When was the last time you used Internet Explorer? Do you even remember what Internet Explorer is? Exactly! What do you use instead? Google.
Google is everything. Okay there, settle down, Natasha. Google isn’t everything (how dramatic of me). But it is the world’s most-visited website. I’m not playin’. Google currently holds 92% of the search engine market share.
But what does this mean for business owners? Well, it means that your business needs to appear on Google, and the way you increase your visibility on Google is by creating a Google Business Profile (formerly called Google My Business).
But let’s dive in a little deeper into what Google Business Profile is and its benefits for business owners.
You remember the yellow pages, right? Or am I that old? Well, that’s basically what Google has done with its Google Business Profile. It’s like the yellow pages 2.0.
Google Business Profile is a free listing tool provided to business owners from Google. It allows business owners to advertise their business and provide further details, such as photos, services, products, and location.
A Google Business Profile lets you manage and boost your business’s online presence and connect with your local audience on Google.
With a Google Business Profile, you control the information that appears on Google Search and Google Maps when potential customers look you up on Google.
As a business owner, you know your online presence is essential. But is having a Google Business Owner just another profile? Gasp! Just another profile? I think not!
It’s anything but that. I’m going to discuss the reasons why you should be using a Google Business Profile as a business owner (especially if you have a local market).
While a Google Business Profile is a business listing, it does allow you to engage with customers in more ways than one. And when it comes to building trust and credibility, engaging with customers is crucial.
A Google Business Profile lets customers ask questions about your business. Naturally, you get to answer the questions, providing your customer with information about your business.
For example, if you have a candle business, someone may want to know if your candles are scented or not. Well, they can ask that directly on your profile, where the answer can be seen by others.
Engaging with customers also adds value to their experience and keeps your brand fresh in their minds. It also gives you valuable customer feedback and insight. With these questions, you can look at why they’re asking them and how you can you the customer experience.
Aside from asking questions, customers can directly message your business if they have a very specific question or need a quick response.
The different ways Google allows you to engage and connect with customers help build trust, authority, and improve customer experience. And when it comes to building your business, these are important elements to focus on.
When I started my business, I wasn’t reading the data. And as a result, I wasted a lot of time focusing on the wrong audience (read this if you don’t have an audience persona) and the wrong social media platforms. What can I say? Those were dark times.
But with a Google Business Profile, you gain key insights into your audience and local search performance.
What insights do business owners get by using a Google Business Profile?
You get information on how customers find your business profile on Google, where they found you on Google Maps/Search, how your photos perform and how customers react to your profile.
These insights can help you adjust your business profile to improve your ranking with customers and help you understand your audience on a deeper level.
Time to let your business shiiiiine. Okay, maybe that was a little too broadway. As you’re already seeing, a Google Business Profile has many benefits. And another one to add to the list is that it showcases your business (for free).
Aside from showing your location, photos, and type of business, you can add much more information to your profile.
You can add your working hours, products and pricing, and other information that makes your business look unique.
For example, the image above shows that Cook’s Art & Crafts Shoppe LLC is veteran and women-owned. By adding unique qualities to your profile, you can connect with your audience and look more professional online.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays an important role in helping people find your business. Using specific keywords, Google directs them to the right businesses.
(If you don’t know what SEO is, read this.)
With your Google Business Profile, you can use keywords in your description to help rank in search results.
For example, the image above shows the business profile of Detroit Voltage. In their description, they use the following keywords: “residential and commercial electrical,” “installation,” “repair,” and “remodeling.” All these keywords help connect their business profile to users searching for these or related keywords.
Social proof is key to building trust with customers. When was the last time you bought something without reading reviews and researching the product? Exactly!
Before making a purchase, we all go the extra step to see whether we can trust and invest in a business. And customers do the same towards your business too (sorry, you’re not special!).
Google includes star ratings and space for customers to add reviews about your business. So, your business will gain more social proof, and potential customers will feel trust and credibility towards your business.
Oh, and I know, having the public review your business can be scary (and Google doesn’t let you pick and choose which reviews to share).
But take a breath. Google shows that having a mix of positive and negative reviews on a business profile more trustworthy. And it makes sense, no business is perfect!
So, you now know what a Google Business Profile is and why you need to create one for your business (but seriously, you really do need it.)
Now the next step is learning how to create a Google Business Profile. Click here to find out how.