When it comes to helping people find things—like your business—on the internet, Google is by far the biggest game in town. If you want to attract new customers and make your business more visible, we’ll show you how a Google Business Profile can be one of your most powerful marketing tools.
What is a Google Business Profile?
A Google Business Profile (known up until recently as Google My Business) is a free and VERY user-friendly listing service for businesses. Its overall purpose is to help folks find the most relevant products and services (like yours) in their local area.
Your Google Business Profile is where you can provide details on the services you offer, products you sell, your physical location, operating hours and contact info. Plus, you can update and add to any of this information whenever you need.
A Google Business Profile also gives you control over how your business shows up to potential customers across Google’s entire ecosystem of apps, like Google Maps, Google Search and Google Shopping.
Benefits of a Google Business Profile
Create a powerful first impression. A properly optimized Google Business Profile (we’ll have more on that later)—with a snappy description, detailed information and compelling photos—gives potential customers a first taste of what your business or service is all about. It also makes you appear that much more legitimate and trustworthy.
Build customer trust and engagement. Speaking of legitimacy… a big part of any Google Business Profile listing are the customer reviews. As daunting as it can be to get reviewed BY the public, ON a very public forum, having customers leave their ratings and commentary on their experiences can be an excellent way to build trust and credibility.
What’s more—you can use your Google Business Profile to engage directly with customers, by responding to reviews (both good and bad), or by answering questions about your business and the services you provide.
Bask in the SEO benefits. Remember when we said Google was the biggest game in town when it comes to search? Having a well thought out Google Business Profile can help give you and your business greater visibility and higher rankings when it comes to local search results.
But to squeeze all the delicious SEO juice from your Google Business Profile, you’ll need to pay attention to a few key areas.
For example, if someone is looking for “vinyl record shops near me,” Google’s algorithm will look at your business’ name to determine whether it fits the searcher’s criteria. So, a shop called “Impeccable Vinyl Ltd.” may rank higher than a shop called “Ear-Candy by Eric.”
Google will also look at your business’ stated “category.” Again, if someone is looking for a place to purchase vinyl records, the search results will more likely serve up results for “vinyl record shops” rather than, say, a “music shop” that may sell actual instruments, rather than the dusty, overpriced LPs we all love.
Plus—linking to your .CA website—not only helps add more substance to your Google Business Profile, but it also tells search engines like Google that you’re a local, Canadian business. Check out our blog about the SEO advantages of a .CA domain name.
Insights and analytics galore! Google Business Profile puts quite a few slick analytics tools at your fingertips that help you better understand your audience.
For starters, you can track the number of views your profile has as well as how many people clicked through to your website, or even the search queries customers are keying in to find your business.
How to optimize your Google Business Profile
Flesh your profile out with as much information as you can. There’s no upside to being mysterious here. The more information you provide about your business and services, the better your Google Business Profile will perform—simple as that! Google’s own research shows that a fully filled in profile is twice as likely to be seen as reputable by potential customers.
Start with the staples, like your business’ name, physical address and a contact number. From there, you can dive into more details—like opening hours, the “category” your business falls under—i.e., “pizza restaurants,” “plumbing supply,” etc., a link to your website and customer reviews.
Google even provides up to 750 characters for you to create a compelling, keyword-rich description of your business.
Continually update and improve your profile. Think of your Google Business Profile like a digital “shop window.” If that shop window is filled with cobwebs and a thick coating of dust—a.k.a., inaccurate, out-of-date info—people will pass you by. The key here is to keep things looking fresh and relevant! A couple of easy ways are through photos and posts.
Having a good selection of quality photos can help you showcase things like your aesthetically pleasing shop space, products, work examples, team members—and more.
Posts allow you to share short, timely photo and text updates. This gives you more of a chance to showcase your business’ colourful personality, plug new product arrivals or tease an exclusive, upcoming in-store event.
Use business category-specific features to your advantage. Depending on your business’ category—i.e., restaurant, massage therapy provider, etc.—you can take advantage of certain features that make the experience that much more convenient for customers. For example, if your business is categorized as a restaurant, you can add links to menus, reserve a table or order online.
Ready to get started? If you’ve made it this far, we have nothing but confidence in you! So, dive in and get your Google Business Profile up, running and working hard on your behalf.