Google remains the undisputed leader in the search engine space. Their over 90% market share is one of the reasons why Google Business Profile (GBP) is so vital for any business that wants to generate highly-qualified leads today.
With the growing demand for a more digitally aware directory, Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business “GMB”) was designed to link businesses with local consumers.
According to a 2019 study, the average business receives 1,009 customer searches each month through their Google Business Profile, with 84 percent of these from discovery searches, while the others are direct search results for a company’s specific name.
So if you don’t have a Google Business Profile for your business properly set up and optimized, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. Before we get into the important benefits an optimized Google Business Profile offers your business, let’s first define what it is…
What is Google Business Profile?
A Google Business Profile (aka Google My Business) is a free profile that you can create to share a variety of useful information about your business with potential customers who search on Google.
A Google Business Profile includes everything from your address, opening hours, and contact information to company photos, content posts, promotions and offers, sponsored ads, and other important information about your business. It’s an excellent way to give customers a feel for business before they even walk through the door.
Why Is It Important to Have a Google My Business Listing Today?
It’s tempting to think that Google Business Profile is old-fashioned and no longer relevant. Well, the numbers say otherwise!
- According to Pew Research, 91% of adults use search engines to locate information about businesses.
- 97% of users learn more about local businesses online than they do anywhere else.
- According to Google, local intent is present in 46 percent of all queries.
- 64% of consumers used Google Business Profile to discover contact information for a local business.
- In just two years, searches for “near to me” and “close by” increased by almost 900 percent. I don’t know about you, but I use this search feature all the time and it works great!
- 16 percent of firms in the same study say GMB (now Google Business Profile) generates more than 100 calls per month for them.
- 72 percent of customers who used a local search went to a retailer within a five-mile radius.
- 88 percent of local business searches on a mobile device are followed by a phone call or a visit within the next 24 hours.
Whether you’re considering creating a listing for your business or looking for the best ways to increase your local visibility, having an optimized profile is important. Below are some of the benefits of creating a GBP.
Benefits Of Google Business Profile
1. Build Trust through Reviews (Social Proof)
Your Google Business Profile is more of a personalized Yelp page that allows customers to post ratings, reviews, and photographs of their experiences with your business. This is beneficial since satisfied customers can tell others about their positive experiences. However, it can also be a place where dissatisfied consumers leave negative reviews and upload photos of their bad experiences.
Customers are 72 percent more likely to take action after reading reviews. Most people check out reviews online before visiting your store or making a purchase. You need to consistently keep track of your reviews and respond to them to strike a balance and keep your Google Business Profile ratings in the positive zone.Set up time or assign someone to respond to every review (both positive and negative) each week.
Businesses that respond to reviews at least 25% of the time, generate 35% more income on average. Customers want brands to respond to them (whether it’s a positive or negative review). Buyers are more hesitant to buy from you if you leave those reviews (especially negative reviews) unattended to. They’ll begin to question if their worries will be neglected (on or offline), if they do business with you.
If you have negative reviews and respond to them, you may be able to explain what went wrong and make the best of the situation. 86 percent of customers are hesitant to buy from a business that has received poor online feedback, which is another reason negative reviews should not be ignored because they can hurt your bottom-line. However, when customers see you addressing your unhappy customers, they gain a glimpse into how you value customer service and respect you for taking that effort to try to make them happy.
2. Boost Your Local SEO
If you offer products or services in certain locations, you want to ensure that your contact information is prominently displayed for potential customers. As a result, creating a Google Business Profile can be one of the most effective ways to connect with people looking to do business with you.
Consider the following scenario: Assume you need a new wristwatch and don’t want to wait for an internet shipment to arrive. You go to Google and type in something like ‘wrist watch stores near me’ or’ ‘buy a watch near me.
Because Google recognizes that you’re searching for a nearby physical store in your neighborhood, they’ll present you with a customized set of Google Maps results. This allows you to quickly locate a store with great reviews, convenient opening hours, and that isn’t far from your home. You will then gain access to Directions through Google Maps and their website to learn more information.
When you optimize your Google Business Page, you can ensure that your business appears when potential customers search for the items or services you provide in your area. Your business will appear at the top of search results whether the person searches with the Google search box or through Google Maps.
So, if you sell shoes in New Jersey for instance, when a customer searches for “shoe stores in NJ,” your Google Business Profile will be amongst the results that are displayed on Google Maps.
3. It’s Free Advertising = Free Organic Traffic
Although running a Google Ads campaign is a terrific advertising strategy to get to the top of Google search, what happens when you turn off your ads? The leads stop coming in. This is why it is a smart decision to combine a PPC strategy with an SEO strategy.
A Google Business Profile is essentially a Google advertisement that is both quick and free. Google My Business is a free service that gets you tailored visibility to the top of the world’s most trusted search engine. It takes less time to improve your profile than it does to launch a successful sponsored search campaign.
This isn’t to imply that you shouldn’t use Google Ads or use your website to improve your SEO. Both are effective marketing methods and a service we provide for many of our clients, which is well worth your time and money. However, Google Business Profile is a complimentary marketing feature that is both cheaper and faster than paid search advertising. Once you list your business, you’ll begin to receive calls and visits to your website. Additionally, potential customers will be able to use Google Maps to track and visit your offline store.
4. Valuable Insights on Customer Engagement
A Google Business profile has a significant impact on your local Google rankings. It doesn’t only help promote your products, but enhance your market research efforts. You will have access to insights that’ll help you learn more about who your target audience is and how to interact with them, including the following:
Views: Views tell you the number of people that have checked your business profile, posts, offers, and photos. This is quite beneficial for shaping the strategy to ensure successful campaigns. You’ll know whether your effort is performing well and getting the desired attention or whether they are unsuccessful and costing you money.
Engagement: Your Google Business Profile allows you to see how your audience reacts to the content you post. You’ll see the type of posts they like and the comments they leave on those posts. This will enable you to determine the types of marketing materials that work for your business and what to share more of in the future.
Clicks to your Website: You’ll also be able to see how many times your website link has been clicked. Knowing these figures and quantifying the data can help you develop a more solid strategy for increasing conversions.
Audience: There’s a feature on your GBP that allows you to see a summary of people who are following your business and their profiles. It will allow you to see demographics like their gender, country of origin, age, and more. These are all very useful information for helping you understand more about your customers.
Search Terms: You’ll get a detailed report that allows you to learn and understand how customers locate your business. It reveals how people are searching for your listing, including the terms they used. Knowing the keywords that people use to search for your business online can help you increase your SEO efforts significantly.
5. Google Business Posts
Google Business Profile content posts are a great way to complement your content marketing efforts because they can help you reach more customers through Google Search. The post feature allows you to share content, offers and promotions, products, services, news, and more with your customers. It also allows you to choose from a variety of call-to-actions, including buy now, sign up, learn more, call now, and others within a GBP post to enhance click-through rates.
These posts can be used as part of your content distribution plan, and the option to share content prepared for LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, or other chsnnels is easy and beneficial. Google Business Profile allows you to upload up to 10 photographs or videos with the posts. This will be quite helpful if you run an e-commerce store since you can upload several product images. Product images can also increase your visibility, so post as many photographs as you can. Also, you should experiment with different post types to determine the best type of content that’s suitable for your business and engages with your audience.
6. It Can Boost Your Sales
With all its amazing features, it’s no doubt that a Google Business Profile Listing will increase sales.
Let’s take reviews, for instance. People trust online reviews almost as much as they do personal recommendations. So, having many positive customer reviews from happy customers will help you generate more leads and revenue.
Typically, when customers want to research a business, they have to go to Trustpilot or other review or direct sites to see what people are saying about that business. A Google Business Profile eliminates the need for such research. So your customers can find all the information about your business in one place, as well as the experience of your previous customers. This will enhance the buyer’s decision, thereby increasing sales.
Similarly, a Google Business Profile allows you to list out your phone number, address, and other vital information to your customers. So, instead of having to click to your website and then your contact page, they can just click to call you or visit your store to make their purchase instantly.
How to Maximize Your Google Business Profile
If you don’t already have a Google Business Profile for your business, then you’re losing out on a large chunk of targeted and free local traffic. But even if you have a GBP, you still need to optimize it to increase your visibility and enhance customer engagement.
This is where hiring a GBP expert to manage your Google Business Profile can be really beneficial. Our expert Google Business Profile team understands the top ways to grow your business through Google Search and Google Maps. Contact us today to learn more about these optimization services!
The insight for this article originated from our partner, Hudson Integrated.