In the confusing world of online marketing, it can be hard to understand how to best grow your business. Thankfully, some decisions are easy, like setting up your Google Business Profile (GBP). It’s easy, it’s effective and, even better, it’s free. If you haven’t already taken the time to understand and utilize this important tool, you’re missing out, big time. If it sounds daunting, no problem. Loving your GBP is easier than you think.
GBP takes the place of Google My Business (GMB). This took the place of Google Places which took the place of Google Local which took the place of…some other name. But don’t let all that confuse you. The concept hasn’t really changed, just the name.
Think of GBP as the new Yellow Pages. Can you remember the last time you pulled a giant book out of your drawer to contact a business? Neither can we and neither can any of your customers. Instead, pretty much everyone goes to the internet to find basic information like phone numbers, locations and operating hours of local businesses. Tourists also use the internet to find restaurants, hotels, repair shops, etc. when they’re traveling. But people aren’t just going to the internet to find this information, they are usually going specifically to Google.
According to StatCounter, 86.95 % of people use the big G as their search engine. That’s pretty much everyone, so creating and utilizing your GBP makes a ton of sense because it’s usually the first thing your potential clients see. Also, it’s FREE. A free resource that basically all of your potential customers use? Seriously, what’s not to love?
Why is my Google Business Profile important?
Even if you think you don’t know what the GBP is, you probably do. When you Google a local business or search for something while traveling (“sushi restaurant” or “hardware store”) the business’ GBP pops up with all sorts of info: phone number, location, reviews, etc. That’s it: that’s the GBP.
This powerful listing has the potential to bring in customers if you craft it to look impressive, but it also might backfire if it looks neglected. So what can you do to make your GBP reflect your amazing business?
How to set up your Google Business Profile
First, claim and verify your business if you haven’t already. To do this, simply search for your business. Your GBP pops up on the right hand side of the screen. Click the “Own this business?” link to verify your account.
From there, follow the provided steps to add information to help your profile look interesting, engaging and professional. GBP allows you to add a profile picture, 750 word description and basic information your customers need, like accurate hours of operation. Be sure to complete all your information; according to Google, “Businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches.” (Want step-by-step instructions? Try Google’s Business Profile help page or Ranking Academy’s video.
Added benefits of a Google Business Profile
Not only does a GBP increase confidence, it’s also one of the easiest and most direct ways to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), something every business in the age of the internet should be thinking about. Because the more you show up on Google, the more people can find you.
Another perk of your GBP is customer reviews. According to Forbes and Statista, the days of Yelp, once the end-all-be-all for customer reviews, are coming to a close, but this doesn’t mean that positive customer reviews aren’t powerful ways to help your future customers understand how great you are. Having this feedback embedded into your GBP with all your other info creates an easy one-stop shop for your potential clients. It also helps you understand what your customers love (or don’t love) about your business.
Get more clients with Google Business Profile
Overall, creating a polished, professional presence on GBP helps your clients find you, understand you and rank you. All this with no downside because it’s free and easy. So what are you waiting for? Take a little time today to understand how this simple tool makes your business more profitable and productive. Before you know it, you’ll fall in love with your GBP. ♥