If you’re a small local business owner in 2022, congratulations! It’s always been tough to hang out a shingle, but never more so than in the past few years. One of the biggest challenges our clients face (aside from pandemic woes, of course) is “How do I get my business found on Google?”
It’s the right question to ask! According to this 2020 survey, 97% of consumers searched online for a local business and 73% of searchers trust a local business more because of positive reviews.
Leveraging a powerful search engine like Google by creating a Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is a good first step. It’s a simple, yet highly effective tool that can help a great deal with local search.
However, there’s a lot to know about how these profiles work, and creating one is just the start of your journey.
What is a Google Business Profile?
A Google Business Profile shares important information about your business, including hours of operation, contact details, photos, and a link to your website.
Your clients can also leave reviews of your business that can help with your brand and reputation in the local market.
Businesses that provide onsite services – plumbers and electricians are good examples – can still qualify for a listing. These are known as service-area businesses or hybrid businesses.
Even if you don’t have a physical storefront that customers can visit, you should still plan to share service area details in your listing. A listing can have up to 20 service areas, however, the boundaries of your overall area should not extend farther than about 2 hours of driving time from where your business is based.
Information from this listing can appear in all things Google, including Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping.
How Google Business Profiles Work
Your profile is an opportunity to introduce yourself and your products or services to local audiences. The information your potential customers discover can lead them to a critical step: getting in touch with you or visiting your storefront, if you have one.
To place a listing, you’ll the following basic information:
- Your business category. Tip: Google recommends answering the question “This business is ____” when choosing your category.
- A physical address or location. If you don’t have one, you can choose a service area.
- Contact information, including email and a phone number.
- Additional details about your business, such as hours, additional details about your services, and images.
All Google Business Pages must be verified by Google. This helps avoid duplicate listings and protects your listing from changes you didn’t make. You can elect to receive a postcard in the mail with a code that you have to enter into your account. Verification can also be transmitted to you electronically.
Be Sure Your Profile Works for You
As we noted earlier, setting up your profile is just the beginning. Once you’re verified, it’s important to customize your business profile so that customers have a good experience, and Google can crawl your profile in order to share it when people are searching for your goods or services.
Content on your Google Business Page must be comprehensive and creative. It should also be updated regularly.
Once your profile has been confirmed and published, your rankings will be based on several factors, including:
- How well your listing matches with a user’s search
- The physical distance between your business and the searcher’s location
- Links, numbers of reviews, review score, and SEO.
Get Going with Approach Positive
Think of your Google Business Profile as Digital Marketing 101. It can help you establish an online presence quickly and easily, but it needs ongoing attention to work for you.
Because navigating the world’s largest search engine can be tricky, we’ve created a Get Going package that’s affordable for local businesses. We handle the details, so you can concentrate on building your business.
This starter package will help your business in multiple ways, including:
- Getting found on Google
- Generating Reviews
- Leveraging Local Searches
Get Going is a subscription service and features a dedicated account manager who will handle your account, and create or claim your Google Business Profile.
We’re here to help local businesses turn “near me” searches into near you opportunities! Contact us for your free consultation today.