Google Business Profiles (GBP) are an essential component for any successful Inbound Marketing plan, especially when it comes to local businesses. With Google dominating over 90% of the search engine market, there’s never been a better time to leverage this cost-free resource for your business, to help your business feature more prominently in Google’s search results.
What Exactly is a Google Business Profile?
A GBP lets you register your business on Google Maps and in local search results, offering you a platform to showcase critical business information like your contact details, website links and working hours. Additionally, Google Business Profiles now feature customer reviews and allow businesses to post links to articles or upcoming events.
Whether your business is a local storefront or an online enterprise, having a GBP is crucial. It’s a free resource that shouldn’t be overlooked by any business looking to enhance its local presence. Luckily, creating one is as effortless as it is effective in boosting your online visibility.
With the rise of location-specific searches, Google’s algorithms increasingly focus on user intent. For instance, a search for ‘nearby fencing companies’ will return local fencing options that have a GBP. Meaning that, without one, your business might miss out on valuable local search opportunities.
Google Business Profile optimisation and updates are vital as well, since Google frequently modifies its search algorithms.
Google Business Profile Optimisation
Once your GBP is created, it’s important to populate it with comprehensive and accurate business information. This includes a detailed business description, highlighting unique selling points, as well as what sets your company apart.
In today’s instant-access world, ensuring your business information, like location and contact details, is accurate and easily accessible is crucial.
Uniformity across your business information
Maintaining consistency in your business information across all digital platforms is essential for enhancing brand recognition, customer convenience, and notably, for boosting your Google search rankings. Uniformity in details – including your business name, address, and phone number – bolsters SEO, as it signals reliability and credibility to search engines like Google. This uniformity is crucial in reducing confusion for Google’s algorithms, thereby avoiding potential harm to your search rankings. Here’s how to ensure uniformity:
Consistent Business Name Usage
Your business name should appear in a uniform manner across all platforms. For example, if your company is commonly known as ‘Pixeld’, use that name rather than the formal ‘Pixeld Australia Pty Ltd.’ Customers are more likely to search for the name they know, so consistency here improves searchability and brand recognition.
Uniform Phone Number Format
It’s important that the format of your phone number is consistent. For instance, if you use (03) 9999 9999 on one platform, avoid using a different format like 03 9999999 on another. Every character, including spaces and parentheses, should be the same across your Google Business Profile, website, social media, and any other digital listings. This consistency eliminates confusion and helps to establish a professional image.
Address Format Consistency
Ensure that your business address is presented uniformly. For example, if you abbreviate ‘Street’ as ‘St’ in one listing, do the same in all others. Inconsistencies in address format can lead to confusion and may affect how your business appears in local search results.
By maintaining absolutely consistent information across all digital mediums, your business’ online credibility will be strengthened, your search engine optimisation will be enhanced, and you’ll be providing a seamless experience for customers searching for your services.
Crafting an Effective Business Description
Your GBP description should be concise, locally relevant, and infused with 2-3 key keywords that best represent your business. A well-crafted description, limited to 750 characters, is your best chance to make a strong first impression with a potential customer.
Engaging with Posts on Your Google Business Profile
GBP posts are a dynamic way to promote your business, showcasing events, content, and special offers. These posts appear in Google search and map results and last for seven days, with Google sending reminders for updates. This feature allows a business the chance to communicate directly with their audience, enhancing engagement and visibility.
Adding Photos and Videos to GBP Posts
Businesses can upload up to 10 photos or videos per post on their GBP. This enhancement is particularly beneficial for businesses to showcase their products and services and connect on a deeper level with the searcher.
You can also promote other pieces of content on your website, by posting shorter versions on GBP and linking to the full article.
Customer reviews are pivotal for ranking higher in searches and maps, serving as both real-world feedback and social proof for potential customers. Actively seeking reviews and responding to them, both positive and negative, demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and builds trust in your brand.
Don’t overlook your Google Business Profile
An up-to-date GBP is invaluable for appearing in Google search results, especially if you invest time into Google Business Profile optimisation. This adaptable tool can reflect real-time changes, providing a platform for businesses to significantly improve their online presence. Take the time to set up and optimise your GBP – the benefits for your business could be immediate. Remember, this might be the first time someone sees or interacts with your business, so it’s important to have your GBP in line with your company values, brand and offerings.
For a comprehensive guide to setting up a Google Business Profile or to learn more about local SEO, consider consulting with a digital marketing expert to help you implement simple, smart marketing strategies to take your business to the next level.