How to Optimise Your Google Business Profile

June 17, 2024

A guide to making the most of your Business Profile on Google

Did you know that one of the best ways to improve your business’s visibility online is via a Google Business Profile? Often overlooked, this free listing tool is accessible to all and certainly shouldn’t be underestimated – especially if you want to attract more customers! 

A Google Business Profile acts as your business’s online storefront, providing potential customers with essential information about your company such as your address, phone number, website URL, and opening hours. By investing time to create and optimise a Google Business Profile, you can significantly improve your chances of appearing in local search results. 

In this guide, we provide insight into the world of Google’s Business Profiles and reveal the best practices for optimising your own online listing to help you stand out from the crowd and achieve better results online. Read on to find out more… 

What is a Google Business Profile?

Formerly known as ‘Google My Business’, Google Business Profile (GBP) is a free tool provided by the search engine giant, Google, allowing businesses of all shapes and sizes to manage their online presence across its various platforms, such as Google Search and Google Maps. 

The GBP tool enables businesses to share essential information online, including the company name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and more. Creating and maintaining a Google Business Profile means that businesses can improve their visibility in local search results online, making it easier for potential customers to find and engage with them. 

Additionally, Google Business Profile is crucial for brand awareness and allows businesses to interact with customers through features such as reviews, ratings, and direct messaging, helping to build all-important trust and credibility online – it’s an essential part of any effective digital marketing strategy and certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.

What are the benefits of a Google Business Profile?

When it comes to benefits, Google Business Profile (GBP) has an abundance of them! Below, we outline the key gains for your business: 

Increased Visibility

One of the primary advantages of having a Google Business Profile is the increased visibility it provides in Google Search and Google Maps. When potential customers search for businesses like yours, having a completed profile that has been fully optimised can significantly improve your chances of appearing in the top results, making it easier for people to find your company.

Enhanced Local SEO

You may or may not already realise, but Google Business Profile is a crucial part of local SEO – it’s all about the NAP! That stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number, which are unsurprisingly the most important information to include on your GBP account – but not everyone ensures that this is kept up-to-date. By providing accurate information about your company, you can help Google better understand your business and its relevance to local search queries. 

Improved Credibility

An all-singing and dancing Google Business Profile with positive reviews and ratings can greatly enhance your business’s credibility and reputation online. It’s all about building trust with potential customers and standing out from the competition.

Customer Insights

Wouldn’t you love to know how customers find and interact with your business online? That’s something Google Business Profile does well by providing a wealth of insights and analytics about customer behaviour. You can access data on search queries, profile views, customer actions (such as website clicks or direction requests), and more. This information can help you make data-driven decisions to help improve your online presence.

Direct Communication

The GBP platform allows customers to interact directly with your business through features like direct messaging and reviews. Responding promptly and professionally to customer enquiries and feedback means you can build stronger relationships with them and demonstrate your commitment to excellent customer service.

Free Advertising

Free is a word we all love, so why not take advantage of Google Business Profile which comes at no cost to create and maintain. GBP acts as a powerful organic online advertising tool that can help you reach a wider audience without incurring additional marketing costs.

Competitive Advantage

Surprisingly, not every business in your industry will have set up a Google Business Profile, which will mean you are one step ahead of the competition. By taking the time to create a complete and engaging profile, you can set your business apart from competitors and capture the attention of potential customers in your area, first.

Increased Engagement

What’s good to know is that your Google Business Profile seamlessly integrates with other services provided by Google, such as Google Maps and Google Search. This integration enables customers to easily find and navigate their way to your business, access your website, or contact you directly from the search results page. By posting updates, photos, and special offers on your profile, you can keep your customers engaged and encourage them to interact with your business directly.

Is a Google Business Profile free?

Yes, creating and maintaining a Google Business Profile (GBP) is completely free of charge! Google does not charge businesses any fees to set up or manage their GBP accounts, which will be music to your ears. As part of the free service, you can expect the following: 

  • Creating and verifying your Google Business Profile
  • Updating and maintaining your business information
  • Posting company photos, videos, and updates
  • Responding to customer reviews and messages
  • Accessing insights and analytics about your profile’s performance

While the Google Business Profile service itself is free, there are some related services Google offers that do have costs associated with them. For example, Google Ads is a paid-for advertising service that allows businesses to create and display adverts on Google Search and other Google properties. These ads can of course be linked to your Google Business Profile, but they are a separate paid-for service.

How to create a Google Business Profile

Setting up a Google Business Profile page is pretty simple, so you shouldn’t come across any problems. Below, we walk you through the 7 main steps to completing your own business profile on Google: 

  1. Go to the Google Business Profile website (https://www.google.com/business/)
  2. Click on the ‘Manage Now’ button
  3. Sign in to your Google account, or create one if you don’t have one already
  4. Enter your business name in the search bar. If your business appears in the results, click on it to claim your profile. If it doesn’t appear, click on the ‘Add your business to Google’ option
  5. Fill out your business information, including the business name, address, service area (if applicable), business category, and contact details
  6. Choose a verification method to secure your account. Google typically offers verification by phone or email, so follow the instructions provided for your chosen method
  7. Once your profile is verified, you can begin customising it by adding photos, business opening hours, a website link, and other relevant information

Optimising your Google Business Profile – GBP best practices

Increase your Google Business Profile ranking online with our top tips! 

Tip 1 – Complete ALL Information

Don’t be tempted to just fill out all the necessary boxes, take the time to fill out every relevant section of your profile, including business name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and business description. The more complete your profile is, the better it will perform online.

Tip 2 – Ensure Information is Accurate and Consistent

Pay special attention to your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) to ensure it is correct and there are no spelling errors or typos. Consistency is key, so ensure you have the same contact details across all online platforms that advertise your business, including your website and other online directories. Inconsistent information can confuse Google and negatively impact your profile’s performance.

Tip 3 – Select the Correct Category

We know it sounds obvious, but it’s important for us to reiterate that selecting the correct industry category in GBP is a must. There’s a huge list to choose from, so opt for the one category that most represents your business – for example; Photographer, Finance Broker, or Car Manufacturer. This will help Google understand what your business offers and display it in relevant search results.

Tip 4 – Provide a Detailed Business Description

Don’t assume that potential customers will understand what your business offers from the name alone. Make sure you provide a detailed description of the specific services or products your business offers and highlight your USP’s. If you’re not willing to shout about your business, who will?! 

Tip 5 – Add High-Quality Photos and Videos

Show off your business with eye-catching photos and videos of your products, services, and facilities. This kind of visual content will help engage potential customers and improve your profile’s overall performance.

Tip 6 – Publish Regular Posts

Share news, updates, special offers, and events on your Google Business Profile to keep your audience engaged and demonstrate that your business is active online. Consider specific and relevant keywords relating to your business that you can add to posts which will help improve your profile’s visibility for that category. 

Tip 7 – Encourage and Respond to Reviews

Positive reviews about your business can greatly impact your profile’s visibility and credibility. Do this by encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews and respond to all reviews submitted, both positive and negative, in a professional and timely manner.

Tip 8 – Utilise the Q&A Section 

We know you won’t want to make more work for yourselves but trust us, activating GBP’s questions and answers (Q&A) section is a must if you want to improve your profile rating. Questions and answers are publicly displayed, so providing valuable information to potential customers demonstrates your helpfulness and responsiveness – another tick in the box!

Tip 9 – Monitor and Analyse Profile Performance

We recommend that you regularly check your profile’s insights and analytics to track its performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimise your profile further. 

How can car dealers boost their Google Business Profile presence?

As a business that operates exclusively within the automotive industry, here at 67 Degrees, we want to ensure our car dealer customers are steered in the right direction when it comes to boosting their Google Business Profile presence. Here are some ways in which car dealerships can enhance their profiles:

Showcase Vehicle Stock

Use the ‘Products’ feature to highlight your current vehicle inventory by including high-quality photos, detailed descriptions, and pricing information for each vehicle on sale. This allows potential customers to browse and search stock directly from your Google Business Profile.

Highlight Special Offers and Promotions

Use the ‘Posts’ feature to share news of special offers, in-store promotions, and too-good-to-miss discounts on vehicles in stock or services you provide. This can help attract potential customers and encourage them to visit your dealership in person.

Shout About Your USPs

In your business description and posts, highlight what sets your dealership apart from competitors. This could include any special or sought-after vehicles in stock, competitive pricing advantages in your area, awards for customer service, or any other unique selling points that will help promote the dealership.

Promote Your Service Centre

If your dealership offers vehicle maintenance and repair services, make sure to highlight this in your profile. Provide information about what you offer, certifications, and any special offers or discounts that potential customers can take advantage of.

Encourage Customer Reviews

Reviews are particularly important for car dealerships, as they can greatly influence potential customers’ decisions. Handover pictures with photos of happy customers receiving their new motor are particularly pleasing. 

Add Video Tours

Consider the visual aspects of your business and how you can appeal to customers via video. Adding virtual tours of your dealership’s interior and exterior will encourage customers to explore your facility and get a feel for what to expect. 

Streamline your Google Business Profile with our SEO services

We hope our Google Business Profile guide has given you some valuable insight into how important and influential GBP can be for your online presence. Does your Google Business Profile need optimising and you could do with a helping hand? As an all-in-one digital marketing agency working in the automotive space, we can offer our expert assistance.

At 67 Degrees, we pride ourselves on building websites for car dealers that deliver, and that extends to our range of digital marketing services too. SEO is just one of the many strings to our bow, which includes Google Business Profile optimisation. From conducting in-depth audits to identifying key areas for improvement, we provide a comprehensive approach to your profile which is designed to help dealerships stand out in local search results.

Allow us to save you time and resources by giving us the green light to do the hard work for you. Get in touch and let’s have a chat about boosting your Google Business Profile to the next level. 

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