If you’re using your Google Business profile as part of your digital marketing strategy, you might be surprised to learn it takes an additional step to have complete control over your profile management. Business owners have to create a separate Google Business Profile (GBF) profile to leverage this free marketing tool and optimize their Google Business profile.
Your Google Business Profile account allows you not just to claim ownership of your Business Profile but also your right to manage it and access the free features you need to increase your online visibility. In this post, we’ll review everything you need to know about Google Business Profile and how to leverage it as the most powerful tool in your local business toolkit.
What is a Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profiles, or GBFs, are a free tool that that business owners should take advantage of. This tool helps businesses optimize their online presence. Because anyone can create a Google Business profile for your business, it is important to take control of your own information by creating a Google Business Profile Account. Google refers to your Google business listing as your Business Profile which appears as a teardrop on Google Maps to show your location and as part of the local search results for business-related queries.
Google collects information from different sources online to fill out your Business Profile. By creating your GMB account, you avoid random information appearing and control exactly what appears, including your location, contact information, hours of operation, business photos and more.
How Can I Make the Most of My Free Google Business Profile?
There are three main tools you can take advantage of to help improve your local visibility on Google:
1. Customer Engagement
GBF provides a few ways to interact with customers:
- Customer reviews: You can respond to customer reviews by thanking people for their kind comments and resolving issues for negative reviews.
- Questions and Answers: Customers can post both questions and answers. You can do the same while ensuring you answer questions to avoid someone else answering them for you.
- Direct messaging: You can enable direct messaging so customers can reach out from your profile.
- Google posts: You can also use your profile as a social media channel to share information, images, and video.
Set up associated alerts so you know when someone has posted something.
2. Business Highlights
Use your GBF dashboard to highlight important information about your business, including your hours, location, how to contact you, website links, and your products and services with pricing. You can also use Google posts to announce news, promotions, and more.
Your GBF dashboard also provides analytics to gain insights about your local search performance, including:
- Views: This information tells you how many views your posts, profile and photos get. It can help you find opportunities to make improvements to make this content more engaging.
- Search Queries: This report tells you the types of searches and keywords you are ranking for. You can use this information to fine-tune your keyword strategy to boost traffic. You can also use the most common keywords in other online content.
- Engagement: GBF shows you how people interact with your posts, such as shares and comments. This allows you to improve your content based on the content that gets the most engagement.
- Audience: This section provides a summary of the Google account profiles for your followers. You can use the information to understand your ideal target for digital marketing campaigns.
- Website Clicks: Your website link is key to your profile. This number tells you whether your profile is good enough to encourage website clicks and also helps create strategies to improve traffic.
How Can Google Business Profile Improve SEO?
Google uses various algorithms to rank local business profiles. You can use keywords in your business profile to help rank higher. Google bolds keywords in search results to help draw attention to profiles to help improve relevance for users. Google optimizes your profile using the following:
- Targeting: You can include the keywords you wish to target in your business description as well as comments, answers and posts.
- Quality information: Ensuring your information is accurate and free of grammatical errors/typos helps create higher-quality information. Your NAP should be consistent with other channels, such as your website and social media. You can also create high-quality Google posts to share information about your business.
- Trust: Updated, accurate information also builds trust. Send trustworthy signals to search engines, such as images of your business, frequent posts, and encouraging customers to post reviews. Responding to both positive and negative reviews also builds trust, as does generating your own questions and answers and answering all questions posted by customers.
Google Business Profiles allow you to target local keywords to rank higher in the local SERPs. Conduct your keyword research carefully to find the best keywords to help people find you. The most important thing to remember is that Google wants to see fresh, high-quality content, so posting often, engaging with customers through reviews and Questions and Answers, and sharing compelling images all help boost local SEO.
How To Create a Google Business Profile Account
You can create your Google Business Profile at google.com/business > Manage now. This link will walk you through each step. When providing information, focus on accuracy, and remember to use the SEO optimization tips above. Make the most of your business description and be consistent with your NAP.
Also, make sure there is an existing Business Profile created and ready to link to your GBF information. You can claim your business by logging into your GBF account and searching for your business name. From there, you can either click Claim this business or Own this business to connect your accounts.
Your Business Profile is a powerful tool as long as you connect your profile to your Google Business Profile account. These tips explain how you can set up and optimize your GBF account to help improve visibility in local business rankings.
Do you have more questions about Google Business Profiles? We’re happy to chat!.