July 24, 2023
A Google Business Profile is a no-brainer for small businesses
Do you remember the Yellow Pages or the White Pages? I certainly do and I’m not talking about online ones – I mean the big thick paper ones that were delivered each year to every home and business in New Zealand. If you wanted to be found then you had to be in them.
These weighty and ubiquitous directories were published by Telecom (Spark today) and they were massively profitable for them and had been for years. I remember when in 2007 Theresa Gattung, then the CEO of Telecom NZ, sold the whole directories business “Yellow Pages” for $2.24 billion to a private equity outfit. At the risk of sounding like a smartypants, I was astounded that someone would buy this business when even then people were Googling everything including the phone number of their nearest plumber.
Anyway, the rest as they say – is history. Now, of course, Google is where everybody looks for the phone number or contact details of any business. It’s a crowded space though with your business competing with ads from your competitors and search results that Google deems relevant and who knows what else. And this is where the Google Business Profile finally makes its slightly overdue entrance in this blog post.
Your Google Business Profile is that bit over to the side of the search results on a desktop it looks like this and on a mobile like this, it’s probably the result people will most likely see and use when they search for you and it includes a button so they can call you, get directions to you and click through to your website. It’s absolutely the reason the Whitepages, Yellowpages, or directories of any page colour are now well and truly defunct.
A Google Business Profile isn’t just about being found – it’s incredibly important to businesses for other reasons too, it’s a powerful platform to enhance your online presence, your visibility, and your reputation.
Your Google Business Profile plays an important role in local search engine optimisation (SEO). When someone performs a “near me” search or location-based query, Google displays relevant Business Profiles in the local “3-pack” (a coveted position that showcases the top three local businesses related to the search). By optimising your Profile with accurate information and engaging content like posts (more on this below), you can improve your ranking in local search results.
Then there are your customer reviews. These are displayed on your Profile and that’s powerful ‘social proof’ for small businesses. Positive reviews instill confidence in potential customers and influence their decision-making process. It’s through your Profile that you can respond and comment on these reviews too.
Finally, there are Posts. On your Profile, you can create posts to highlight promotions, events, new products, or any relevant updates. These posts appear in search results and on Google Maps, providing an extremely effective additional way to engage with potential customers and drive traffic to your website or physical location. They look like this. While we’re on this subject of posts I should mention that we can set up a clever little bit of automation that automatically publishes a blog post from your WordPress website as a post on your Google Business Profile as well as your Facebook page and LinkedIn account too if you want.
Anyway, as I said at the outset – having a Google Business Profile is a no-brainer for any business especially a small business with a limited budget as you get all this for free. Actually, you get even more than I’ve mentioned here but I’ll leave Google to complete the picture here.
If you need some help getting started or improving your Google Business Profile then you know what to do – let your fingers do the walking!