Attract more customers with Google Business Profile

  • Saturday, 9th March, 2024
  • 13:20pm

Many small businesses hardly use social media at all, and it's definitely a wasted opportunity. Those who do use it, however, can spend time and money on social media marketing, but ignore or forget about the most preliminary step: optimising our search rankings. Now, there are a  lot of search engines out there, but let's be real here; By "search engine" we really mean Google.

No matter how many social media platforms you actively use, one of the first things that customers looking for your products/ services online will do is a quick Google search. Google has reported that 46% of all searches are looking for a local business to buy  from. But how do you make sure you pop up in their search results? Well, the easiest and fastest way to show up in local search results is to have a Google Business Profile listing. A Google Business Profile is a huge advantage for all local businesses. It isn't an ordinary business listing but a robust tool giving you benefits from appearing on Google local search.


So, what's a Google Business Profile?

Google Business Profile (GBP) is a free local marketing tool that allows business owners and marketers to manage how their business is displayed on Google Search and Google Maps. It also displays vital business details like your name, address, contact information, website link, and hours of operation. A properly written profile will show a push a succinct description of your business or its products/services to the top of the search  results. This is obviously an excellent way to convince a searcher to find out more about your business offerings.


Is it hard to get a Google Business Profile?

No, but it need to be done right, so make sure you know what you're doing, or get someone who does, do it for you. To get your listing, you need to verify your business data either by manually creating your one or claiming an existing auto-generated profile. This can b e a useful shortcut, because Google has indexed a lot of businesses and created their profile, but not informed them.  Maybe it's too expensive.

Anyway, this is a critical step in any local SEO strategy as it makes it easier for customers to find information about your business and allows them to review it too. Therefore, it’s important that the information provided is accurate, complete, and optimised.


How do Google Business Profile Listings work?

Once your profile has been created, or claimed, you'll need to verify it. This usually takes up to 5 days. They'll send you a postcard with some instructions to follow on your computer. Once you've successfully done that, you'll get access to a dashboard where you can edit, delete or update your business information. You'll also have the option to create a very basic website. If you already have one, it's almost certainly better than the one GBP offers, though there are exceptions.

It’s essential to optimise your GBP listing by adding keywords, a Call to Action, (CTA), frequently asked questions, and relevant photos/videos.

When someone searches for products or services, the local search listings dominate the results. So the next time when users search for your products or services within your locality, your GBP page will be displayed among the listings. The information from your page will be shown in the following three different places:

  • Google’s sidebar
  • Local results
  • Google maps

This means that potential customers will be able to see your location, contacts, and other details from your page itself.


How do businesses use Google Business Profile?

Millions of brands across the world are using GBP to stand apart from their competitors and attract more custom. Brands use the platform to engage with customers and learn more about them. They can also see valuable demographic data that shows interest in their business, where they come from, and what appeals to them. This is a fantastic way to "know your customer". Brands can also gauge their overall business performance with GBP.


Why should I use Google Business Profile for Local Marketing?

Still not convinced? OK, here are 6 reasons you need to get started with it right away:


1. Increase your visibility on the Web

It improves your business’s visibility on the web. When you search for a product or service on Google, the first three listings are usually Google Adwords advertisements, followed by a map with the Local 3-pack, then the organic results are listed below them.

Local 3 pack? What's that then?

The Local 3-pack is the top 3 local businesses, based on the searcher’s location. Obviously, you need to have your listing in there, don't you? Having a well-written, complete and up-to-date Google Business Profile will significantly increase your chances of making it onto the list. It can help you tap into potential revenue as Google not only shows customers your business on Google Maps, but it also places it before organic search results.


2. Share useful information with your target market

GBP allows you to share information about your business, including your address, contact information, and working hours. It also allows you to share news, updates, announcements, offers, and more. These posts show up on Google Search and Maps, enabling you to keep in touch with potential customers and keep them updated. Running a restaurant? Add your menu! Special opening hours during public holidays? Add it to your listing, to make it convenient to your potential customers. Running an event? Add it... well, you've probably got it by now.


3. Answer your potential customers' queries in real-time

Let's say a potential lead comes across your business in search results, looking to place  an order with you, but they want to place a customised order. A business thrives best when it removes friction points by reducing the steps to communicate. In other words make it easy for your customer to get in touch. Handily, your GBP listing has a messaging feature that lets you chat directly with potential customers who find your profile on the search results page. You can turn  it on or off, but when activated, users visiting your listing will see a clickable message icon, where they can initiate a chat. You'll be able to respond to the messages through SMS or Google’s messaging app. Great customer service will always beat sloppy customer service every time.


4. Boost your appeal with reviews

Reviews are a massively influential factor when customers are making a purchasing decision. Most people will look for and read online reviews to evaluate the quality of a local business and its products/ services. They will  usually choose the product with the highest reviews to contact first.

Google Business Profile lets customers review your business and leave feedback. Positive reviews not only boosts your appeal to potential customers, but you also get honest evaluations about the things you’re doing right and the ones you need to improve.

Reviews also help to build trust and confidence in your business or brand. According to a recent consumer survey, 95% of customers read online reviews before buying a product and believe they carry the same weight as a personal recommendation. Reviews are also a ranking factor used by Google to determine where to place your business on search results. Giving your customers and clients quality products or services will help you collect more positive reviews and thus get a higher overall rating.


5. It'll increase website traffic and therefore sales

According to Google, businesses are 70% more likely to attract local visits from browsing users by having a Google Business Profile. The rigorous verification steps that Google makes every business complete before appearing in local searches, creates trust among customers.


6. Free Google Advertising

There are several ways to promote your business and get it on the first page of Google search results. You could run a Google Ads campaign, but that can get VERY expensive. Another way is through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Again, this can get expensive and it takes time to build your authority and your ranking.  It's still a very valuable way to get traffic to your website and definitely worth considering if your business has the budget to upgrade its SEO. A GBP listing, however, offers a useful shortcut which is a faster and cheaper way to get targeted exposure on Google. Creating, claiming, and verifying your listing costs you nothing, unless you get a pro to do it for you. You'd expect me to write this,  but, it really is worth getting someone who knows what they're doing and can get it done quickly, efficiently and correctly. There are many organisations and freelancers who offer this service.



For businesses looking to maximize their online presence to attract more customers, make sure you, or a knowledgeable person leverages Google Business Profile effectively.


« Back

Powered by WHMCompleteSolution