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What a Business Profile on Google can do for your business

Key take-aways

For many businesses, the best advertising is their shopfront. Potential customers passing by can see their signage, stop in, and make a purchase. But some business owners don't know that they can help shoppers discover their business online just as easily.

Business Profile on Google is a service that provides every business with a free listing for life. The free listing is known as a Business Profile on Google, and appears when potential customers make a relevant search using Google or Google Maps. Business owners can list key information like their contact details and opening hours, as well as share photos, respond to reviews, and even exchange messages with users in real time.

All you have to do to get started is visit the Google My Business website to claim or create your profile, then verify your business by post, email, phone call or by using your Google Search Console account.

1. Attract new potential customers for free

2. Discover how people interact with your profile

3. Engage your audience and build brand loyalty

4. Communicate directly with potential customers

Business Profile on Google

A product from Google My Business that lets you create and manage your Business Profile on Google so that people can see your business when carrying out search and Google Maps. Business Profile on Google is a free business listing that appears in search results.

Owners of the most successful Business Profiles frequently post new photos, update their hours to reflect events like bank holidays, and post special offers to help entice people to visit.

1. Attract new potential customers for free

If a brick-and-mortar store's lights are out and its hours of operation aren't posted, potential customers may think it has gone out of business. The same is true when potential customers can't find online business listings.

Without seeing the shop, potential customers will probably be wary of a hair salon, for example, that doesn’t appear on Google Maps. But if the salon owner simply claims and verifies their profile, the business is instantly visible to potential customers searching online for a nearby salon.

According to research from Google, complete profiles are:

  • twice as likely to be considered reputable
  • 38 percent more likely to attract location visits
  • 29 percent more likely to lead to a purchase

And that's just the beginning. The more often business owners use their profile, the more effective it becomes. Owners of the most successful Google My Business Profiles frequently post new photos, update their hours to reflect events like bank holidays, and post special offers to help entice people to visit.

2. Discover how people interact with your profile

In the real-world, business owners never really learn about the potential customers that almost visited their shop. They can't talk to the people who walked by, thought about shopping, but then didn't. But with your Google My Business Profile, you take advantage of useful data into all of your online "almost" visitors using Google My Business Insights.

A bed and breakfast owner in Cornwall, for example, can log in to see what time potential customers typically visit their profile. Is it early in the morning? Late in the afternoon? Just before midnight? Knowing when people are searching might help this business ensure that someone is there to answer the phone or respond to messages at key times, such as late at night if lots of international visitors are clicking on their profile.

Businesses can also see where potential customers visit from, which languages they speak, and which pictures they engaged with the most. According to research from Think With Google, the average potential customer cares most about recommendations, location and price. What's true for your potential customers? This knowledge can help you improve your wording, rearrange the pictures, and optimise your profile to make it more likely to drive traffic to your physical location.

3. Engage your audience and build brand loyalty

Negative reviews aren't pleasant, but they can sometimes be great opportunities to build relationships with new and existing customers. The owner of a juice shop in Bristol, for example, could reply to the reviews left on their Google My Business Profile. This shows past and potential customers that the business owner is listening and that they care. If an unhappy review was the result of a misunderstanding, they now have the opportunity to engage that user in conversation and potentially resolve the issue.

Responding to reviews is a good look for businesses. New potential customers will be able to see that the business owner is engaged and likely to take good care of them.

4. Communicate directly with potential customers

Today, potential customers want answers fast, and business owners can't always pause to respond to a phone call or an email. But with the Business Profile on Google app, business owners can exchange messages directly with potential customers and manage their conversations with customers all in one place.

A local museum in Newcastle could use Messaging to extend its reach into the community by answering questions from potential visitors. The staff could chat with local teachers planning school trips, community organisations preparing for events, and visitors who are curious about particular exhibits.

These days, online shop fronts are just as important as physical ones. More and more potential customers begin their shopping journey by searching online, and they expect to find your business information when and where they need it. With a complete Business Profile on Google, you're much more likely to be found—and unlike a physical shopfront, it doesn't cost a thing.

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