Optimizing your Google Business Profile is one of the largest influencing factors in gaining local visibility in Google’s search results and maps.
Why is this Google feature so effective?
Well, that probably has something to do with the fact that nearly 50% of Google searches include local intent. GBP is an easy way to insert your business into those searches.
Are you ready to take control of your Google Business Profile listing and get more local search traffic?
Let’s get into it!
What Is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows local businesses to create a listing and control how their business’ information appears in Google search, Google Maps, and even Google Shopping.
Note: Google Business Profile used to be Google My Business (GMB). There were a few changes you can read about here but everything is essentially the same for business owners.
The biggest thing to know is that your GMB business listing is not wiped out. It’s all saved in your Google account.
With Google Business Profile, you can add photos, create compelling business descriptions, display your hours and contact information, and monitor/reply to reviews that customers leave on Google for your business.
Build Customer Trust With GBP
Every business understands how trust affects sales and customer loyalty.
One of GBP’s main functions is to show established, reliable businesses to online users.
Without a listing, searchers may not fully understand what you offer or suspect that your business is not legitimate.
Consider these statistics directly from Google:
- Customers are 2.7 times more likely to consider a business reputable if they find a complete Business Profile
- Customers are 70% more likely to visit and 50% more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with a complete Business Profile
Positive reviews are one of the best ways for businesses to build trust. Research has shown that 84% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. They matter for your ranking and overall brand.
You can even demonstrate your willingness to help resolve issues by directly replying to negative reviews.
Maximize Your Local SEO
People who are searching for local businesses are often ready to make a purchase.
They’ve already done their online research on your products or services (thanks to search and maps) and they’re ready to purchase a product, make a reservation, or book an appointment with you.
Here’s an example of what shows up when I search for “pizza” on Google. In this example, the Google Maps results are displayed above the organic search results:
Note that the Google Map results don’t always show up on top, but people still tend to click on them even if they are farther down on the page.
Juris Digital did a heat map study and discovered that around 32% of people clicked on the Google Maps results, while the remaining users clicked on organic search results or paid ads.
According to Moz’s local search ranking factors, Google Business Profile is consistently in the top spot for ranking factors in local map search and also a significant factor in local organic search.
What’s A Map Pack?
The most exciting part of managing your Google Business Profile listing is the possibility of being elevated to the Google Map Pack.
If you’ve ever searched for anything on Google, you have seen the Map Pack, also known as the Local Pack or 3-Pack Ranking.
Check it out below. This is the Map Pack you get when searching for “pizza” in St. Petersburg, Florida (where The HOTH is located).
As you can see above, Google will select three locations to be featured at the top of both search results and some Google Ads.
Google also provides a map with addresses for all pizza restaurants in that geographic area.
No one is 100% clear on how businesses make the Maps Pack but we do know that your chances are better at getting there if you optimize your GBP listing, get more customer reviews, use social media, and get listed on top citation sites like Yelp or Yahoo Local.
Google Business Profile 101
So far, our focus has been trying to answer the question ‘what is Google Business Profile?’ However, there’s still more to learn. Later in this guide, we discuss How To Claim Your Google Business Profile Listing but it’s pretty easy to get started.
Basically, you visit Google Business Profile and claim your own listing. You’ll have to answer a few questions and enter basic information like your business hours.
Google also has a verification process to ensure you are actually the owner or representative of the business being claimed.
Your next step should be to start optimizing your listing to benefit from what Google has to offer. This is where you can really get creative to attract new customers and increase conversions.
Our learning hub chapter How To Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing will give you step-by-step instructions on how to make your profile stand out.
Here’s a sneak peak of the optimization advice we give:
- What’s the most important information to include?
- Where can you include keywords?
- How should you write your business name and description?
- What should you do about photos of your business?
- Is it worth adding videos to the GBP listing?
- And more!
The HOTH Learning Hub is here to answer your questions about SEO and help you to kickstart a winning campaign. Check it out to learn even more about digital marketing!
Ready To Grow Your Business?
Now that you can officially answer the question ‘what is Google Business Profile?’ it’s time to put that knowledge into practice.
If you’re on the fence about managing your own business account on GBP, remember that the Map Pack gets approximately half of all clicks on results pages.
You could be missing out on a ton of potential customers by not having an active online presence on Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business).
The HOTH’s local SEO team are experts in optimizing your web pages with localized keywords, getting your business in high-traffic directories, and making your GBP listings the best they can be.
Reach out to us if you need help getting started with your marketing strategies