What are Google BUSINESS PROFILES
Google Business Profile Listings, also known as Google My Business (GMB) listings, are free online profiles that businesses can create and manage through the Google My Business platform.
Setting up a profile allows potential customers to find your business on Google Search and Maps, read reviews, view photos, and get essential information about your products or services. By responding to customer reviews, sharing updates and announcements, and providing additional information like holiday opening times, you can significantly improve your online visibility and reach.
Trust and Credibility: Having a verified and optimized Google Business Profile adds credibility to a business. It signals to potential customers that the business is legitimate, active, and responsive, which can positively influence their decision to engage with it.
Google Business Profile Listings are particularly beneficial for local businesses that rely on attracting customers within a specific geographic area.
CREATING A GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE
Creating a Google Business Profile is simple. Just follow these steps:
Visit the Google My Business website here:
Create an account if necessary or sign in with your Google account.
Now, complete all of the information about your business. Provide accurate and consistent information: Ensure that the information you provide, such as your business name, address, phone number (NAP), and website, is accurate, consistent, and matches the details listed on your website and other online directories.
You will be asked to choose a business category, so be careful to Select the most relevant category for your business. Google uses this information to assess what your business is about and so improves the chances of it appearing in the relevant search results.
Verifying your business
Depending on the verification options available for your business, Google will send a verification code to the provided address (via mail or phone call). When you receive this you simply have to follow the relevant instructions in order to verify your business ownership.
CUSTOMISING YOUR PROFILE
Once your business is verified, you can enhance your profile by adding additional information, such as business hours, photos, a description, and other relevant details. Give as much information here as you can and try to make it appealing to potential customers.
Write a compelling and informative description of your business. Highlight your unique selling points, services, and any other important details that can attract potential customers.
Add a local phone number. If you have a local phone number for your business, include it in your profile. This helps establish a local presence and can improve search visibility for local queries.
Where you can add high-quality photos of your business, including the exterior, interior, products, services, and staff.
Make sure you manage your profile on a regular basis in order to respond to customer reviews, add new photos, update business information, and post updates or offers to engage with your audience.
Engage with your customers by thanking them for positive reviews and addressing any negative feedback in a professional and courteous manner.
GOOGLE PROFILE FEATURES
Google My Business provides valuable insights and analytics about how users interact with your profile. Use this data to gain insights into customer behaviour, optimize your profile, and make informed decisions about your online presence.Insights on Search Queries: Google My Business provides insights into the search queries that users have used to find a business.
This information includes the number of views, clicks, phone calls, and direction requests, allowing businesses to track their online performance. By analysing these insights you will be able to understand user behaviour and make decisions on how to improve your profile’s performance.
A useful feature on the profile is their Q&A feature – this allows users to ask questions about your business, for which you can provide answers. Regularly monitor and respond to these questions to provide accurate information and engage with potential customers.Q&A Section: This feature helps address common inquiries and build trust with potential customers.
Another useful tool is Google’s messaging feature that enables customers to send you direct messages. Simply enable messaging on your profile and promptly respond to customer inquiries. This can help facilitate quick and convenient communication with potential customers.Messaging: Google Business Profiles can enable a messaging feature that allows customers to directly communicate with the business through text messages. This provides a convenient and immediate way for customers to ask questions, make inquiries, or seek assistance.
Google Maps Integration: When users search for businesses or services on Google Maps, relevant Google Business Profiles are displayed alongside the map. This integration helps users quickly find business information and directions.
Appointment Booking: Some businesses can enable online appointment booking directly through their Google Business Profile. This feature streamlines the booking process for customers, increasing convenience and potentially boosting conversion rates.
Attributes and Amenities: Google Business Profiles include a range of attributes and amenities that businesses can highlight to provide more information to customers. These can include features like wheelchair accessibility, free Wi-Fi, outdoor seating, and more, depending on the nature of the business.
Product Catalog: Some businesses, particularly retail and e-commerce establishments, can showcase their products through a product catalog on their Google Business Profile.
You can also use Google Posts to share updates, news, special offers, and promotions directly on your profile. Utilize the “Offers” feature to create exclusive discounts or deals for customers.
Insights from Photos and Videos: Businesses can showcase their products, services, and premises by adding photos and videos to their profiles. Visual content helps customers gain a better understanding of the business and can influence their decision-making process.
Google My Business App: The Google My Business mobile app allows businesses to manage their profiles on the go. Owners can respond to reviews, update information, and post content directly from their smartphones.
Event Promotion: Businesses can create and promote events directly through their Google Business Profiles. This feature is particularly useful for businesses hosting workshops, seminars, sales events, or other special occasions.
Local Service Ads: In select locations and industries, businesses with Google Business Profiles can run Local Service Ads. These are paid advertisements that appear at the top of relevant search results, helping businesses to stand out even more prominently.
Multi-location Management: For businesses with multiple locations, Google My Business offers tools to manage and update all listings from a central dashboard.
Third-Party Integration: Google My Business allows integration with other platforms and services. For example, businesses can sync their booking systems, menu platforms, or reservation systems with their Google Business Profile, providing a seamless experience for customers.
Remember, optimizing your Google Business Profile is an ongoing process. Regularly monitor and update your profile to keep it accurate, engaging, and reflective of your business. Local Posts and Offers: Businesses can create posts on their Google Business Profile to share updates, news, promotions, or special offers. These posts appear alongside the business information in search results, enhancing visibility and driving engagement.
It’s worth noting that Google My Business and its features are subject to updates and changes over time as Google refines its offerings. Therefore, it’s recommended for businesses to stay up to date with the latest features and guidelines from Google to maximize the benefits of their Google Business Profile Listings.