Google Business Profile (GBP) is a powerful tool that can help you reach new customers and grow your business online. Whether you are a small local store or a large multinational corporation, having a well-optimized GBP listing is essential for increasing your visibility in local searches.
In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of setting up, verifying, and optimizing your GBP listing so you can make a great first impression and attract more customers. From descriptions and categories to reviews and photos, we will cover all the essential elements of a successful GBP listing.
Additionally, we will show you how to take advantage of features such as Google Posts and the questions and answers section to control the conversation around your business and provide valuable information to potential customers.
With the help of this guide and our automation software, Liftegy, you'll be well on your way to making the most out of your GBP listing and growing your business online.
Google My Business is a free platform that allows you to showcase your business information to potential customers when they search for your business online. This service, offered by Google, is designed to help local business owners maximize their online visibility and reach a broader audience in less time.
With Google My Business, you can add important information about your business, such as photos, videos, phone numbers, business hours, delivery areas, and reservation links. A cover photo and snippets from Google Maps and Google Street View will give customers an idea of what to expect when they visit your business for the first time.
It's important to remember that other users can suggest edits to your profile, so checking it regularly for accuracy is recommended.
In this guide to Google My Business, you will learn the key aspects to keep in mind when creating and verifying your profile and tips on optimizing it to improve your local search results.
The first step to being found in local searches is to create your Google My Business profile using your Google account. This profile will appear in the knowledge panel on the right side of the search results page when someone searches for your business on Google. Additionally, it will provide the information that appears in the map pack - the group of three listings at the top of organic search results - and your information on Google Maps.
Google Business Profile is a powerful tool that can help you reach new customers, promote your existing business, or break into even the most crowded and competitive markets. Here are some of the most important benefits of using a Google Business Profile for your business:
Your first impression with potential customers is no longer limited to your website; it can also be your Google Business Profile.
In the past, websites received a significant amount of traffic from individuals seeking basic information about a business, such as its address, phone number, testimonials, or photos.
However, today, people don't need to visit your site to find that information. Your name, address, and phone number are prominently displayed at the top of your profile. There is also a gallery of images showcasing your business and customer reviews aggregated right below your location information. Google even provides insights on the most popular times for visiting your business. For many local businesses, people may decide to become customers without ever seeing the business's website.
The features of a GBP are pretty straightforward, which makes managing a profile reasonably easy. The real challenge is to be consistent in adding content. Here are the key features of a Google Business Profile:
Descriptions and Categories: When listing your business URL in an online directory, you may need more information you can provide or how the listing is organized. With Google My Business, you can choose the right category for your business and write a clear description that serves as keywords for users searching on Google. This will also help improve the SEO of your website.
Reviews: Reviews play a significant role in making a lasting impression on users, especially when selling a product or service online. With Google My Business, your business reviews will appear automatically, which can work for or against you depending on how others feel about your business. A high-rated business with positive reviews is more likely to attract new customers, whereas a business with poor or mediocre reviews may drive potential customers away.
You can automate your review requests with Liftegy. This solves the problem of needing to be consistent with new reviews. As a result, you get more reviews, and that causes your search ranking to improve.
Location: Spreading the word about your local business can be challenging, especially if you need to do it online. With Google My Business, your business location will appear in search results with a local map, helping to boost your visibility, especially if you're a locally-owned business in a competitive area.
Photos: Google My Business allows you to share photos of your business location, services, and products. Customers can also upload and share photos they took at your business, helping to leave a lasting positive impression on those interested in knowing more.
Attributes: Google My Business has added new components and features to improve user accessibility and accuracy. With a Google Business Profile, you can add your attributes to your business listing, such as whether the location is pet-friendly, offers outdoor seating, or donates to specific causes. These attributes can help attract a specific audience or crowd.
If you already have a Google Business Profile, you can skip to the optimization section. If you haven't set up your account yet, follow these simple steps to claim your location in the Google business listing:
Note: Google occasionally updates its platform, so the wording may differ slightly.
In most cases, Google will choose the verification method for you. They will send a postcard to the address you entered, and when it arrives (usually within a week), you'll log back into your Google My Business dashboard and enter the code to verify your business.
In some cases, you may be eligible for phone verification. If so, you'll see the option to "Verify by phone" in your profile. When you click the "Verify now" link, you'll receive an automated call with a verification code. Enter the code, and you're good to go.
If you encounter issues with the postcard or verification, your best option is to contact Google My Business support on Twitter. Tweet to @GoogleMyBiz and a Google My Business support team representative will assist you.
Once your business is verified, you'll be able to respond to reviews and make edits to your business information.
It's time to optimize your Google My Business profile. Log in to your Google My Business dashboard and click on your business. The best optimization tactic is to provide as much information as possible, so fill out everything you can.
Here are the elements you want to optimize:
Reviews are critical in determining the success of your business, both in terms of customer satisfaction and search engine visibility. When people consider buying your product or service, they want to know what it's like to be a customer so that they will check out your customer reviews.
With Liftegy, collecting reviews from happy customers has never been easier. Our software automates the review collection process, leading to more reviews and higher search engine rankings.
Customer reviews provide valuable insights into your customers' wants and needs and can also highlight any shortcomings in your customer service or the quality of your products. As a business owner, it's crucial to communicate with your customers, even those who are unhappy with their experience.
Responding to reviews through Google My Business shows transparency and can help win back customer loyalty. Engaging with unhappy customers can also lead to repeat business in the future. So, make sure to monitor and respond to your reviews regularly.
The questions and answers section of your Google Business Profile allows anyone using Google to ask questions about your business or provide answers. As the expert, monitoring and responding to these questions regularly is important. Additionally, you can also post questions that you want to show on your profile and answer them, offering a proactive way to strengthen your profile.
The questions and answers feature is a community-driven tool prominently displayed under your business name, address, and phone number. The answers with the most likes will be featured as the primary answer, and users can click to see more answers if they choose.
When a question receives at least three likes, it will be displayed in your Google Business Profile instead of the standard "See all questions" link. The question with the most likes among multiple questions with more than three likes will be the one displayed in your profile. Stay on top of your questions and answers to provide the best customer experience.
As a business owner, you have the power to steer the conversation about your business and shape the perception of others.
By asking and answering questions on your Google Business Profile, you can create a pre-site FAQ page that showcases your expertise and sets you apart from competitors.
It's important to cast your vote for your answers to make sure your "From the owner" responses are always displayed as the primary answers. Keep a close eye on your questions and answers section to maintain the prominence of your answers. Consider including questions relevant to your market and industry, such as:
Taking control of the conversation can reduce the burden on your customer support team and establish a professional and trustworthy reputation online.
Additionally, you to turn on chat, enabling direct communication between you and your customers through your Google Business Profile.
With this feature, customers can reach out to you directly through your profile, providing a more convenient and personal way for them to connect with your business. Enabling chat in your Google Business Profile is simple and straightforward. Once you have signed in to your GBP dashboard, you can turn on chat in the settings section.
Additionally, Google Business Profile integrates with Liftegy, a customer engagement platform, so you can manage all your chat messages in one place using the Liftegy mobile app. This integration streamlines your communication and enables you to respond to customer inquiries in real time, no matter where you are.
Having chat turned on in your Google Business Profile enhances your customers' user experience and demonstrates your commitment to providing top-notch customer service. Don't miss out on this opportunity to improve your customer interactions and strengthen your online presence.
Google Posts is a powerful tool that allows you to showcase your business in a visually appealing and informative manner. By creating eye-catching and informative posts, you can attract more potential customers to your business and provide them with valuable information about your products and services.
With Google Posts, you can create free display ads at the bottom of your profile panel on your desktop or in a dedicated tab in the Google Maps app. To create an impactful post, select an image that is at least 1200x900 pixels and pay attention to how it is cropped in the thumbnail version.
There are four different post templates to choose from, including What's New, Event, Offer, and Product Posts. Each template offers different options for displaying text and images, so choose the one that best suits your needs. Posts remain active for seven days after they are published, and if you have several active posts simultaneously, they will appear in a carousel, with the most recent post displayed first.
By utilizing Google Posts, you can effectively reach a wider audience, increase your visibility, and drive more traffic to your business. And yes, you can easily manage and publish your posts to your GBP through the Liftegy app.
You now have the tools to enhance your online presence and reach new customers with your Google Business Profile listing.
From creating a comprehensive business profile to showcasing your products and services with photos to answering questions and providing a map of your location, the benefits of having a Google Business account are numerous. Whether you are the owner of a small local shop or looking to expand your business online, having a Google Business Profile is crucial in today's digital world.
Make the most of your listing by fully utilizing its features and optimizing it to showcase your business in the best light. With a well-optimized Google Business Profile, you can improve your visibility in local searches and stand out from the competition.
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