22 March 2023 Jonjo Last Updated: 09 February 2024 Why Your Google Business Profile is the key to local SEO ContentsAn Important Tool For Local SEOWhat is a Google Business Profile?A Short History of Google Business ProfilesAppear in local search resultsGet more leads and bookingsBuild trust with potential customersSave time and hassleGoogle Business Profile SEO TipsOptimising Your Google Business Account for local SEO In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for businesses of all sizes. With more and more consumers turning to the internet to research products and services, it’s essential for businesses – and especially local businesses – to be visible online and provide the information customers need to make informed purchase decisions. One of the most effective ways to increase your online visibility and attract local customers is by creating a Google Business Profile. A Google Business Profile is a free online listing that appears when someone searches for your business on Google or Google Maps. It provides potential customers with key information about your business, such as your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and website. Additionally, it allows businesses to showcase their products and services, as well as their reviews from (hopefully!) satisfied customers. An Important Tool For Local SEO Google Business Profiles are an essential tool for local SEO and can help businesses get more leads, build trust with potential customers, and save time and hassle. By optimising your Google Business Profile for local search, you can improve your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract more local customers to your business. In fact, studies have shown that businesses with Google Business Profiles receive more leads and bookings than those without – more on that later. In addition to helping businesses attract more leads, Google Business Profiles are also an effective tool for building trust with potential customers. Reviews from real customers are a key trust signal for local businesses and can help businesses build credibility and establish themselves as a reputable and trustworthy business in their local community. By actively encouraging customers to leave reviews on their Google Business Profile and responding to both positive and negative reviews in a professional and timely manner, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction and improve their online reputation. Overall, a well-managed Google Business Profile can be a powerful asset for businesses looking to grow their customer base, increase their online visibility, and establish themselves as a trusted and reputable business in their local community. By following the tips and best practices outlined in this article, businesses can optimise their Google Business Profile for maximum impact and stay ahead of the competition. What is a Google Business Profile? A Google Business Profile is like a the digital version of a poster in a shop window! It can help businesses of all sizes to gain more visibility online, and particularly in their local areas. This free online listing was previously known as Google Places and Google My Business, but now it’s known as a Google Business Profile. It allows businesses to showcase their services and products to potential customers, and share key information such as business address, phone number, and opening hours. A Google Business Profile is the ultimate business card, except it is accessible to everyone worldwide! With Google Business Profiles, businesses have an opportunity to reach more customers than ever before. This is because these profiles show up in Google search results and on Google Maps, making it easier for potential customers to find them. Additionally, business owners can add images of their business offers, products and services, respond to customer reviews, and even post updates to their profile to keep their customers informed. Having a Google Business Profile can help local businesses to stand out in a crowded market, increase their credibility, and attract more customers. Creating a Google Business Profile is easy and can be done by visiting https://www.google.com/business/. If a listing already exists, business owners can claim the listing and update it with up-to-date and accurate business information here. A Short History of Google Business Profiles Google Business Profiles have gone through several changes and iterations over the years. They were initially launched as Google Places in 2010, which allowed businesses to create a basic online listing for their location. In 2012, Google Places was merged with Google+ Local to create a more comprehensive platform called Google My Business. This platform included a variety of features such as the ability to post updates, photos, and videos, as well as to manage customer reviews. In 2014, Google My Business was further updated to include a new interface and additional features such as Insights, which provided businesses with more data about their profile’s performance. This was a key development. Insights allowed local businesses, marketers and SEOs to have much more of an understanding about how to optimise profiles in order to reach more customers. Despite the various changes and rebrandings, the core purpose of Google Business Profiles has remained the same: to provide businesses with a free and powerful tool to showcase their products and services, and to make it easier for potential customers to find and connect with them. Appear in local search results Local search results are important for businesses because they help businesses connect with potential customers who are searching for products or services in their area. When a business appears in local search results, it increases the visibility of the business and makes it far more likely that potential customers will visit the business’s website or location, or pick up the phone and make an enquiry. There are a number of things that businesses can do to improve their chances of appearing in local search results. One important factor is to make sure that the business’s website and Google Business Profile is fully optimised for local search. One of the most significant benefits of having a well-optimised Google Business Profile is that it can help your business appear within the Google Maps search results . When someone searches for a business or service near them, Google will show a ‘local pack’ of local results (sometimes called a ‘three pack’, or ‘map pack’) consisting of Google Business Profiles it deems to be most relevant. The local pack is a feature in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) that displays a map and a list of nearby businesses for a specific search query. It usually appears at the top of the SERP and contains three listings, although it can display more or less depending on the search query and the user’s location. The local pack is designed to help users find local businesses quickly and easily, making it a valuable tool for businesses looking to attract local customers. The information displayed in the local pack includes the business name, physical address, phone number, website, ratings, and reviews, providing users with all the information they need to make an informed decision about which business to choose. This means that if your business has a well-optimised Google business listing, it is more likely to appear prominently at the top of the search results, making it much easier for potential customers to find you. Get more leads and bookings Studies have shown that having a Google Business Profile can massively increase your chances of being found online. One key statistic is that 84% of searches for local businesses are ‘discovery’ searches, rather than direct. This means people are searching for ‘plumber near me’ rather than ‘ABC Plumbing’. In order to appear above your competitors, you need a well-optimised Google Business Profile. It’s clear that a well-optimised Google Business Profile can be an incredibly powerful tool for businesses. By providing all the necessary information upfront, you can not only increase your visibility but also build trust with potential customers. This is because customers are more likely to choose a business that provides them with all the information they need to make an informed decision. In addition, a Google Business Profile can help you stand out from your competitors. With so many businesses vying for attention, it can be difficult to capture the attention of potential customers. However, by creating a detailed and informative Google Business Profile, you can differentiate yourself from other businesses and increase your chances of being chosen. Another benefit of a Google Business Profile is that it can help you track your performance. Google provides businesses with insights and analytics about how their profile is performing, including how many people have viewed their profile, how many clicks they’ve received, and how many people have booked appointments or made reservations. This data can help you or your SEO agency make informed decisions about how to optimise your profile and improve your overall performance. Finally, a Google Business Profile can help you establish your brand online. By creating a strong, consistent profile with high-quality images and accurate information, you can create a professional image for your business and increase brand awareness. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses that are just starting out or looking to expand their online presence. Build trust with potential customers Building trust with potential customers is essential for any business, and your Google Business Profile account can be an effective tool for achieving this. Google Business Profiles allow businesses to showcase their products and services, as well as their reviews and testimonials. It’s the last point that is perhaps the most powerful feature for local businesses and local SEO. Reviews from real customers are a key trust signal for local businesses because they provide social proof of the quality of the business’s products or services. Reviews can help build trust and credibility with potential customers, who are often looking for reassurance before making a purchase decision or for contacting a service area business. It’s important for local businesses to actively encourage customers to leave reviews on their Google Business Profile, as well as to respond to both positive and negative reviews in a timely and professional manner. Remember that negative reviews are not necessarily the worst thing. Of course we all want positive reviews, but the odd bad review can counterintuitively make a profile look better. This is because too many positive reviews can look ‘spammy’ or fake to some consumers. The important thing is how you respond to negative reviews and how you fix the issue. This can help businesses build trust with potential customers by showing them that other people have had positive experiences with your business. By highlighting your strengths and providing social proof, you can persuade potential customers to choose your business over your competitors. The best thing about using Google here is that it’s a free tool – while competitors like Trustpilot and Feefo have a steep annual fee to use their services. Save time and hassle Managing a Google Business Profile can be time-consuming and complex, especially for small businesses with limited resources, and even more so if you have multiple online listings. That’s why many local businesses choose to use a Google Business Profile management service to save time and energy. These services can help businesses create and optimise their profiles, respond to customer reviews, and provide ongoing support and guidance to ensure their profiles are performing at their best. By outsourcing these tasks to a professional service, businesses can focus on what they do best – providing quality products and services to their customers. Additionally, a Google Business Profile management service can help businesses stay up-to-date with the latest changes and best practices in local SEO, ensuring that their profiles are always optimised for maximum visibility and impact. Google Business Profile SEO Tips Creating a Google Business Profile is just the first step in optimising your online presence for local SEO. It’s important to optimise everything in your Google business listing, from your business description and business name, to your business location and business hours (Phew, that’s a lot of businesses!). Here are some tips for optimising your Google Business Profile for SEO as a business owner: Make sure your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) is consistent across all of your online listings. This helps Google understand that all of your online listings (including those on directories and websites) belong to the same business, which can help improve your local SEO ranking. Use relevant keywords throughout your Google Business Profile, including your business name, address, and phone number. This can help Google understand what your business does and where it is located, which can help improve your business’s visibility and local SEO ranking. Get high-quality reviews from your customers. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile, and respond promptly and professionally to any negative reviews. High-quality reviews can help improve your local SEO ranking and build trust with potential customers. Publish helpful and engaging content on your Google Business Profile. This can include blog posts, your business’s photos, and videos that showcase your products or services. By providing valuable content to potential customers, you can demonstrate your expertise and build trust. Respond to reviews promptly and professionally. Responding to reviews shows potential customers that you value their feedback and are committed to providing excellent customer service. It can also help mitigate any negative reviews by showing that you are willing to address any issues or concerns. Optimising Your Google Business Account for local SEO In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for local businesses looking to attract and retain customers. A Google Business Profile is a free and powerful tool that can help businesses achieve this goal by improving their local search engine optimisation and providing potential customers with key information and social proof. By following the tips and best practices outlined in this article, businesses can optimise their Google Business Profile for maximum impact and stay ahead of the competition. Remember, a well-managed Google Business Profile can be a key asset in growing your business and increasing your online visibility, so don’t miss out on this important opportunity! Back to blog list About the Author Jonjo Head of SEO Meet Jonjo, our Head of SEO. With over a decade of experience in the digital marketing industry, Jonjo brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our team. He is passionate about all things SEO and is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices. Jonjo is a strategic thinker and uses data-driven insights to develop and execute effective SEO campaigns that drive measurable results. He has a proven track record of improving website rankings and increasing organic traffic for a range of clients across various industries. When he’s not busy optimising websites, you can find Jonjo exploring the great outdoors or catching up on the latest SEO blogs and podcasts.