GBP, the Google Business Profile. Formerly known as “Google My Business”. If you don’t know much about the history of Google Business Profile, it originally debuted in 2004 as “Google Local” but it had limitations. Since then, Google has been working hard over the years to perfect their tool to benefit local businesses and users’ search experience.
If you’re familiar with Google My Business, they essentially merged it with the application of creating a Business Profile for a seamless usability, specifically to help businesses manage their profiles or business listings. With the new update, Google plans to roll out additional new marketing resources in the upcoming months that can further assist business owners or local SEO managers on understanding how they’re performing locally online and where to make improvements.
So, what exactly is Google Business Profile, how does it work, and do you really need it? Let’s find out! But don’t be surprised if we blow your mind.
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile is a free tool provided by Google. Yes, free! Anyone with a Google account has access to it. It’s essentially an online business listing, similar to Yellow Pages but 10,000 times more sophisticated. If set up and managed correctly, it can help your search ranking and generate more leads.
A Google Business Profile allows customers to see – in one shot – your map location, review rating, phone number, website, address, and services. Check out the image below on how your business could show up for a local search.
Additionally, you can include a whole lot of other really cool and valuable information about your business. Things like photos, description, specials, discounts, and so much more! See for yourself below!
This is an example of a Google Business Profile in its entirety and how your customer’s publicly see it:
Why Small Businesses Need Google Business Profile
Now that you know what Google Business Profile is all about, let’s get into why you need it for your local business. In our heavily industrialized society, competition is rampant. So is Internet usage. No matter what industry you’re in, odds are you probably have at least one competitor within a 15 mile radius. Afterall, there are over 200 million businesses around the world. What’s even more staggering, is that there are over a billion websites.
With that in mind, there are roughly 8.5 billion Google searches that occur a day with half of those having a local intent. Let’s just cut to the chase – aside from Google ads, Google Business Profiles show up first. So, when people conduct a search in your area such as “home movers in Boston”, you can be one of the first to show up in Google search results and on Google Maps!
By simply verifying your business by means of a Google Business Profile, it’s like slingshotting your business to the front of the line. And guess what? It’s totally FREE! This is possibly one of the easiest ways – if not the easiest – to supercharge your local business marketing efforts.
If we haven’t convinced you yet, here’s more stats that demonstrate why you need to get into the game or up your game with Google Business Profile.
- Google makes up around 85% of the market share [statcounter]
- 84% of searches are discovery rather than a direct search, meaning locality may be more important than loyalty [brightlocal]
- Sales from local searches are over double that of non-local searches [Google]
- Being on the first page of a local search result, increases your chances of gaining a lead by 92% [SEO Tribunal]
- 42% of marketers feel Google is the new “Homepage” for local businesses [Moz]
Customers are searching for your business. They’re relying on you to help them find you.
How Google Business Profile Works
It starts with creating a business profile. Click here and follow the prompts to fill out your business information. When that’s done, you’ll be asked to verify your business. You’ll be able to choose how Google will send you a verification code between snail mail, email, phone, Search Console, or video recording. This ensures Google knows your business is legit and you are the rightful owner.
Congratulations! You just gave your business a huge opportunity to generate more leads which in turn can lead to exponential growth.
There is a slight catch though…
For your Google Business Profile to perform as it should – as Google intended it to – it should be fully and accurately optimized. It also should be updated regularly.
- Have special holiday hours? Update it.
- Change of services? Update it.
- Running a sale? Update it.
Adding photos and posts are a great way to keep your listing relevant and active too, all the while making sure they’re optimized as well.
“Businesses that add photos to their Business Profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.”
You should also encourage your customers or clients to leave a review under your Google Business Profile. Reviews are huge! The more you rack up, the better, ensuring you maintain a 4 or 5 star rating. Responding to them are too, especially if the review necessitates a response from you like a negative comment. In fact, Brightlocal found almost 90% of consumers are more inclined to choose a business that responds to all of their reviews and 60% of consumers would more likely not choose a business that didn’t respond to their reviews.
With Google’s new update, it’s easier than ever to manage your Google Business Profile because you no longer have to go through the backend to release updates, answer questions, change your hours, etc. As long as you’re signed into your Google account, you can access your profile just by searching your business.
So, is your mind blown or is your mind blown? 🤯 Don’t thank us though. Thank Google.
Market Smarter with Today’s Local Media
The best way to leverage your Google Business Profile is to hire a professional marketing agency. This way you can continue to dedicate your time running your business instead of trying to keep up with the demands of your Google Business Profile.
Today’s Local Media has years of experience optimizing Google Business Profiles and creating original and informative content for many clients in different industries from professional movers to landscape designers. Call us today at 972-430-4203 to start taking advantage of this free tool and learn about our other marketing services.