I want to start by keeping things simple for you: ‘Google My Business’ is being renamed ‘Google Business Profile.’
So, why the name change and what does this mean for your IT firm/Managed Service business? How does this impact your sales and marketing? Why should you even care?
Why your MSP & IT Services firm needs a Google Business Profile account
First things first, the foundation of GREAT SEO starts with Google My Business (GMB), ahem, Google Business Profile (GBP, for short.)
Google My Business, now Google Business Profile, continues to be the biggest driver of local and regional SEO success, with reviews coming in second place.
A completed GMB listing can single-handedly and INSTANTLY improve a business’s local SEO ranking. It sets an immediate first impression for YOUR searchers that see your business’s essential info listed when they search for you and your IT services.
If you’re paying an SEO firm for SEO services and they DON’T talk about this A LOT, then you MUST fire their asses, pronto, because they’re stealing from you.
A Google Business Profile exists to help YOUR technology business improve your local and regional SEO. A listing for a local and regional business in Google Business Profile means your IT firm is more likely to appear in search results when your prospects search for you, as a nearby business using Google Maps and a Google browser.
And, in a world where the searchers of YOUR services use Chrome 64% of the time, you need to optimize for search on Google, first. Safari has 18.84% of the search browser market, with Edge having about 4%, according to Statcounter.
Google Business Profile is your single place for managing your business information and how it will be presented in the search results. It is THE ESSENTIAL TOOL to how your business is shown in organic search results and in Google Maps search results.
If you don’t have this setup properly, then you’ll never, ever attain your SEO goals. I guarantee it…even Forbes and former Google employee, Matt Cutts, says so. (Here’s an ANCIENT article proving this, but STILL VERY relevant.)
The solution to get this set up properly: Your MSP & IT Services firm *MUST HAVE* a properly set up Google Business profile to get found on the web by your searchers and prospects. At SGS, we do this FOR you so you don’t have to worry about it.
Why the name change and what does this mean for your IT firm/Managed Service business?
Google is renaming Google My Business to Google Business Profile because it’s moving to bring more of the business profile management out of the Google My Business dashboard and move it to Google Search, Google Maps, and respective Google apps.
Before GBP, it was named Google My Business. Before that, it was called Google Places, then Google+ Local before that. (Yes, the local business management product has been through many names.)
Google said that the existing Google My Business web experience will automatically transition to “Business Profile Manager”, with users directed to a rebranded Google My Business web interface. If you haven’t, I’d *HIGHLY* recommend using google.com/places to start getting used to the new platform changes.
If you manage multiple locations for your business you will still continue to use an interface like Google My Business, renamed to Business Profile Manager going forward. There may be changes to the Business Profile Manager throughout the upcoming months, too. Be aware of that.
This change will make it easier for you to manage all your Google web assets, like your Google directory listing, local SEO description, reviews, Google Map information, and continue to optimize all your Google business assets that allow you to improve and optimize your local and regional search results.
Your new GBP uses many factors to determine search rankings for businesses. The three most important ones are:
Relevance determines how well your business fits the search intent of your prospect. Is your focus identical to what the customer needs, or are you a bit opaque about what your company does? Vagueness doesn’t rank well, or “sell” your searchers/prospects. You want to be as clear as you can to keep your focus. Inside of the GBP dashboard, you can update and categorize your business information, keywords, etc., to ensure that you’re being found for the right search results while avoiding ambiguity.
Proximity is a well-known factor for ranking local and regional businesses. You can’t rank in a local search for ‘IT Support, New Jersey’ when you have located your company in Miami. How Google determines how to show your business in a local search is unknown, but factors that play a significant part in that are having local-oriented content around your business on your site, inside of GBP, and by combining Google’s data about the location of your searchers to present the most relevant local business search results.
Prominence is the activity around your GBP listing. This is the number of reviews, events, local content, etc. It also helps to have loads of quality links to your site. It’s hard to determine what prominence means exactly, but one thing is for sure: Your prospects and Google don’t love inactive profiles. You have to keep it updated with new photos, content, and manage your reviews. This goes hand in hand with your site, so make sure both listings align and that you publish content with a focus on the areas/regions you serve.
How your MSP *MUST* use Google Business Profile for your sales and marketing purposes.
Here’s a 10-step checklist on how to use your new GBP for ultimate SEO-success.
- First, you MUST claim your listing.
- Choose a category as accurate as possible.
- Provide as much data as you can – your profile has to be 100% complete.
- Validate your phone number.
- Check your opening times – think about holidays!
- Review your photos – are they EXCELLENT, or are they mediocre?
- Create citations on other sites as well – pick well-regarded business listings, review sites and directories.
- Keep your Google Business Profile listing in line with your website.
- Respond to customer reviews as well as implement a plan for regular new ones.
- Keep your data up to date.
GBP is NOT a set-it-and-forget-it type of thing. The web changes. Sales and marketing changes.
In order to stay relevant, and grow, you must change, too.
I want you to keep everything active, monitor reviews, and stay on top of things because it’s frustrating for your prospects if you don’t. If you keep putting in the hours, it will work.
If you’re looking for help with setting up, monitoring, and managing your Google My Business, now Google Business Profile, we have a proven process to help you with this. Contact us here to learn more about how to build a plan to CRUSH your sales and marketing by leveraging tools like Google Business Profile.
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