Is a Google Business Profile right for your business?
Is it more valuable to appear in the knowledge panel, answer box, organic results, and map results, or should you just pay for Google Ads and try to appear above them all?
Google My Business has had an upgrade, with the powers at Google updating the name to Google Business Profile.
With the ever-changing landscape of the search engine results page (SERP), it’s not unusual for people to wonder which elements of the SERP they should target.
Suppose you have a physical location for your business that customers can visit during specific hours of the day or night. In that case, a Google Business Profile is essential for your business.
What is a Google Business Profile?
Simply put, a Google Business Profile is what businesses use to manage their listing. Your Google Business Profile is your go-to destination for managing your online presence, from responding to reviews and adding posts to updating your contact information and opening hours.
It is essential to remember that your business appears in multiple places on Google — Google Maps, Google Local Pack, Google Knowledge Panel, and more.
What Kind Of Businesses Need A Google Business Profile?
The most significant benefit of having a Google Business Profile is that it helps to promote local businesses. Because of this. A Google Business Profile is best suited to companies that operate physically instead of purely online.
A Google Business Profile will help you appear in Google Maps results, increasing visibility and assisting local customers in finding your services.
While map results used to be based on location-based search keywords, with the increased personalisation of search results based on location, IP address, and other signals, map results show search terms that don’t necessarily include a specific location.
If you have a Google Business Profile, with your physical address noted and public, you can appear in the organic search results for your website and the maps results for your Google Business Profile. Double the coverage in one easy step!
What are the benefits of a Google Business Profile?
If you are a business owner, there are several benefits and features that a Google Business Profile has to offer. From reaching new customers, increasing visibility, providing accurate information to reviews and more, it is a platform you simply need to be using.
Here are a few benefits a Google Business Profile offers in 2023.
Showcase Your Business
A significant benefit of having a Google Business Profile is that it allows you to showcase your business and its vital information in a separate result that appears on the right-hand side of the SERP. This usually only works if someone is searching for your brand name.
An example shown here is The Garden in Leederville. If you search for ‘The Garden Leederville’ on Google, the organic results appear, and their page appears alongside them. Here, people can quickly find their address, website, phone number, directions, and descriptions of what they are and see snippets of reviews from their customers. There is also the option to send this information directly to your phone at the click of a button.
Allow People To Find Your Business Information Quickly
All this makes the user’s experience of finding information about a business super quick and straightforward. If this box didn’t appear, users would need to click into a search result and possibly visit a few different pages to find their phone number or directions.
Having a page makes it easier for your customers to find out essential information they need to know about you.
A Google Business Profile allows anyone to hop online and review your business. As trust is an essential metric for potential customers and a ranking factor for Google, the more five-star reviews you can acquire, the more your business becomes credible and visible in search results.
Setting up a Google Business Profile and asking your customers to review you can help you be seen as a credible and trustworthy business, not only by customers but by Google.
It’s also important to respond to both positive and negative reviews left on your listing. This shows that you genuinely care about what people say about your business. You’ll also find that many potential customers will read through your responses.
Add Products with Product Editor
Direct from Google, the Product Editor “allows merchants to build a presence on mobile and the computer to showcase their products and drive customer interactions. Customers will see a more curated showcase of a store’s products on the Business Profile Products tab on mobile or the Product Overview module on the computer.”
Provide Customers with COVID-19 updates
While COVID-19 might not be impacting your business as severely as it was in 2022, it’s still something you should keep in mind.
Like opening hours and public holiday changes, keeping your customers in the loop with how COVID-19 impacts your business is a crucial feature of a Google Business Profile.
Chat with Customers in Real Time
Instead of simply leaving reviews, a Google Business Profile now allows you to chat with customers who reach out. Real-time chatting enables you to answer questions, provide updates, and even do a bit of crisis management if needed.
It’s a feature long overdue, and it’s great to see it’s been added to the platform.
Answer FAQs in Chat
In late 2022, Google rolled out a new feature that allows users to “answer common questions with instant responses to customers who find your Business Profile on Google Search and Maps.”
You can load your own questions and answers. Once everything is set up and ready to go, any customer who starts a chat with you will be prompted with a few of your FAQs.
It’s an excellent time-saving feature that allows you to help customers without entering the chat.
What’s The Verdict?
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, get a Google Business Profile. They’re easy to set up and manage yourself, so think twice before you hand over hundreds of dollars to someone to do it for you.
If you’re still unsure, think about the real estate space that you could be taking up on that all-important SERP – if you want to have a chance at appearing not only in the organic listings but the maps results as well as your own box, why wouldn’t you?