Why is a Google Business Profile important
Whether you’re an internationally recognised powerhouse like Facebook and Amazon, or a retiree selling homemade lasagne recipes from the comfort of your kitchen, us entrepreneurs always have one thing in common: how do we find the people who want to buy our stuff? Sell plenty, and the rest takes care of itself. Struggle to get your product in front of the right people? You’ve just bought a one-way ticket to stress, struggle and shrapnel.
The first port of call is always to go where your customers are. Sounds obvious, we know. But far too many people try to overcomplicate this online marketing business, so we’ve decided to strip it back to basics and show you how to put your business in the one place that billions of people go every single day: Google.
A Google business profile, which once upon a time was called ‘Google my business’, is something that you simply need to put in place. If not, you’re leaving customers, sales and ultimately money on the table. And we don’t want that, do we?
Let’s take a look at what a Google business profile is, why it’s important and how you can get yourself set up fast (and free) – so you can help more people, sell more products and grow your business effortlessly.
What is a Google Business Profile?
Do you remember the yellow pages? You’d list your business, what you did and how people could get in touch, and anyone who needed what you had would give you a call and place an order. Simple. It was/is just a way of letting people know that you exist, and telling them how to order from you if they needed your help.
Think of your Google business profile as the online version. You’re putting your name out there by ‘listing’ your business, and it just means that anyone who is searching for the product you’re selling (in your area) will see that you have the products they need and want.
Google business profile (GBP) is another tool in your marketing arsenal, and if you use it effectively, you’ll reap the benefits of being active on one of the worlds most high-trafficked websites.
‘I’ll just Google it.’ We’ve all said that before, haven’t we? Anytime you want to know something, find something, confirm something, buy something, learn something – Google is the go-to. Freshly baked bread in London? Google. Pubs with a happy hour in Manchester? Google. Digital marketing agency in Liverpool? Google. Locksmith in Newcastle? Google.
People search Google billions of times a day, and in your local area people are hunting down businesses just like yours.
If they know you exist, and like the look of what you’re offering, then you’re on the fasttrack to a booming business. Nice!
It’s free, too. As savvy business owners looking to grow our operation, we’re always on the lookout for the most effective ways to get ourselves out there, without having to spend an absolute fortune in the process. By leaning on Google’s almost never-ending pool of customers, you’re tapping into a gigantic portion of your market – and it doesn’t cost you a penny.
What can I do with a Google my Business account?
This is where it gets fun, because with Google being the mighty juggernaut it is, they’ve gone to great lengths to give you options. It’s not just a ‘business listing’ – they’ve incorporated ways to help you really stand apart from the competition. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits/options a Google my Business account gives you, and how you can use them to bring in a flood of happy new customers.
The first thing people will be looking for is information on who you are. What do you do? What are your opening times? Where are you located? Do you have a website? You can add all of the above to your account, and potential customers can quickly figure out if you’re what they’re looking for. Quick tip – be as detailed as possible. The devil is in the detail as they say, and the more info you can provide, the higher your chances of people clicking on your page to find out more.
They’re absolutely paramount to any successful business. It’s so easy to jump online and have a scan of businesses we’re thinking of trying out. What experience have others had with them? How many stars? Any negatives that keep cropping up? Any information we want is there in black and white, and that’s great news for you. Why? Because we’re sure you’re very good at what you do, so it’s just another opportunity for the world to see why they should trust you. Positive reviews are basically free advertising, and we can’t ask for much more than that!
You’re also able to reply to these reviews. If a customer has, for some reason, had a less-than-perfect experience with your business, it gives you a chance to explain your side of the story, or ‘right the wrong’ if it’s the right thing to do. On the flip side, glowing reviews from happy customers who can’t wait to tell their friends about you is a surefire way to boost your reputation and bring in repeat business. Don’t under estimate the importance of reputation
Quick tip: make sure you keep on top of your reviews. An engaged business that cares enough to reply to customers leaves a lasting impression! Thank them for taking the time out to leave a review, and let them know you’re excited to serve them again. The review section is all about boosting your credibility, so keep your eyes peeled for any reviews coming in – good or bad.
Who doesn’t love a good photo? They give us the inside scoop of what’s going on inside a business, and help us to put an image to the name. Just head to your dashboard, and you can upload photos that help you show the world what you have to offer. Get creative – product photos, charity events, smiling customers, before-and-afters. Don’t hold back when it comes to photos. People are naturally drawn to visuals, yet lots of businesses don’t bother with them. Set yourself apart and increase your appeal by uploading photos regularly.
There’s never a better way to reel new customers in than with a nice discount. Use the ‘post’ function on your GMB account to let people know what you offer, how much it costs and how they can get in on the action. Offering an introductory offer? Shout it from the rooftops with your GMB account. Doing a ‘buy one get one’ free offer? Post it. Black Friday sale? Tell the world. Remember – the reason you’re implementing all of these little hacks is to give your business the best possible image in your customers minds, so make sure you’re utilising everything GMB has to offer.
How do I set up a Google Business Profile?
One of the best things about setting up an account is it’s super easy. There’s no long, drawn-out process that’ll leave you scratching your head and contemplating whether it’s worth the hassle. Putting your Business in front of the right people has never been so straightforward, so let’s have a look at how we can get you set up nice and quickly.
Follow these 4 simple steps to have your account set up in no time:
- Create a Business google account. Google will map out the steps you need to follow, and it should only take a couple of minutes.
- Once you’ve set your account up, head over to https://www.google.com/business/ and click ‘manage now’ in the top right hand corner.
- Next you’ll want to search for your business to see if a Google business profile has already been created. If it has, great. You can get to work on optimising your profile. If your business doesn’t appear when you search for it, you can add it by clicking ‘add your business to Google.’
- If you’re creating a new profile, then you’ll need to fill in your business details – the name, address and all the other important details. Make sure you keep the name exactly as it is, and don’t be tempted to include keywords for SEO purposes. Google is hot on this, and they’re likely to remove your profile if you violate their terms and conditions.
There it is! You’ve taken the first steps to being seen – for free – on one of the most visited websites in the world.
Your next task? Optimising your profile in a way that breeds the best results. To help you with that, we’ve put together a free guide which shows you exactly how to make it happen. It’s one thing having a Google business profile, but optimising it in a way that stands out and brings in customers is a new ball game altogether. We tackle that for you here: Creating your GBP.
See you on the next one!