6 common Google Business Profile mistakes that cost SMBs money (and how to avoid them)

14 Jun, 2024

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Imagine this: a potential customer searches for your business on Google, eager to visit your store or try your service. But instead of finding clear, accurate information, they encounter outdated details, poor-quality photos, and unanswered reviews. Frustrated, they turn to a competitor. Sound familiar? If your Google Business Profile isn't up to par, this scenario could cost you more than just a few lost customers. 

In this blog, we'll uncover six common Google Business Profile mistakes that could be costing you money and show you how to fix them. 

1. Incorrect or inconsistent business information 

Providing incorrect or inconsistent business information such as address, phone number, or operating hours can confuse potential customers and harm your search rankings. If a local bakery's Google Business Profile shows they open at 7 AM but their actual opening time is 8 AM, early customers arrive to find the shop closed. This leads to frustration and negative reviews. Consistent, accurate information across all online platforms is crucial for maintaining customer trust and improving local SEO.  

SMB tips: 

  • Regularly audit your Google Business Profile to ensure all information is accurate and up-to-date. 
  • Use tools like Google Maps and third-party listing services to verify your details. 
  • Consider using listing management tools such as rankingCoach to keep information consistent across multiple platforms.

2. Failing to respond to customer reviews

Failing to respond to customer reviews, whether positive or negative, can make your business seem unresponsive and uncaring. Actively monitoring and responding to all customer reviews is essential. Thanking customers for positive feedback and addressing any negative comments professionally and constructively shows potential customers that you value their input and are committed to improving their experience.

SMB tips: 

  • Automate your online review responsibilities with review management tools to increase productivity. 
  • Develop templates for responding to common types of reviews (positive, negative, neutral) to ensure consistency and save time.
  • Assign a specific person or team to monitor and respond to reviews regularly. 

Boost your web reputation and get more reviews with rankingCoach

3. Poor quality or lack of photos

Your Google Business Profile often serves as the first point of contact between your business and potential customers. High-quality images immediately capture attention and convey professionalism. They can make your business appear more appealing, trustworthy, and inviting. 

SMB tips: 

  • Modern smartphones have excellent cameras. Use them to take high-quality photos without the need for professional equipment.
  • Use free photo editing apps like Snapseed, VSCO, or Lightroom to enhance your photos.
  • Invite customers to share their photos of your business and feature the best ones on your profile, adding authenticity and variety.
  • Make it a habit to take and update photos regularly, especially when you introduce new products or make changes to your premises, to keep your profile fresh. 

4. Neglecting the insights provided by your Google Business Profile

Relying on insights allows you to make informed decisions rather than guessing. This data-driven approach ensures that your business strategies are backed by real customer data, leading to better outcomes and more efficient use of resources. 

Pay attention to metrics such as search queries, profile views, and customer actions. This data helps you understand customer behavior and optimize your profile and marketing strategies accordingly. 

SMB tips: 

  • Monitor search terms that lead to your profile and add these keywords to your business description, posts, and updates to boost visibility.
  • Look at what actions customers are taking (e.g., calling, visiting your website) and ensure these options are easy and enticing.
  • Use insights to spot and act on seasonal trends in customer behavior.
  • Consider third-party analytics tools that integrate with Google Business Profile for detailed data analysis and reporting.

5. Inadequate use of additional features and attributes

Google Business Profile attributes are unique characteristics that businesses can add to their listings to provide more detailed information about their operations. These attributes can include payment options and indicate if the business is LGBTQ+ friendly, pet-friendly, or kid-friendly. Accessibility features like entrances, restrooms, and parking can also be noted.

Please note that not all attributes are available to every business. The options you see will depend on your business category. 

SMB tips: 

  • Keep an eye on competitor profiles to see what features they are using and how you can improve yours.
  • Make sure your website link is prominent on your profile to drive more traffic and potential sales.
  • Use specific attributes like "wheelchair accessible," "pet-friendly," or "women-led" to attract target groups and improve search visibility.

6. Not utilizing Google Business Profile posts and updates

Many believe that standing out online is costly, but this isn’t necessarily true. Free resources like Google Business Profile (GBP) can help you achieve better visibility affordably and effectively. One of the most valuable functions within GBP is the Updates feature. This allows businesses to share real-time news, updates, special offers, events, and more directly on their business listing.

SMB tips: 

  • Keep your updates concise and professional, as potential customers tend to skim long texts but are more likely to engage with media files. 
  • Think about keywords your potential customers might use and incorporate them into your updates to increase your business listing's relevance in search queries. 
  • Ensure the pages you link to in your updates are user-friendly, with clear calls-to-action, quick load times, and easy navigation.
  • Aim to post about once a week to ensure your Google Business Profile stays active and regularly updated with fresh content. 

Don't have the time to become a digital marketing professional or the budget to hire one for every small change and update? rankingCoach 360 is tailored to the needs of small businesses, making it possible to handle all the crucial areas of digital marketing yourself, with no prior knowledge and minimal time investment

With rankingCoach 360, SMBs can effectively optimize their Google Business Profile and handle all important digital marketing tasks. This AI-powered tool empowers you to maintain a strong online presence, engage with customers, and stay competitive in local searches, all without the need for extensive marketing expertise or resources.

Start now with rankingCoach 360 

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