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The Under-Utilized Business Tool for Small Business Growth

Vector of the online buying cycle

"Apply the habit of going the extra mile by rendering more service and better service than you are now being paid for." Napoleon Hill

Under-utilized by small businesses, and yet the public turns to this resource as a rule of thumb to find products and services a billion times a day.

What is it? Your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). Now before you groan and click off, hear me out and then decide if I owe you a latte for your time.

Google—love it or hate it—owns 92% of the world’s internet traffic. That’s why one of the most important aspects to online search is your Google Business Profile (GBP).

And frankly, your profile is more important than ever. Take note: You can have a great website but if you’re not Google-verified, (that’s how you get a GBP), your website won’t get much visibility.

So, here’s my list of the 7 reasons why I think you should put more time and attention into your profile. #3 to me is the most important!

1. Improves local search visibility

When searchers are looking for what you offer, if you have a Google Business Profile, you’re more likely to appear when someone is searching for a business in your vicinity. Additional bonus: You’re automatically added to Google Maps. People LOVE Maps!

2. Getting featured in the Local Pack

The coveted 3-Pack, as it’s called, lists three local businesses from organic search results. And it’s not easy to obtain. But according to SEO experts at Moz, GBP signals make up about 25% of Google’s ranking algorithm for the Local Map. If you optimize it for search, you’ve just taken a giant step your competitors haven’t. And that means you’ll have more local visibility than they do. Big win!

Graphic of Google's local 3-pack

3. Showcase your business

To me, this is one of the most important reasons to have a Business Profile. You can quickly showcase what you offer and why searchers should do business with you.

a. Updates—Quick bites of information about your business. Show searchers how you solve their problems.

b. Offers—Having a sale? Post it here.

c. Events—Upload your event details.

d. Add videos—Upload short—30-60 second—videos about some aspect of your business. What do you do best? How does what you do benefit your audience? Give searchers quick bites of information to help them make a decision. I use Pictory.

e. Questions—Add the most frequently asked questions about your business to your profile. Let people know you know what they are most concerned about and address it upfront.

f. Photos. Add photos of your business, your customers, and the service/product you provide. Make your business more real to searchers.

5. Reviews

Love them or hate them, they’re here to stay, and they are considered to be a key local search ranking factor. Respond to ALL reviews whether they are positive or negative.

Show your audience you’re responsive. It helps to build trust with searchers considering your services. In this video, Darren Shaw of Whitespark shows you how you can sometimes remove negative reviews. The important thing here is to always ask for a review!

6. Enable text alerts.

You can add your business number to get text alerts from customers and searchers.

7. List your services.

Google has a section for your primary business category that allows you to list your services. Get more clicks to your website. This also is a big ranking booster!

8. List your products.

If you’re a product-based small business, use this to showcase them. Get more clicks to your website. (You see car dealers using this feature routinely with great success.)

A Google Business Profile is one of the few freebies big G gives out. Since small businesses don’t get a lot of freebies, I strongly recommend you use this incredibly valuable tool to attract more customers.

Consider adding on a weekly basis, add an update, photos, or a video. Let searchers see that you’re a vibrant business so that they click to your website for more engagement.

Go the extra mile because your competitors aren't. Get more local visibility, out rank your competitors, and send targeted customers to your door.

Don’t squander such a valuable tool!


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