Google My Business: What is it and how to optimize it?

Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is essential for business owners looking to boost their online visibility. Creating a profile helps your business stand out in Google Search and Maps, attracting more customers.

This platform enhances your online footprint and credibility with customer reviews. It also allows you to easily manage your business details.

In this guide, we’ll give you straightforward steps to create and enhance your Google Business Profile. But first, let’s dive into the essentials of what this platform offers.

What is Google My Business (Now Google Business Profile)?

Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to create a listing for your business on Google. It allows business owners to manage how they appear on Google Search and Google Maps.

When you create a Google Business Profile, details like photos, location, services, and products get shared across Google, boosting your chances of being noticed by potential customers online.

Almost all businesses can use Google Business Profile, even those without a physical storefront, like online stores.

Here’s what GBP looks like:
GBP looks like

What are the Benefits of Google My Business?

Below, we have listed the main benefits of managing a Google My Business profile:

Increased visibility in Google Search and Maps

When you search for a business on Google, you’ve probably noticed the map and accompanying list of businesses that appear at the top of the search results. This is known as a ‘local map’ or ‘map pack.’

Below is an example:
Google Search and Maps

The “local pack” shows up when someone searches for something tied to a specific location, like “restaurants near me.” It features results from Google Maps along with details about businesses. This makes it simpler for users to discover exactly what they need close to them.

Businesses with well-optimized Google Business Profiles are much more likely to appear in these results.

As per a report by Google, mobile searches that include phrases like “where to buy” and “near me” have increased by over 200% in recent years.

If someone is close to your business and searches for something general, like a “restaurant,” there’s a good chance your business will appear as a local result if it’s optimized well.

Share business information with customers

A Google Business Profile allows businesses to share their operating hours, contact details, and more through your Google Business Profile.

You can also inform your customers about any temporary changes, like holiday hours or if your business is temporarily closed or fully reopened.

Enhance trust and credibility with reviews

According to research, a whopping 98% of people check out online reviews for local businesses. Those star ratings next to business names on Google Maps, going from 1 to 5, come from these very reviews.
Enhance trust and credibility with reviews

Reviews indeed play a vital role in the digital reputation of a business. They’re not just feedback but also an opportunity for businesses to interact with customers, demonstrating the value they place on customer satisfaction and service quality.

Google suggests that having both positive and negative reviews can make your business appear more authentic and trustworthy. Engaging with all reviews reinforces your commitment to customer satisfaction.

How to Create a Google Business Profile From Scratch

If you don’t have a business profile, then you need to create it from scratch by following the given steps:

Step 1: Log in to the Google account you want associated with your business. If you don’t have one, create it.

Step 2: Go to Google’s My Business site and click on ‘Sign in’ to start the process of adding your business to Google.
Google My Business

Step 3: You will reach the next screen where you need to enter your business name. Click ‘Continue.’
enter your business name

Step 4: Then you need to select your business type. You can sell directly to customers online, have a physical location or provide a service in person to your customers. Choose whatever applies to your business.
select your business type

Step 5: If you are an online-only business, Google asks for your website.
Google asks for your website

For both online and offline businesses, you’ll need to enter the country you are registered in. This location might not necessarily be the same country where you are situated.

If your business has a physical spot, you’ll input that location first and can add your website URL and other details afterwards. You might also need to place a marker on a map to show exactly where you are for better accuracy.

But if your business doesn’t have a place customers come to, yet provides services or deliveries in person, you can specify the areas you serve. Then, just click ‘Next’ to continue.
specify the areas

If you didn’t enter a physical address, Google will ask you to specify which region you’re based in. Choose from the drop-down menu and click ‘Next.’

Step 6: Next, you need to enter the contact details of your business. You can enter the website, phone number, or both.
contact details of your business

Step 7: Before your business can show up on Google Maps, you’ll need to verify it. You can do this later, but unverified profiles won’t be visible.

Google provides different ways to verify, like through phone, email, postcard, video recording, or live video call. Verification options may change depending on your business type, location, and other factors.
Google provides different ways to verify

Step 8: You can add more information to your listing such as business hours or photos. The more details you provide, the better the chances of your business appearing in local searches.

How to Optimize Your GMB Listing

To appear in Google Maps results, it’s essential to optimize your Google Business profile with accurate information. Below, we have mentioned the steps you need to follow to maximize your visibility on Google:

  1. Optimize your introduction: A key part of making your Google Business Profile stand out is having a clear, short introduction that tells customers about your business. Include important words that people might use to find you. This short intro shows up in search results.
    Optimize your introduction
    If someone clicks on your business, they’ll see a longer description. Here, you can share more about what you do.
    longer description
  2. Make local listings consistent: Local listings, also known as citations, are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). NAP consistency helps potential customers find and recognize your business without getting confused.Start by making sure everything on your Google Business Profile is correct. In addition to GBP, you might also have NAP information on popular directories like Tripadvisor or Yelp. So make sure that the information added in these directories matches with Google Business Profile.
  3. Add real images of your business: Including photos in your listing can enhance its visibility. Google notes that businesses with photos get 42% more requests for directions and 35% more visits to their website. You can upload images of your storefront and your products or services.Additionally, customers can contribute by posting their own pictures. You can encourage this by running a contest where you give away a product or gift card in exchange for your customers submitting their best photos.
  4. Select appropriate categories and attributes: Categories help people understand what your business does. Google recommends choosing a main category that fits your business well, like ‘Restaurant.’ You should also add more categories to describe other services you offer. For instance, if your restaurant also caters, add ‘Caterer.’Attributes highlight special features of your business, like if you have wheelchair access or outdoor seating.

    Google now lets businesses show if they are black-owned, women-owned, or LGBTQ-friendly. It’s suggested to pick attributes that best match your business for your profile.
    pick attributes that best match your business for your profile

  5. Keep updating your information: Make sure your Google Business profile is complete and up to date. Keep editing your profile anytime there’s a change in your business, like new hours or a different phone number. Customers can get frustrated if they check your hours online, travel to your location, and then discover you’re closed.To update regular details like operating hours, make changes directly in your profile. For temporary changes or special announcements, create a post for your page instead.

    To change your hours or any other information, simply click on ‘Edit profile.’
    Edit profile
    To create a post to share in your Google Business Profile feed, click on Add Update. You can choose to share an offer, event or update.
    create a post to share in your Google Business Profile feed

Wrapping Up!

Well, as we conclude this article it’s worth mentioning that Google Business Profile is a powerful platform for businesses. It helps them increase their visibility on Google and connect with their targeted customers. It’s important to optimize your business profile by ensuring NAP consistency, adding real images of the business, and replying to customers’ comments. This will help your business appear in Google searches.

In case you need any help with creating your Google Business Profile, you can contact a reliable digital marketing agency like AlgoSaga. The experts will help optimize your profile and help improve your visibility as well.

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