Why Every Local Business Needs a Google Business Profile

  • John Taylor
  • Local SEO, Search Engine Optimisation
  • No Comments

Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business, is a crucial business directory for any local business. In the past, people would end up on websites like TripAdvisor when searching for a place to eat, but nowadays, Google is the go-to for recommendations. It provides all the business details in the SERP, eliminating the need to visit other websites.

Google Business Profile (GBP) is a free tool that lets business owners easily create a business listing and fetch business details directly into Google. Its importance in local SEO has increased significantly over the years, as it helps businesses succeed in search and achieve better rankings.

One of the benefits of using GBP is the opportunity to be featured in the local 3-pack, which appears at the top of SERPs, providing better visibility and more clicks. Additionally, the information provided through GBP is more easily digested by Google, making it easier for Google to assign it to your entity.

The entity-based approach used in GBP has been proven to be highly efficient in local SEO. Furthermore, if the information provided is sufficient, businesses may also receive a knowledge panel from Google. In recent years, Google has developed many business-specific services that occupy the so-called zero search position and grab users’ attention, resulting in more clicks.

Many businesses use GBP only to communicate with their clients by providing:

  • Contact details
  • Work hours
  • Adding photos/videos,
  • Messaging that is rarely replied too.

A myriad of features in GBP can significantly boost your SEO strategy. For example, when ranking GMB listings, Google considers relevance, distance, and prominence. Relevance refers to whether the business matches the query, distance pertains to how close the company is located to the searcher, and prominence considers how well-known the business is, taking into account the following;

  • Number of user reviews,
  • Fresh photos,
  • Correctly filled-out Google Business Profile
  • listing info,
  • GBP posts,

Google Business Profile Implementation:

Let’s discuss the implementation process of achieving SEO success with a Google Business Profile. To create a Google Business listing, visit the GBP Create page and follow the straightforward instructions. However, it is crucial to consider SEO while building your business listing.

Carefully add keywords to your business name, including your main keyword, to influence your rankings significantly, as it works with titles and H1s for content SEO. To avoid issues later, consult Google’s business naming guidelines. While adding keywords, ensure to do everything correctly, as Google may penalise you for violating policies, and keyword stuffing may cause verification problems. For instance, add words like “cafe” or “coffee” to your business name, such as “Snow White and the Three Pigs Coffee House”, if your legal business name does not include them.

To make your business visible on Google Maps and local packs, you must verify your listing, proving that the company belongs to you. The process of verifying your Google Business Profile is now easier than ever. You only need to provide a phone number during the first step of creating your listing. After that, Google will send you a confirmation code to enter, and you’re verified. Upon verification, a Google Maps location is automatically assigned to your business, and you don’t have to do anything extra to make your address visible to users. If you already have a non-verified listing, you can request verification directly from the SERP.

However, when creating your Google Business listing, Google may show several businesses already existing at your specified address. If your company has been claimed by someone else, Google Business Profile will notify you with a part of the email address used to claim the account. If you recognise the email, you can recover your Google account. Otherwise, click “Request access,” fill out the form, and submit it.

The current GBP profile owner will receive an email with an access request. You will also receive an email about this request, which you should save as it is crucial for checking the status of your request and restoring access if necessary. You can claim the GBP listing if the current profile owner does not answer within three days. However, if the previous listing owner denies the request, you must verify your affiliation with the business you claim.

Google may also request re-verification due to changes you make to your business listing or violation of Business Profile guidelines, such as incorrectly specified categories, address mistakes, or keyword stuffing in business names. Therefore, following the GBP guidelines while filling out your profile is essential to avoid any verification problems.

What are some tips for optimising a Google Business listing?

A Google Business Profile can be optimised by utilising its many features to make it more attractive to users and Google algorithms, thereby increasing its chances of success in SEO. Each segment has its benefits for specific niches, such as restaurants adding menu items, hospitals providing types of service, and supermarkets offering product catalogues. The rule of thumb is to give as much detail as possible about your Business in your Google Business Profile.

Here are some tips for optimising your Google Business Profile:

  • Edit profile: This section allows you to add or change general information about your Business, such as the description, contact info, location, service area, opening hours, and amenities. The description should be keyword-rich and follow a pattern stating the unique selling proposition (USP), the main keyword, and the products or services offered.
  • Website: You can add a website for your Business or get a free one on Google. The website will be housed at the Business.site, but you can buy a custom domain.
  • More section: This section is business-specific, and you should fill out as many features as possible, such as dining options for cafes, types of rooms for hotels, delivery options, etc.
  • Add photos: Visual content is a must for any business. Enrich your Google Business listing with high-quality images of your goods and amenities, add video tours of your facilities, and show some behind-the-scenes processes — all of that shows Google that your listing is alive.

Overall, the completeness of a listing weighs a lot in Google Business Profile SEO. Therefore, providing accurate and up-to-date information is essential to help Google better understand your Business and rank it higher.

Monitor your performance:

One way to monitor your performance is by using Google Business Profile, which now allows you to track your optimisation efforts directly from the search engine results page (SERP).

The first thing to check is your Profile strength, which shows your listing’s overall score. Additionally, the Performance section provides insights similar to those in Google Analytics but more specific to businesses. Here, you can view the number of interactions, calls, and messages received during the selected time period and identify top products, among other things.

These insights can help you identify areas for improvement, understand your strengths and adjust your local SEO strategy accordingly. One benefit of using Google Business Profile is that it can often be more beneficial than your actual website since GBP listings rank higher on SERPs, drawing more attention and providing users with all the necessary information in one place.

Ensure your listings are updated and active to maximise your Google Business Profile. By doing so, you may reap the rewards soon.

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Author: John Taylor