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What You Need to Know About Google Business Profiles

Est. reading time 5 minutes

Google is the world’s most-visited website. If you want to have any visibility online, you need to be able to be found on it. One way you can do this is with a Google Business Profile (GBP). Whether you're aiming to attract visitors to your physical location or to your website, Google is the primary source of search referrals, and a GBP plays a crucial role in potential customers discovering your business. Formerly known as Google My Business, this is a vital online listing for businesses to have and maintain. Here we’ll talk about why it’s important to have and what you can do with one.

Why Have a Google Business Profile?

To put it plainly, a Google Business Profile (GBP) listing is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to ensure that your business is discoverable online. The vast majority of people still use Google to search for products and services and so if your service or product is searched for, you want your GBP listing to be shown in the search results, whether that be in a list or on Google Maps itself.

If you want your business to be visible online, it needs to have a GBP.

Who Should Have a Google Business Profile?

If you have a local business that customers visit, such as a restaurant, salon, or store, having a profile is absolutely crucial for potential customers. It is generally expected that these kinds of businesses have a listing and facilitate easy access to essential information. There are so many “X near me” searches done that you need to be showing up on Google and Google Maps.

Even if you don't operate from a fixed location but offer services in a specific area, like a trade or specialized service, having a listing is helpful for people searching for your service. Google’s algorithm is good at determining user intent and location-specific queries. For example if you’re in Victoria and searching for “plumber near me” it will show the plumbers around Victoria, and the GBP listings are easily visible to look through, and is where most people will browse first. If a plumber does not have a GBP listing, they will be invisible in this search and miss out.

Essentially, any business that provides products or services locally should have a listing.

Control Your Business Information

While your website is the central hub for your online marketing and where sales primarily occur, not everyone will visit your site. This is where a GBP becomes invaluable, displaying information such as your hours, phone number, and address, allowing people to quickly access vital details. Additionally you can highlight services, particularly visible on mobile devices, and for businesses like restaurants, include a menu.

Be sure to keep this info up to date, especially for businesses with physical locations and operating hours. It's incredibly frustrating for customers to arrive at a place that's marked as open on Google, only to find it closed. If you have special hours for holidays or exceptional occasions, ensure they're reflected in the listing. Google offers a user-friendly way to add holiday hours, so capitalize on this feature to provide your customers with as much accurate information as possible.

Optimize Your Listing

After setting up the contact detail essentials, there's more you can do to create an appealing profile. Aim to include as much information as possible on your GBP listing as possible. Showcase what makes your business special and what you offer. When people find your business in search results, their next step is to click on it for more details.

Add Pictures to Showcase Your Business

Adding pictures is a great way to show your business to potential customers, just make sure that they are high quality images, meaning not blurry or highly pixelated, and keep them accurate and up to date. For instance, a menu picture from four years ago might not reflect current prices or offerings. Fortunately, outdated images can be easily removed from your listing.

Engage with Queries

A feature that often goes underutilized is the capacity to respond to questions within a listing. While sometimes the questions asked are more suitable for email, they also present a chance to provide info in a visible space, and can be a quick way to confirm or deny a service offered.

Provide Business Updates

Another often overlooked capability is the updates section. Here, you can share details about your business, upcoming events, promotions, or sales. Think of it as similar to a social media. Consistency is key, and while a weekly post is ideal, even just one a month or even one a quarter can have benefits.

Showcase Your Products

For businesses that offer products, enhance their visibility by incorporating them into your listing. Depending on your business you don’t need to list every single product, but rather consider grouping them into product categories. Interested customers can then access additional information or make purchases by following "Learn More" or "Buy" links, directing them to your website where they can see your full inventory.

Establish Trust Through Reviews

Reviews are a key way of building trust with potential customers, and Google makes it easy to not only see your reviews, but also leave one. We’re not going to focus on why reviews are so important, suffice to say they have a huge impact on your credibility, and the more credibility you have, the easier it is to convince a potential customer to purchase your product or service.

While reviews can naturally accumulate over time, actively seeking feedback from your existing clients is a more effective approach. Though it might seem daunting, most are eager to offer reviews for businesses they appreciate. In your GBP listing is a direct shareable link to send to customers to review your business.

If you’re worried that you won’t receive exclusively 5-star ratings, that’s fine. In reality, a blend of positive and some critical reviews is preferred by Google and the public. This mix is perceived as more genuine and credible.

Don't overlook the significance of responding to reviews. Unlike some other review platforms, Google allows listing owners to address them. For positive reviews, expressing gratitude demonstrates your involvement and appreciation. When faced with negative reviews, it's important not to resort to a generic "sorry please email us." Instead, respond candidly, offering context and an honest account of the situation. People are generally understanding, and such responses can even elevate your overall reputation.

At Radar Hill, we offer a review solicitation service, ensuring our clients have standout profiles. Get in touch to learn more.

Don't Miss Out on a Valuable Opportunity

If you haven’t dedicated your business to having a Google Business Profile, you’re missing out on one of the most effective no-cost methods for featuring in Google search results. The way people engage with search engines is evolving, and instant accessibility to information is a priority. If your business isn't readily discoverable, potential customers will opt for alternatives that are. Ensure your business meets expectations.

Interested in optimizing your Google Business Listing for your business? Get in touch, we can help.