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Are you maximising your Google Business Profile?
At Axonn, we love finding the little
SEO tasks that can help organisations be found and optimising your Google Business Profile is one of them.
Often overlooked, maintaining this information panel is essential for business visibility in Google Search and Google Maps. What’s more, it’s free to do and gives you the power to manage the information that’s readily available about your company.
What is your Google Business Profile?
Your Google Business Profile is the information box that appears as a listing for your business. It contains the essentials a user is likely to be looking for, such as your website, opening hours, location and phone number all in one easy-to-access location.
It can also be used to host photos of your business and feature reviews, offering even more compelling reasons for a user to select your organisation over your competitors. You want this information to be up-to-date and relevant or you’ll risk missing out on essential web traffic.
Why is your Google Business Profile important?
In short, your Google Business Profile is a lead generation tool and one you can’t afford to overlook. Keeping it up to date improves visibility, drives leads and speaks to your credibility, especially when it’s linked to reviews.
When users are searching, they’re presented with a multitude of results, so it’s important yours stands out from the crowd. If the information provided is outdated or missing, then they’ll simply move on to another listing that is more complete.
So-called discovery searches, which include phrases like “where to buy” and “near me”, have been on the rise in recent years. These queries are more generic than those where the user has a specific brand in mind and are a ready-made opportunity for you to meet their needs.
Targeting local SEO is a sound strategy, offering the opportunity to connect directly with potential customers. Combining specific search terms and the location data of the user’s device, Google will direct them to relevant listings like yours.
It’s not just Google Search where your Google Business Profile is relevant, however, as it will also show up in Google Maps. Among the results in search will be something known as the local pack. This features a snapshot of a map with an accompanying list of businesses and their listings.
Clicking on this takes users to the appropriate section of Google Maps, showing them where all of the organisations it has returned are located. Real-time information, such as whether you’re open and if you offer delivery, are included here. But, of course, you have to input this data in order for it to appear.
How easy is it to manage your Google Business Profile?
It’s relatively easy to manage your Google Business Profile, but there are two ways to go about it. If a Google Business Profile already exists for your organisation you just need to claim it, but if there isn’t one, then you’ll need to set it up from scratch.
Claiming an existing listing
An unverified listing of your business may already exist, so you just need to claim it and add it to your dashboard within your Google account in order to start managing it. The information provided within an unclaimed listing is autogenerated by Google and may not be entirely accurate.
To find an existing listing, search for your business on Google Maps and find the ‘Claim this business’ button or ‘Own this business?’ link. Click on either of those options and then the ‘Manage now’ button on the next page.
Google then requires you to verify the business is in fact yours and offers options to do so via phone, post, email, live call or recorded call. Once you’ve completed this step, you can manage your Google Business Profile through your account’s dashboard.
Updating the information in your Google Business Profile with temporary changes is also a good idea. After all, the more accurate your listing is, the more helpful it will be to searchers. Go into your account to post holiday opening hours or a closure for refurbishment, just remember to change it again once operations have returned to normal.