How To Set Up Direct Bookings Through Google Business Profile

May 23rd, 2024, 09:24 AM

Setting up direct bookings on Google Business Profile allows customers to make appointments in just a few clicks when they find businesses on Google Maps or Search.

Enabling the booking feature on Google Business Profile can be particularly beneficial for certain types of service-based local businesses, including restaurants, hotels, salons, and other reservation- and appointment-based businesses.

In this article, we'll tell you how to add a booking link to a Google Business Profile listing, as well as go over some of the benefits of and use cases for the GBP booking feature.

What Are the Benefits of Adding a Booking Link to Google Business Profile?

By enabling direct bookings on Google Business Profile, businesses make it more convenient for potential customers to make reservations or schedule appointments for their services directly from their Google Maps listing, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Since they're fully integrated with other Google services via Reserve with Google, setting up bookings on Google Business Profile provides a seamless and efficient booking process for customers who prefer Google's ecosystem, enhancing their overall experience with the business. 

When customers make a reservation or book an appointment through GBP, it automatically syncs with their Google Calendar, and they can see all their appointments and bookings in one place, contributing to convenience. They also receive automatic appointment reminders, reducing the risk of no-shows.

On the business side of things, automating bookings through Google Business Profile can reduce the need for manual booking processes, such as phone calls or emails, saving time and resources and reducing the likelihood of errors, including double bookings.

What Types of Businesses Can Enable Direct Bookings on Google Business Profile?

Any type of business with a physical location that operates by appointment or takes reservations can potentially benefit from adding a booking link to their Google Business Profile listing. Even some types of service-area businesses may be able to take bookings through GBP. Here are some examples:

  • Service-Based Businesses: Such as hair salons, spas, beauty parlors, massage therapists, personal trainers, tutors, and pet groomers.
  • Healthcare Providers: Including doctors, dentists, chiropractors, psychologists, and other medical professionals.
  • Hospitality Businesses: Such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals.
  • Restaurants: For making reservations and managing waitlists (more on waitlists below).
  • Tour and Activity Providers: Such as tour operators, guides, and recreational activity providers.
  • Event Venues: Including conference centers, banquet halls, and wedding venues.
  • Fitness Businesses: Including gyms, yoga studios, and fitness classes.
  • Home Services: Such as plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, and contractors.
  • Professional Services: Such as lawyers, accountants, consultants, and real estate agents.
  • Educational Institutions: Such as schools, colleges, and training centers offering classes or workshops.

How To Allow Bookings on Google Business Profile

In order to add a booking link to your Google Business Profile, you can set up bookings through one of the available third-party providers

The exact providers available may vary from country to country, but you can find a list of all Google's booking partners on the Reserve with Google site.

Signing up with one of these third-party booking providers is fairly straightforward and can be done directly from your Google Business Profile account. Here's how:

  1. Log in to your Google Business Profile
  2. Go to the "Bookings" section of the account menu
  3. Choose a provider and follow the on-screen prompts to sign up with them

After you complete the signup process with one of the providers, a booking link should automatically appear on your Google Business Profile within a week or less.

Alternatively, if you have a first-party booking system, such as a reservation page on your website, you can add a link to that system to your GBP. 

You can also switch between first- and third-party booking links whenever you want to, so if you start out with a third-party booking provider and want to later change to your own booking system, that's totally possible.

What About Managing Waitlists for Restaurants via Google Business Profile Bookings?

Restaurant businesses have an additional booking-related feature available that they can use on Google Business Profile, and that's the waitlist feature.

The waitlist feature allows restaurants to add a waitlist to their Google Business Profile through a third-party provider, making it possible for customers to automatically add themselves to the waitlist through GBP by clicking a "Join waitlist" button. This helps restaurants control the flow of diner traffic and reduces the need for manual waitlist management.

Adding a waitlist button to your Google Business Profile is very similar to adding a booking link; simply:

  1. Log in to your Google Business Profile account
  2. Go to the "Waitlists" section of the account menu
  3. Click "Get started"
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts to set up a waitlist with a third-party provider

The Bottom Line

Setting up direct bookings through Google Business Profile is a valuable strategy for businesses looking to streamline their booking processes and enhance customer convenience. 

By allowing customers to make appointments or reservations directly from their GBP listing on Google Maps or Google Search, local businesses can increase conversions, improve user experience, and reduce the likelihood of no-shows.

This feature is particularly beneficial for businesses in service-based industries, such as restaurants, hotels, salons, and healthcare providers.

Overall, adding a booking link to Google Business Profile is a simple yet effective way for businesses to take full advantage of the free platform's features and attract more customers via local search.

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