In November 2021, Google announced that the Google My Business platform will now be known as Google Business Profile, with the Google My Business app retiring in 2022. So, what does this mean for the millions of businesses that utilize this platform?
Here’s what you need to know about the renamed Google Business Profile and how you can ensure your business is well-profiled.
Why a Name Change?
To keep things simple, Google has renamed the platform Google Business Profile. Going forward, businesses will manage their business profiles via Google Search and Google Maps.
The launch of the renamed Google Business Profile includes a few new features, too:
- U.S. and Canadian businesses will have access to call history
- Google Search will offer a new direct messaging feature
- While the option to edit your business profile information has been around, businesses can now claim and verify their Google Business Profile via Google Search and Google Maps
- Businesses can manage read receipts through Google Maps and Google Search
Key Benefits of Google Business Profiles
Advertise for free
As a business owner, it’s important to keep costs down. The beauty of creating a Google Business Profile is that it’s a completely free platform. So, essentially, you’re creating free advertising for your business that searchers can further develop by adding reviews, Q&As, and pictures of products and their overall experience.
Since Google is the most-used search engine, using its Google Business Profile (GBP) feature will build trust for your business among potential searchers and customers. People won’t purchase anything from a business’s website if they don’t trust its ownership. With a GBP, your business and its physical location will be verified by Google.
Improve your business’s appeal
When customers leave reviews on your Google Business Profile, you’re receiving real-time feedback that can be used to improve your business. You’ll also get a star rating next to your business, which builds trust among searchers and improves your business’s appeal.
Your Google Business Profile will outline everything there is to know about your business, such as contact information, store hours, and a physical address. By creating this profile and keeping it up-to-date, you’re more likely to increase web traffic to your business’s website and get more customers in the door of your physical location.
Learn about your target audience
Google Business Profiles also allow you to track analytics, which will help you learn more about your target audience and how they’re engaging with your business. From here, you can come up with the best marketing and digital marketing strategies that’ll boost your business’s performance.
Since your Google Business Profile has all of your business’s contact information, searchers are more likely to call, email, or message your business. Having access to your business’s website will also enhance engagement, as many searchers will go straight to your website to learn more about your services and products before contacting you.
Google wants to provide valuable information to searchers. So, when you create a Google Business Profile and provide Google with all the information about your business, they’ll see it as a trustworthy and reliable entity. This will help your business rank higher on Google, which will help your business grow even more!
Why Is This Update Important for Local SEO?
Businesses have been creating Google My Business profiles for years. But how can the Google Business Profile help small businesses become further recognized? There are a few important steps to take:
- Claim the Google Business Profile
- Optimize the Google Business Profile
- Regularly check and update the profile
Keeping your Google Business Profile up-to-date is absolutely essential. In fact, according to Forbes, a completed GBP profile can single-handedly improve your business’s local SEO ranking. Your Google Business Profile provides searchers with the first impression of your business, so keeping all of its information current is crucial.
Here are a few staggering statistics from LOCALiQ that will encourage you to create, claim, optimize, and regularly update your Google Business Profile:
- These profiles have helped 16% of businesses get more than 100 calls to their business each month
- 46% of Google searches have local intent
- 64% of searchers sought to find contact details on Google Business Profiles
- When searchers are on your GBP, 56% are finding your business’s website and 24% are looking to call your business
Using the Google Business Profile Feature
If your business has multiple locations, you’ll want to manage them through the Business Profile Manager dashboard. It gives you the flexibility to manage multiple profiles for your business. For businesses with a single location, managing your Google Business Profile is easier than ever. You can effortlessly manage your profile directly through Google Search or the Google Maps app!
Once you’re logged into Google with your business’s email address, you can Google your business’s name or type “My business” for your business profile to show up on Google Search. From there, edit and update buttons will appear.
Optimizing your Google Business Profile
There are eight key sections of your Google Business Profile that need to be constantly updated and optimized. Let’s review these key features and their importance for your business.
Searchers aren’t interested in reading paragraphs of information about your business quite yet. Therefore, your business’s About section should be well-written and terse yet descriptive. For SEO purposes, including well-researched keywords in this description is key.
Your business’s contact information needs to be updated when there is any change. You don’t want potential customers trying to call the wrong phone number or clicking on the wrong website domain.
To get more customers in the door, ensuring the location of your business is correct on your Google Business Profile is crucial. You don’t want searchers to be confused, so make sure the number of locations and their addresses is clear and correct. To be more helpful, you can provide additional directions and tips for finding parking if necessary.
Keeping your business’s hours updated is key. If a customer shows up to your business when it’s closed but your Google Business Profile says it’s open, this customer will be very unhappy and may even leave you a poor review. This feature is important to keep updated, especially during the holidays when your store hours may be different.
Listing products on your Google Business Profile allows searchers to see real-time pictures of what your business has to offer. Enticing pictures with well-written descriptions and clear product names and prices can encourage potential customers to check out your business even further. Make sure you create categories for your products so searchers can easily find what they’re looking for.
Similar to products, if your business offers services, it’s important to list them on your Google Business Profile. You can include prices as well.
Adding pictures to your Google Business Profile will make your business seem more “real” to searchers. You don’t have to limit it to pictures of your products, either. Include pictures of your business building, its signage, your employees, bonding activities, community involvement, and more.
Better engagement for your business starts with the Customers feature of your Google Business Profile. In this section of your profile, you can easily interact with your customers by reading and responding to reviews, answering questions, and replying to direct messages.
The Promote feature on your Google Business Profile will help you market and promote your business as well as keep track of your efforts. This feature provides valuable insights on performance, interaction, and customer contact.
Create and Claim Your Google Business Profile Today
Now that you understand the importance of creating, claiming, optimizing, and regularly updating your Google Business Profile, it’s time to get started on this important process. When you focus on keeping your Google Business Profile up-to-date and clear, you’ll notice improvements in your business’s online presence. You may increase traffic to your business’s website and build more trust, which will help you rank higher on Google. To learn more about Google Business Profiles and how to best manage your business’s profile, contact eTegrity Digital today.