Many businesses create Google business listings in order to increase their visibility on Google (known officially as a Business Profile). If you are one of these business owners, you may not realise that creating a Business Profile does not give you management or editing capabilities, which you will need if you want your Business Profile to work for you as an effective SEO and lead generation tool.
So, how do you gain control of your Google Business Profile? The answer is that you must create a free Google My Business account for that profile in addition to a free Business Profile.
A Google My Business account is the only way to claim ownership of your Business Profile, gain management rights to it, and unlock additional free features to boost your Google visibility. I’ll go over everything you need to know about Google My Business in this post, including:
- What exactly is Google My Business?
- How to Make the Most of Google My Business
- How to Make the Most of Google My Business for SEO
- How to Sign Up for Google My Business
Continue reading to learn how to add this free and useful tool to your marketing toolbox!
What exactly is Google My Business?
As previously stated, Google My Business is a tool that allows you to manage and optimise your Google Business Profile. So, before we get into what Google My Business is and how it works, let’s define a Business Profile.
Google refers to your Google business listing as your Business Profile. Google Maps and Google Search local results include Business Profiles.
Google Search Business Profiles look like this:
Google Maps business profiles look like this:
And mobile business profiles look like this:
Making a Business Profile is the same as adding a location to Google Maps, which anyone (including a random stranger or an automated listing generator) can do. Google only requires the business name, location, and category. Once Google confirms that it is not a duplicate, the Business Profile for that location will be created. Customers can then leave reviews, upload photos, ask questions, and even answer questions on the Business Profile. Google may also populate the Business Profile with information gathered from other websites.
This means that a Business Profile can exist independently of a Google My Business account. And, whether you created your own Business Profile or not, you have no control over the information displayed or the reviews collected.
This is where Google My Business can help. You can access, customise, manage, and enhance your Google Business Profile for free by creating a Google My Business account, which we’ll go over next.
How to Make the Most of Google My Business for Local Marketing
So we’ve established that Google My Business is not your Business Profile, but rather a tool for improving the visibility and effectiveness of your Business Profile. Let’s go over the four main ways you can use this Google My Business listing to improve your local marketing.
1. Interact with customers
Customers can interact with your Business Profile in a variety of ways, and you can respond to them using your Google My Business account. You can respond to reviews, answer questions, enable direct messaging, and configure alerts. You can even use Google My Business to publish posts to your Business Profile in the same way that you would on Facebook or other social media platforms.
Your Google My Business dashboard is where you can respond to reviews, publish posts, and answer questions from people who have visited your Business Profile.
2. Emphasize your company
A Business Profile on its own provides little information about your company. However, you can provide hours, a link to your website, products and pricing, attributes, and other details that distinguish your business through your Google My Business account dashboard. You will also use Google My Business to make necessary edits and updates.
In the SERP, a complete Business Profile provides a complete snapshot of your business, including its best features.
3. Track insights
You can use the Google My Business dashboard to gain key insights on your audience and local search performance. In the analytics tab of the platform, you can see the queries customers are using to find your Business Profile, whether they found you on Google Maps or Google Search, a breakdown of actions taken on your listing, and how your photos are performing compared to other profiles in your category. Note also that there are ways to track clicks from a Business Profile via UTM parameters and Google Analytics.
4. Carry out local SEO
Google has algorithms for ranking advertisements and websites, and it also has one for rating Business Profiles. You can add keywords into your Business Profile and conduct other improvements to help it rank in local results using your Google My Business dashboard, which we’ll go over next.
How to Make the Most of Google My Business for SEO
Google Business Profiles are ever-changing. Not only do they vary form depending on platform, but Google will also prioritise areas of your profile based on the term that was searched as well as the type of information that consumers in your category value the most. Even better, Google will highlight keywords in your profile’s content that it believes are relevant.
However, there must be content to priorities and keywords to emphasize in your profile in the first place. Google My Business is used to enhance your profile and grow your reach in the same way that you (or your agency) would use a content management system like WordPress to optimize your website for search engines. How do you make the most of Google My Business for local SEO? Because optimizing for Google is essentially optimizing for searchers, it all boils down to three things: targeting, information quality, and trust.
Concentrate your information
To use Google My Business for SEO, include relevant keywords in your Business Profile so Google knows what you’re attempting to rank for. Use them in your “from the business” description, reactions to reviews, answers to questions, and blog entries. As with any other SEO tactic, make sure you incorporate them naturally.
Maintain information quality
The fullness and correctness of your Business Profile affects its rank, so make sure to fill out every element of your Google My Business dashboard. Your contact details, special hours, and qualities are especially vital here.
The final method for using Google My Business for SEO appeals to Google’s algorithm’s trust component. As your company grows, keep your information up to date and correct. Maintain a consistent flow of reviews and respond to them. Additionally, show Google that you are active by routinely uploading photographs and making content to your Google My Business Business Profile.
Your Business Profile displays reviews and responses. Make use of your Google My Business dashboard to manage them.
SEO is vital for every organisation, but it is especially important for small firms that may compete on the SERP with huge competitors using local targeting. With its extensive Business Profiles, Google is making local SEO even easier, so a Google My Business account is crucial for any business looking to maximise visibility in their local market.