Google Business Profile Bookings and Appointments
Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is a free service that allows businesses to manage their information, including business name, address, phone number, and hours of operation on Google properties such as Google Maps, and Google search, etc.
Once a business has claimed its listing on Google Business Profile, it can add conversion-enhancing content such as photos, videos, and descriptions.
Additionally, many businesses will be able to take advantage of the Reserve with Google ecosystem to power bookings and appointments directly from the first page of search results.
As a business operator, this means that potential customers will find your business prominently displayed on top of organic search results, whether your website appears organically on page one or page five.
Not only that, but your customers will also be able to book an appointment or place an order with you (including payment processing) without having to navigate around your website searching for this functionality.
How Does Google Business Profile Display Bookings and Appointments?
Let’s dive into the importance of local citation building and how it relates to one of the largest platforms, Google Business Profile.
Depending on the nature of your business, Google can display an order button, for example, if you offer takeout food, a table reservation button if you operate a sit-down restaurant, an appointment button if you offer physiotherapy sessions, a booking button if you have a fitness studio, and so on.
Here are some examples:
Say, a searcher is looking for a pizza place nearby. Instead of having to sift through pages and pages of search results with pizza joints and review sites vying for their attention, Google presents a summary of pizza restaurants in the vicinity:
All they have to do now is to pick a choice, say, Labriola Chicago from the list above, to be presented with relevant information, such as reviews, opening hours, directions, and a link to their website. But more importantly, they’ll be given the ability to either reserve a table or order online directly from search results without having to visit their website:
If a searcher then decides to reserve a table, they’ll be able to pick the time and day and the number of people at their party directly from Google’s search screen:
Or, if instead, they want to order online for pickup or delivery, they can choose their favorite dish and they’ll be directed to a payment screen to make the purchase, all without having to visit the business’ website:
If you instead operate a physiotherapy service, the Google search algorithm will present searchers with a list of service providers to choose from:
Once they choose a service provider (hopefully you!), Google will give them the ability to book online without having to visit your website and perhaps get distracted by your navigation process:
All they would have to do then is to select the level of service they want and simply book directly from the first page of search results:
Fitness and Wellness:
Finally, if for example you have a fitness studio and offer classes, searchers will be presented with a list of options…
…where they can see a schedule of your classes on offer and book right away without having to visit your website…
…after selecting the day, time, and class of their choice:
How Does Google Enable Bookings and Appointments Through Google Business Profile?
In order to enable bookings and appointments right on the first page of search results without forcing searchers to go through multiple pages of content first, Google developed a platform called Reserve with Google.
Reserve with Google allows businesses to manage their bookings and appointments directly through an ecosystem that connects businesses with operating partners who develop the actual reservation, booking, and ordering software.
These partners cover the gamut of industries that are best suited for Google Business Profile booking and appointment functionality. Here are some examples:
Currently, they count almost 200 software partners, with 160+ new ones coming online soon.
How Can Businesses Take Advantage of Google Business Profile Bookings and Appointments?
In order to enable this powerful functionality, you first need to create a Google Business Profile account (follow this link and click the Manage Now button):
Then, simply follow the self-guided onscreen instructions to create your business profile. These instructions will vary with each type of business, but at a minimum, you’ll have to enter things like:
- A business name
- An alluring business description (pro tip: there are a number of AI writing tools that can help you write compelling copy in a matter of minutes)
- A business category
- Your physical address
- Phone number(s)
- Email address(es)
- Hours of operation, etc.
By creating your Google Business Profile, you’ll be able to add your business information to Google Maps, Google Search, and other services, therefore giving you more control over how Google presents your business information across their properties.
To ensure your business appears on Google’s many search tools, you’ll need to verify your Business Profile by choosing a verification method, e.g. phone, text, email, etc.
The time it takes to verify your business will depend on your business category, publicly available information about your business, your support hours, your region, etc.
Time to Turn Your Booking Functionality into Action
Once you’re inside your Google Business Profile, click on the Bookings tab and choose the supported scheduling provider you’d like to work with by clicking on their icon, which will take you directly to their website. Once there, follow their signup instructions.
Your booking provider account will be automatically linked to your Business Profile within one week. At that point, you can begin scheduling bookings through Google.
Once linked, you’ll be able to sync up your booking history, booking revenue, most popular services, and other important metrics with your Google Business Profile.
The level of booking analytics detail you’ll be able to see will depend on your service provider’s level of integration in the Reserve With Google ecosystem.
What Are the Most (and Least) Ideal Candidates for the Booking Feature?
Like with any new technology, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for search-based bookings and appointments.
As you’ll see below, many businesses are ideally suited to use this technology to achieve greater conversions while others won’t get much traction. Let’s look at a sampling of the best and least suited industries for search-based bookings and appointments:
Most Ideal Candidates for Google Business Profile Bookings and Appointments
- Restaurants and food delivery services: The food industry is a perfect candidate for this feature because searchers have the opportunity to reserve a table or place an order for delivery or pick-up right at the search results level, without having to jump through hoops to get to the right ordering page. As many restaurant guests now reserve through their phones, seamless, mobile-friendly booking features are essential for conversion.
- Health providers and therapists: From physiotherapists to chiropractors and dentists, the health services industry is also ideally suited to use Reserve with Google since the people seeking those services already know what they are looking for.
- Wellness: including fitness, yoga, and pilates classes, among many others are also great candidates for direct-to-booking buttons right on the search page.
Least Ideal Candidates for Google Business Profile Bookings and Appointments
- Legal services: legal services, such as firms that specialize in personal injury, bankruptcy, divorce, employment, and other law practices are not as good a fit since their lead-acquisition process is dependent on lengthy phone calls to qualify clients prior to booking, making Reserve with Google less effective compared to call ads.
- Home services: services like plumbing, HVAC, roofing, renovations, etc., also require lengthy qualifying conversations in order to generate an estimate for services, making call ads better suited to their needs than ordering or booking buttons.
- Consulting services: Services that have longer sales cycles, like accounting, marketing and management consulting, etc. that require multiple touchpoints to establish a seller-buyer relationship are least suited to use this type of booking feature for obvious reasons.
- Banking services: though some banks have an open policy where they can reserve bookings online, most prefer to do it via their platforms. Services that specialize in bank accounts for students or young adults now have a more robust technological offering, but usually need a higher volume of data to offer a proper service so they are least suited to use this type of booking feature.
Tips to Maximize Booking and Appointment Revenue Through Google Search and Google Maps
Here are some tips you can use to optimize your Google Business Profile setup so you can get the most revenue out of your business listing:
- Make sure your Google Business Profile is always as good as it can be: The more complete your profile is, the more credible your business will appear in the eyes of search visitors. Remember that you’ll always be judged in relation to your competitors, so make sure that your listings don’t appear lacking compared to the businesses listed above and below you.
- Optimize your business profile for SEO: Make sure to include keywords in your profile that are relevant to your business category. If you don’t know where to begin, there are a number of paid keyword research tools (e.g. Ahrefs) as well as free ones (e.g. Google Keyword Planner) to help you find the winners.
- Images are a critical component of your business profile: Successful Google business profiles are rich with images showcasing products and locations (searchers want to see the food you serve and the places they’ll patronize.)
- Solicit reviews from your best clients: Positive reviews are not just required to improve your overall search rankings, they’re a critical piece of social proof that can lead to outsized conversions. Don’t assume satisfied customers will leave reviews — ask for them!
- Always keep your business information current: Treat your Google Business Profile as a living document and make sure you always display the most current information available. If you no longer offer curbside pick-up, make sure to remove mention of the feature from your profile. If your business hours change during the holidays, don’t forget to update your profile accordingly. And most importantly, if you changed your business phone number, update it. In an increasingly digital world, your business will live or die based on the information that’s available via search.
Your Google Business Profile is a powerful tool that will help your business not only increase its online visibility and drive more traffic to your website but also book sessions, order products and set up appointments right out of the first page of search results, taking your conversions to the next level.
If you’re not yet taking advantage of this important feature, now is the time to get started. By creating a complete Google Business Profile, linking it to a booking provider in your industry, and following the above tips, you’ll be able to maximize your booking and appointment revenue by leveraging the biggest search engine in the world to your benefit.