Google My Business is now Google Business Profile
How Does Google My Business Rebranding Affect Small Businesses?
It has been quite a season of rebranding, starting with Facebook that changed its name to Meta in late last October. While people were acclimatizing to this big news, Google announced its free local directory tool “Google My Business” to have a new identity as “Google Business Profile”. On the back of this announcement on November 4, 2021, Matt Madrigal, VP/GM, Merchant Shopping at Google, talked about retiring the Google My Business (GMB) app in 2022. The step is to ensure that more merchants enjoy a better experience with Google Search and the Google Maps app directly.
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile (GBP) allows businesses to gain online visibility through business profile management and optimization on Google. It can be comparable to business directories, but this information tends to be widely accessible on search engine results. However, GBP isn’t only about showing up in the searches. It also comes in handy in maintaining customer relationships, expanding the consumer base, and branding.
Google Business Profile rebranding marks the whole restructuring of Google My Business rather than just a simple name change that took place in the past in the form of Google Local Business Centre, Google Places, and Google+ Local. The internet mogul may again tweak the new name after a few years, but some features are expected to be relevant for the near future. The tool previously allowed business owners to edit their business profile details. The fresh modifications now empower them to verify or solve an issue such as suspension of the profile as well. With Google Business Profile, local businesses can also edit visible details like business hours, address, responses, and posts directly from searches and maps.
Google Business Profile updates and features
Manage Profile from Search and Maps
Since the GMB app will not be around after 2022, single-location Google Business Profile listing managers can start using Google Search or Google Maps’ first page to modify or update business details. Companies with various locations can continue with the Business Manager. Go to Google business profile login page and sign in, then select the “See your profile” button to view your search results page.
Direct Messaging on Google Search
Between late 2020 and early 2021, Google introduced the messaging function for Google Maps and desktop, enabling listing managers to read and respond to messages from Search and Maps on the phone. How can you do this? Open the Google Maps app on the phone and hit the bell icon to find the options of Chat and Business. Tap the three dots on the phone screen to go to Settings and turn on the chat. It can activate messaging on Google Search as well.
How Does Google Business Profile Benefit Small Businesses?
According to common belief, the organic results should fetch a list of companies or brands with high domain authority and strong SEO. But Google prioritizes the local intent of the search displayed by the phrases. Suppose someone searches for a roofing company near Birmingham, Alabama. Google will give weight to the words “near Birmingham” to return local organic results. More precisely, the primary purpose of GBP is to help people find local solutions hassle-free. At the same time, people showing interest in local businesses also intend to buy, which directly indicates the possibility of business and revenue growth for an entity. HubSpot statistics give an insight into this.
- 46% of all the searches in Google consist of local information.
- Searches like “close by” and “near me” increased over 900% in the last two years.
- About 72% of local information searchers visited the place within a five-mile distance.
That’s why it is essential to know how to register your business on Google, claim the same and optimize it to be visible before the right target audience. GBP has evolved to meet the demands of local users. In any other scenario, medium and large-size companies would have had an easy win with the kind of budget they spend on SEO, marketing, and advertising. But GBP has leveled the playing field for small businesses by adding weight to local intent. After listing under any of the relevant Google Business Profile categories, the chances of attracting qualified customers and brand promotions become much more manageable.
Google has always taken a user-driven approach, and the emphasis on E-A-T proves it. E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. A shift to GBP is an opportunity for everyone to take advantage of this approach. Just as leading social media channels flourish on user-generated content (UGC), GBP will also focus on the same for visibility. UGC can include many things such as photos, reviews, questions, and answers, etc. For instance, people can check a company’s Google Business Profile listing to view products, services, or menu items of their choice and explore reviews to decide if they should purchase.
Small businesses can help them on their buyer’s journey by claiming or running their profiles from maps or searches. While an individual location business can access its profile from search or maps, a multi-location brand or local market will use Google Business Profile Manager.
Why include GBP in the local SEO strategy?
Local searches contribute to massive business success and growth. To leverage this, companies need to create their Google Business Profile for easy visibility, discoverability, and customer interactions. Still, many local businesses are either not aware of this or give it a pass due to a lack of proper information. Here are some facts to validate why Google Business Profile is important so that businesses don’t lag in the competitive market space because of one misstep.
- 97% of internet users look for local companies online
User behavior shows that most people run a Google search for a store or business before trying it. They refer to GBP panels for information.
- 64% of the Google audience checks GBP for contact details
A significantly large number of internet users investigate phone numbers in the GBP panels to get in touch with local stores, and it will be a growing trend. Hence, optimizing GBP with the correct address, contact, and other details to reach potential customers makes sense.
- 33 clicks per month can be an average expectation from Google Business Profile
When someone visits a website, they are most likely to convert also. Thirty-three clicks per month can seem like a low figure, but GBP clicks are more precious than this. These clicks represent buying intention for a product or service. Hence, it potentially stands as a journey of clicks, leads, and conversions.
- More than 15% of GBP listings account for 100 calls a month
Most local businesses don’t optimize their GBP well. But if done correctly, they can enjoy the rewards of their SEO efforts, witnessing over 100 phone inquiries every month.
- 94% of GBP inbound calls happen on weekdays
As per the common logic, weekdays will have a high call volume by any standard. But the chances of attracting 94% of calls through GBP make things more interesting. Designating the duty of answering calls to someone can be helpful because customers don’t like to wait.
- Complete business profiles receive seven times more clicks than unfinished ones
Every completed business profile ensures better optimization. It can quickly gain users’ confidence and trust. Information about the mode of payment, ownership, and others can be valuable for consumers. GBP can also be a revenue generator, but incorrect or old data can harm the image. So, it is crucial to be aware of this.
- Over 5% of business profile views lead to conversions
It is not just about direct searches or visits. Instead, 5% shows appointment booking, contact form requests, or purchases. A well-optimized Google Business Profile can see a much higher percentage than this.
- Google leads the search engine market
Google, the undisputed king of the search engine, gets 3.5 billion searches a day. Google properties dominate about 92% of the US search results. Simply speaking, optimizing for local users can be quickly lucrative for anyone in the business.
Does Google business profile cost money?
GBP services are free to use. The good thing is local businesses with a small or limited budget can take advantage of this and increase their revenue without going into full-fledged social media marketing. A complete GBP can also be adequate to satisfy customers’ queries. So, how do I get my business on Google? Building a business profile on Google is easy. If you don’t have an active listing, you can create one in simple steps.
How to set up a GBP listing
Sign into Your Google Account
Visit the Google Business Profile site to log into the relevant account or create one if you don’t have one. After logging in, check whether your business has a listing or not. If you don’t see the listing, select “Add your business to Google”.
Add your business name and business category
Provide a valid business name, and then select the most relevant category for your business. You can modify categories later also. Hence, you don’t have to spend much time on this. Sometimes, exact matches can be challenging to find, such as “nail salon,” for example. You can broaden your search terms in that case. At the same time, don’t forget to keep an eye on other categories which may apply.
Provide your address
A screen will ask you to confirm whether it’s a storefront. In the next step, you will have to add all the details along with suite numbers where applicable.
Add delivery details
Whether you have walk in traffic or deliver your products, you can confirm it on the screen by selecting a valid option. Since GBP listing allows adding delivery areas, you can include multiple locations and update them as well.
Furnish phone number and website URL
Users trust a local business more when they see their contact details and websites. So, it is well worth the tie to adding them. If you don’t have a website, it may be time to consider having one developed.
Verify Your Google Business Profile listing
Verification of your listing can be accomplished through phone, email, or postcards You have to follow the instructions carefully. Verified websites on Google Search Console can expect a quick verification process. Also, a business with over ten locations can use the Bulk Verification method to get it done.
At the end of the process, you will get access to the Google Business Profile dashboard. It will let you add more details, such as types of products or services, latest updates, frequently asked questions, photos, and others. The dashboard comes in handy in optimizing your GMB listing and getting more insights.
Is Google Business Profile Worth the Effort?
GBP is an entire system consisting of various elements – setting up a profile, optimizing your listing with business descriptions, updating content, checking reviews, etc. All these require precision and timely actions to reap benefits for a business. You can skip this hassle by using Google Business Profile management services. SEO agencies can leverage them to manage listing on their clients’ behalf. Under this, everything can be possible to manage, such as:
- Listing creation and claim.
- Business information optimization for the relevant area.
- Fresh photos, products, FAQs, and others.
- Local and niche citations.
- Backlinks to the site.
It is an exciting time for local entities to shine and grow. But to make this happen, one has to be on Google Business Profile to create a place among the competitors. How you perform will depend on your accurate setup and ongoing optimization. The path is fairly straightforward, but there are multiple things to take charge of and implement. Some can find this overwhelming and give up, while others may not even start. Those reactions are not favorable for any local business.
Moore Tech Solutions can be your trusted digital marketing partner for this or any other activity for boosting online presence and business. Reach out to us if you need any help.