Updated May 09, 2022
Did you know that Google Maps business listings with more than 100 images get 520% more calls than the average business or that 91% of questions posted to Google Maps listings have not been answered? Maps and Questions are both features of Google’s business tool, Google Business Profile (GBP) (formerly Google My Business).
Some experts in the digital marketing space have even said that Google is the new homepage for business. How can you take advantage of Google’s free tool that populates Google Maps, store client reviews, and so much? The answer is through an optimized and up-to-date GBP profile.
COVID-19 is the perfect time to create or claim your GBP profile and get more bookings when lockdowns are lifted. This post shares the basics of GMB, where you should invest your energy, and how to get started today.
What Is Google Business Profile?
GBP is the portal you log into to manage your business listing on Google. Business profiles show up in branded searches on the right-hand sidebar of the Google search results. This means that when users are searching for your business name, keywords in your brand name, or for local services you offer, your GBP profile will appear… if it’s optimized and set up correctly.
Your listing also shows up in Google Maps, showcases user-generated reviews, and offers quick contact options to reach your business. By keeping your profile optimized, you can not only impact your Google ranking, but you can also drastically increase your conversions through your listing.
Features of GBP
If you’re on the fence about creating a GBP page, the features and advantages will speak for themselves. One of the best aspects of GMB? It’s completely free to set up and use. Be sure to take advantage of your features, including:
- Questions and Answers: When your customers and clients ask questions online, you can answer them through this feature. Not only does it provide answers for those asking, but these Q&As are indexed for future users to view.
- Google Posts: Much like social media, GMB allows you to create posts each week promoting your business, services, products, and other things happening that are of interest to your audience.
- Review Management: Also known as Google Reviews. With a strategic and well thought out review strategy, this can be a feature that separates you from your competitors.
There are many other features included in GBP that we encourage you to research and look into. Like other platforms, these features and capabilities change frequently, so be sure to stay up to date on the latest tools to help grow your business bookings.
Optimizing Your Profile
Not only can GBP profiles provide valuable information to your customers, but they can also become an SEO tool for your digital brand. If your GBP profile is optimized and kept up to date, the booking potential when things open back up is endless.
When optimizing your GBP profile, you’ll want to address these key areas first.
- Primary Category: Find the number one thing that your business offers and select it as your primary category.
- Secondary Categories: Add in any other categories that match what your business offers. Keep in mind, categories that aren’t related to your business can actually hurt your business ranking.
- Reviews: Collecting Google reviews can have a positive impact on your rankings. Be sure to have a review strategy in place and continue investing time in this area.
- Business Name Field: If you have keywords in your official business name, this can help with your business ranking. Stuffing keywords into your business name is not always best, but this may be an area to explore.
- Additional Fields: If there is a feature or a field you can fill out, do it. Keep everything optimized and up to date.
- Product Features: Although this isn’t available for all businesses, some profiles will have product features. This allows you to add in services or products as featured items on your profile and add in images and text to draw in users.
How Do I See Traffic From Google Business Profile
If you’re using Google Search Console and Google Analytics (it’s highly recommended, and free), you’re probably asking yourself – how do I see traffic that comes from my Business Profile rather than “organic search”? The answer is simple yet a bit technical and involves segmenting traffic with Google’s handy UTM builder.
- Go to Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder. You’ll be greeted by a form with a bunch of fields – fortunately, not all of them are required for this.
- Enter in the website URL field of the form the URL of your business’s homepage
- In the campaign source field, enter ‘google’
- In the campaign medium field, enter ‘organic’
- In the campaign name field, enter ‘gbp’ – for Google Business Profile.
- Copy the link at the bottom of the form and replace your GBP website links.
This will label any traffic coming into your website through this channel in both Google Search Console, and Google Analytics.
This is helpful if you’re interested in seeing how your Local SEO efforts are paying off.
GBP and COVID-19
In light of recent months, Google Business Profile has added some new features to make temporary hours, alerts, and other information your customers may need to know very easy to update and share. While these features won’t always be available, explore what options your business profile has and update any relevant information.
If your business doesn’t already have a GBP, the first step is to set up or claim your business. From there, optimizing your profile and creating a review strategy is vital. As you continue to update your information, add posts, and share new information, Google will index the content on your GMB and better match your business to users’ searches.
The big takeaway? This underutilized tool is one you can benefit from almost immediately. If you have other questions or need any help with GMB, feel free to reach out to our team at Improve & Grow.