LOCAL SEO: ESSENTIAL FOR SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS 

As a business owner, I understand the importance of fostering a strong local presence and optimising my online visibility.

Central to this endeavour is creating and managing an effective Google Business Profile (GBP).

Often described as a digital business card on Google, a GBP is crucial as it helps businesses promote their brand and drive sales.

Key Takeaways

  • Unlock the potential of a Google Business Profile for increased local presence
  • Learn the basics of SEO and optimise your online brand promotion
  • Discover how to create, manage, and leverage your Google Business Profile effectively

 

What Is a Google Business Profile?

A Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is a free tool provided by Google that allows business owners and marketers like me to manage their online presence on various platforms such as Google Maps and Search.

Having a Google Business Profile enables my business to have a public identity on Google’s services. So, when potential clients search for products or services, my GBP appears with details like location, operating hours, reviews, photos etc.

This allows me to effectively manage how my business is seen on Google’s platforms, making it a fundamental part of my local SEO efforts.

 

Benefits of a Google Business Profile

I’ve found that setting up a Google Business Profile brings numerous benefits to businesses. Let me go through some of the main advantages:

  • Improved Visibility: A Google Business Profile enhances the discoverability of a business on Google Search and Maps, making it easier for potential customers to find your business.
  • Strengthening Local SEO: Providing detailed information about your business on your Google Business Profile can improve your appearance in local search results and the local pack making it a valuable tool for local search marketing – is your audience, even part of it, local to you?
  • Building Trust: Presenting a well-maintained profile with reviews and useful details fosters trust and credibility in your brand.
  • Encouraging Customer Engagement: The Google Business Profile enables customers to interact with your business in various ways, such as checking working hours, calling, visiting your website, or messaging directly from your profile.
  • Gaining Valuable Insights: Google allows you to access in-depth analytics about your profile’s performance, helping you understand how people discover your business and their subsequent actions.

 

Steps to Create a Google Business Profile

Step 1: Log Into Google Business Profile

Begin by signing into Google Business Profile using your Google account. Click “Create a profile” and insert your business name. If your business is already verified by someone else, you’ll need to request ownership.

Step 2: Fill in Your Business Details

Enter your business category, address, service area, phone number, and website URL.

For businesses with multiple locations, make sure to enter the specific phone number or store page for each location.

Providing accurate and detailed information helps Google find appropriate matches with potential customers.

Step 3: Confirm Your Business

Verification is essential to authenticate your business.

Google will send a postcard containing a code to your mailing address, which you’ll use to confirm the legitimacy of your business.

Make sure to double-check your information before starting the verification process.

Step 4: Enhance Your Business Profile

While waiting for verification, add important details to your profile such as your business hours, description, photos, videos, and the products/services you offer.

This makes your profile more informative and appealing to customers, boosting your local SEO efforts.

Step 5: Connect with Customers

Engage with your customers by responding to reviews, answering questions, sharing Google posts, adding photos/videos, and using Google’s direct messaging feature.

This interaction not only provides excellent customer service but also builds your online reputation and enhances your online presence.

Remember: engagement with your customers is a two-way street, the more you engage, the more they interact with your business.

Step 6: Evaluate Performance

Utilize Google Business Profile’s analytics tools to monitor customer interaction with your profile, and track website clicks, calls, booking requests, etc.

This helps you understand what works and where improvements can be made. Pay attention to search queries as they indicate the terms users search for when they find your business listing.

 

Google Business Profile Frequently Asked Questions

I’m often asked various questions about Google Business Profile. In this section, I’ll cover some common queries to help users understand and manage their Google Business Profile more effectively.

How to locate your Google Business Profile

You can quickly find your Google Business Profile by typing your business name in Google Search or Google Maps. Assuming you’ve set up and verified your profile correctly, it should appear in the search results, typically on the right-hand side. Alternatively, you can sign in to your Google account and view your profile there.

(Managing your Google Business Profile)

To manage your profile, log in to your account and select the location you wish to manage if you have multiple locations.

Here, you can do many tasks such as updating your business information, responding to reviews, adding photos, creating posts, and viewing insights. The key is to maintain an accurate, engaging, and useful listing for potential customers.

More than one Google Business Profile

If you run multiple businesses or have various locations for a single business, you can create separate profiles for each. Keep in mind that you will need to verify each profile independently.

Updating Google Business Profile frequently

Regular updates are essential for your profile’s success. Ensure that your core information, like hours, addresses, and services, is always up-to-date. Moreover, adding posts or new photos every few weeks keeps your profile fresh and engaging. Checking and responding to reviews regularly is also vital for maintaining good customer relationships.

Is Google Business Profile genuinely free?

Yes, creating and managing a Google Business Profile is entirely free.

Google does offer paid services, such as Google Ads, that can enhance your visibility.

However, the primary features of the profile, including creating a listing, adding information, and interacting with customers, come at no cost.

By discovering and optimising your business profile, you can improve your local search rankings and make it easy for customers to find and engage with your business. Ensure that your profile is informative, engaging, and up-to-date to make the most of this powerful tool.

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I’m Melissa Critchley, and I live with my wonderful family and adorable dog, Evie, in the scenic hills of the Shropshire/Herefordshire border.

One thing that truly ignites my passion is helping small creative business owners thrive and make more money online.

I’ve been in the marketing field for over twenty years, and for the past four years, web design too.

But here’s the best part: my approach to work is anything but ordinary. Let me tell you why:

Firstly, I have a solid grasp of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and ensure that every website I build follows the best practices. This way, you’ll be amazed at how easily Google can discover your site (you’d be surprised how many web designers miss out on this important detail).

Secondly, I’ve been in the marketing game long before the internet was even a thing. That means I have a wealth of experience to help you navigate the often confusing world of marketing. Whether it’s through coaching or providing “done for you” services, I’ve got your back and I am easy to work with.

So, if you’re ready to take your online presence to the next level, I’m here to make the journey enjoyable and successful for you.

Let’s do this together.