What Is Google My Business & Why Do I Need It?

Many businesses create a Google business listing in order to increase their visibility on Google (known officially as a Business Profile). If you are one of these business owners, you may be unaware 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 powerful tool to your marketing toolbox!

What’s precisely is Google My Business?

As previously stated, Google My Business is a tool that allows you to manage and optimize 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’s term for your Google business listing is your Business Profile. Business Profiles appear in Google Maps and in Google Search’s local results.

Google Search Business Profiles look like this:

Business Profiles on Google Maps look like this:

And Business Profiles on mobile 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 any questions, and even respond to questions on the Business Profile. Google may also populate the Business Profile with information extracted from those 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 comes into play. You can access, customize, 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.

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, just as you would on Facebook or other social media platforms.

Emphasize your company

A Business Profile on its own provides only a limited amount of information about your company. However, you can provide hours, a link to your website, products, 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.

Gain knowledge

The Google My Business dashboard can help you gain key insights into your audience and local search performance. 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 in the platform’s analytics tab. It’s also worth noting that clicks from a Business Profile can be tracked using UTM parameters and Google Analytics.

Execute local SEO

Google has algorithms for ranking advertisements and websites, and it also has one for ranking Business Profiles. You can incorporate keywords into your Business Profile and perform other optimizations to help it rank in local results through 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 change form based on the platform, but Google will also prioritize sections 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.

But, in the first place, there must be information to prioritize and keywords to emphasize in your profile. Google My Business is used to optimize your profile and expand 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 trying to rank for. Use them in your “from the business” description, responses to reviews, answers to questions, and blog posts. As with any other SEO strategy, make sure to incorporate them naturally.

Maintain information quality

The completeness and accuracy of your Business Profile affect its rank, so make sure to fill out every section of your Google My Business dashboard. Your contact information, special hours, and attributes are especially important here.

Create trust

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 accurate. Maintain a steady flow of reviews and respond to them. Additionally, show Google that you are active by regularly uploading photos and publishing posts to your Google My Business Business Profile.

SEO is important for any business, but it is especially important for small businesses that can compete on the SERP with large competitors using local targeting. With its robust Business Profiles, Google is making local SEO even easier, so a Google My Business account is essential for any business looking to maximize visibility in their local market.

How to Create a Google My Business Account

Is there a free tool that can turn my Business Profile into a power marketer for my company? Where do I go to sign up?

To obtain a Google My Business account, go to google.com/business and click “Manage now,” which will guide you through the account creation process. Remember that a Google My Business Account does not automatically create a Business Profile; rather, it grants you access to it and the ability to add to it. As a result, you’ll want to make sure you have access to an existing Business Profile.

Also, keep in mind that creating a Google My Business account does not automatically grant you access to your Business Profile. Once you’ve created and logged into your Google My Business account, you’ll need to find your separate Business Profile on Google Maps and then click the “Claim this business” or “Own this business?” link located directly on the profile. Once you’ve finished that, your Google My Business account will be linked to your Business Profile and under your control.

Begin using Google My Business right away.

With a clear understanding of what Google My Business is, how it works, and how to use it, you can see that using this free tool for local marketing is not only a good idea but a must. Set up your Google My Business account right away so that your Business Profile can outperform your competitors and attract more customers on the world’s most popular search engine.

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