Why Is Google Business Profile Important For Your Business?

30-Second Summary:

  • Google Business Profile (GBP) is a free, powerful tool that enhances online visibility and credibility for businesses, crucial for attracting customers.
  • Regular updating and optimisation of GBP are essential to maximise local search rankings and online presence.
  • Staying informed about GBP updates and utilising its features effectively is key to leveraging its full potential for business growth and customer engagement.

Your brand’s visibility online should help drive organic traffic in your direction, so understanding and utilising tools like Google Business Profile (GBP) has become crucial for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a local bakery, an expanding tech start-up, or a well-established ecommerce brand, your digital footprint will influence how potential customers find and perceive you. But why is Google Business Profile so important, and how can it transform your business’s digital identity?

To help answer this, below we’ll look at Google Business Profile and its potential benefits, helping you make sense of the essential parts so you can effectively manage your profile once created. From enhancing your visibility in local searches to building a credible and appealing online presence, Google Business Profile is more than just a digital directory listing – it’s a powerful tool in your marketing approach that shouldn’t be ignored.

As a leading digital marketing agency, we’ve seen how important this is for our clients to ensure they are as organically visible as possible, alongside their ongoing SEO and PPC efforts. So, hopefully, by the end of this blog, you’ll have a better understanding of why Google Business Profile is important and should be maintained.

Understanding Google Business Profile (Formerly Google My Business)

Essentially, Google Business Profile is a free tool provided by the search engine giant that allows businesses to manage how they appear on Google Search and Maps. This includes your business name, location, hours, and even customer reviews. It’s your digital shop window, where potential customers get their first impression and decide whether to engage with your business.

What is Google Business Profile?

At its core, Google Business Profile is a platform that lets you control and customise your business listing on Google. When someone searches for your business, or businesses like yours, your profile listing appears and provides them with a snapshot of what you offer, where you’re located, and how they can interact with you whether through social media channels or direct by email or phone. This can be the difference between a new customer walking through your door or passing you by, both in person and virtually.

Features and Functionalities

Google Business Profile has features designed to enhance your online visibility and customer interaction. Some key features include:

  • Business Information – You can display essential details such as your business name, address, contact details, and operating hours.
  • Customer Reviews – Customers can leave reviews of your business, which can significantly influence other potential customers.
  • Photos and Videos – Upload images and videos that showcase your business, products, or services.
  • Insights – It provides analytics that helps you understand how customers find your business and interact with your listing.
  • Posts and Updates – You can post updates, offers, events, and news directly on your listing to engage with your audience.

Google Business Profile hasn’t always been as comprehensive as it is today. It evolved from being a simple business listing to a sophisticated tool that offers insights and customer interaction. Keeping your Google Business Profile updated and optimised is more critical now than ever.

 The Importance of Google Business Profile for Businesses

First impressions are often made online, so having a well-managed Google Business Profile can be a deciding factor in attracting new customers. Let’s break down why it is a vital tool for any business looking to thrive in the digital marketplace.

Enhancing Visibility in Online Searches

When potential customers search for products or services you offer, a complete and optimised Business Profile can ensure you appear prominently in local search results and on Google Maps. 86% of people look up a business’s location using Google Maps, so this enhanced visibility is especially crucial for attracting local customers and can be the difference between being noticed or overlooked.

Building Trust and Credibility

Customer trust couldn’t be more important, so Google Business Profile plays a pivotal role in building this. A well-maintained profile with up-to-date information, positive customer reviews, and high-quality images presents your business as reliable and reputable. In fact, businesses with Google Business Profiles are 94% more likely to be viewed as reputable. Customers are more likely to choose a business with a robust online presence that includes real customer interactions and transparent business information.

Leveraging Local SEO Benefits

Google Business Profile is a powerful tool for local SEO too. By providing accurate and detailed business information, including location and services, you increase your chances of appearing in local search queries. This is particularly beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses looking to compete with larger corporations. With the right keywords and regular updates, your profile can significantly improve your local search rankings. 72% of consumers who perform a local search go on to visit a store that is within 5 miles of their location, so if you’re local and have an updated profile, there’s a good chance you’ll benefit.

How to Update and Optimise Your Google Business Profile

So, it’s clear that keeping your Google Business Profile updated and optimised is crucial for maintaining an effective online presence. Here’s how to update your profile and some best practices for optimisation:

Updating Your Google Business Profile

  1. Log In/Create Your Google Business Profile – Access your profile by logging into the Google account associated with your business on the Google Business Profile page. If you don’t have an account, you can set one up and verify your business.
  2. Review Your Business Information – Regularly check and update your business name, address, contact details, and operating hours. Ensure all information is accurate and current. You can also claim an existing or unverified listing if you find it on Google Maps.
  3. Add Photos and Videos – Regularly upload new and high-quality images or videos of your business, products, or services. Visual content greatly enhances your profile’s appeal.
  4. Utilise Posts and Updates – Share updates, offers, events, and news to keep your audience informed and engaged with your business.

Best Practices for Optimising Your Google Business Profile

  • Use Relevant Keywords – Incorporate keywords into your business description and posts that potential customers might use to find services or products like yours.
  • Encourage Customer Reviews – Invite satisfied customers to leave reviews. Positive reviews can significantly boost your business’s credibility and attractiveness.
  • Keep Consistent NAP Information – Ensure your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) are consistent across all online platforms. This consistency is vital for local SEO.
  • Leverage GBP Insights – Analyse the insights provided by GBP to understand customer behaviour and preferences, which can inform your business and marketing strategies.
  • Regularly Update Your Profile – Keep your profile dynamic by regularly updating it with the latest information, offers, and events. This shows Google and potential customers that your business is active and relevant.

Importance of Google Business Profile Regular Updates

Keeping your profile up-to-date is not a one-time task but an ongoing process. This regular maintenance ensures that your business information is accurate, reflecting any changes in services, hours, or contact details. This not only helps in maintaining your search rankings but also assures customers that they are receiving the most current information about your business.

Navigating Google Business Profile Updates

Staying informed about the latest changes and updates to GBP is crucial for maintaining an effective online presence. As Google continues to evolve and improve its services, understanding and adapting to these updates can give your business a competitive edge.

Recent Updates to Google Business Profile

Google regularly rolls out updates to enhance the user experience and provide more robust tools for businesses. Recent updates include:

  • Manage social links in GBP profiles – this was reported in August 2023 but still rolling out, enabling businesses to manage their social media links.
  • Disabled-owned business attribute – in October 2023, Google added the ability to add a “disabled-owned” business attribute to a profile. Here’s how to edit business profile attributes.
  • New suspension appeal process – in November 2023, this was rolled out in the EU and will tell business owners why their profile has been suspended, making it more transparent and clearer to understand. You can find out more about this here.
  • Small business filter – currently only in the US, this new filter was added in November and allows customers to filter products only provided by small businesses in the shopping results pages.
  • Updated “openness” signal – in December 2023, Google’s local ranking systems started showing businesses currently “open” according to their business listing hours more prominently in SERPs. However, it has recommended not to change to “open 24/7” unless your business actually is open all hours. Read more about this here.

Update Your Google Business Profile Today

We can all agree that for modern businesses, Google Business Profile is vital for enhancing online visibility, building credibility, and engaging with customers. Actively managing and optimising your GBP is crucial, involving regular updates, customer engagement, and staying on top of new features.

Embrace GBP as a key component of your digital strategy to ensure your business thrives, and remember, your first impression can be your most impactful, so make it count. For help optimising your business profile and to ensure this is aligned with your overall marketing strategy, contact the team at Absolute today.

For more insights, please visit our blog, and read all about key factors that influence conversion rates, and why businesses should focus on building a strong online presence.

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