What is Google Business Profile and why do you need to be on top of it?By Courtney Hinz
The days of small businesses not engaging in ecommerce are over.
Still, it can be hard to know the first steps to take when cracking into the online market. Fortunately, there is one clear place to begin and that is to set up a Google Business Profile account.
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) allows you to manage everything related to how your business appears in the Google search engine.
- Accurate hours of operation
- A map and directions to your shop’s location
- A forum for customers to ask questions
- Review and reputation management
- Reservation and appointment booking services
- Restriction/health and safety information
- Promotions or special events
- Contact information
- Website address
- Proof-of-performance data
- Buyer’s journey insights
Best of all, a Google Business Profile is free and comes with a mobile app so that you can update information or respond to reviews on-the-fly.
The benefits of Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile helps your current customers get the information they need on you and it’s a great way to find new customers for free, simply by showing up in their local search results. In fact, 80 percent of local searches end up in conversions.
In other words, filling out a Google Business Profile is essentially signing up for free advertising - and one of the most effective advertising options out there.
The number of people who include online search in their buyer journey goes up each year. In 2020, it was found that 81percent of buyers will do some online research before making a purchase, and 60 percent start with a search engine. Having a Google Business Profile account moves you further up to the top of those searches, skyrocketing your chances of being selected by a potential buyer. Comprehensively filling out your profile and consistently supplying up-to-date information will help even more.Having a Google Business Profile listing also helps to earn potential buyer trust. Research shows customers are 2.7 times more likely to consider a company reputable if they have a Google Business Profile Listing, and are 50 percent are more likely to make a purchase from a company found through their Google Business Profile Listing.
If a business wants to be found, they need to manage their GBP listing. Google is the top-used search engine, and Google Maps and Google Home are connected tools that also help customers find local businesses. Google has also reported that 46 percent of all searches have local intent, so that's a primary spot customers are looking for local business information. Having a complete GBP listing builds trust with Google as well, ranking a business higher and increasing their chances of getting found.
Consider integrating Google Business Profile with other business tools
While Google Business Profile is arguably the most powerful small business tool existing today, it’s not the only one you’ll need to run your agency. There are other important review sites including your own website and other search engines as well as other software solutions your clients will need to run their businesses.
The best way of covering all your bases is to use an all-in-one tool that instantly updates information across multiple services, receives notifications anytime a new review pops up on any platform, gets SEO tools and data reporting, and manages everything from one dashboard.
However, just because the tool has a lot of other features, don’t let that distract you from the importance of covering Google Business Profile well. Make sure though that the tool has Featured Google Partner status to ensure you’re receiving top-quality service and know-how from the company with whom you partner.
And finally, the best case scenario is having a tool that integrates with the rest of the software solutions you need and supply to your small business clients.