Overview: Have you heard about the new and improved Google Business Profile? Are you actively using Google Business Profile to promote your business? Read on to learn how you can take care of business!
The Importance of Listing Your Business on Google
It’s not an exaggeration to say that business owners all over the world depend on Google to let people know that their businesses exist.
When you’re out and about and looking for a restaurant, you’re probably going to use Google to find information on nearby eateries. When you’re planning a trip and trying to decide on a hotel, it’s likely that you’ll use Google to learn more about your lodging options. And when you’re in need of local service providers — from plumbers to barbers to electricians to bakers — Google plays a part in your quest.
For years, business owners have been able to claim their businesses on Google, allowing them some control over the information that is displayed on the Google listing for their business. For example, after claiming your business, you can add your phone number, or your website URL. Perhaps the best part of this is that it’s FREE to claim your business on Google.
Creating a business profile with Google and filling it with accurate and useful information can really help your visibility among potential customers who are looking for products or services like the ones you offer. When you maintain a Google Business profile, you’ll increase your chances of appearing prominently in Google searches, as well as Google Maps and Google Shopping.
Recently, Google announced some changes to the existing system. There’s nothing earth-shattering, but if you’re a business owner, you should know what’s new — and you should know about the features that are available that you may have been unaware of before! In this blog post, we’ll explain what you need to know about Google and your business.
>> Related Reading: Google Business FAQ
New Name, New Features
The most obvious change is a new name for the service. Fortunately, it’s not as dramatic or inexplicable as Twitter changing its name to “X.” The platform formerly known as “Google My Business” now bears the name… “Google Business Profile.” We can get on board with that!
On a practical level, it’s now easier than ever to edit your business profile on Google. As long as you’re logged in to the Google account you used to claim your business, you can update your profile information without navigating to a special website.
Just search for the name of your business in the Google search bar… or just type “my business” into the address bar. Remember, you should be logged in to your Google account before you do this!
Updating Your Google Business Profile Info
Once you’re in, you’ll have several options for editing and updating the information that Google users will see when searching for your business.
You can change your hours of operation, customizing your opening and closing times for each day of the week. You can upload photos, showing off the exterior and interior of your business and any products you might want to highlight as you entice shoppers to drop by. And you can post updates to let users know what’s new.
We strongly encourage you to fill in as many details about your business as possible! have you ever come across a business on Google, only to find that the business profile has no phone number and no hours listed? It doesn’t exactly give you a lot of faith in that business, does it? Customers are much more likely to engage with a business that has a thorough profile.
You can also use Google Business Profile to respond to reviews. Many business owners take this opportunity to reply to positive reviews and thank their customers for their patronage and praise.
You can also use this feature to respond to negative reviews, but just remember to be cautious if you do! An aggressive reply to a negative customer review can backfire, leaving a worse impression on the minds of your potential customers than the review did.
Analytics and Ads
Google Business Profile is your one-stop location for learning about your audience and promoting yourself to them.
From your Google Business Profile dashboard, you’ll be able to create new Google ads. According to Google, the process is now faster and easier on the updated Google Business Profile dashboard. If you’ve never used Google Ads before, maybe now is the time to give it a try and see if it works for you.
From the dashboard, you can also access your business’s analytics. This will provide you with data including who your audience is, how they’re finding you, and what kind of searches are bringing them to your profile. If you do plan to use Google Ads, the information you glean from your analytics can help inform the way you customize those ads.
>> Related Reading: How to Use Google Analytics
Communicate Directly with Your Audience
Listing your phone number and allowing people to call you is all well and good, but here in the 2020s, many folks prefer chat messaging. Did you know you can chat with people who visit your Google Business Profile?
When you enable the chat option for your business, it adds a chat button to your profile. This will allow customers to message you in real time with inquiries about your operating hours, products you have in stock, or whether your pizza restaurant sells pizza (We’ve all gotten customer inquiries like that, haven’t we?).
If you’re going to enable this feature, make sure somebody is available to respond to customer chat messages. You can also set up a welcome message, so customers who click on the chat button receive an instant greeting and an assurance that somebody will be with them shortly.
>> Related Reading: How to Respond to Negative Reviews
Keep an Eye on Your Google Business Profile
Once you’ve configured your profile, don’t just “set it and forget it.” By continually engaging with your profile and your audience, you’ll demonstrate that you’re a vibrant, modern business, and you care about staying up to date.
Consistently maintaining your Google Business Profile is good for your SEO. And good SEO means more potential customers finding you and turning into actual customers. And that means more positive reviews on your Google Business Profile… which is good for your SEO! Do you see how this beautiful cycle works?
We hope this blog post has provided you with some valuable information about how Google Business Profile works, how to use it, and how it can help your business thrive. If you have any questions about anything you’ve read here, feel free to contact us! We’d love to hear from you!
And if you’re looking to optimize your business website to expand your online presence and make it even easier for customers to find you, we’d really love to hear from you! At MyUnlimitedWP, we love helping business owners get their business websites running as efficiently as possible, free of tech problems or errors. Contact us today to learn more!