A Google Business Profile account is an online business directory of your company. By having one, you can increase your brand visibility and expand your customer reach. Check out this article to learn more about Google Business Profile. The article contains the importance of having a Google Business Profile, notable GBP features: 1) Customer Reviews; 2) Question And Answer; 3) Customer Communication; 4) Description; 5) Promotional Campaigns, 6) GBP Insight. You will also learn the benefits of having a Google Business Profile: 1) Improve Local SEO; 2) Define Your Target Audience; 3) Advertise (For Free), and 4) Increase Your Web Presence.
Google houses some of the most effective online marketing tools, such as Google Business Profile (GBP). The use of Google Business Profile is widespread among businesses. Considering how often the search engine algorithm updates, GMB is becoming more prominent today. But why has Google Business Profile become an essential tool for every marketer?
Read on to learn more about Google Business Profile.
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile, formerly called Google My Business, is a free marketing tool that you can utilise to increase brand presence across Google Search and Maps. Businesses are given a dedicated area on the search engine results page (SERP), which is their business listing for businesses to showcase the details.
In their Google Business Profile account, they can edit their business name, specify their business location, and display photos of their products or services. Because of these, Google Business Profile has become a highly recommended startup tool for small businesses that need to enhance their local SEO efforts as it contributes to higher exposure to search users.
Google Business Profile highlights a business’s customer service through reviews, show search users the direction on how to get to its physical shop, and more, unlike Google ads or standard organic search results that only show a web page URL with metadata (title tags and meta description).
Think of it this way: Google Business Profile acts as an online directory that shows basic business information: phone number, email address, website, and opening hours. Google Business Profile users can also optimise their accounts by adding product or service offerings.
All they need to do is type keywords or phrases related to your niche. Once you have optimised your GBP for those keywords, your business listing will most likely appear on search engine results pages (SERPs). That is why GBP has become a part of SEO strategy since business owners are managing the business listing to rank organically.
ALSO READ: The Ultimate Guide To SERP Features
The image below, for example, shows different shops where the search user can buy dresses in Singapore. Those businesses in red rectangles are their Google Business Profile accounts that show a summary of their basic business information.
When a search user clicks on one like Mo’s Diner shown in the image below, it will only show the business listing of the shop they have chosen.
This picture shows how a Google Business Profile appears on a desktop and a mobile device. The photo was retrieved from Google Business Profile Help.
The steps to setting up your Google Business Profile listing is simple. You only need to create a Google Business Profile account, fill out all the necessary information, and verify your business. Afterwards, you need to optimise your Google business listing and add as much information as possible.
This image is the first page of creating a Google Business Profile account.
The Importance Of Having A Google Business Profile
Whether big or small, businesses require exposure in the digital realm to attract more customers and increase conversions. Nothing beats Google Business Profile for brand visibility because your business will show up on SERPs as an organic result when someone searches for your business on Google.
Given that Google is responsible for 83.84% of the global search market, it is no surprise your brand recognition will increase, especially on local searches. Your Google Business Profile account is the first thing they will notice when searching for your business online, which can be the start of your customer’s purchase journey.
From your Google Business Profile account, your potential customers can learn everything they need to know about your products or services. They can also consider dropping by in person if your brick-and-mortar store is indicated on the GBP listing or give you a call if they have any enquiries.
This image shows every piece of information that potential customers can learn from a business on a brand’s Google Business Profile.
6 Features Of Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile works best when you optimise your site for local SEO since it focuses on location-based marketing. The best part is it offers several features that will benefit your local SEO and increase your search engine ranking on Google!
Here are some of the features of GBP:
1. Customer Reviews
Once you have created a Google Business Profile (GBP) account, you will notice that there is a review section where customers are able to submit their reviews. With this, your customers can leave feedback about your products or services and leave ratings (the yellow stars beside the number). They can also attach some photos and videos with their written testimonials.
To boost the number of reviews on GBP, encourage your existing customers to add reviews and share their experiences when engaging or buying products from your business’s website.
If you do not take advantage of GBP’s customer review feature, you are losing the opportunity to increase your business’s reputation. After all, having this alone can help raise your online reputation by 17%. Potential customers who can see that you have good customer reviews would become more convinced to engage with you.
Furthermore, if you have higher numbers of positive customer reviews, the more your business will stand out from your competitors. The more outstanding reputation you have with your current clients, the more it will encourage new customers to interact with you.
2. Question And Answer
Google Business Profile offers a question-and-answer (Q&A) feature that lets you respond to curious customers. If there are spam or unethical questions or malicious comments that are not related to your niche, you can remove them from your Q&A section.
3. Receive Enquiries
For something more up close and personal, your potential customers can reach out to you via GMB message feature. The received enquiries lets you communicate with customers and vendors. For businesses that focus on lead generation, their customers can submit their enquiry and businesses can follow up closely with the enquiry. Doing so should help drive high-quality potential customers to your business’s website and drive conversion.
However, businesses should take note of r the guidelines when taking advantage of the message feature, which includes:
- Avoid providing sensitive and confidential information
- Respond to the user on time
- Never send unsolicited messages
- Do not commit fraud
Also make sure to reply to the users promptly. Failure to respond on time will make you look lazy and unattended, generating a poor impression on your customers.
The GBP description is like the About Us page on your website. This section allows you to describe who you are as a business and introduce the products and services you offer. It is a simple yet effective way to promote your business.
However, GBP description is similar to meta description since there is a character count limit:
- Minimum – 250 characters
- Maximum – 750 characters
Despite the character count limit, use this opportunity to provide users with content that will help you distinguish your brand from the competition. Consider adding similar service or product descriptions published on your business’s website. It will be easier for Google to pick up the content, recognise your business, and deem it relevant to users.
5. Adding Updates
Showing promotional campaigns posted on GBP.
Apart from the GBP description, adding updates about your products, services, or blog listing link to your website, can also help promote your niche. Think of it as a social media newsfeed that allows you to inform your potential customers about anything related to your business. Not only can you add images or videos, but you can also direct them to your desired website page.
Showing promotional campaigns posted on GBP.
In other words, adding updates on GBP as often as possible will bring traffic to external websites from GBP posts. All you need to do is add the link to the call-to-action-button (Book, Order Online, Buy, Learn More, Sign Up, Call Now) so when the users click on it, they will get redirected to your desired external websites like your YouTube Channel, Facebook page, etc.
Showcase products on GBP.
With this feature of the Google Business Profile account, you can increase your brand visibility and improve your local SEO. More and more of your potential local customers can come across your business when they search for your business or something related to it on Google.
6. Google Business Profile Insight
This image shows how many customers have discovered your business on GBP.
Knowledge is power, and it is up to you how you can obtain it. When you create a Google Business Profile account, you can enjoy GBP Insight that displays various insights. You can use the gathered information to improve your digital marketing campaign and increase your search engine ranking.
Here is another insight you will see on GBP Insight.
4 Benefits Of Using Google Business Profile
Even though Google Business Profile boasts a variety of features, how will it affect your business? Let us find out with the benefits of GBP below:
- Improve Customer Engagement
- Direct Traffic To Your Website
- Increase Your Local Search Engine Ranking
Having a Google Business Profile account can go a long way. Once you have input all of your business’s information, your customers can learn more about your products or services and start their customer purchase journey from there.
If you need help optimising your GBP account and Google business listing, work with an SEO agency like OOm. With content marketing services, we can help you create more compelling promotional campaigns that can nudge your potential customers to take action.
Contact OOm at +65 6391 0930 or leave a message on our website if you need help optimising your GBP account and improving your local SEO strategies.