Say Hello to Google Business Profile!
Welcome to Part Two of our Complete Google Business Profile Guide! We hope you found Part One of this series helpful! In this post, we will continue outlining the many benefits that having a Google Business Profile provides your business and how you can optimise your listing in the best possible way! We will also discuss how your GBP can be used as an effective tool in bolstering your local SEO and overall digital marketing strategy for your business. Let’s get started now!
The Benefits of Having a Google Business Profile
Some key benefits of having a Google Business Profile for your company include:
- It can help you appear in Google Map searches & increase sales
- You have a chance at appearing in Google’s Local 3-Pack listings
- Having a GBP can help build trust & credibility with your customers
- It can help boost your online visibility and get you found by customers in your local area
- GBP reviews & ratings can help boost your appeal to prospective clientele
- Having a GBP can increase your website traffic
- It can teach you more about your customer’s needs
- Having an optimised GBP can help you rank higher in search results
- A Google Business Profile can help increase your brand awareness and engagement
- Your Google Business Profile is an essentially ‘free’ online promotional & advertising tool
- It can help you stand out & get ahead of your competitors
As you may know, Google’s search results are always changing and becoming even more comprehensive. The many advantages that a GBP presents will help to position your local business in a highly competitive landscape favourably. Get your profile set up today and start reaping the benefits!
How To Optimise Your Google Business Profile for Local Search
Using your Google Business Profile to bolster
your local SEO strategy!
Claiming and optimising your Google Business Profile is one of the best local SEO strategies that any eligible local business can use to improve their search engine rankings and drive local organic traffic.
However, it’s important to remember that claiming and verifying your GBP is just the first step – you must also regularly check, update and optimise your Profile with new information as required in order to remain relevant and up to date for your local customers.
Keeping your GBP updated is imperative to your success as the majority of your clientele rely on the information they find on your business via Google Search or Maps. Recent studies have also shown that companies featuring up-to-date GBPs are more likely to be considered more reputable, get considerably more clicks, result in purchases and attract location visits.
It is also important to remember that any user can make changes and contributions to your GBP, so it’s vital that you regularly review your Business Profile to ensure that no incorrect changes have been made to it without your knowledge. Your GBP also needs to follow Google’s guidelines at all times, otherwise, it can unfortunately get suspended.
Enhancing your online visibility through Google Business Profile Optimisation
Editing your Google Business Profile Information
In the Business information section, you can edit basic details, such as About, Location, Contact, Hours, and more. If you prefer, you are also able to access the traditional Google Business Profile Manager dashboard by selecting the ‘More’ section.
Updating your Business’s Trading Hours
A recent Google Consumer Barometer survey has shown that over 40% of local customer searchers primarily want to find out local businesses’ hours of operation. Hence, it is imperative to keep your trading hours up to date on your GBP, including any special holiday hours. You can easily & quickly update these times via Google Search or the dashboard.
You can also update more detailed information if you wish when you begin selecting hours, including;
- Open with main hours listed
- Open with no main hours listed
- Temporarily Closed (show that you will re-open at a future date & time)
- Permanently Closed (show that your business no longer exists)
- Add more hours if applicable
The ‘Hours’ feature is a fantastic feature to use as it informs your existing and prospective customer base about when you are opened and closed. By keeping these updated, you can also help avoid any disappointment on their end when choosing to visit your business.
Adding Your GBP Products
- Product Name
- Product Image
- Category – you can create one if you don’t have one already set up
- Price / Price Range
- Product Description
- Select a suitable CTA & add a link to your website product page
Once you’ve entered all the details, hit ‘Publish’ & it’s as easy as that! – your products are now live on your GBP Knowledge Panel!
Listing Your Business Services
The GBP ‘Services’ section works similarly to the ‘Products’ area, but you will find that it’s heavily catered to companies that offer specific services to clients, such as personal trainers, hair & beauty, allied health providers, lawyers, agencies, and accountants etc. It’s also a fantastic way for service area businesses to promote their service offerings, including tradespeople, plumbers, electricians, painters, landscapers, concreters, locksmiths etc.
Adding your services to your GBP is also really quick & simple. You will notice that you may or may not have services already listed under your selected primary category. If you don’t, you can add custom services by clicking on the + Add custom service link. Make sure you verify these, as some services can automatically be listed but may not actually be relevant to what your business offers.
Adding Relevant Company Photos
It’s a fact that local searchers love to see real pictures of businesses. Interestingly, businesses with photos get approximately 42% more requests for directions, according to Google!
When you upload real images of your business, you are humanising your brand in the best way. By having photos of your products, activities that your company does, inside or outside your office or shop front, your signage, services, customers or team members posted on your GBP help engage & capture more searchers’ attention and attract more clientele.
You can also easily upload photos directly from Google Maps or Search. All you need to do is click on ‘Add photos’ above your business name and either select ‘Choose photos to upload’ or drag a selected photo into the upload box.
Promote Your Business or Add Updates
Owning a business means you’re always in savvy promotional & marketing mode! Clicking the ‘Promote’ button in your GBP will give you numerous options to highlight your business.
By visiting the ‘Performance’ section, you can also see valuable insights as to how your Profile is attracting searchers. This includes how many calls you received, the amount of bookings made, the number of messages that came through, direction requests, and website clicks made via your GBP during a specific time period.
You also have the option of advertising via Google Ads, as well as asking for reviews, adding offers, events or updates in this ‘Promote’ feature as well.
Google Business Profile Messaging Feature
Whether you have one or several locations, SME’s and local small businesses can easily implement & use Business Messages via GBP. Larger enterprise businesses can also work with a range of providers who use the Google Business Messages API.
You can use the messaging option on mobile devices via Google Search & Maps, enabling existing & potential new customers to contact you directly through your Business Profile. Users can do this by clicking on the ‘Chat’ button.
As a business, you can enable messaging in your GBP dashboard & hitting the ‘Turn on Chat’ option. After this, you can set up a welcome message under the ‘Customers’ section > ‘Messages’ > ‘Messaging Settings’. Depending on your primary category, turning on messaging may also activate a ‘Request a Quote’ button on your GBP which in turn, opens a form which the customer can use to get a quote for your services.
Using the GBP ‘Customers’ section
This section allows you to seamlessly engage with your customers. You’re able to easily see & reply to reviews you’ve received, view and respond to messages and also answer questions in the Q&A section. Keeping your customers up-to-date by adding details to your listing, promoting your business and communicating with your clients is made simple with your Google Business Profile.
The Change to GBP:
What This Means For Businesses!
If you’ve already claimed your business’s GBP then there’s nothing further you need to do, besides optimising it, adding relevant details where you need to and ensuring that you review and update it on a regular basis.
One of the easiest ways to manage your GBP is via Google Maps & Search, however, you can continue to manage multiple profiles and larger business listings via the new Business Profile Manager if required. Google My Business API will be renamed Business Profile API & will continue to fully retain functionality and remain under active development.
You would have also noticed that the Google My Business app was recently retired at the start of July, in an effort to migrate users to the new GBP experience. This shift to using the New Merchant Experience (NMX) directly in the SERPs is intended to allow businesses to more easily change & manage their listing.
While Google stated that its provision of additional tools available exclusively on Maps & Search will help users understand ways to enhance their business’s online presence and review performance, the traditional dashboard continues to be a lot easier for agencies to manage numerous listings.
Having an Agency Account enables continued access to dashboard-style reporting. You will also be pleased to know that once all of the GBP updates are fully rolled out, Google Profile support will be focused on assisting agency owners & multi-location businesses with numerous helpful resources available to view.
Google Business Profile - Your Key Business Growth Tool!
As a savvy local business owner, you’ll likely already understand the importance of having a Google Business Profile. It’s definitely clear that having a Google Business Profile is imperative for businesses of any size. It provides many benefits, including boosting your online visibility, gaining more brand exposure, expanding your digital footprint and enabling you to reap success in both the short & long term!
Local Search Engine Optimisation plays an essential role in the success of a local business. The immediate customers in your local area should also be aware of your existence and know that you are waiting to provide them with the products or services they need.
Local SEO, when integrated into a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, can greatly aid you in establishing and nurturing better relationships with your target markets and help you reach a much broader audience. Additionally, it can help improve customer experience, increase your website’s authority and visibility, and drive more visitors to your site.
When it comes to dominating local search results, GBP is definitely one of the most critical factors to consider! Without a Google Business Profile, your business will not appear in Google Featured Local Map Packs or Local Finder – something every local business should aim for.
Notably, 93% of local-intent Google searches feature a Local Pack at the top of the results, so don’t ignore it and get started with yours today! You won’t want to risk missing out on this huge slice of local search traffic since the Local Pack appears at the very top of the search results!
By applying the basics from our comprehensive Google Business Profile guide, we hope you feel more comfortable with GBP as a whole and now understand how to use and optimise your Business Profile to make you stand out amongst your competitors & attract more customers!
As you have learnt, there are countless opportunities to promote your brand while engaging local target audiences through your Google Business Profile. This includes the provision of basic business information, answering FAQ’s, posting photos, earning customer reviews, and sharing relevant company updates and special event announcements.
GBP is entirely free to use (bonus!), which makes it easy to integrate into your overarching local marketing strategy. Local businesses that want to gain traction online should definitely consider this an integral part of their plan.
Optimising your Google Business Profile gets you found & increases your conversions!
You should never underestimate the importance of having a fully optimised Google Business Profile listing! Remember – customers are two times more likely to consider your business if you have an up-to-date GBP. Also, not to mention your advantage up the top of the search results!
Customers can find all the vital information they need about your company at a quick glance & all in one convenient place – including your location, hours of operation, services or products, photos, and reviews!
We hope that our complete Google Business Profile guide has provided you with some valuable information regarding the importance of having a GBP, as well as assisting you in setting up & managing your Business Profile to ensure your business’s future success!
In the case that you need someone to help you with this process, you can always reach out to iOnline! We are your trusted and local leading Digital Marketing Agency on the Gold Coast and are happy to help with any request, including your GBP setup, auditing, optimisation & management needs!
Whether your business is located on the sunny Gold Coast, in the hustle and bustle of Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Airlie Beach, the Whitsundays or beyond, our team of local SEO & lead generation experts can assist you!
If you’re ready to get started with your GBP setup, get in touch with us today! Find out how we can help your business thrive and get you found online using our various successful local Search Engine Optimisation strategies and robust digital marketing and web-related services! Also, if you want to revisit Part 1 of our Complete Google Business Profile Guide, click here!
**Please Note: As of November 2021, Google’s original ‘Google My Business’ platform underwent a name change and is instead now referred to as ‘Google Business Profile’ for the profile that searchers see. The dashboard used to manage your profile is also now coined ‘Google Business Profile Manager’. **