Over 4 billion people worldwide use Google. It’s never been more important to make sure your business is easily searchable.
One of the best ways a business owner can ensure that their business gets the traffic it deserves is by creating a Google Business Profile (previously known as a Google My Business profile).
Here’s why your service-based business needs a Google Business Profile
If you don’t already know, a Google Business Profile is a free business listing that makes your business searchable to potential customers on Google Search and Google Maps. It has many of the classic features of business listings, including an opportunity to list your location, hours, and other general information. It also comes with the opportunity to create posts with relevant information, like sales or specials, as well as several other special features.
The benefits of having a Google Business Profile are numerous. It helps your business show up to relevant local customers and rank higher on searches using SEO, which increases local traffic. It also helps advertise your business: the reviews section aids with building trust with your customers, and the insights feature helps you gain valuable metrics that can help you modify your marketing strategy.
It also aids in e-commerce. If you have both a physical address and e-commerce store, a Google Business Profile is ideal for getting online traffic from customers who may not feel like going into your physical store.
How to Make and Upgrade Your Google Business Profile
Making a Google Business Profile is simple and free. Here are the steps:
- Create a Google account for your business.
- Find or add your business on the Google Business webpage by clicking “Manage now.”
- Set up your profile by following the prompts to add your business’s details, such as it’s address, service area, business category, and contact details.
- Verify your Google Business Profile account by mail, email or phone. Different businesses are eligible for different verification systems.
Optimizing Your Profile
From there, you can start optimizing your profile to get the best results. Add some basic things like photos and videos of your business and products, hours of operation, and a business description. The more information you add, the more likely someone is going to find and stay on your business’s profile and become interested.
There are sections you can fill out to provide details on certain products or services you offer. Add these so your potential customers can get a complete picture of what you have to offer.
If you’re feeling lost on what else to add, click the promote button in order to see some options. With this option, you can get more reviews, answer questions from customers, create advertisements, update details you may have missed before, and more. You can also view insights and analytics on your profile.
Getting Reviews on Your Profile
Reviews are one of the most important things on your Google Business Profile. Not only do reviews increase your online reputation and help your ranking for SEO, they are also a major deciding factor for your customers. In fact, reviews influence purchase decisions for 93% of consumers, and 91% of 18-34 year olds will trust reviews just as much as personal recommendations.
Make sure you have a review form set up and ready to accept reviews on your Google Business Profile. Let your customers know that it’s quick and easy to review, and create and share a link to your review form to make it even easier. Reply to reviews, especially if they have questions or concerns, to strengthen trust.
Aside from updating the information on your profile, you can also create posts in your Google Business Profile. This can be accessed using the “Updates” or “Overview” tabs. You can create posts with text, photo, and/or video to promote specials, news, events, and offers. Posts are important for communicating with your customers and keeping them updated.
Posts fall into 5 options:
- COVID-19: any updates, such as changed hours and rules or suggestions for safety and hygiene because of COVID-19
- Offers: information about promotional offers and sales, including a “view offer” update that leads to a coupon code, description, or rules of the offer
- Products: update what appears in your Product tab
- What’s new: provide general information and updates
- Events: promote events with start and end times and dates
All post types come with the option to include photos, videos and action buttons.
Google provides engagement metrics and insights on every post you make. This data includes:
- Whether customers find your business with discovery or direct searches
- Whether your customers are finding your listing through Google Search or Google Maps
- What kind of actions your customers are taking on your listing (calling you, clicking on directions, browsing through photos, visiting your website, etc.)
- Total number of phone calls you’re receiving and what time they occur
- Geographic areas your customers are searching from
Using this information, you can optimize your content and other aspects of how you run your business in order to provide better service and attract more customers.
If you want help setting up or maintaining your Google Business Profile, schedule a call with us at Lantern Marketing today.