What if I told you that you could run a free ad on Google? What if I told you it could be the largest ad on the page and again, it would cost you nothing.

What if I told you that the ad could include:

  • dozens of photos
  • special offers, sales, and promotions
  • a map of your location and service area
  • a link to your website
  • a description of your business and ongoing updates
  • your phone number and email
  • your Social Marketing links and posts
  • reviews and review responses
  • questions and answers

… and that you could update this information at any time, 24/7 for free?

Yes indeed, this is available to virtually all local businesses today and it is called a Google Business Profile. The only businesses that do not qualify for a Google Business Profile are ecommerce sites. But if you have a business with a physical address where customers can visit you, or if you are a service area business where you visit customers such as a contractor or locksmith, then you qualify to have a Google Business Profile.

As a matter of fact, you probably already have a Google Business Profile – but if you don’t know about it, it means you are not benefiting from it to the degree that you could be. Or in the world of digital marketing, we would say you are not OPTIMIZING it. And in order to OPTIMIZE your Google Business Profile, the first step is to CLAIM IT.

What does it mean to claim your Google Business Profile? It means going through a number of steps required by Google to verify that you are the legitimate business owner. Sometimes you might just have to fill in some information about your business. Other times Google makes you jump through a few hoops which can include submitting a video of your location, unlocking the door and showing some documentation such as a utility bill or business registration. Hey I said it’s free – not that it’s easy!

How can you tell if your Google Business Profile has been claimed? If the Google Business Profile includes the words “Own this business?” it means it is not claimed. You can also tell a Google Business Profile is unclaimed if it has poor quality photos and the limited information available.
Here’s an example:

A claimed, optimized and updated Google Business Profile offers a wealth of information for potential customers and can take up half of a Google results page. Here is an example:

A side by side comparison looks like this:

So what are the benefits of claiming, optimizing and continually updating your Google Business Profile? It can help you:

  • Claiming your profile allows you to control the information that Google displays. If you don’t claim your listing, Google tries to provide the best information about your business, which isn’t always correct. By claiming it, you can verify and edit all the information about your business as it appears on Google.
  • GBP listings allow you to rule in local and geographical search. Have you ever used a “near me” search on Google Maps or include a town or area in your search? If so, that is when your Google Business Profile really comes into play. Google Business Profile listings are displayed prominently in a Google Maps search results. With over 70% of all searches going through Google, that’s a powerful way to attract new business.
  • Improve your rankings on Google. Google shows Business Profiles in the results for local searches, and well-optimized profiles are more likely to show higher up on the list. This can increase your organic traffic and leads, as more people will find and click on your profile.
  • Improve your visibility and exposure to your target audience. By providing useful and accurate information on your profile, such as your name, address, phone number, website, hours, and category, you can help Google show your profile in the search results for more relevant local searches. This can increase your brand awareness and reach, as more people will discover and learn about your business.
  • Improve your trust and authority among potential customers. Having a verified and complete Business Profile can boost your credibility and reputation among potential customers, as they can see your ratings, reviews, photos, and other details. This can increase your conversion rate and customer loyalty, as more people will trust and choose your business over others.
  • Improve your engagement and interaction with your customers. You can use features such as messaging, booking, posts, and Q&A to communicate and connect with your customers through your profile. You can also encourage and respond to customer reviews, which can help you build a positive online reputation and word-of-mouth referrals. This can increase your customer satisfaction and retention, as well as generate more repeat and referral business.

As stated earlier, your Google Business Profile is a free service from our friends at Google. However, as a marketing service provider, Blast Marketing Agency can take on the heavy lifting of claiming, optimizing and updating it for you on a monthly basis as well as connecting it to your Social Media posts which we also offer. All of this takes a considerable amount of time which most business owners can’t do and that’s why we’re here. Blast Marketing Agency supports local and regional businesses with impactful digital marketing services.

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