Are you looking for new ways to improve your Google rankings? Maybe you want to appear on Google maps, or you want to boost the amount of local business you’re getting online?
Then you need a Google Business profile.
This simple, free little tool can pack one hell of a punch for your business, improving your visibility online and giving you the perfect avenue for engaging with customers and Google in one place. But what is a Google Business profile, how does it work, and what does it involve from you?
What Is A Google Business Profile?
A Google Business profile is a business listing on Google. It’s free to set up and run, and allows you to provide information about your business to the search engine users. All 4.3 billion of them. You can give details on locations and opening hours, upload photos of your products and location, manage reviews and even upload short blog posts to promote your message.
If that all sounds familiar, you’d be right. Google Business Profile is the new name for Google My Business and has built on the premise and functionality of the old platform to be more inclusive of service-based businesses and fix a lot of niggly issues.
Why You Need a Google Business Profile
The internet is an incredibly competitive space, especially when it comes to running a business. You need to be able to stand out from thousands of other businesses and convince customers to buy from you over someone else. Google is without a doubt the king of online success, and the queen too, so to be successful online, you need to be successful on Google – and a big part of that is having a Google Business profile. Why? Because:
Google ranks your business on hundreds of different factors before deciding where to put you in the search results. Since Google Business is Google’s own platform, having a profile active on it will always boost you. In fact, Google has been fairly open in the past about giving preferential treatment to businesses with a Google Business profile, so if you want to be found online, this should be fairly high on your priority list.
Increase your Exposure Online
When it comes to being found online, you need to get your name out there as much as possible. There are a lot of different ways you can do this, and each one will bring you a certain amount of exposure. A Google Business Profile is a fantastic tool for increasing your exposure online, mainly because it is owned and run by Google themselves, and so often gets priority in search results. This means your business listing will start appearing for any search terms related to the services you provide, and encourage more clicks.
Engage With Your Customers
Gone are the days when customers were happy interacting with a faceless corporation. Actively using your Google Business Profile means you can reply to customer reviews and engage in a discourse. The instant messenger features mean your customers can get in touch with you to ask questions instantly, and you can respond. This kind of back and forth is important to customers sitting on the fence and can also improve your business.
You Will Show Up In Map Results
Getting features in Google Maps is a great way to let your customers know where you are. If you have a physical location you want customers to visit, this can help them get directions and find you. Studies have shown that when it comes to finding physical premises, more and more customers are searching within the maps app to find places nearby. If your Google Business Profile is active, then you will appear on any map search in the area, promoting your business further.
5 Tips For A Better Google Business Profile
So how do you take your Google Business profile from drab to fab? There are a lot of different approaches you can take to using Google Business, but some basic steps that make a real difference to your performance include:
Fill in all of your details
Back to basics – you need to fill in your business information. That means name, address, phone number, hours of operation and business category at a bare minimum. But if you want to get ahead, you need to make sure your business description is up to date and optimised. This is the perfect tool for those niche businesses that don’t really fit into the traditional drop-down categories. Writing a unique business description will help you tell buyers who you are and what you actually sell.
Here’s a fun fact about images on your Google Business profile straight from Google:
“Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google, and 35% more clicks through to their website than businesses that don’t have photos.”
So, if you want customers to visit your locations instead of your competitors, you need to add some photos. Ideally, you should have a range of photos including your premises, team, office interior and your products to give a clear idea of your business. This also means that if you’re hiring you give candidates a sneak peek into your business, so they know what they’re getting into. It makes them feel more confident in dealing with you. If you provide a service like landscaping or home remodelling, show off the work you do in your listing. And don’t forget, other people can upload images to your Google Business profile too – and you should encourage them to do so!
Respond to reviews
Honestly, when was the last time you responded to a review on Google? For a lot of people, the answer is never – or certainly not in a long time. But the reviews on your Google Business profile can decide whether a buyer engages with your brand, and your responses are an important part of that. When 85% of consumers trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation, making sure you’re encouraging reviews and responding positively is incredibly important.
Use posts to promote events, offers and content
One of the most commonly neglected parts of the Google Business profile is the posts. This is what allows businesses to post mini-articles about anything they like on their profile. These posts will stick around for 6 months on your profile unless you specify a date range, and they will show up on your Google Business knowledge panel – helping showcase you and your content even more.
There is no better way to attract, engage and communicate with your buyers than through video. In January 2018, Google rolled out the ability to add a video to Google My Business listings, and through the rebrand, they’ve stuck around. Adding a video can help you stand out from the competition, and you will likely see a huge impact.At Lion Spirit Media we understand just how important a Google Business Profile is for your businesses, and how to make it work for you. Our team of experts can help you claim your listing, get it set up properly and run ongoing maintenance, manage your reviews, post articles, respond to messages and ensure you get the most out of your listing. If you would like to find out more about Google Business Profile, or what we can do for you, just get in touch with the team today.