At the core of GBP management lies regular updates. At minimum, this should include altering core information like hours and address as well as adding posts.
As a small business, this is an invaluable opportunity. Be proactive in answering questions and responding to reviews; doing so presents small businesses with a great opportunity.
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile, previously known as Google My Business, is a free service designed to help local businesses manage how their information appears across Google products, such as Maps and Search. Businesses can use it to respond to reviews left about them online by customers; update business photos; respond directly to offers made directly by potential customers; as well as share offers or events directly with existing ones.
Analysis and insights on customer engagement enable businesses to understand how their customers found them and make improvements to their online presence.
Once your Business Profile has been claimed and verified, the first step should be completing its basic listing features such as adding your company name and address, photos, hours and services offered as well as selecting categories best suited to represent your business.
One of the key settings on a Google Business Profile is Location Settings, which enables you to choose whether to display your business address publicly or privately. You can also enable Service Area setting so customers know if they fall within your delivery or service radius – especially useful if working remotely from home or other remote locations.
How to Create a Google Business Profile
Imagine customers easily discovering your business on Google Maps or search results and making reservations instantly – that is the power of a verified Google Business Profile, and you can make one yours for free.
Begin by creating a profile and adding information such as your business’ name, address, phone number and website URL. Use the Info tab to edit key business details like business hours and services offered. Consistency with spelling and punctuation can help ensure potential customers easily locate your listing.
Followed by choosing the category that best reflects your business, which will ultimately decide how it appears on Google. Depending on the nature of your industry, additional materials may need to be submitted in order to verify it. Once verified, your listing can be managed daily – for instance adjusting photos, tracking clicks to your website, calls made, reservation requests made etc.
Google Business Verification
Verification of a Business Profile shows a blue checkmark next to its name in search results, signifying to potential customers that Google has verified that it is authentic.
Verifying a Business Profile typically involves mailing a postcard containing a PIN code directly to their listed address, then entering that PIN into Google Account to confirm their listing. Some businesses can choose to verify over the phone instead of mailing in postcards – however this option only available to certain types of service area businesses that visit customers’ homes or offices to provide services.
Google My Business profiles help businesses build trust among users and potential customers by showing that the business exists and has physical locations. In order to reap maximum benefit from this feature, it’s vital that accurate business details are listed – both accurate and up-to-date are best.
Google Business Listing Optimization
Once your Google Business Profile (GBP) is fully established and verified with all pertinent details, it’s time to start optimizing it – an ongoing task which should take priority on any local SEO checklist.
Start by verifying that your NAP (Name, Address and Phone number) are consistent; inconsistent NAPs can damage credibility. Next, list products and services as this allows searchers to understand exactly what you offer – increasing search rankings!
Make sure to list both regular and holiday hours so searchers don’t find themselves traveling to your store only to discover it is closed! This will save them the frustration of arriving late.
Maintaining an optimized GBP can be an excellent way to expand online visibility and attract new customers. To learn more about optimizing local listings, reach out – we’re ready and happy to assist!