with the business profile. Then, go to Google Maps and enter your business name in the search bar. 

If a profile appears in the results, it indicates that Google has created a profile using publicly available information about your business. To take control of the existing profile, simply click “Claim this business” and follow the prompts to verify the listing belongs to you. 

Once verified, you will be able to fully manage and customize the pre-existing profile as needed. If a search for your business does not yield any profiles, you can create a new Google Business Profile by visiting and clicking “Add your business to Google.”

How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile to Connect with Customers in St. Mary 

With consumers researching businesses online before making purchases, optimizing your Google Business Profile is essential for connecting with local customers. Be sure to include the following:

Accurate Business Name, Address, and Phone Number

Name, address, and phone number (NAP) information is the most important information in your Google profile. When optimizing your profile, pay close attention to getting these details exactly right. Verify that your NAP is current and matches precisely what’s on your website, social media pages, and any on-site signage. This simple yet critical step ensures that customers can easily find and contact your business.

Complete Your Profile

After you have ensured the accuracy of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP), the next step is to fill out the remaining details in your profile. Include relevant categories and services that describe what your business offers. This helps customers find you for the specific products or services you provide. Don’t forget to add your website URL so customers can learn more about your business, and include any booking links to drive conversions.

Showcase Unique Aspects

You can also highlight unique aspects of your St. Mary Parish business by using attributes. For example, you can mention that you accept new patients, have gender-neutral restrooms, or offer in-store pickup. Keep in mind that the available attributes may vary depending on your business category. Selecting attributes that are relevant to your customers helps your business stand out.

Detailed Business Description 

The description section of your Google Business Profile allows you to tell your business’s story. Utilize this space to provide background information about your company, a brief history, and a brief description of the products or services you offer. 

For example, share when your business was founded or what sets you apart. This section lets you showcase your business’s unique value proposition. Craft your description to inform customers why you are the best choice.

Add High-Quality Photos and Videos 

Imagery and videos are powerful tools for visually showcasing your St. Mary Parish business. Include high-quality photos of your storefront, interior space, products, services, and staff members. Compelling images help customers get a feel for your location and offerings.

For example, a restaurant could share photos of its food and atmosphere, and a boutique might feature product close-ups and style photos. Videos that take customers behind the scenes also offer additional value. Leverage this visual space on your profile to highlight what makes your business special. 

Feature Your Products 

Highlight specific products directly on your Google Business Profile to attract potential customers. Choose a few signature, top-selling, or new-release items to highlight with images and descriptions. This allows you to present curated selections that are ideal for your target shoppers. You can even include links to direct traffic to individual product pages on your website so interested customers can learn more.

Enable Messaging

It is recommended to activate chat features on your Google Business Profile so that customers can conveniently ask questions or request assistance. Once messaging is enabled, promptly respond to any inquiries received through this channel in a timely and professional manner.

Post Events, Offers, or Products

Posting updates is an excellent way for St. Mary Parish businesses to promote events, offerings, and news through their Google Business Profile. Regularly share posts about your latest developments, new menu additions, upcoming sales, or recent customer reviews. When crafting posts, always include a strong call-to-action so readers understand the next step to engage further, whether it’s booking an appointment, visiting your website, or making a purchase.

Encourage Customers to Leave a Review 

Customer reviews on your Google Business Profile can significantly enhance credibility and trust. Statistics show that 73% of consumers are more likely to choose a business after seeing positive customer feedback. Therefore, encourage satisfied customers to leave honest Google reviews describing their experiences. 

This provides social proof for potential new visitors to your business profile. Also, make sure to respond to each review, whether it is positive or negative, to express your gratitude. Handling reviews professionally demonstrates that you value customer input.

Monitor Your Profile Regularly

Google may automatically make changes to listings, so it’s essential to double-check all your business information to ensure it stays current. Outdated details like hours or contact info can frustrate customers.

Additionally, review your profile’s analytics insights under the “Performance” tab. This allows you to access key metrics like how many times your profile has been viewed or how many directions have been requested. Tracking this data over time provides visibility into what resonates with your audience and offers opportunities for improvement.

Read also: Why St. Mary Parish is Your Ideal Business Destination

Optimizing your Google Business Profile offers tremendous value to help enhance your local visibility and acquire new customers. Focus on complete and accurate business details, encourage customer actions, and consistently monitor profile activity. By following these best practices, your Google Business Profile will attract customers to your St. Mary Parish business.

If you need assistance starting or expanding your existing business in St. Mary Parish, feel free to contact us for access to our small business resources and support. Our small business development center advisors are ready to help guide you on your entrepreneurial journey. Reach out today to start leveraging these small business development tools and grow your company while building stronger connections with local customers.

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