// STAND OUT
// GET NOTICED
Google Business Profile (GBP) is one of the most useful digital marketing tools that small and local businesses can use to grow. Naturally, one of your biggest problems is gaining exposure. You’re surrounded by bigger and more established companies and you don’t know how to make yourself noticeable.
Creating a Google Business Profile is the first step to making more people notice your small business. But, what exactly is a GBP page and why is it so important for small and local business owners?
Google Business Profile Explained
Google released a feature a long time ago that used to be called Google Places for Business, which was rebranded to Google My Business and most recently has changed to Google Business Profile; it is completely free for any business owner to create a profile.
Effectively, you are creating a profile for your business on Google. In doing so, this lets you list your business on Google Maps. You have definitely seen this before when conducting Google searches.
In fact, try this right now. Search for something like coffee shops in your local area, then view the results.
What do you see? At the top of the search results, there is a mini-map showing you all the local coffee shops close to your location. If you click on any of those results it will take you to Google Maps where a profile pops up. On this profile, you see links to the website, directions to the business location, reviews, opening hours, questions & answers, contact info – and much more.
This is a Google Business Profile. It will also appear on the side of the screen if someone specifically searches for your business via Google.
What are the benefits of a Google Business Profile?
There are some significant online and real-life benefits of a GBP profile. We’ve condensed things down into the following points:
Get seen on Google
With a GBP profile, your business will become way more visible on Google. It is absolutely essential for local marketing and local SEO purposes.
For reference, local SEO is basically what we explained above, when you search for businesses or things in a specific geographical location. Because Google often knows the location of a searcher, they just have to search for a particular thing to be shown relevant businesses in that area.
Without a Google Business Profile, you won’t be on the map – literally. You won’t have a listing on Google Maps, so you’re invisible to so many people. Creating your profile is the first step to becoming seen on Google, but you can optimise it to ensure yours is one of the first listings people find.
Gain more foot and web traffic
The consequence of being more visible on Google is that it can lead to more traffic for your business.
Specifically, you can gain both foot and web traffic. Foot traffic is more likely to increase because people are presented with your business location. They can even click a button and get instant directions to your front door. A lot of consumers start their journey online before making it to the physical location of a business. If your local business relies on foot traffic, it’s super important that you have a Google My Business profile.
As far as web traffic goes, your profile can still direct people to your website. There are multiple places on your profile where you can link your website. There’s even a button that says ‘Website’ meaning you drive traffic to it. If you sell things online or use your website to generate leads, your GMB profile is extremely beneficial.
Generate reviews and build trust
Another excellent feature of Google My Business is that it lets you accept reviews for your company. Reviews are crucial if you want your business to be a success.
There are some staggering statistics to back this up. It’s believed that customer reviews can increase conversions by 270% and 97% of consumers claim that customer reviews influenced their purchasing decisions. The simple fact of the matter is that reviews build trust with your audience. If people see that you’ve got a lot of positive reviews on Google, they are more likely to trust you. Therefore, they might choose your business over one of your local rivals with worse reviews than you.
Building trust is essential, and the presence of a Google Business profile also does this. It makes your business look more professional, which instantly makes it seem trustworthy. If you haven’t got a profile set up, consumers won’t know whether or not they can trust you. As such, you might miss out on lots of leads and conversions.
Gain insights into your business listing
Perhaps an underrated feature of Google Business Profile is the Insights tab. Here, you can view a lot of data surrounding your listing. For example, one piece of information revolves around search queries. Simply put, you see what users are searching for when they find your business listing.
As a result, you can discover the keywords that will be essential to helping you gain more web traffic. Likewise, you see which keywords aren’t worth investing in anymore. Basically, this profile can help you improve your overall SEO campaign and strategy.
How do you create a Google Business Profile?
It’s actually very simple and you don’t need any Google marketing expertise to do this.
All you have to do is click here, and you’ll be taken to the Google My Business profile page. Click the blue button that says ‘Manage Now’ and follow the next steps. You can search for your business if it’s already listed, and then you’re allowed to claim it. If your business hasn’t been listed, you can add it to Google.
Follow the rest of the on-screen instructions and you will soon have a profile up and running. From here, you need to optimise it by adding as much information as possible – such as opening hours, service descriptions, photos, etc.
The bottom line is that every small and local business should have a Google My Business profile. It will help you generate more foot and web traffic, while also improving the reputation of your business. It’s easy to set up, and completely free!