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How Google My Business Can Boost Your Business

7-minute read

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Ed Grasso

Ed Grasso

20 September 2022

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If you hold more than 80% of any market share, there’s a good chance you're doing something right. There’s also a good chance that if anyone else wants to sell goods or services in that market, it would make sense to work with you.

When it comes to online searches, that’s pretty much the story of Google. Whether your business specializes in lawn care, pet care, or hair care, knowing how to use Google can help connect you with the people searching for what you’re offering.

What is Google My Business?

You would likely expect an article on a blog called “Simply U” to share information that’s clear and easy to understand. So let’s clear up some potential confusion about what Google calls certain features.

In 2021, Google changed the name of “Google My Business” (which you might be familiar with) to “Google Business Profile.” We’ll stick with that for the rest of this article.

OK, what is Google Business Profile?

It’s a free listing for certain businesses online. It lets you make information about your business available to people who may be searching for you or your type of business. It can include the basics, such as contact info, the services or products you offer, and your location.

With Google Business Profile, you can improve your visibility, as your information may show up in Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping.

A Google Business Profile is only available to businesses that have direct contact with a customer. These include businesses with a physical location where customers can visit, such as a store or showroom. It’s also available to businesses that travel to customer locations, such as homes or other job sites.

If you're an online-only operation, you won’t be able to use Google Business Profile, but you can work with other Google tools, such as Google Analytics or Google Ads.

How Does Google Business Profile Help Businesses?

If you’ve ever searched for something with Google — say, Thai restaurants or home improvement services — you may have seen some of the results pop up on a map in the search results.

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That’s known as the Google Local Pack. And it’s very effective at accomplishing two important marketing objectives right off the bat:

  1. It takes up a lot of real estate on the screen (so it’s often the first thing you notice)
  2. It uses both images and text, so you get important information, quickly

Plus, if you want to find customers in your area, local people are most likely the ones to see this information.

80% of success is just showing up.

That quote by filmmaker Woody Allen rings true with Google Local Pack. And one of the keys to showing up in Google Local Pack is having a Google Business Profile.

What Are the Key Benefits of Google Business Profile?

If Google Local Pack were the only upside of having a Google Business Profile, it might still be a powerful marketing tool for you to consider. But as they say on many game shows, “Wait, there’s more!”

Reviews.

Once people find your business and become customers or clients, they can share their comments and reviews right on your profile.

And reviews can be an important part of bringing in new business. Here are a few reasons why:

1. They can build your credibility.

Potential customers tend to trust existing customers. In a recent survey, 79% of people said they trusted online reviews as much as family and friends’ recommendations.

2. They can show you care.

Giving customers a voice to share their feedback — positive or not — lets them know you value their opinions. And when you respond to comments, it can really show them how much they matter.

3. They can help improve your business.

If you want to give customers what they want, reviews can be an effective — and free — way to find out what they like, don’t like, or might need.

4. They can give your SEO a shot in the arm.

You may find you start to rank higher in search results, as Google tends to reward businesses with a large number of high-star ratings and reviews.

And people pay attention to reviews. In 2021, 98% of consumers at least occasionally read online local business reviews.

Insights.

We touched on how reviews can help you gauge what customers think about your business and what they might like to see (or not see) from it. Having a Google Business Profile lets you take that a step further.

It offers features that can shed a lot more light on who your customers are, and how they behave online.

1. How’s your profile?

Google can show you how many views your business profile is getting. You also can get information about photos and posts to help you see what people are responding to.

2. What are customers looking for?

Google can help you see the keywords and other search terms that customers are using. Including those words and that search language on your website can boost traffic to your site.

3. Is your message hitting home?

Engagement metrics can be an indicator of how effective your posts and other content are. Google can show you what content is being shared and commented on, so you can get a better idea of what’s resonating with your target audience.

4. Who’s in the audience?

With a Google Business Profile, you can get helpful details on the people following you. That information can include age, gender, and more.

Hey, it’s free.

A Google Business Profile can provide all the benefits we’ve just covered, and more. All at no cost. Plus, it’s fairly easy to get started and use.

You can set up your profile and get it verified in a couple hours, making it seem like a pretty good investment of time.

How to Set up a Google Business Profile

Like we said, this is pretty easy. You can do it from your laptop or mobile device. We’ll go through the laptop setup here, but you also can find more instructions from Google for other devices.

Google suggests adding your business through Google Maps.

1. Sign in to Google Maps on your computer.

2. Choose one of these options:

  • Enter your address in the search bar. Click Add your business.
  • Right-click on the map. Then click Add your business.
  • Click the Menu icon in the top left. Then click Add your business.

3. Follow the instructions to finish your Business Profile.

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How Insurance Can Protect Your Growing Business

As you’re thinking about what to include in your Google Business Profile, it also may be a good time to think about what’s included in your business insurance coverage. Here’s why:

One of the big reasons to set up your Google Business Profile is to help your business grow. As a business grows, things can change. Maybe you start bringing on employees, offering more services, or buying new tools and equipment.

Even if you already have coverage, changes like those may create a need for more or additional types of business insurance. That’s where we can help.

We specialize in insurance for small businesses. We’re also big fans of the people who are keeping those businesses humming. That’s why we continually work to make it fast and easy to find the policies you need.

Our online quote tool can be a great way to find general liability, workers' comp, tools and equipment, and other business insurance. It’s there for you 24/7, and in many cases, you can get a quote and get covered in just minutes.

Not sure what coverage you may need? We’ve got you there, too. Our licensed insurance pros are happy to answer questions and get you set up on the phone. Just give us a call at 844-654-7272, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., ET.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Google My Business Profile

As a small business owner, you’re no stranger to working hard. Let’s look at some ways to get your Google Business Profile working hard as well.

How Google determines your local ranking.

There are three things to keep in mind when it comes to how your business may rank in a Google search: relevance, distance, and prominence.

Relevance.

This is how Google determines how closely what you sell or offer matches what someone is searching for. The more information you provide in your profile, the better Google can understand your business and connect your profile with relevant searches.

Distance.

Google will compare your location with that of the location used to search. If the location isn’t included in the search phrase (Thai restaurants in Boston, for example), Google can estimate distance, based on what they may know about the searcher’s location.

Prominence.

This refers to how well-known your business is. Google determines this based on different factors, including the ones we’ve touched on already like engagement, ratings, and reviews.

How to improve your local ranking on Google.

Google offers some tips on how to get the most out of your business profile:

More information, please.

As we mentioned above, the more info you can provide, the better Google can determine how relevant your business is to a particular search. Include as much as you can, but make sure you definitely cover these:

  • Physical address
  • Phone number
  • Business category
  • Attributes

Verify your location(s).

You should have been able to do this when you created your Profile. A verified location can improve your chances of showing up across Google products, such as Search and Maps.

Make sure your hours of operation are accurate.

This includes regular business hours, as well as updates if you may be closed for holidays, vacation, or other commitments.

Respond to reviews.

We’ve talked a bit about how good reviews can help boost your ranking, but going one step further and responding to those reviews (especially the negative ones) can help strengthen your Google Business Profile. It also can make a positive impression on your customers.

Show it as well as say it.

Providing complete information also should include images. These can be:

  • Your logo and a business cover photo
  • Images or videos of your location and your staff
  • Shots of your products (e.g., handmade furniture) or work (e.g., landscape design)

According to Google, adding images can lead to more requests for directions to your business and attract more visits to your website.

Shouting from the Rooftops

There’s a good chance you started a business (or are thinking of starting one) because you have a better way of doing something or you can do something few other people can. That’s a big part of the equation for success — but it’s still only a part.

Another big part is letting potential customers and clients know what makes your business a great solution for what they need. That’s where a Google Business Profile can be a powerful tool.

And as tools go, it's not difficult to use and it’s not cost-prohibitive. If you’ve read this far, you should have a fairly good idea of how to get your profile created and how to get it working hard for you.

It’s time to get started. Whether you’re a builder, a cleaner, a photographer, or a tutor, there’s a good chance there’s someone online right now looking for you.

Ed Grasso

Written by

Ed Grasso

As a 9-year-old at summer camp, I hated it — especially after being pulled screaming from the pool during the swimming competition. While this left me without an aquatic achievement patch, it also inspired the letter to my parents that got me an early release from Camp Willard. That showed me the power of writing. I’ve done my best to use it only for good ever since, such as writing helpful articles for small business owners.

This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer

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