Home General Google Business Profiles – A Pocket Guide for Beginners

Google Business Profiles – A Pocket Guide for Beginners

by Olufisayo
Google Business Profiles

Most people use Google to search for information online. It accounts for 93% of the search engine market, which makes it vital for businesses to leverage it for better visibility and to attract new customers.

Creating a Google Business Profile makes your business more visible to customers using Google Search and Maps. Google Business Profile, earlier known as Google My Business (GMB), allows business owners to provide details of their businesses, including products, services, location, and photos online.

Google My Business Eligibility

GMB is a free service allowing business information to appear in Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping. However, it is available only to businesses with direct contact with customers at physical locations, which means online businesses are not eligible. Moreover, business owners must consult guidelines by Google governing edibility for listing on GMB.

These guidelines undergo frequent changes, which is why business owners must consult them to avoid listing removal or penalties. You need a Google account to create a GMB listing. Every business should ideally have its own account instead of relying on the accounts of its marketing agency. However, even if you work with a marketing agency, Google allows you to set a variety of permissions for better management of listings.

Creating, Claiming, and Verifying a Google My Business Profile

You should create a Google account if you are eligible for a GMB profile. You can use the walkthrough wizard provided by Google to create a listing for your business. You should attempt to fill up the maximum number of fields, and once you are done, Google will ask you to verify your listing so that you can manage it going forward. You can also request bulk verification if you want to list multiple locations of your business simultaneously. You can upload the information on a spreadsheet and make the request.

Google Business Profile Information Display

Once the GBP system accepts the business data, it will start to show up on both the mobile and desktop versions of Google’s local search. Typically, your GMB information will appear when a user searches your business by name, usually with a city name. However, your business may show up for non-branded searches if the competition for the search terms is low and Google believes the search term or phrase intends to find a particular brand, not a variety of generic results. Even though the Google My Business Profile is detailed and lengthy, the screen displays a truncated view for user convenience.

Your profile can also appear in the Google Local Pack when Google interprets the search term as having local intent, even when the user has not included geographic terms. For example, if a user searches with the phrase, “coffee shop near me”, the local pack may include your GMB. Usually, the local pack features three listings, and the user can click on a map or the ‘View All” button to see all the other listings discovered by Google. The click will take the user to the Local Finder display that shows all the eligible results clustered in pages of ten listings. If the user clicks on the map and zooms, he can discover more options.

While Android phones feature Google Maps by default, desktop users can also search using this interface instead of the text box. The Google Maps search results look similar to the Local Finder results, which gives rise to the possibility that Google may consolidate user experience and display the local pack on maps instead of the Local Finder.

Importance of Google My Business for Local SEO

Eligible local businesses can optimize their Google My Business profiles to achieve higher ranks on Google searches to generate more footfalls. While the first step is to claim your GMB profile, you must keep updating it regularly to optimize it.

According to Search Engine Journal, a local business with an updated profile gets seven times more clicks, boosts its ability to attract visits by 70%, and increases its reputation by 2.7 times. You can achieve more credibility by keeping your profile fresh with updated information, reviews, and photos.

Optimizing Your Google My Business Profile

Business Information: This section has editable information about your business, like About, Hours, Contact, Locate, and More. You must keep the business hours current because 40% of all local searches are about business hours. You can choose to display the status as Open with or without main hours, temporarily or permanently closed, and even add more hours.

Products and Services: You can add product names, create product categories, mention prices, and price ranges, and include product descriptions and photos. You can list the services under the primary category displayed or create a custom service.

Photos: People searching for local businesses love to see photos of the business, the products, and its services. These businesses get up to 42% more requests for directions, according to Google. Uploading photos of your business, products, people, activities, etc., allows you to humanize your brand, which increases customer confidence and trust.

Promote: Promoting your business is vital for driving footfalls and revenues. You will get several options to use Google Business Profile features to promote your business by clicking on the Promote button. By selecting Performance, you can find out how well your Google My Business Profile is working – the number of calls and messages you received, bookings, and requests for directions, besides clicks on your website. The option allows you to add photos, generate a link to request reviews, create posts, and find out more about Google Ads.

Customers: By accessing this section, you can engage with customers easily. You can view the reviews, respond to them, see and reply to messages, and answer queries posted by people in the Q&A section. You can track all above using local ranking tools click here to know more.


An increasing number of users are using mobile phones to conduct information searches, particularly to find local resources. A Search Engine Watch study estimates that 50% of people using mobile phones to conduct local searches visit a store. Given this perspective, one can only imagine the potential benefit of having a Google My Business profile.

A GMB provides your business greater visibility enabling your business to appear in Google Maps and local Pack, which is invariably the first thing users notice when searching. It is also a great place for people to leave behind reviews and interact with your business.

Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash

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