How To Use Google Business Profile Messages

March 25th, 2024, 09:00 AM

Google Business Profile messages offer an alternative way for customers to communicate with businesses, directly through their GBP listings. 

Since Google Business Profile listings are what people typically see first when they search for local products or services via Google Search or Google Maps, enabling GBP chat messaging can provide a competitive edge and help attract more local business by offering great customer service and quick answers to frequently asked questions. 

But Google Business Profile's chat feature isn't enabled by default, so make sure you understand how to turn it on and how to read and reply to messages on Google Business Profile in order to get the most out of this useful tool.

What Are Google Business Profile Messages?

Google Business Profile messages are a feature that allows customers to send chat messages directly to a business from its Google Business Profile listing on Google Search and Maps. These messages provide a convenient way for customers to inquire about products, services, business hours, and other details.

Who Can Send Messages on Google Business Profile?

Any user who finds a business on Google Search or Maps can send a message to that business through its Google Business Profile. However, businesses need to enable messaging in their Google Business Profile settings to receive messages.

How To Enable Google Business Profile Messages

You can turn on the chat feature for your Google Business Profile through either Google Search or Google Maps.

Here's how to turn on GBP messaging through Search:

  1. Go to your Google Business Profile
  2. Click on "Messages"
  3. Go to "Menu" > "Chat Settings"
  4. Turn "Chat" on

And here's how to enable Google Business Profile messaging in Google Maps:

  1. Open the Google Maps app on your device
  2. Go to "Business" > "Messages"
  3. Click the three dots for "More" > "Message Settings"
  4. Turn "Chat" on

Once you turn Google Business Profile chat on, you should receive an email confirming that it has been enabled, and customers will now be able to send you messages directly though your GBP listing.

How To Read and Reply To Messages on Google Business Profile

You can read and reply to direct messages in the "Messages" tab of your Google Business Profile dashboard. You'll receive a notification any time someone messages you through GBP chat.

It's a good idea to set up a custom welcome message, which will automatically get sent to customers the first time they contact you. You can do this in the "Chat settings" area of your "Messages" tab.

You can also set up automatic answers to FAQs. Automatic FAQ answers are generated using information from your Google Business Profile, such as business hours, contact info, etc. For more specific questions related to your business, you can create custom FAQ answers. Again, this can all be done in your "Chat settings."

Note that, if you're using Google Business Profile messages, you MUST respond to all messages within 24 hours. Otherwise, Google will automatically disable chat for your GBP. Customers will also see your average response time on your profile, so it's a good idea to respond as promptly as possible.

There are a few additional Google Business Profile messaging guidelines you should know about and follow. For example, you're not allowed to provide or request sensitive info via chat, such as credit card numbers or login credentials. Failing to follow any of these guidelines could result in chat being disabled for your business and potentially other issues.

Do Google Business Profile Messages Affect Local SEO?

GBP messaging is not a ranking factor for Google, so having it turned on or off will not directly affect your visibility in local search results.

However, using Google Business Profile messaging may indirectly affect your business's visibility. 

Prompt responses to messages can improve customer engagement and satisfaction, which may lead to more positive reviews and increased local search visibility (Google reviews are an important ranking factor).

In order to directly impact your local SEO efforts, make sure to implement Google Business Profile optimization best practices, including keeping business information up to date, selecting the most relevant categories, and responding to all reviews.

Final Words

Google Business Profile messages are a valuable tool for businesses to communicate with customers directly, answering questions or concerns and setting themselves apart from the competition. 

By enabling messaging, businesses can provide better customer service and potentially boost their local search rankings by improving customer sentiment and engagement, ultimately leading to more positive reviews on Google.

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