The way businesses manage their profiles on Google is about to change once again. Google My Business is being phased out for business owners who have a single business location and replaced by Google Business Profile.
This change is the latest of several Google has made over the years regarding businesses managing their online presence. The new iteration will allow business owners to manage their business information right from Google Search or Google Maps and the coordinating apps. The Google My Business app will be discontinued at some point in 2022.
Only brick and mortar businesses are eligible to use a Google Business Profile, and certain types of content are prohibited from your profile.
While changes are sometimes hard to grapple with, especially if you aren’t tech-savvy, using Google Business Profile is intended to simplify the way you manage an online presence. This guide will tell you how to utilize the updated tool to your advantage.
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile will allow business owners to manage their online presence. This includes updating your business location, responding to reviews, and adding new or updated information about your offerings.
You can access these features directly from your Google or Maps apps. To do this, search for your business name and claim it as your business following the app’s prompts. Once you are listed as the business owner, you can access the full range of features.
How Can Google Business Profile Help Your Business?
Research has shown that having updated Google Business Profile information helps to improve your online reputation by 2.7 times. You may also get up to 7 times more clicks, and you are 70% more likely to get location visits, and those visits are up to 50% more likely to result in a purchase.
If you have a single business, using Search is the fastest way to manage your profile. Remember that Google Business Manager pages are community-generated, meaning others can edit and add information to your business page. One of your main goals is to ensure that the added information is correct and up to date.
To access your dashboard, you can search your business name or type "my business" if you are logged in with the same email address you use to operate your business page. A business edit panel and Knowledge Panel should appear. Here you can edit information such as hours of operation, location, category, and even post updates about your business.
You can make the most of your Google Business Profile by optimizing your page. One way of doing this is to keep everything updated. For instance, update your business hours to reflect any changes during the holidays.
You can also add critical products or services to highlight, so customers know what you have to offer before they stop by. Adding photos is another way to keep your profile updated and optimized for better results. Google data indicates that adding photos increases the odds someone will request directly to your business by 42%.
Use the "promote" button in the business edit panel, and Google provides numerous ways to reach more people with your business. You can also click "performance" and get insights into how your marketing efforts are working.
There is also a "customers" section to directly reply to reviews and messages with customers. You can easily opt into being notified any time you get a new message or customer review, allowing you to be sure to reply right away or within 24 hours.
The key to Google Business Profile optimization is to keep your profile as updated and responsive as possible. Make sure hours are current and updated any time there is a change. Respond to customer complaints in a timely and friendly manner. Add photos of your business exterior and interior, so customers know what they are looking for. It all adds to better search results and more significant likelihood customers will respond favorably.
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