Jon Ponting
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Google My Business

May 28, 2024

Google Business Profile (GBP), previously called Google My Business, is essential for any localised inbound marketing strategy. It provides companies with a fantastic opportunity to appear in Google search results, and the best part is that creating a Google Business Profile is free. Given that Google holds over 90% of the search engine market share, there's no better time to set up your Google Business account.

What is a Google My Business Page?

A Google Business Profile allows you to list your business location on Google Maps and in local search results. You can display essential information about your business, such as opening and closing times, contact details, and a link to your website. Recently, Google introduced a feature that lets you post links to articles or upcoming events. More on that later.

While the Google Business listing is free, it should be considered a necessity for both local and global businesses. Even if your business operates solely online and doesn't have a physical location, having a Google Business Profile page is still highly beneficial.

Enhance Your Business's Local Google Search Visibility

Setting up your Google Business Profile is one of the simplest and most effective ways to ensure your business can be found online. As more search queries become geographically specific, Google’s algorithms now consider user intent. Google returns the best results for that search, for example, Let’s try this time using the keyword ‘time’. Google has decided that the user intent is to find out the time and has therefore served the most relevant search results it deems for this query and produce a clock. When it comes to search engine optimisation, understanding Google’s algorithms is crucial. However, it's equally important to recognise how our search behaviours are evolving. With the rise of voice search, semantic search is becoming increasingly significant.

This shift means that SEOs need to prioritise their semantic search strategy. So, what should SEOs consider?

For example, you may have searched for "tyre fitting near me" and noticed that Google returns a list of three nearby locations. These businesses appear because they have a Google Business Profile, making them more likely to attract you as a customer.

If these places didn't have a Google Business Profile, they wouldn't show up in your search results. Think about this in the context of your business, regardless of what product or service you offer. How can local searches benefit your business, and what opportunities might you be missing without a Google Business Profile?

As Google frequently updates its algorithms, having a Google Business Profile and regularly optimising it is essential for improving your local marketing and getting found in local search results. How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile

Once you’ve set up and claimed your Google Business Profile (GBP) page, the next step is to ensure it’s fully optimized by filling in all crucial business information. Aim to include as much detail as possible in your business description and listing. Highlight your unique selling points and what sets you apart from other companies.

When users search and find your business in the results, their next step is to click on your profile to get more information, such as contact details and directions. As search behaviours evolve, people expect instant access to information. An accurate business address is crucial; if it's not easy for people to find you, they will go elsewhere.

This is the competitive online environment businesses must navigate today. Ensure your business leverages current search trends and doesn't miss opportunities to attract new customers.

Get Your Description Right

Take the time to write a compelling and locally relevant description for your listing. This description serves as an overview of what your business does and should include keywords related to your business. While your GBP description can be up to 750 characters long, it’s crucial to include the most relevant information in the first few sentences. Aim to incorporate 2-3 key phrases that best describe your business.

Add Posts to Your Google Business Profile

Enhance your Google Business Profile by writing and publishing posts to attract more interest. These posts will appear in Google search and map results.

To add a post, go to your GBP and create a new post. You can upload an image, write up to 300 words of text, or add an event title, including start and end dates. There’s also an option to add a call-to-action button with choices like ‘Learn more,’ ‘Reserve,’ ‘Sign up,’ ‘Buy,’ and ‘Get offer.’

The post feature allows you to promote events, share content, and highlight your products or services, especially when running special offers. Posts last for seven days before you need to replace them with new ones. Google will email you a reminder to update your posts.

For example, the Innovation Visual GBP page used the post feature to promote a Google Retail & Shopping Livestream event, clearly showing the date and time alongside a call-to-action to ‘Sign-up.’

If you’ve set up a Google Business Profile but haven’t yet used the business posts feature, now you have the information you need to give it a try. Keep in mind that Google posts expire after seven days, so you’ll need to update them weekly. However, events can be listed for longer and will automatically expire on the event date.

Add Up to 10 Photos or Videos to GBP Posts

As of February 2020, you can now enhance your Google posts by adding up to 10 photos or videos. This feature allows you to make your posts more engaging and stand out from the competition. Images and videos can help tell your business's story and are particularly beneficial for e-commerce businesses, enabling you to showcase multiple product images.

Add Images Regularly

While you may have already added core images such as the exterior and interior of your business, your logo, and your team, don't stop there. Regularly posting new images shows Google that you're active, which can improve your ranking in map and local search results.

Collect Reviews

To rank higher in search and map results, actively collect business reviews. Reviews serve as real-world signals of customer satisfaction and are crucial for local search rankings. They also provide social proof to potential customers, helping them decide whether to do business with you. The best way to collect reviews is to ask for them. Reach out to satisfied customers and request reviews. To simplify the process, create a templated email and personalize it before sending.

Respond to Reviews

Respond to all reviews, whether positive or negative, to show customers that you value their feedback. This engagement helps build trust with other potential customers. Thank those who leave positive reviews and address any concerns raised in negative reviews. Use reviews as an opportunity to learn and improve your business.

Don’t Miss Out on the Benefits of Google Business Profile

Ensure your business has an up-to-date and detailed Google Business Profile. If you haven't taken the time to create and optimize one, you're missing out on a powerful and free tool to appear in Google search results. The profile is highly adaptable and can be updated as needed to reflect daily changes. All it takes is time and knowledge to optimize your page, and the benefits can be immediate.

Google Business Profile Setup Guide

Step 1 – “Get on Google”

  1. Visit Google Business and click the blue ‘Manage Now’ button.
  2. Create a new Google account or sign in to an existing one.
  3. Search for your business by name and address. If you cannot find it, click “add your business” and fill in the required information.
  4. If you already have a GBP and want to update it, simply log in.

If you’d like to learn more about Google Business Profile and local SEO, speak to a member of our digital marketing team, who will be happy to help you.

Step 2 – Create/Claim Your Google Business Profile

After locating or creating your business on Google, click on it. Confirm that you are "authorized to manage this business" and click continue.

Step 3 – Verify Your Business on Your Google Business Profile

You will need to complete the verification process. Google will provide you with a verification code through one of the following methods:

  • Phone call
  • Postcard mailed to your business address
  • Email
  • Text

Once you receive the code, input it to verify your business. Your business now has a Google Business Profile!

Step 4 – Add the Finishing Touches

From the Google Business Profile Manager, you can add additional information. The more details you provide, the more effective your profile will be. Ensure the following elements are filled out:

  • Category: Choose a category that best represents your business (e.g., ‘Bar’ for a bar).
  • Business Description: Introduce your business and highlight your unique selling points (USPs) to differentiate yourself from competitors.
  • Opening Times: Set your opening times and business hours so that viewers know when you’re open.
  • Phone Number: Provide a contact number for easy communication.
  • Website: Include your business website link so people can learn more about your business.
  • Appointment URL: Set an appointment URL to make booking services easier for customers.
  • Add Photos: Upload your business logo, a cover photo, and up to 10 additional photos. Showcase your business’s offerings, such as products if you own a bakery or service-related images for B2B businesses.
  • Reviews: Encourage customers to write positive reviews on Google to boost your five-star rating. Respond to every review, especially negative ones, to demonstrate your commitment to customer service.
  • Posts: Use this feature to share events or content from your website's blog. Posts last for one week before they need updating, and Google will remind you to do so.

The more information you provide, the greater the benefit you will receive from your Google Business Profile. Set aside time to fill in the details and keep them updated.

How Google Business Profile Helps Your Local SEO

Local SEO helps your business become more visible in Google's local search results. Utilizing a free business profile can help new customers find you more easily, as you have a physical address that can be tracked, and you can specify the service area if your business delivers services.

Factors That Affect Ranking

Relevance: Relevance determines how well your business matches the user's search intent. Ensure all necessary information about your business and its services is filled out. This helps Google understand what customers can expect from you, increasing the likelihood of your business appearing in search results.

Proximity: Your business needs to be physically close to the user for local searches. Enhance local rankings by ensuring your website content is locally oriented.

Prominence: Prominence refers to the activity around your listing, including reviews, events, local content, and quality links to your site. Keep your Business Profile relevant by responding to reviews, posting regular content, and keeping company information up to date.

Keep Monitoring Your GBP and Boost Your Google Search Rankings

Creating your Google Business Profile and filling in your business information is just the beginning. Regularly monitor features like reviews and questions. Engage with reviewers, update seasonal opening times, and respond to customer inquiries.

Don't set up your Google Business Account and forget about it. Continuously optimize and update your profile to present the right impression to current and potential customers.

If you have any questions about how Google Business Profile can benefit your company, please contact a member of our team.

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