What Is Google My Business & Why Do I Need It?
Businesses often create Google business listings (also known as Business Profiles) to increase their visibility on Google. You might not realize, if you are one of these business owners, that creating a Business Profile does not give you control over it, and if you want your Business Profile to be an effective SEO tool and lead generation tool, then you need management and editing capabilities.
What is the best way to manage your Google Business Profile? In addition to creating a free Business Profile, you must also create a free Google My Business account separately.
Your Business Profile needs to be managed through a separate Google My Business account.
You can only claim ownership of your Google My Business profile, obtain management rights, and unlock addition free features by creating a Google My Business account. This post will cover everything you need to know about Google My Business, including:
- What is Google My Business?
- What Google My Business can do for you
- The best way to use Google My Business for search engine optimization
- Setting up a Google My Business account
Find out how you can use this free and powerful tool in your marketing efforts!
What is Google My Business?
Using Google My Business, you can manage and optimize your Google Business Profile. In order to understand what Google My Business is and how it works, let’s first define a Business Profile.
Google refers to your Google business listing as your Business Profile. A business profile appears in Google Maps and local search results.
The Google Search Business Profile looks like this:
Business Profiles on Google Maps look like this:
And Business Profiles on mobile look like this:
Anybody (including a random stranger or an automated listing generator) can create a Business Profile, which is the same as adding a place to Google Maps. The only information Google requires is the name of the business, its location, and its category. Once Google confirms it is not a duplicate, the Business Profile will be created. Users can then leave reviews, add photos, ask questions, and even answer questions on the Business Profile. Google may also pull information from across the web into your Business Profile.
In other words, a Business Profile can exist independently of a Google My Business account. Whether you created your own Business Profile or not, you cannot manage the information displayed or the reviews it collects.
This is where Google My Business comes in. Your Business Profile on Google can be accessed, customized, managed, and enhanced through your free Google My Business account, which we’ll discuss next.
How to use Google My Business for local marketing
Google My Business is not your Business Profile, but rather a tool to enhance your Business Profile to boost its visibility and effectiveness. To make your Google My Business listing a more effective local marketing tool, let’s look at these four core ways.
1. Engage with consumers
Consumers can interact with your Business Profile in many ways, and you can engage back with them through your Google My Business account. Reviews can be responded to, questions can be answered, direct messaging can be enabled, and associated alerts can be set up. Like Facebook and other social media platforms, Google My Business allows you to publish posts to your Business Profile.
On your Google My Business dashboard, you can respond to reviews, publish posts, and answer questions.
2. Highlight your business
Business Profiles alone provide limited information about your company. Through your Google My Business dashboard, you can provide hours, a link to your website, products and pricing, attributes, and other details about your business. Additionally, you will be able to edit and update your Google My Business as needed.
A complete Business Profile offers a complete snapshot of your business, including its best features, right in the SERP.
3. Gain insights
With the Google My Business dashboard, you can gain key insights into 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, the actions taken on your listing, and how your photos are performing compared to other profiles in your category. UTM parameters and Google Analytics can also be used to track clicks from a Business Profile.
4. Perform local SEO
In the same way that Google uses algorithms to rank its ads and websites, it also uses algorithms to rank its business profiles. Next, we’ll discuss how to optimize your Google My Business dashboard so your Business Profile can rank in local results using keywords.
Google My Business can help you optimize your Business Profile to show up in the coveted 3-Pack.
How to use Google My Business for SEO
The Google Business Profile is dynamic. Not only do they change form based on platform, but Google will also prioritize sections of your profile based on the search term as well as the type of information most important to consumers in your category. Furthermore, Google will emphasize relevant keywords in your profile content.
In the first place, you need to prioritize information and emphasize keywords in your profile. In the same way that you (or your agency) would use a content management system like WordPress to optimize your website for search engines, Google My Business helps you optimize your profile and expand your reach. What is the best way to use Google My Business for local SEO? Because optimizing for Google is essentially optimizing for searchers, everything boils down to three things: targeting, quality of information, and trust.
Target your information
You can use Google My Business for SEO by incorporating relevant keywords into your Business Profile so Google knows what you’re trying to rank for.
You can use them in your “from the business” description, your responses to reviews, your answers to questions, and in your posts. Like any other SEO strategy, make sure to incorporate them naturally.
Include keywords in your description, editable through your Google My Business dashboard.
Maintain quality of information
Providing accurate and complete information in every section of your Google My Business dashboard impacts the rank of your Business Profile. Contact information, special hours, and attributes are especially important here.
Using Google My Business for SEO appeals to the trust component of Google’s algorithm. As your business evolves, keep your information accurate and up-to-date. Maintain a steady stream of reviews and respond to them. Regularly upload photos and publish posts to your Business Profile through Google My Business to show Google that you are active.
Reviews and responses appear on your Business Profile. Be sure to manage them through your Google My Business dashboard.
The importance of SEO cannot be overstated, especially for small businesses that can use local targeting to compete against large competitors in the SERPs. With its robust Business Profiles, Google is making local SEO even easier, so any business that wishes to maximize visibility in their local area should have a Google My Business account.
How to sign up for Google My Business
Would you like to know about a free tool that turns your Business Profile into a power marketer? How do I sign up?
To create a Google My Business account, go to google.com/business and click “Manage now,” which will guide you through the process. A Google My Business Account does not automatically create a Business Profile, but it gives you access to it and the ability to customize it. To access your Business Profile, you’ll need to have an existing one.
You will not automatically gain access to your Business Profile when you create a Google My Business account. Once you have created your Google My Business account and logged in, locate your separate Business Profile on Google Maps and select the “Claim this business” or “Own this business?” link seen right on the profile. As soon as you complete that process, your Google My Business account will be connected to your Business Profile.
Get started with Google My Business today
As you now know exactly what Google My Business does, how it works, and how to use it, you can now see why using this free tool for local marketing isn’t just a good idea, but a necessity. Set up your Google My Business account now to attract more customers on the world’s most popular search engine and outshine your competition.