Even though the relentlessly pesky TikTok recently surpassed Google as the most-visited website, curious Earthlings still conduct more than eight billion Google searches every day, which means establishing a presence for your business within Google’s platform is more important than ever.
Unfortunately, some companies overlook the usefulness of Google Business Profile—formerly Google My Business—when they work to promote their business online. Let’s explore some of the key benefits of using Google Business Profile and some of the roles it occupies within a planned marketing effort.
What Is Google Business Profile?
Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Google Business Profile is not a traditional social media platform, of course, but companies can still use it to attract followers to engage with in a variety of ways. Google Business Profile, a free tool provided by Google, allows businesses to manage how their information is presented across all Google platforms. This is especially important because of the results generated by Google’s maps and searches.
What does it look like? You’ve seen these on your phone or computer plenty of times. Here is the Google Business Profile for Rare Bird. Below, you can see the profile before we began tinkering with it during the process of assembling this blog post. We saw that some of the photos were outdated—three or four years old, and a few with employees who have since moved on. We addressed any information that needed updated and made time to take new photographs of our office specifically to include in the GBP.
Earlier this year in “Six Digital Marketing Actions to Take in the New Year,” we said businesses should consider recommitting to social media and taking every opportunity to create community with customers. In a way, Google Business Profile is an excellent outlet for pursuing both.
When an organization claims and verifies their Google Business Profile listing, they are asked to provide accurate details about contact information, hours of operation, and the rest—all of which customers deem necessary, especially when they turn to Google to quickly find information while they’re out in the world.
All of this makes the Google Business Profile sound like something a business might only tend to when they move to a new location, update their hours of operation, or change some other customer-facing element of their business. But Google Business Profile should really be incorporated into your larger marketing strategy.
Greater Local Visibility
Having a strong local presence within Google searches is crucial if you plan to target local customers. For some companies, of course, local customers are all customers. When someone searches for a business or type of business, the Google Business Profile listings will appear in a section of search results, and the top three local businesses related to the search query are more prominently displayed. (You’ll see this area of results called the local pack or the 3-pack.)
Achieving a more prominent presence in the local 3-pack should increase visibility, drive website traffic, and ultimately lead to more engagement and conversions. According to Google, businesses who take the time to complete their Google Business Profile listings with accurate and necessary information that customers want are nearly three times as likely to be considered reputable by those consumers.
Customer Communication and Engagement
If you have ever used Google to find a nearby restaurant or store to meet an immediate need, the businesses that popped up in your quick search caught your attention, earned a click, and maybe even a visit or purchase—and it all started because they properly maintained their Google Business Profile.
Each business can also upload photos, respond to customer reviews, and continue to add posts in an effort to further engage audiences, which is yet another way a business can attempt to create a customer community. Some profiles extend welcome offers or other discounts to new followers in an effort to forge a committed and engaged customer base, as well.
By responding to customer reviews, businesses can demonstrate that they care about customer feedback and are committed to providing excellent service, which helps earn trust and loyalty—which can lead to repeat business and positive, word-of-mouth marketing. What you learn from the most-eager customers interacting with a Google Business Profile can inform other elements of your overall marketing strategy, including your approach to email.
Improved Analytics = Smarter Decisions
Google Business Profile also provides valuable insights into how their customers find and interact with their business online. By using the profile’s dashboard, businesses see how many people have viewed their listing, where those views are coming from, and what actions customers immediately take next, such as clicking to call or visit their website. You can refine your analytics by remembering the importance of image SEO in this context, too.
By analyzing this data, businesses can see what works well and what areas need attention in an effort to make data-driven decisions that drive growth.
Credibility and Customer Insights
One simple way to establish trust and credibility with customers is to provide Google Business Profile with accurate and up-to-date information, respond to customer reviews, and share related photos and videos. Doing so demonstrates that your business is committed to creating a high-quality experience for customers.
Over time, this helps develop a positive reputation for the business. In addition to increased trust and loyalty with current customers, it can also help attract new customers searching for businesses like yours who want to be sure they are making the right choice.
By taking advantage of the features available in Google Business Profile, businesses can refine their marketing strategy and drive more growth and success in the long term.
If you haven’t already, be sure to claim and verify your Google Business Profile listing today. Need help getting this in place, or have other Google-related questions about your marketing efforts? We’d love to partner with you. Rare Bird is the most trusted marketing agency in the Midwest, but we work with brands across the United States. Our clients range from one-person operations to manufacturers with facilities on three continents.