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5 Reasons to Claim Your Business Profile on Google

Key take-aways

Have you ever searched Google or Google Maps and seen the profile for a business pop up? That's a free local business listing called Business Profile on Google. In a noisy online marketplace, local listings serve as a virtual billboard for prospective customers who want to find you quickly and easily, especially right when they're ready to make a purchase. Learn why filling out your Business Profile can help you. The more complete your profile is, and the more often you use it, the more effective it will become.

1. Appear more credible online

2. Get found in local search results

3. Convince more potential customers to buy

4. Persuade past customers to return

5. Make your online ads more effective

The simpler you make it for potential customers to buy directly from your profile, the more sales you have the chance to attract.

1. Appear more credible online

When potential customers search online, they look for products but also signs that the businesses selling those products are real, active, and trustworthy. When they come across an incomplete online listing, it gives them doubts. A local business listing without a logo, photos or a description is the equivalent of finding a shop with boarded-up windows.

Claim your Business Profile on Google to confirm that your business name is accurate, choose and claim a short name and URL, and share:

  • Your logo
  • A description of your business
  • Your contact information
  • Your opening hours (including seasonal variations)
  • A link to your website
  • A cover photo
  • Photos of the outside and inside of your business, as well as products

Filling out the profile confirms everything prospective buyers expect to see: Up-to-date hours, contact information, and, possibly, recent customer reviews – social proof that your shop is worth visiting. Businesses that fill out their profile in full are perceived as twice as reputable by consumers, and it makes your shop more attractive to consumers in your local community as well as tourists and other out-of-town visitors.

2. Get found in local search results

Search may be global, but most prospective customers think local when they use it. More than 80% of people search the web to find local information using keywords like "in London" or "near me". By filling out your listing, you're more likely to show up in those local searches and have the opportunity to engage with potential customers.

A sandwich shop in Manchester that has filled out its profile, for example, could show up when nearby people search "sandwich shop", or could show up for those who search "best sandwiches in Manchester" in any location. The people searching could live in town, be visiting, or simply be planning a visit – the sandwich shop's local listing could reach them all.

When a Business Profile on Google shows up in search, it appears at the top of the page, to the right-hand side of other organic search results as a 'Knowledge Panel', making it immensely valuable to small businesses who might otherwise struggle to be discovered online. If visitors click, it can lead to sales. Research shows that complete listings are 29% more likely to attract purchases. Make every impression count by completing your profile and keeping it fresh with new photos and posts.

3. Convince more potential customers to buy

The simpler you make it for potential customers to buy directly from your profile, the more sales you have the chance to attract. This means being clear about what you offer and how potential customers can shop or visit, and making the purchasing process as simple as possible. Here's how you can achieve that:

Post photos

Images are a powerful tool for marketing your business, so be sure to take advantage. Research shows that businesses that add photos to their profile receive 42% more requests for directions than those that don't. A London pub that serves fish and chips, for instance, can make its profile more attractive by uploading mouthwatering photos of its freshly battered cod.

Share posts

Business owners can write posts on their Business Profile on Google to highlight their products or announce special offers, for example. The more often a business owner posts promotions, the more reasons they give for indecisive prospects to visit or buy. And if those posts are targeted to particular audiences – such as tourists – they're more likely to catch their attention.

Answer questions

Users can ask questions directly through your Business Profile on Google, so it's important to check back regularly and respond to any queries as promptly as possible. This indicates to users that your business is active and engaged, and that you're keen to deliver good service. If there are particular questions that potential customers ask frequently, businesses can answer them in the Q&A section of their profile. For instance, a Sheffield diner could announce that it caters, but only to specific postcodes, and an Edinburgh dry cleaner could explain the cutoff times for its same-day dry cleaning service.

Use a call-to-action button

Business owners can opt in to allow customers to make a booking or message them directly via their Business Profile on Google. Encouraging potential customers to take action in the moment they're browsing reduces the number of steps involved with calling or visiting, thereby increasing the likelihood that they'll decide to follow through.

Businesses that engage users with posts, photos, answers to common questions, and call to actions can create a profile that's more inviting to potential customers – and more likely to attract clicks and visits.

4. Persuade past customers to return

Business owners can maintain a conversation with previous local customers by updating their profile frequently and giving them reasons to return to their shop or website. They can post limited-time discounts, announce new seasonal offerings, and share general news about the business to stay top of local shoppers' minds.

If customers have left reviews, business owners can build a relationship with them by responding, which they can do easily from their phone or tablet via the Google My Business app. If the reviews are positive, saying thanks makes users feel valued, and may inspire repeat visits. If the reviews are negative, the owner has the opportunity to win over unhappy users by replying thoughtfully. Even if you don't change a reviewer's mind, you've at least shown other potential customers that you care and are responsive.

Make a habit of responding to your Business Profile reviews regularly. That way, it only takes a small amount of time each week or each month, and you won't accumulate six months of reviews to respond to all at once. To keep up-to-date, enable push notifications from your profile so that you are notified when your business receives a new review.

5. Make your local online ads more effective

A complete Business Profile on Google can make your digital marketing more effective by offering insights into who your local potential customers are and how they interact with your listing. From the Insights tab within the Business Profile on Google dashboard, business owners can view details like:

  • How many customers visited their Business Profile on Google
  • Which buttons customers clicked
  • Which photos customers viewed
  • Which geographical locations customers searched from the most

The free insights provided by Business Profile on Google can help with various aspects of your digital marketing, including Google Ads campaigns. Based on this information, a cobbler in Cardiff, for example, could learn that they should include the keyword "shoe repair" in local search ads, use a particularly popular photo of hiking boots in display ads, and target ads to people living in the Riverside area of the city.

Setting up a Business Profile on Google can be an incredibly valuable resource for small businesses. They can help business owners appear more credible, show up in online searches, attract the attention of new customers from near and afar, and create a more robust digital marketing strategy, all for a small time investment. And remember, the more complete your profile is, the more likely it is to deliver results and help your business grow.

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