Google My Business profiles (soon to be known as Google Business Profiles) are a vital, but often undervalued, aspect of your business’ digital presence and marketing. This is especially true if you rely heavily on local business and have a bricks and mortar location.
A Google My Business profile gives you control over your company’s information in several high-profile spots in Google’s search results. This is often a customer’s first look at your business information – including contact details, opening hours, description, photos & more – and so it’s important that your profile is accurate, optimised and complete.
Let’s take a look at GMB profiles in more detail, including what they cover and why it’s important to have one.
What is a Google My Business profile?
Starting with the basics, a Google My Business profile is a free listing you can create to display your key business information on Google. Any business can create and claim a GMB profile and it’s a great way to get your company in front of a local audience.
Once you’ve created and verified your GMB profile, it will start to show in three different locations in Google results:
- The knowledge panel: this area is displayed on the right hand side of search results.
- The maps pack/local pack: this area is displayed within the main search results, and includes three GMB profiles that are local and relevant to the searcher’s query.
- Google Maps: similarly to the maps pack, GMB profiles are displayed within Google Maps so users can get directions and find businesses in certain locations.
If you have a fully filled out and well-optimised GMB profile, your business can start showing up in these three different locations. This will greatly boost your business’ visibility on Google, instead of just relying on your website pages to rank for queries in normal search results.
What can you include in a Google My Business profile?
You can include quite a wide variety of important information about your business in your Google My Business profile. By completing your listing, searchers will be able to quickly find lots of information about your business and may very well convert there and then without even visiting your website.
The more information you can add to your GMB profile, the better – not only will this give users a better experience, but Google ranks complete, accurate and up-to-date profiles higher in results.
Key information about your business that you can add to your GMB profile includes:
- Business name
- Address & service area
- Phone number
- Opening hours
- Website link
- Business categories
- Business description
- Products & services
- Business attributes
Is Google My Business worth it?
Creating and maintaining a Google My Business profile is definitely worth it as it’s completely free and can greatly boost visibility and conversions for your business.
A good GMB profile plays a large role in local SEO and is an essential part of building your local presence online. Whether your business is big or small, it is worth investing a little time to make sure your GMB profile stays accurate and up to date.
Some of the main benefits of a Google My Business profile are:
Increased visibility – As mentioned above, having a GMB profile opens up more ways for users to find your business. Instead of just relying on your website ranking in organic search results, a GMB profile lets you show up in Google Maps, the knowledge panel and maps pack as well.
Not only does this increase the number of places your business can be shown, but these other types of listings can take up a lot of space in search results, letting your business stand out from the crowd.
Increase in relevant traffic and leads – With increased visibility from your GMB profile, you can expect a resulting increase in traffic and leads. Data suggests that with a complete GMB profile, customers are 70% more likely to visit and 50% more likely to consider purchasing from your business.
What’s more, further studies show that we’re increasingly looking for business information online – 93% of consumers used the internet to find local businesses in the last year, with a considerable 34% searching for businesses every day. That’s a lot of potential new customers to attract to your business.
Share information quickly – Your GMB profile puts you in control of sharing essential business information that potential customers can swiftly access.
For example, if someone is looking for opening hours or wants directions to your premises, they can access this straight from your GMB profile, instead of searching for the information on your website.
Whilst many businesses want to encourage visits to their site, sometimes this simply isn’t necessary and your GMB lets users find important information in a fast and convenient way.
Collect reviews for free – Reviews play a huge role in building trust with potential customers and can influence someone’s decision to visit your shop, buy a product or use your service. Research finds that nearly 9/10 people read online reviews for local businesses now. You can collect reviews via your GMB profile for free, with your review rating clearly displayed on your profile.
Whilst you may be wary of inevitable bad reviews, you can flag spam and respond to all reviews within GMB. Research finds that 96% of consumers who read reviews also read businesses’ responses to reviews.
Thoughtful responses to negative reviews show you’re serious about customer service and proactive when it comes to potential problems. Remember to thank those who leave positive reviews too!
As you can see, there are many benefits to having a Google My Business profile. As a vital (and free!!) tool for providing customers with accurate business information and for boosting visibility for your company, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have one.