Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a service provided by Google that allows businesses to manage their online presence across the search engine and its associated websites.
With the Internet being the first place customers go when looking for a product or service, this tool is invaluable for small and large businesses alike, helping them reach more customers and share information about their business. Using Google Business Profile is an essential aspect of any digital marketing strategy.
What is Google Business Profile?
Launched in 2014 as Google My Business and rebranded to Google Business Profile in 2021, this free tool allows businesses to manage how they appear on Google Search and Google Maps.
It works as an online directory where businesses can establish their presence, providing customers with crucial information like location, operating hours, and contact details.
Features of Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile also serves as a platform for showcasing products or services, sharing news or updates, and collecting and responding to Google reviews. There are many features that offer businesses the opportunity to enhance their online visibility and reputation.
Business information management
Google Business Profile allows businesses to manage all the crucial information that appears about them online. Your Google business listing includes business hours, contact information, business address, and more.
It’s possible to update this information in real-time, so if you have special holiday hours or are temporarily closed, you can let your customers know immediately.
A Google Business account allows businesses to make Google posts that appear directly in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). These can include updates, offers, events, and products.
Regular posting can increase customer engagement and provide additional value to your audience.
Google Business Profile offers detailed insights into how and where people are searching for you. You can get information about how many people called your business through the number listed on Google Search and Maps, how many people asked for directions to your location, and more. This data can be invaluable when shaping your marketing strategy.
Google Business Profile offers a messaging feature, allowing direct communication between businesses and their customers. This feature enables customers to ask questions, and businesses can provide quick, personalised responses.
Photos and videos
Businesses can upload photos and videos to their Google Business Profile. This feature is a great way to showcase your products, services, or the atmosphere of your business.
Question & answer
Google Business Profile has a Q&A feature where potential customers can ask questions and either the business or the public can answer them. This feature is a great way to interact with your audience and clear any doubts they might have about your products or services.
Why should businesses use google business profile?
There are numerous reasons why a business should leverage Google Business Profile.
When users search for a business by name, Google usually displays a Knowledge Panel that contains the most important information about the business. If a company is listed on Google Business Profile, this information will come directly from its profile.
Local SEO boost
Google Business Profile is a critical tool for improving local search engine optimisation (SEO). By listing their information, local businesses can appear in local search results, potentially driving more local customers to their physical locations.
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Customer reviews and ratings
Google Business Profiles provide a platform for customers to leave Google reviews and ratings, which can significantly influence a business’s reputation. Positive reviews can attract new customers, and handling negative feedback quickly can show your commitment to customer service.
Insights and analytics
Your Google Business Profile account also offers access to insights and analytics, such as how customers are finding the business and what actions they are taking such as website visits, direction requests, or phone calls.
How to get started with Google Business Profile
Setting up a Google Business Profile is straightforward.
- Go to the Google Business Profile homepage and click on “Manage Now”.
- Sign in with your Google account or create a new one.
- Enter your business name to create an account.
- Choose the appropriate category for your business.
- Add your business location and the areas you serve.
- Provide contact details, like your phone number and website.
- Verify your business. Google usually does this by sending a postcard with a verification code to your physical business location.
It’s worth noting that businesses should regularly update their profiles to make sure all information is current and accurate.
How to optimise Google Business Profile
Optimising your Google Business Profile is key to reap the full benefits of this tool. Here are some tips to help you.
Complete your profile
An incomplete profile might not instil trust or may fail to provide all the necessary information to potential customers. Make sure all the information about your business is filled out, including your business description, attributes, and more.
Keep your information accurate
Your operating hours, location, and contact information should be accurate. Any changes in this information should be updated immediately on your Google Business Profile.
Respond to reviews
Regularly responding to reviews shows that you value your customers’ opinions. Thank positive reviewers and address any negative reviews professionally and calmly.
Regularly post updates
Regularly post updates, events, and promotions to engage with your audience and keep your profile fresh. This will also give customers more reasons to visit your profile and, eventually, your business.
Add photos and videos
Visuals can be more engaging than text, and adding photos and videos is a great way to showcase your products or services.
Need help with your Google Business Profile?
Overall, Google Business Profile is a comprehensive tool, designed to help businesses maximise their online presence on Google’s services. Utilising it to its full potential can drive increased traffic, improved reputation, and, ultimately, more business.
If you need a hand setting up and optimising your Google Business Profile, contact us today!
Faqs about Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile is a free tool provided by Google that allows businesses to manage their online presence on Google Search and Google Maps. It serves as an online directory where businesses can provide essential information such as their location, operating hours, contact details, and more.
Businesses should leverage Google Business Profile for several reasons. It improves visibility by displaying important business information in the Knowledge Panel when users search for a business by name. It also boosts local SEO by helping businesses appear in local search results, attracting more local customers. Additionally, it provides a platform for customer reviews and ratings, offers insights and analytics, and allows direct communication with customers.
To maximise the benefits of your Google Business Profile, follow these tips:
- Complete Profile: Fill out all information, including business description and attributes.
- Accurate Details: Keep operating hours and contact information up to date.
- Respond to Reviews: Engage with customers by responding to reviews.
- Regular Updates: Post updates, events, and promotions regularly.
- Visual Appeal: Add compelling photos and videos.