Google Business Profile (previously known as Google My Business) is an essential online profile for every business. If you are not sure what a GBP is, you need to listen up. This is FREE to set up and if you have not set it up yet, you are missing opportunities.
With a staggering 90% of online searches happening on Google, people are increasingly calling a business from its Business Profile contact details and sometimes not bothering to click thru to the website.
Top Benefits of a Google Business Profile
- It’s completely FREE! What are you waiting for? Ethel start the car!!!!
- Provides a great BOOST for Online Visibility. GBP listings often appear on the first page of local search results. This is particularly important for ‘near me’ searches where people are looking for nearby businesses. If you are looking to get enquiries from a geographic area (that is, you are a local trade or service provider, as opposed to a global seller of say shoes or clothing),
- Provides a great first impressions to potential customers. They get to see a snapshot of your business, including contact details, without needing to visit your website.
- Google Reviews are part of your profile. Getting reviews and responding to reviews is an ESSENTIAL ingredient in a strong online presence. Reviews are very powerful in building trust with potential clients and are valuable social proof for your business.
- Your GBP profile displays up-to-date and relevant details about your business. You can use it to showcase services, projects and to provide updates on holiday closures, opening hours and special offers.
Kickstarting Your Google Business Profile
Good news! Setting up your GBP is straightforward, though there a few steps involved. First step is to sign up. You then need to get VERIFIED. This is simply a process whereby Google verifies that you a real business at a real business address (there is an option to hide business address if you are based at home).
The Key Steps to Setting up Your Google Business Profile
- Sign up for a Business Profile – Google explains how to create your account. This is where you add your essential info such as business address, business hours and category: https://support.google.com/business/answer/10514137?hl=en
- Once you have created your account, go ahead and add photos relevant to your business and your business logo.
- Double-check that all your business name and contact details are accurate. It is essential these details are correct, or you will fail at the next step. Editing your information after verification can lead to suspension so, please ensure that you are happy with your details before proceeding.
- Request verification from Google. You MUST do this before Google will show your business n Maps or Search results. There are several methods provided by Google that you can choose from such as email verification, phone verification or verification by postcard (avoid this option as it can be very slow!).
- Once verified you can proceed to embed your Google Maps profile on your website (this is not difficult).
- Ask your best clients for reviews to get you started. Respond to all reviews, both the Good and the Bad (I know, the bad ones hurt, just try to collect more good ones!).
Hot Tips for Google Business Profile SEO
Ensure that you use the following keywords on your profile to optimise the Google searchability of your GBP profile:
- The keywords that your website is aiming to rank for. This should be between 5 and 10 keywords.
- The key services that you provide, using the search terms customers would use e.g. don’t say you provide ‘painting’ as a service, when a google search is more likely to be ‘house painter near me’.
- The areas that you service. If you are targeting specific suburbs or regions, ensure these are listed, even if you are not physically located in that area.
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