What is Google Business Profile?
For starters, you want to know what Google Business Profile is before you decide to invest your time into trying it. As the name implies, Google Business Profile allows you to create a listing for your business on Google.
When a consumer researches your business on Google — or even searches for terms related to your business — you want to ensure they have all the information they need to visit, make a purchase, or contact your company.
How do you accomplish that, though? With Google Business Profile.
With Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business), not only can you create a listing for your business on Google, but you can also manage your company’s appearance on one of the world’s most popular search engines. Those features, as well as freedoms, offer your business a lot of perks.
That’s why Google Business Profile makes it easy to:
- Encourage and interact with reviewers
- Provide crucial information about your business, like your hours, phone number, and more
- Make it easy for your clients to get directions to your location
- Promote company events and news
- Add photos of your business
For users, as well as companies, Google Business Profile is an invaluable resource.
Is Google Business Profile free?
Yes! Your company can sign-up for Google Business Profile, as well as claim and manage your listings for free. You can even access and update your listing on the go with the free Google Business Profile mobile app for Android and iOS devices.
If anyone should contact your business about your Google Business Profile listing expiring or requiring payment, they are most likely a spammer. Any changes to Google Business Profile will come directly from Google and the Google Business Profile site.
Why is Google Business Profile important?
Google Business Profile is a crucial tool. It helps your business interact with your target audience, as well as provides helpful information to current and potential customers. Skip on Google Business Profile, and you miss out on potential sales, exposure, and revenue for your company.
Why else should you use Google Business Profile? A few of the most compelling reasons include:
1. Google Business Profile is free
Nothing beats a free resource, which is why Google Business Profile is an essential platform for any company. Whether you’re a fresh startup or an established franchise, it doesn’t cost anything to create a Google Business Profile.
Unlike other platforms, Google Business Profile does not operate on a freemium business model. Google Business Profile comes with zero tiers or limitations, which means you have access to the same tools as your competitor.
That’s why partnering with a digital marketing agency offers a tremendous advantage in competitive industries. They can help optimise your Google Business Profile for search, which can maximise your rankings in search results. It can also earn your company more exposure from your target audience.
With zero costs, Google Business Profile is accessible to any business. You won’t have to invest anything into this tool. Plus, you can sign-up today — no waiting period — and start enjoying the benefits of Google Business Profile.
2. Google Business Profile generates leads
In the past few years, searches with the phrase, “near me,” have increased by more than 500%. Meaning, people are looking for businesses near them, whether it’s a restaurant, movie theatre, furniture store, or appliance centre.
When people search, they also go to Google. For local searches, Google almost always displays Google Business Profiles, which is why it’s so critical to create and maintain a profile. Without a profile, it’s easy for users to find, visit, and shop with another business.
Make Google Business Profile a part of your digital marketing strategy and you can start earning new leads, as well as generating additional sales. The high conversion rate of local searches — 80% — confirms the immense benefit of Google Business Profile.
If you want to see an increase in your leads and revenue, however, it’s critical that you optimise and nurture your profile. Add your latest hours, respond to your reviews, and ensure your address and phone number are up-to-date.
3. Google Business Profile helps your ranking in search results
On an extensive site like Google, you want to ensure that your business doesn’t get lost in a long list of search results. When you’re more visible on Google, you have a higher chance of getting noticed by people researching products or services in your industry.
Google wants to provide users with the best online and offline experience, which is why it tries to deliver the most relevant search results. Meaning, if you’re a restaurant that serves Italian food, your Google Business Profile wouldn’t appear for someone looking for Mexican restaurants in the area.
If you want to maximise your ranking in search results, which can lead to more clicks on your Google Business Profile, as well as more visits and calls to your company, then you need to optimise and maintain your profile.
Why? Google favours Google Business Profile with more information and more user engagement. With a complete picture of your business, like your hours, location, and services, Google can ensure it’s relevant to a search and rank it as such.
How to set up Google Business Profile
Now that you know what Google Business Profile is, are you ready to create your profile?
Follow these four quick steps for creating and managing your Google Business Profile account
1. Sign up for an account
Start your Google Business Profile profile by claiming your business on Google. If your company has a Google Business Profile but doesn’t own it, you can claim it via Google. For brand-new companies, you can sign-up and create your profile.
2. Enter your business information
After you sign-up or log into your Google Business Profile account, add your company’s vital information:
- Phone number
You can also add pictures of your store, which can entice users to visit. For example, if you’re a restaurant, you can include photos of your most popular dishes. Or, if you’re a window tinting company, you can upload pictures from your portfolio.
All this information helps your clients connect with your business.
3. Verify your account
Verifying your account is another crucial step when signing up for Google Business Profile. Once you review all your information and ensure that everything is accurate, you’re ready to verify yourself as the owner of your business.
You can verify your business by email, mail, phone, or Google Search Console. For fast verification, use Google Search Console — though this option only works if you’ve previously confirmed your business in Google Search Console.
If you opt to verify your business via mail, email, or phone, Google will send a verification code. Once you receive the verification code, enter it in Google Business Profile. If you opt to verify your business via mail, a postcard with a verification code should arrive in 14 days.
4. Make routine updates
While you may have claimed and created your Google Business Profile account, it’s critical for your team or digital marketing agency to continue to optimise it. Should anything about your company change, like your hours, locations, or specialities, update your account immediately.
Review management is another part of maintaining your Google Business Profile. A dedicated team member should check in daily, responding to user questions and reviews. By interacting with commenters, your company can help existing customers and future ones.
Who can use Google Business Profile?
Any company can use Google Business Profile, even if they don’t operate a storefront. Examples include:
- Retail store
- Manufacturing facility
- Ecommerce store
- Car dealership
- Utility provider
- And more
Even if your company doesn’t maintain a physical address, Google allows (and recommends) that you create a Google Business Profile listing because it can help the people searching for your business, your products, and your services, find you.
Where do Google Business Profile listings appear?
A Google Business Profile listing appears in:
- Google Search
- Google Maps
These two locations provide your company with a prime location in search results on Google and Google Maps. It also allows you to offer users information about your business fast, whether it’s your operating hours, products, or upcoming events.
What is the difference between Google Business Profile, Google Listings, and Google Places for Business?
Nothing! The following platforms are now a part of Google Business Profile:
- Google Listings
- Google Places for Businesses
- Google Business Profile
- Google+ Business Pages
Your company doesn’t need to manage four or five different accounts or profiles. Google Business Profile now encompasses all these platforms (including the now-defunct Google+ Business Pages) to make your life easier.
Can you have more than one Google Business Profile listing?
If your company operates in more than one area, like a car dealership or a food chain, then you can create more than one Google Business Profile listing. You can’t, however, create multiple listings for a single location with the intention of spamming search results on Google Maps or Google Search.
In some cases, a business may create more than one listing for a single location. A car dealership, for instance, may build a Google Business Profile listing for services, another for sales, and one for parts, to make it easier for users to visit their location and contact their team.
For organisations with 10 or more locations, Google allows for bulk location management.
Optimise your Google Business Profile listing
No matter your company’s size or industry, you’ll benefit from creating a Google Business Profile page. With this resource, you have the option to maximise your visibility on Google, increase your leads, and drive more traffic to your physical storefront.
Need help verifying or optimising Google Business Profile? Our certified team of digital marketing specialists can help. With more than 15 years of experience, we are the trusted partner for companies worldwide.