Do you want to improve your local online ranking and get more clicks? Get insights into how customers are finding you online? Search engine ranking and being found online requires deliberate marketing strategy: not just one or two actions but a recipe of multiple strategies, such as a modern website, optimized site content, active social media profiles, and more. Plus, Google likes it — and you — when you use their tools! So, what is Google Business?
Google Business Profile (GBP, formerly GMB for Google My Business) is necessary for all businesses today — even companies without a storefront. GBP is a free profile for your business that will be shown to people who search for your business on Google and Google Maps and are looking for your products and services.
Google automatically gives you the ability to create a profile for your local business. Plus, claiming your Google Business Profile will give you the ability to both personalize and control your profile listing.
Whether you operate a small business or a corporation, a start-up or long-established company, or a for-profit or nonprofit organization, you need to learn about —and add— Google Business Profile to your online strategy. In this article, we will walk you through everything you need to know about Google Business Profile and how to use this free tool to its fullest potential.
Why Should I Get a Google Business Profile?
As you conduct your marketing research, leave no stone unturned. And that means Google too. When you create or add a profile, you’ll help improve your local search results and ranking. Did you know that in 2020, 93% of consumers used online searches to find a nearby business? In fact, according to a 2019 survey, one-third of online customers use the internet to search for local businesses daily.
Google Business Profile, formerly called Google My Business, is a free service tool that allows a business to create a public listing across Google’s platform — and keep track of your activity via Google Insights. The profile includes your essential company data: the business name, location (unless the business works remotely), contact information, photos, hours of operation, and customer reviews. All you need to get started with this solution is a Gmail address/Google account.
Why is Google Business Profile important? Having a Google Business Profile allows you to have more control over your online consumers’ first impression of your business because this is what they will see before they even get to your website. The business benefits are endless!
Where Are Google Business Profiles Found?
Google Business Profiles are found when people use Google’s online search engine, which includes Google.com, Google Maps, Google Shopping, YouTube, and more. Google.com is the most visited company website both in the United States and in the world, with an average of 86 billion visits per month!
Marketing managers take note… Google’s search engine has 91.9% of the market share as of January 2022. That means that nearly all people who search online are using Google to find local businesses through organic Google searches and Google maps.
Businesses that do not have Google Business Profiles are nearly invisible to those online customers! That’s why it is important for all businesses to claim and maintain their profile — no matter your size or industry.
Claim Your Google Small Business Profile
Claiming your Google Business Profile is an easy process. Here’s how…
- Go to Google.com/business and click the blue button at the bottom of the screen labelled “Manage Now.”
- Either sign in with an existing Google account or create a new account for your business listing.
- Add your business information, including your business name, storefront address (or click the option not to have a location), phone number, and website.
- Google will then ask you to verify your business listing. This prevents others from claiming your business fraudulently. Follow the instructions to verify your business by phone, text, email, video, or postcard. You may need to verify it with more than one method.
More Than One Location? No Problem!
Google can also accommodate companies with multiple business locations for organic search results, local maps, and more.
For businesses with more than one location, visit your Google Business dashboard and click the blue button labeled “Add Business”. This will drop down to give you the option to click “Add Single Business”. From there, you can enter the information for your business’s other locations and verify them.
For businesses with 10 or more locations, instead of clicking “Add Single Business”, click “Import Businesses”. Download the free template spreadsheet that Google provides and fill in your company information. Google even provides a sample spreadsheet to review. Simply upload your completed spreadsheet, and Google will do the rest.
Verify all of your listings from Google Business. On the left side of the home page, click “Verifications” and select one of the three prompts: Chain (storefront locations of the same brand), Service Area (no storefront, but provide services to an area), and Different Brands (locations that don’t share a brand). Provide the information Google asks and wait for the verification process to be completed.
Take Charge of Your Customer Impressions
Now that you’ve created your Google Business Profile, you can take advantage of the valuable business marketing features it offers!
First, make sure to add all relevant company information and data about your local business that a customer will need.
- Business name
- Company logo
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
- Photos (inside and outside)
- Is parking provided at your storefront?
- What are your holiday hours?
- Do you have COVID-19 protocols?
- Handicapped accessibility?
- LGBTQ friendly?
- Minority owned?
- Veteran owned?
- And more!
Add visuals like attractive, high-quality photos, videos, and more. According to Google, 62% of business website visitors prefer listings with photos of store interiors, including photos of people working, your entry or reception desk, and more. You can even upload a 360° virtual company tour of your business location. Studies show that a video tour will double the interest in your business — and clicks!
Maintain Your Google Business Profile
As your small business grows and changes, continue to edit, add, and update your Google Business Profile and strategy, including changes in your location and other essential data. If you stop providing a service, make sure to remove it from your profile. Or, if you take new photos of your storefront or products, be sure to post those to your listing. In addition, you should be posting weekly updates to your profile. Paying attention to this vital and free marketing tool will help improve your online ranking over time.
Customers will leave business reviews on your Google Business Profile, and it is highly recommended that you respond to them — even negative reviews — in a positive, helpful manner. Continue asking your customers to leave new company reviews on your Google Business Profile: it will help keep your profile up to date for potential customers.
Regularly check Google Business Profile’s Insights feature. This dashboard will give you a thorough analysis of how people are finding your local business online and via maps. Google also tracks customer actions such as calls, messages, website clicks, direction requests that come to your business through your GBP profile, and more.
Optimize Your Google Business Listing
Claim and maintain your Google Business Profile (GBP or GMB) to ensure that your small business remains top of mind for online customers who are looking for your products. A strong internet presence requires both time and effort, which is necessary in this online era.
An optimized Google Business Profile will help your potential customers choose your business over your competitors. Optimization improves engagement, boosts your business’ local ranking, and converts even more customers.
Optimization means meticulously curating your Google Business Profile and updating photos, reviews, and information on a regular basis with an understanding of how Google’s algorithm works and how best to take advantage of it. We recommend taking your Google Business Profile to the next level with the help of marketing experts because there’s nothing more expensive than a missed opportunity.
Want to take your business to the next level with Google Business Profile?
We are happy to help you with marketing solutions!
Contact Precise Creative at 336-681-3167 today!