Originally known as Google My Business, the updated Google Business Profile is an essential element of search engine optimization for businesses today. Local businesses, especially, can benefit from utilizing this profile to boost their local SEO efforts. However, when properly used, it can do several things for any business, including supporting optimization efforts.
But just what is a Google Business Profile and why do you need one? And what else do you need to know about how to make the most of this resource for your business? There are a lot of questions, naturally—but you’re in the right place to get answers. In the guide below, we’ll provide insight into the most popular questions about GBP, including what it can do for your business and how to make the most of yours.
GBP is a tool that can allow you to customize how your business shows up in Google search results, as well as on Google Maps and Google Shopping listings. It also lets you connect with customers, list products and services, post business updates, and so much more. Your Google Business Profile is the page that comes up that includes the business name, address, phone number, hours, website, business information, and other details.
Your GBP is also completely free to use and if you know what you’re doing, you can maximize that listing without spending a dime, even on the optimization efforts. This tool is available to any business that has contact with customers, including service businesses and others.
For starters, this profile is what will set the stage for your search engine rankings and business reputation. Whenever businesses are searched on Google, there’s a map and a list of businesses that appear in the search results. That’s where you want to be found. Using your GBP allows you to increase your visibility and chances of showing up in this area.
Your profile also allows you to share important business information with customers in a place where they are looking. Millions of people turn to Google or Google Maps to find information on various businesses before they decide which to choose. If you don’t have an optimized Google Business Profile, you’re not going to be in the running in the first place.
One final benefit of having this profile set up and optimized is that you can use it to gather reviews and bolster your reputation. Google reviews are among some of the most highly viewed by other customers, so you want to make sure that you have plenty of them to share. When your profile is optimized, you’ll be able to get and share more positive reviews on Google.
Some businesses find that they already have a Google listing even if they’ve never claimed their GBP. If this is the case, you can skip ahead to tweaking the information in the listing. For those who haven’t, here’s what to do:
At this point, you can start working on building your profile. You will first need to fill out your business name and category. Google does a pretty good job of walking you through each of the steps, including helping you categorize your business properly. Later on, you can go back and add more categories, so stick to the most relevant one for now. You’ll need to add your location, too. That should include the full address so that your business can be found on Google Maps.
The next step will be to add your contact information and service area and to opt-in to any recommendations and updates from Google. This will ensure that you get all the latest information directly from Google itself. Finally, your listing will need to be verified. This can be done in one of five ways, depending on the type of business.
Those who provide a physical location will need to verify their business by postcard, which is mailed to the business with a verification code that can then be entered into Google. Others can choose to verify their business by:
Of course, the basic elements need to be in place, but that’s not where it ends. You will also want to include additional information about your business, such as specific services offered, messaging options, business hours, and even photos of the business itself. Use keywords in the profile to help you get better rankings and connect with searchers who are looking for a business like yours.
If you want to make sure that you maximize your GBP, you can search the Internet for examples of profiles done correctly and best practices for building a strong profile. There is no shortage of information about how to make the most of this listing as part of your optimization efforts.
And for those whose business is already listed on Google Maps, but not claimed, that’s an easy fix, too. Just look for the “Claim this business” link on the information page of the business listing and you’ll be redirected to where you can claim and manage the listing, allowing you to make changes moving forward.
Of course, when you do it right, you’re going to be getting more leads coming in as a part of your optimization efforts. Fortunately, you’re not on your own to deal with them. Partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai and you’ll get a 24/7 answering service to ensure that you never miss a single call. Plus, we can even take care of appointment scheduling and lead intake, so schedule a consultation or reach out to email@example.com to learn more.