What is a Google Business Profile?

A Google Business Profile (GBP) is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. This tool is particularly crucial for local businesses as it enhances your visibility in 'near me' and 'nearby' search engine results, which are essential for attracting local traffic over competitors, including big box stores like Lowe's or Home Depot.

Mobile Example of Google Business Profile:

Desktop Example of Google Business Profile

Understanding 'Near Me' and 'Nearby' Searches

'Near me' and 'nearby' searches are triggered when users look for services or products in their immediate geographic location. These searches prioritize local businesses over national chains, making it essential for local SEO. By optimizing your Google Business Profile, you enhance your chances of appearing in these searches, directly influencing foot traffic and local sales.

For instance, if you own a Shed Store in ExampleTown and someone in ExampleTown searches on Google for "sheds near me" or "sheds nearby," having a Google Business Profile significantly increases the likelihood that your Shed Store will appear in the search results.

Getting Started with Google Business Profile

To create or claim your Google Business Profile, visit Google My Business. Google will walk you through this process step by step. Here are a few helpful hints!

  1. Enter Your Address Accurately: Use the exact address format as it is listed by Google to ensure accuracy and improve your local search ranking. For example, if you google search your address and you see that Google lists your address like:

    123 Example St, Suite 200, Exampleland, IL 62701

    Then you should enter your address into your Google Business Profile that exact same way. Even small deviations in the address formatting from the way Google lists your address can hurt your site's local search ranking and visibility. The following is an example of those small deviations:
    123 Example Street, Suite #200, Exampleland, IL 62701

    So, when we suggest using the exact address as it is listed by Google, we mean exact!

  2. Use a Unique Phone Number: You must use a phone number that is not already associated with a Google Business Profile. Google does not allow the same phone number to be associated with multiple Google Business Profiles.

  3. Add Basic Business Information: Provide essential details such as your business name and the services you offer.

  4. Verification Process: Google's verification is crucial as it confirms your business is legitimate and not fraudulent. This process may involve a phone call, text message, or video to verify your business and it can take a few weeks for Google to respond. Your Google Business Profile will not show up until verification is complete!

Tips for a Successful Google Business Profile:

  • Optimize for Local Searches: Make sure all your business details are accurate and complete, including business hours and contact information.

  • Encourage Reviews: Positive reviews enhance credibility and improve your search ranking. Compare your review count with competitors. If you're behind you competitors in google reviews, it’s time to encourage happy customers to leave their feedback so you can be more competitive in the search results.

Verification Delays and Issues

Sometimes, verification by Google can take a long time or might not go through due to various issues. While this can be frustrating, please understand that these delays are outside yours/our control. We will do our best to support you through this process and are available to help with any concerns you might have.

What’s Next?

In our next guide, we'll explore setting up and optimizing a Facebook business profile, another vital tool for broadening your digital footprint and engaging with your customer base.

Creating Your Business Facebook Profile: A Streamlined Guide (Click Here!)

By effectively using your Google Business Profile, you position your business to thrive in the local marketplace, gaining an edge over both local and national competitors.