What is a Google Business Profile and Why is it Essential for Growing Your Business
Owners of businesses can connect with consumers through Google Search and Google Maps using Google My Business, also known as Google Business Profile. By keeping your company profile up-to-date, you can control the information displayed, increase visibility on Google and gain credibility from reviews.
It is important to note that 92% of buyers research firms online before making a purchasing decision, with the majority using only Google Search. This highlights the importance of having a strong presence on Google Search.
One key aspect of local SEO success is having a Google My Business listing, according to a study by Moz on local search ranking determinants. This ensures that your business will appear more prominently on Google Maps and Google Search.
Furthermore, it allows prospective customers to contact you directly, learn about previous clients' comments, plan their visit, find your company's location easily, and more. By creating a Google My Business listing, you can help potential customers get to know your business better and gain their trust.
Even now, you can help your potential customers get to know you better and gain their trust.
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile is a free listing offered by Google for businesses. It allows you to include information and images about your company's location, offerings and goods.
Creating this free profile can be a smart strategy to boost your presence across Google services. Your Google Business Profile data may be displayed on Google Search, Google Maps and Google Shopping.
The GBP looks like this:
Why you need a Google Business Profile account
Having a Google Business Profile makes it easy for customers to find, research, and get in touch with your business online, whether you're a well-established local business or just starting out. The main benefits of having a Google My Business account include:
- Control over the information that appears in your business profile. A BrightLocal survey found that 68% of customers would stop using a local business after discovering inaccurate information online. By having a Google My Business account, you can ensure that the information displayed about your business is accurate.
- The ability to respond to Google reviews. This is an important aspect of managing your reputation and can also affect customer purchasing and Google rankings.
- A more professional appearance. Having a blank or sparse Business Profile can make your business appear unprofessional and less trustworthy to potential customers.
- Increased visibility in search results. A Google Business Profile that is controlled by a Google Business account can be optimized to rank higher than competitors for relevant keyword searches.
What option would you pick from the list? Those that haven't been claimed on the left or those that have been optimised by a Google My Business account on the right?
What are the major features and benefits of Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile, also known as Google My Business, offers the following key advantages for businesses:
- Boosting online presence on Google
- Acquiring credibility through reviews
- Providing clients with business information
Let's examine each one in further detail.
Boosting online presence on Google
When searching for a company on Google, you may have noticed the map and list of businesses that appear at the top of the search results. This is known as the "local pack" or "map pack."
For geographically specific queries, or search phrases that imply location (such as "vehicle service near me"), the local pack is displayed. This includes Google Maps results and company details:
The chances of a business's listing appearing in these results is significantly higher if its Google Business Profile is optimised. In recent years, there has been a 200% increase in mobile searches with terms such as "around me" and "where to buy."
These are known as "discovery searches," as users are searching for a category rather than a specific brand.
Therefore, a properly-optimised business is more likely to appear as a geolocated result if a user is geographically close to your establishment and searches for a broad keyword like "car service." (We'll cover further optimization advice later).
Gain Credibility with Reviews
For local businesses, 98% of people check online reviews. The 1- to 5-star rating next to a company's name on Google Maps is a reflection of an accumulation of reviews.
Reviews provide valuable feedback about your business. To increase customer trust, you can respond to reviews. However, customers don't expect only positive evaluations. A combination of positive and negative ratings, according to Google, is actually more reliable.
Building trust and credibility with your current and potential customers by responding to reviews, both positive and negative, is a great strategy.
Share Business Information With Customers
Through your Google Business Profile, you can advertise your company's contact details, services, and more.
You can also inform your customers of any ad-hoc changes, such as holiday hours or temporary closures.
You can also inform your customers about temporary promotions and attract new potential customers with a variety of events!
What kind of business information can you add to your Google business listing?
Businesses can include the following details in their Google Business profile:
- Name, location, and phone number of the business
- URL for their main website
- Hours of operation and holidays
- Industry of business
- Their location on a Google Map
- Instagram handles
- 30-second videos and pictures of the company
- Links to specific actions, such as online bookings or orders
- Additional information, such as availability of WiFi, outdoor seating, and child-friendliness.
What is a Google Knowledge Panel?
The Google Knowledge Panel is a box that appears on search result pages and contains relevant information related to the search query. The knowledge panel includes details such as your company's address, phone number, reviews, peak times, and more for anyone looking for your business or a similar topic.
However, it is not guaranteed that your business will appear on the Knowledge Panel. Google's algorithm takes into account factors such as relevance, proximity, and the notoriety of your company. To increase your chances of appearing on the Knowledge Panel, it is important to fill out your Google Business Profile as completely as possible.
How to set up a Google Business Profile?
Setting up a Google Business Profile for your company is an essential first step for successful SEO. This tutorial will guide you through the process of creating a Google Business Profile in the correct manner.
- Create a Google Business Account
To create a Google Business Profile, you must first register a Google Account. Anyone can create a Google Account, and it is simple to do.
To create your Google Account, go to accounts.google.com and click "Create an account." You can use an existing email address or create a new one.
- Visit the Google Business Profile Gateway
To start, go to google.com/business and select "Manage now."
- Look for the Business
Enter the company name to check if a profile already exists for that business. If it does, it will appear as you type. Even if the company name is not visible, click "Add your business to Google."
If the company already has a Google Business Profile, you can request to take over the management of the profile by clicking "Request Access."
- Add your business
The next step is to enter the company and category information. The name you provide here must match the legal name of your company. Avoid including any keywords in the name, as Google prohibits this.
- Select your business type
Three options are available:
- Online retail: Customers can buy goods from your website.
- Local retailer: Customers can visit your establishment in person.
- Customer visits: Your company provides a service that requires visiting customers.
- Select the Business category
Next, select the category that best describes the business. If you are unsure at this time, don't worry, you will have the opportunity to change this within the profile later and to add more categories.
- Enter the Business Location
If the company has a physical location, you can now provide the address. You may be asked to place a pin on a map to verify the location. To avoid any confusion or problems with the verification process, it is crucial that the address you provide is accurate and comprehensive.
- Select your exact location on the map
Position the marker precisely where your company is located on the map by dragging and zooming.
- Add Contact Details
Add the business's contact information next. In addition to entering the phone number, you can also include the company website. Tick the box on this page if the company does not have a website. You can add this information if a website is subsequently developed. When creating a GBP account for a client and not for yourself, it is important to include the customer's contact information. It is also wise to let your customer know that Google will contact them to complete the verification process, which we'll cover in a moment.
- Put your business on the map
You will be prompted to confirm if you want to receive useful advice and suggestions from Google before proceeding to validate the business. You are under no obligation to accept this information, but you may find it useful.
- Verify the Business
At this stage, you must select a verification technique to demonstrate that the company is indeed open at the provided address. The most typical method of verification is to receive a postcard in the mail at the company address, but you may also have the option to confirm by phone or email. While verification is underway, you are still able to make changes to GBP, but Google will not be able to see them.
How to Verify Your Google My Business Listing
Until you authenticate your Business Profile, it will not be searchable. You can choose to exclude company verification from your initial setup, but you will ultimately need to validate your listing.
- Postcard Verification
All companies have access to this type of verification. The company address will receive a postcard, which should arrive within five days. A code from the postcard must be entered into the correct field inside the GBP account. You can request a replacement if you do not receive the postcard.
- Phone Verification
Not all companies have access to this option, but some can confirm company accounts over the phone. This option will appear on the verification page if you are eligible. A code will be sent to you via an automated phone call if you wish to use this option.
- Email Verification
The email alternative is not available to everyone, much like phone verification. You can request a code to be sent to your inbox if you have the ability to verify via email. Only the email address associated with the GBP account will have access to this.
If none of the business verification alternatives currently available to you are successful, you may contact the Google Business Profile staff via the support centre.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Google Business Profile?
You can control how your company appears on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping by using the free Google Business Profile (GBP) tool. By using this application, you can communicate with clients, provide company news, list goods and services, and more.
What is the difference between Google My Business and Google Business Profile?
Currently, Google My Business is being rebranded as the Business Profile on Google. Google is attempting to distinguish between small businesses with a single location and those with multiple sites through the renaming. Small business owners will find it easier to manage their company on Google with a simple listing as a result.
Is Google Business Profile Free?
Creating and maintaining a Google Business Profile are both completely free. You can benefit greatly from it without spending a dime.
How long does it take for Google to verify your business?
The maximum time is seven business days. You will be notified after your identity has been confirmed. The "Get verified" option will reappear if the initial approach used to validate your business is unsuccessful. If this occurs, try a new verification technique.
How do I get listed on Google?
Use your free Business Profile to attract new clients in just three easy steps:
- Assert. On Search and Maps, you can create a Business Profile or manage an existing one.
- Customize. Get found by clients nearby by adding your hours, photographs, and other information.
- Control. Always be aware of what's going on among your subscribers, what they're responding to and how often they click on the links.
Is a Google Business Profile worth it?
These days, Google calls this feature Google Business Profile. Maintaining and updating your Google My Business profile requires more time and work than optimising it. Does the effort pay off? The short answer is yes, whether you represent a local, regional, national, or worldwide business.
Follow the instructions above if you want to keep reaching your audience and bringing in clients with your free Business Profile as Google is changing how people find and interact with local companies. The process involves several steps, but thanks to instructions like these and possibilities like using a mobile device, it doesn't have to be too difficult. Start setting up, claiming, and validating your Google My Business listing now to make the most of this fantastic tool that is at your disposal.