Google Business Profile: A Primer
If you own a company or run a business, are you taking advantage of Google’s FREE Business Profile? The reality is, many business owners are not paying attention to this free program at all. Without realizing it, they miss out on a great opportunity to build their brand and get noticed by customers through SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
Let’s start by first explaining what Google Business Profiles are and how they work.
What is a Google Business Profile?
First, Google recently changed the name of Google My Business to Google Business Profile. In a nutshell, Google Business Profiles allow businesses to list their information on Google Maps and search results and showcase their business in a simple and accessible way for potential customers to see.
Even if you are not on Google yet, you’ve likely experienced a Google Business Profile in your own searches. For example, whenever you search for a local business on Google, the first thing that will pop up is usually some version of their Google Business Profile. This type of local SEO is a fantastic, free way to showcase your brand.
Features of Google Business Profile
The Google Business Profile includes a company logo, website link, hours of operation, single-click to directions on Google Maps, customer reviews and the ability to add photos. This information is not only visible on your Google Business Profile, but also on the search engine results pages (SERPs) where it can be more easily seen by customers who are more likely to click on a Business Profile over a link.
Google Business Profiles allow organizations to showcase their:
- Goods and services
- Key personnel
- News and updates
- Brand information
Plus, you can manage all of this information in one place, making it easy to keep it up-to-date and share the changes with all of your customers at once.
This is a program that you can do yourself at no cost and on your own time. By adding the basics to your Google Business Profile, you are already on your way to building your brand and boosting business by appearing in search results.
Benefits of Having Your Own Google Business Profile
You can benefit from Google by quickly listing your business for free on their directory and getting found in local search results. You can also display your company information to customers right on Google Maps. This is an easy way to get found by local customers who are searching for your business online.
If you already had a Google My Business account, there’s no need to worry; your account information is still there and available for you to use. The latest version of your business page will be a simple and clean Google Business Profile that appears in search results.
Drawbacks of Having a Google Business Profile
Fortunately, there really aren’t any drawbacks of having a Google Business Profile other than having one more thing to update. For business owners, this can seem like the last thing that you need. However, this task is pretty straightforward and easy to do. Google makes it easy to manage your page, and you can always request help to fix something if needed.
What You Need to Do to Get Your Google Business Profile
Getting set up with a Google Business Profile is pretty simple.
- Go to https://www.google.com/business/
- Sign in to the Google account that you want to be associated with your business
- Click “Manage Now”
- Search for your business name
- Claim your profile
What if My Business Doesn’t Have a Physical Location?
If your business doesn’t have a physical location, it may be harder for customers to find you on search results. In this situation, it is highly recommended that you create a Google Business Profile and add as much information about your company as possible, such as hours of operation, photos, and goods/services.
Even if you don’t have any customers yet or want people finding you on Google, creating a Google Business Profile is still recommended. Having a profile on search engines will allow you to make the most of your marketing efforts as your company evolves and grows.
Other Names for Google Business Profile
Google is no stranger to re-brands. In fact, they’ve re-named this local SEO tool more than a handful of times. Previous names have included:
- Google My Business
- Google Places
- Google+ Local
- Google Local
How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Use SEO Best Practices
In order to optimize your business profile, there are a few tips and tricks you can take advantage of. To start, your Google Business Profile is a good place to include relevant keywords for search engine optimization (SEO). This will help people find your company online via targeted organic traffic from using relevant keywords in their searches.
Another great way to promote your business online is to make it easy for customers to leave reviews about your business. Adding things like a link to a Google review page on your website and encouraging customers to submit reviews can boost your Google rating, which will also increase the number of people visiting your site.
Respond to Reviews
When someone leaves a review, it’s important that you respond to them. Doing this will show potential customers that your business cares about the products and services you offer. It may even convince others who are considering doing business with you to choose your company over another one. Additionally, responding to reviews shows Google that you are active on your profile and that you are willing to interact with customers.
Fill out EVERYTHING
Include as much information as possible in your Business Profile, such as descriptions, hours of operation, and images. This will help people find your business more easily on search engines and also encourage them to leave reviews for your company.
Just as you can post updates to other social platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, you can also add updates directly to your Google Business Profile. Utilize this tool to share news about your business, timely sales, educational pieces, and anything else that can engage your target audience.
Check out one of our other posts for more insights into how to optimize your Google Business Profile.
Optimize Your Profile with a Trusted Partner
Whether you are just getting started with your Google Business Profile or have been using the platform for a long time, it is important to ensure that your business information is up-to-date so that customers can find you online. While there aren’t any drawbacks of having a Google Business Profile, there are definitely some benefits to taking advantage of by being present on Google.
However, for some business owners, creating a Google Business Profile can appear daunting or time-consuming. If this is the case, you may want to consider working with a digital marketing agency to help you set everything up and make sure that it’s optimized for success.