Author: Maddy Osman
If you’re in a new town and looking for a cafe to visit, you might head to Google for a “coffee shops near me” search. The results that pop up directing you to your next latte are Google Business Profiles, which function both as online listings and marketing tools for your business.
Your Google Business Profile (GBP) is like a snapshot of your business, providing searchers all the essential information they need, such as location, phone number, hours of operation, reviews and more. GBP is growing in importance, especially for SEO and local search. It can be a valuable way to help you connect with your customers and, best of all, it’s straightforward to set up.
Making your business easier to find for searchers is a no-brainer. And, Wix has made it even easier to create and manage your GBP profile by partnering with the service to make it accessible from your Wix dashboard.
In this post, we’ll go over some of the most important info about GBP and how you can best optimize your profile on Wix.
What’s in this guide:
Google Business Profile 101
Google Business Profile is a free tool on Google Search and Google Maps. It serves as a listing for your business and contains basic information about it, including:
Hours of operation
Link to your site
But, GBP isn’t just an online business card. Customers can view photos and reviews left by others, which can help them decide whether to visit you. For business owners, GBP can enable you to schedule bookings or showcase your products or services.
Not every business will qualify for a listing. The requirement to have a GBP is in-person contact with customers through a physical location or a business that travels to customers where they are, such as a plumber or delivery service.
Why GBP is important for your business
It’s no secret that Google is used for almost everything. So, if a customer Googles your business specifically (or a term that is relevant to your business), your GBP can help them find the information they’re looking for.
For example, if someone searches “San Antonio bakery,” they’ll have plenty of bakery GBP listings to choose from in the area, and you want yours to be one of them.
What’s more, 50% of users who did a local search on their smartphone went to a store within a day, according to a Google and Ipsos study. And, GBP is the number one local ranking factor, according to Whitespark.
In addition to helping you more easily connect with your customers and improve your online visibility, your GBP can potentially further your reputation and give you insight into your customer experience.
You might think you don’t need a GBP profile if you rank well for relevant searches. But, if your competitor’s GBP profile pops up and yours doesn’t, it might steer people to another business before they even see your site.
Best practices for your GBP
Follow these tips to optimize your profile for search.
Fill out your listing completely and strategically
Create a comprehensive profile for your business on GBP to answer questions your customers may have and convey professionalism.
Pay special attention to the category you’re listing your business in, as it can help you better connect with searchers. You’ll have more competition if you choose a generic category like “restaurant” than if you choose “Mexican restaurant,” for example. Plus, the more accurately you convey your business, the more you’ll be able to frame expectations for potential customers.
Photos may be an important factor for potential customers. Make sure your listing has a cover and profile photo. Then, consider adding other interior, product, or service images.
Businesses with more than 100 images on their profile had 520% more calls, 1,065% more site visits and 2,717% more direction requests than businesses that didn’t, according to a BrightLocal study.
Adding videos to your profile is another great way to stand out and give users a feel for your business.
Explore GPB’s extended capabilities
GBP has a host of features that could help your business, such as:
Depending on your industry, you might be able to list your amenities or services.
Look into the features that would serve your business. Making it easy for customers to book an appointment through Google could increase your conversions. Or, if you’re in the food industry, adding your menu can help you stand out from competitors in your area.
You might want to turn on the messaging feature so customers can easily reach you with questions. And, use posts to let users know about relevant updates and/or promotions.
Managing customer reviews
Reviews are an essential part of your GBP. They can make you stand out—positively or negatively—to customers. According to Whitespark’s report, positive reviews are the second most important conversion factor.
To attract reviews, you can encourage customers to share their experience through signage at your business location or on your social channels. Note that Google discourages offering promotions for reviews in order to keep them impartial.
Instead, focus on providing quality products and services that drive customers to take the initiative and leave a positive review. And, make it easy for them to do so by sharing your GBP link in your receipts, thank you emails and at the end of chat interactions, for example.
Another helpful tactic is to respond to reviews regularly. That way, customers build trust with your business and feel heard. In fact, businesses that respond to reviews are seen as 1.7x more trustworthy than businesses that don’t, according to Google. This also goes for negative reviews, which can be tricky, yet beneficial, to reply to.
Remember that reviews live on your profile, so it’s an example potential customers will have of how your business handles unhappy customers. Stay professional, courteous, and authentic. Offer compassion and solutions where appropriate.
How to create your GBP on Wix
Setting up a GBP is simple and now you can do it in Wix. Here’s how:
Go to the Marketing & SEO section in the left-hand menu of your Wix dashboard
Select Google Business Profile
Click Start Now to fill out all the information about your business
If your business is already set up, you’ll go to the Verify & Manage page
If it is not set up, you will create your business’s profile
The next step is to verify your business to prove you own it. You can confirm ownership over the phone, by email, or postcard. Once verified, you’ll want to set your profile up for success.
Using GBP Insights
GBP Insights can help you figure out whether you’re meeting your SEO goals or if you need to put in more work to make your profile more attractive to search engines and users. You can access Insights by going to your Google Business Profile within the Wix dashboard.
From there, you can get an overview of your profile’s performance, including:
Views: How many people viewed your listing
Direct searches: When someone directly searches for your business name or address
Discover searches: When someone searched for a category, product, or service your site offers, and your Business Profile appeared
Branded searches: When someone searched for your brand or a brand related to your business
Activity: The actions users took on your listing (for example, if they called your business, visited your site, requested directions, viewed photos, etc.)
This information is invaluable for understanding how people found your business. Analyzing the metrics can enable you to identify trends or patterns and adjust your strategy accordingly. Your GBP is a doorway for many customers and, with Insights, you can narrow down what’s working and what’s not.
Beyond your Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile is a tool that helps you stand out on Google—a crucial element for any local business. Your listing provides quick and essential information to your customers while also letting you engage with them in a variety of ways.
By optimizing your listing, you set your business up for success and can connect with your customers more easily through search.
Maddy Osman - Founder, the blogsmith Maddy Osman is the bestselling author of Writing for Humans and Robots: The New Rules of Content Style, and one of Semrush and BuzzSumo's Top 100 Content Marketers. She's also a digital native with a decade-long devotion to creating engaging content and the founder of The Blogsmith content agency. Twitter | Linkedin