Local businesses have a tremendous opportunity to rank higher in Google Searches, Google Maps, and Google Shopping. An optimized Google Business Profile allows small business owners to get more visibility online. Google reports that 46% of all searches have local intent, primarily focusing on the business’s location.

What is Google Business Profile?

Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is a free marketing tool made available by Google. It is a business listing that gives searchers an in-depth look at your company and allows them to interact with you. A Google Business Profile is an efficient way to share information about your location, services, and products.

Having a Google Business Profile increases your visibility across Google search, Maps, and Google Shopping. Creating a Google Business Profile is the most effective method to enhance your local SEO efforts.

Benefits of Having a Google Business Profile

Appear in Local Searches on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping

Google holds more than 92% of the world’s search engine market share, easily making it the most-visited site globally and an effective tool for directing customers to your business. A Google business profile enhances your local SEO by showing searchers where and how to find your business.

Control Your Online Business Information

Google Business Profile allows you to manage the most crucial information about your business that potential customers see first online. However, be aware that other users and Google can make suggestions and edit your profile. This risk of unwanted changes makes it essential to regularly check your Google Business Profile to ensure all the information is accurate.

Gain Reviews and Build Trust

Reviews are an excellent way to establish social proof and build trust with potential customers. Statistics indicate that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Local Marketing with Google Business Profile

Creating a free Google Business Profile gives you more chances of appearing on the first page of Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping. So if you want your business to rank high in local searches, you need a Google Business Profile.

How to Setup a Google Business Profile

It is important to note that all the information on your Google Business Profile needs to comply with Google’s guidelines to avoid suspension.

Sign in to Google Business Profile

If you’re already logged into a Google account on your computer, it should automatically sign you into your Google Business Profile Manager. If not, sign in with your Google account or create a new one.

Add Your Business

Search for your business name. If it appears in the drop-down menu, select it. Othewise, click ‘add your business to Google’, choose a category, and click ‘Next’.

Enter Your Location

If your business has a physical location that customers can visit, select ‘yes’, add your business address, and position the pin on the map to mark the location. If you go to your customers and don’t have a physical location, select the service areas and then click ‘Next’.

Fill in Your Contact Information

Complete all the fields, but note that providing a phone number is optional.

Verify Your Business

Enter your mailing address (not a P.O. box) for verification. Google will not display this address publicly. It will only use your mailing address to verify your business.

Physical businesses will receive a postcard in the mail to verify their location, and service-area businesses will be verified through email with a five-digit code. Once verified, you’ll see a confirmation screen, then click ‘Next’.

Customize Your Profile

This step is where you enter all of your business information, such as your business hours, description, photos, messages, and all the other excellent features that can be used to optimize your Google Business Profile.

Once you are satisfied with your profile’s optimization level, click ‘continue’, and Google will direct you to your Business Profile Manager dashboard, where you can manage your business profile, manage reviews, answer questions, view insights, and create Google ads.

Editing Your Google Business Profile

If your business has only one location, you can edit it directly from Google Search or the Google Maps app using the ‘edit profile’ button.

Businesses with multiple locations should edit their profile from the Google Business Profile Manager. That way, it keeps your information organized and easy to manage.

Optimize Your Google Business Profile

There are several ways you can optimize your Google Business Profile to help searchers find you and make your business appear more trustworthy. Google uses three factors when considering search rankings; relevance of your listing to the search performed, distance from the searcher, and prominence of your Google Business Profile. Follow the tips below to maximize the effects of your Google Business Profile.

Complete Every Section

Your profile is less likely to rank on Google if it is incomplete. In addition, potential customers are less likely to trust businesses with an incomplete Google Business Profile. Completed listings are 7x more likely to get clicks than those that haven’t been filled out all the way.

Upload High-Quality Photos and Videos

Listings with pictures are two times more likely to appear reputable. In addition, photos and videos allow you to provide searchers with a great first impression before they ever step foot into your business.

Verify Your Location

During the set-up process, Google will ask you to verify your location, it will allow you to skip this step, but we highly recommend completing it.

We advise verifying your business because both Google and searchers rely on the verification process as the first step to showing that they can trust a business.

Add Keywords

When creating any profile or post online, it is vital to consider SEO optimization. However, you don’t want to overstuff your profile with too many keywords because you will be penalized for it in the search results.

Keep Information Updated

As mentioned above, other users are free to change your information, so you need to check it regularly for accuracy. Also, Google will notice if your information is outdated, which can also affect your search ranking.

Interact with All Customer Reviews

Searchers rely on reviews to make decisions and recognize when businesses respond to their reviews. Thank all positive reviews and professionally address (not apologize) negative reviews. Statistics have shown that 33% of customers who leave negative reviews and get a response from the business later post a positive review, and 34% of people delete the original negative comment after the talk with the business.

Other ways to optimize your Google Business Profile are to add products, special features, and attributes and to use Google’s free marketing kit. These features can help your business stand out and attract searchers to you over a competitor.

Useful Features on Google Business

Google Posts

This allows you to interact with customers and make announcements about products and services.

Your Business Description

This is where you share your company’s history and what you can offer your customers.

Public Q&A

Google created a Q&A forum for searchers to have easy access to ask businesses questions. It is crucial to answer every question.

My Business Insights

Google provided yet another analytics tool; it tells you how many views your profile has received, where the views came from, and what actions searches took after seeing your profile.

It is essential for business owners to understand how customers interact with their business.

With the high competition around ranking well on search engines, local businesses have a unique advantage over more prominent nationwide companies. Not only is it a considerable advantage, but it is also free of charge.

If managing another social platform seems overwhelming, allow us at Klout 9 to help. We are a digital advertising agency in Lafayette, LA, ready to help you with your digital marketing needs.


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