What is a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) and Do I Need It?

What is a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) and Do I Need It?

One of the best ways to improve your local search rank is to create a Google Business Profile (formerly called Google My Business). It’s a free tool from Google that displays basic information about your business. When set up correctly, it can boost your revenue and provide you with more details about your customers.

In this post, we’ll explain what Google Business Profile is, how to optimize your listing, and how to use it for SEO. We’ll also walk you through the steps of claiming and accessing your Google My Business listing.

What is Google Business Profile?

As mentioned above, Google Business Profile is a tool that allows you to manage and optimize how your Business Profile appears on Google. Your Business Profile is nothing more than your Google business listing.

Your Business Profile, along with other business profiles, appears in Google Maps and local search results. A typical Business Profile looks like this in search results:

And this is how they look on mobile phones:

Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business profile) example screenshot

Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business profile) example screenshot

The downside of a Business Profile is that anyone can create them — a random stranger as well as automated listing generators. As such, you don’t have the ability to manage the information that’s displayed on the profile or the reviews that other people leave. That’s precisely where a Google Business Profile comes in.

Once you create your Business Profile, you can access, manage, and improve your Business Profile on Google. In addition to that, you can respond to reviews that others leave on your Business Profile.

Google Business Profile mapHow to Use Google Business Profile Effectively – Optimization Tips

Now that you know what Google Business Profile is, let’s talk about how you can optimize it effectively.

Make Sure Information is Accurate

First, you’ll want to make sure the information listed on your Google My Business profile is accurate. After all, if your address or phone number is outdated, nobody will be able to get in touch with you.

Similarly, if your website information is inaccurate or outdated, users could end up on the wrong website or worse, opt for a competitor with correct business information. The most important information you’ll want to ensure it’s accurate includes:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Website
  • Description
  • Category
  • Attributes

Add/Update Photos

It’s a good idea to add or update any photos that represent your business location. This makes it easier for people to recognize your place of business. It helps them know they’re at the right place.

You can also encourage your customers to take photos while they’re in your place of business and share them to your Google Business Profile listing.

Gain Insights

Use the dashboard in Google Business Profile to get a better understanding of your audience and how your business is doing in local search. All you have to do is click on the Analytics tab to see queries that customers are using to find your Business Profile.

This section will also show you if users found you on Google Maps or Google Search, what actions those visitors took on your listing, and show you how your photos are doing compared to other similar businesses in your category.

It’s also worth mentioning that you can add Google Analytics UTM parameters to your Business Profile. This will allow you to track clicks from your Business Profile to your website.

Enable Messaging

Google My Business allows you to enable messaging for your Business Profile. Once you turn this feature on, users can message you via SMS text straight from your listing. You can then respond with a text message. You can even set up a Welcome message that goes out automatically as soon as you receive a new message.

This is a great way to build trust and credibility which can lead to more sales and conversion rates down the line so it’s definitely a feature worth enabling.

Photo of Co-working space found on Google Business Profile

How to Use Google Business Profile for SEO

Google Business Profile can have a direct impact on your local search optimization efforts. Here are some ways you can use it for SEO.

Reviews

Reviews help you build trust with potential customers and clients. It also helps you position your business as the authority with Google and trust is just one of many components of Google’s algorithm.

As such, it’s important to keep the reviews coming in for your business. Luckily, you can easily ask your existing and past customers to leave you a review on your Google Business Profile listing.

All you have to do is go to Google Maps, search for your business, click on the menu map, and select the option to share the map. Send the link to your customers via email or a brief text message and ask them for a review.

Target Keywords in Description

Another way to use Google Business Profile for SEO is to incorporate relevant keywords in your business information. As with all other content created for SEO purposes, that doesn’t mean you should go overboard with keywords.

Instead, incorporate them naturally in “from the business” description as well as in responses to reviews or answers to questions. If you also use the publishing feature of Google Business Profile, you can add the keywords in those posts.

Google Business Profile map marker on mobile

How Do I Claim/Access Google Business Profile?

The first thing you should do is search for your business and see if your Business Profile has already been created. If you can’t find it, create one.

Go to google.com/business and click the “Manage now” button. You’ll then go through the process of creating an account. Keep in mind that you’ll still need to create a Business Profile by locating it on Google Maps and selecting the “Claim this business” or “Own this business?” option. Complete the process and your Google Business Profile account will be linked with your Business profile.

If your listing already exists, you’ll need to choose a way to verify ownership. After that, you’ll be able to manage your Google Business Profile listing.

Need Help with GMB?

If you need help setting up or optimizing your Google Business Profile listing, get in touch with us. Contact us and we can help optimize your Google Business Profile and improve your SEO.

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