WHAT IS A GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE?
First, what is it? Well, the Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business*) is a free tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.
*News flash: Google has decided to change the name to Google Business Profile.
Whatever the name, the platform helps customers find businesses and allows business owners to verify their business and edit their information that displays across Google products like Maps and the SERP pages. Features on a Google Business Profile include:
- Maps listing and business profile, categories, etc.
- Customer reviews – remember when people used to be taught that if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all? Those were the days.
- Ad feature that allows businesses to link Google Ads to their Profile for enhanced advertising opportunities.
- Google Posts – here’s a great blog on why this feature is important.
- Search Insights – understand how often the Business Profile is being displayed and where.
- Messages – customers can directly message a business through this feature.
- Booking options for those businesses that enable this feature.
- Launch a free website – a Google website – never heard of any business using this.
- A products and services feature to highlight what the business is capable of.
Why should your business care?
Next, why should you care? Well, because we said so! Just kidding…or are we? At GTMA we consider ourselves a data-driven agency that has roots in creative storytelling. We love to allow the data to identify where we should be more creative and tell better stories on behalf of our clients.
Recently, our Ops team decided to pull together data on how well Google Business Profiles performed once they were optimized by the GTMA SEO team. Why? Because we have numerous clients that don’t see the value of this service and we wanted to serve them by showing them the value. Our goal is always to serve our clients and proving the value of any service we feel will benefit the marketing efforts of our clients is an important step to accomplish that goal.
So, in short, the data says you should care. That’s why.
What does the data say?
I can hear you through the keyboard – – get to the point, already! Well, as Mario Lemieux said, “When someone screams at me to hurry up, I slow down.” – – – – – Okay, the results are downright staggering.
The date range of the study was over the course of 12 months and we compared 6 months to 6 months. We pulled 22 different clients, all from the same market sector, and compiled all of their GBP data for review. Of those 22 clients, 11 had GBPs optimized by GTMA’s SEO team and 11 did not.
It’s important to note that all accounts were utilizing Google Posts.
Clients that did NOT work with GTMA to optimize their GBP:
Clients that DID work with GTMA to optimize their GBP:
Not lame! Those are our peeps!
Keep in mind, outside of optimizing their profile, no additional work was done and anyone can see that the results are outstanding.
What are Google Business Profile Insights?
Now, it’s important to understand the data collected by GBP that’s reported in the above charts. So, let’s define each metric to ensure we all walk away a little smarter than a few minutes ago…and with a lot more patience.
- Direct vs Discovery vs Branded
- Direct searches: a customer directly searched for a business name or address.
- Discovery searches: a customer searched for a category, product, or service that a business offers, and the listing appeared.
- Branded searches: a customer searched for a brand or a brand related to a business. This category will only appear if a business profile has appeared at least once for a branded search.
- Total searches: the total number of direct, discovery, and branded searches.
- Search vs Map View
- View on Search: A customer found your business via Google Search. Displays as “Search views” on bulk reports.
- Views on Maps: A customer found your business via Google Maps. Displays as “Maps views” on bulk reports.
- Total views: The total views of both Google Search and Google Maps.
- Total actions: the total customer actions for website, directions, and phone.
- Request directions: a customer requests directions to a business. Displays as “Directions actions” on bulk reports.
- A customer calls a business. Displays as “Phone call actions” on bulk reports.
Every business should have a GBP. It’s the key to local search on Google. Not only will said business benefit by showing up in Map searches and rank higher in the SERP results, but in addition to all of those benefits, the ‘near me’ search is tied to GBP. According to Google, ‘near me’ searches doubled in 2015 and the volume of ‘near me’ queries has increased 34 times since 2011. So, get with the program!
Also, every business must optimize its Profile in order to see better results. My Dad always used to say, “if you’re going to do something, then do it right.” The data from our study shows proof of how important this step is. We would be happy to handle that for your business. Reach out if you’re interested.
At GTMA, we say create, complete, monitor, and continue to update your business listings everywhere, but we see dramatic results for our clients by starting with Google Business Profiles, formerly known as Google My Business, formerly known as Prince, formerly known as Google Plus, but no one wants to talk about that…let’s just act like G+ never happened.