How to Use Google Business Profiles to Boost Local SEO

June 26, 2024

Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is a free tool provided by Google that allows businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. 


In this guide we will cover


  1. What is GBP?
  2. Why is GBP Important
  3. How do you set up a GBP account
  4. How can you optimize your GBP for better reach
  5. 10 Ways to improve local search visibility
  6. 5 Ways to Manage your GBP
  7. Google Business Profile Support


Before we get started, let me tell you a story about Sarah and Joe. Sarah’s car had been making a strange noise for a few days, and today it finally gave up on her. Stranded on the side of the road, she knew she needed a good mechanic fast. She pulled out her phone and searched "mechanic near me" on Google Maps, hoping to find someone reliable nearby.

Meanwhile, just a mile away, was Joe's Auto Repair, a family-owned business with decades of experience and a reputation for honesty and quality work. Joe, the owner, had built his business on word-of-mouth referrals and loyal customers. However, Joe hadn't paid much attention to his online presence, assuming his excellent service would keep bringing customers through the door.

As Sarah scrolled through the results on her phone, Joe's Auto Repair was nowhere to be found. Instead, she saw listings for other mechanics, some with mixed reviews and others with none at all. In a pinch, she chose the first one with a decent rating and called for assistance.

Back at Joe's Auto Repair, the day was slower than usual. Joe and his team were finishing up the last few cars in the shop. Joe noticed the lull in business but attributed it to a random quiet spell. Little did he know, just a mile away, someone had been desperately searching for the kind of service he prided himself on providing.

Fast forward a few months when Joe’s daughter Emily came home from college to visit. Joe explained the lull in business so Emily took charge of her father’s marketing and set up his Google Business Profile. Business was booming after that. One customer, in particular, stood out. It was Sarah, the woman who had been stranded just a mile away. She told Joe about her previous experience and how she wished she had known about his shop sooner. "I'm so glad I found you this time," she said with a smile. "The reviews and photos online made all the difference."

Joe realized the importance of having a well-optimized Google Business Profile. It wasn't just about being great at what he did; it was also about making sure people could find him when they needed him the most. From that day on, Joe made it a point to keep his online presence updated, ensuring that anyone searching for a "mechanic near me" would see Joe's Auto Repair as a top choice.

And so, Joe's business continued to thrive, not just because of the excellent service they provided but also because they finally made it easy for customers to find them when it mattered most.

What is Google Business Profile?


  1. Business Information: You can provide essential information about your business, such as your name, services offered, address, phone number, website, and hours of operation. This helps customers find accurate information quickly.
  2. Location on Google Maps: Your business will be pinned on Google Maps, making it easier for customers to find your physical location.
  3. Customer Reviews: Customers can leave reviews and ratings, which are visible to others. Responding to reviews helps build trust and improve customer relations.
  4. Photos and Videos: You can upload photos and videos of your business, products, or services, giving potential customers a visual understanding of what you offer.
  5. Posts and Updates: Share news, updates, events, promotions, or offers directly on your profile. This helps keep your customers informed and engaged.
  6. Insights and Analytics: Access valuable data on how customers find your business, their actions (such as calls, website visits, direction requests), and overall performance of your profile.
  7. Booking and Appointments: If applicable, integrate booking systems to allow customers to schedule appointments directly from your profile.
  8. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Provide answers to common questions customers might have, enhancing their experience and saving time.
  9. Attributes and Highlights: Add attributes like "Women-Led," "LGBTQ+ Friendly," or specific amenities (e.g., free Wi-Fi) to provide more details about your business.
  10. Messaging: Enable messaging so potential customers can reach out to you directly from your Google Business Profile.

Setting up and maintaining a Google Business Profile is crucial for local SEO and helps ensure that your business appears in local search results, making it easier for customers to find and interact with you.


Why is Google Business Profile Important?

As you can see from Joe’s experience, Google Business Profile is crucial for several reasons, particularly for small businesses aiming to improve their online presence and attract local customers. Here’s why it’s important:

  1. Increased Visibility in Local Search:
    • Google Business Profile helps your business appear in local search results, especially in the "Local Pack," which is the set of businesses listed at the top of a Google search results page. This increased visibility can drive more traffic to your website and physical location.
  2. Enhanced Customer Trust:
    • Having a verified Google Business Profile adds credibility to your business. Customers are more likely to trust and engage with businesses that have complete and accurate profiles.
  3. Access to Reviews and Ratings:
    • Reviews and ratings on your profile influence potential customers' decisions. Positive reviews can attract more customers, and the ability to respond to reviews helps you engage with your audience and manage your reputation.
  4. Better Customer Engagement:
    • Features like posts, messaging, and Q&A allow you to interact directly with potential customers. You can share updates, answer questions, and address concerns, enhancing customer service and engagement.
  5. Accurate Business Information:
    • Ensuring your business information is correct and up-to-date on Google helps customers find you easily. Incorrect information can lead to missed opportunities and frustrated customers.
  6. Insights and Analytics:
    • Google Business Profile provides valuable insights into how customers find and interact with your business. You can see how many people called you, requested directions, visited your website, or viewed your profile, allowing you to make informed marketing decisions.
  7. Free Advertising:
    • A Google Business Profile is free to create and manage, providing a cost-effective way to advertise your business online. It helps you reach potential customers without the need for paid advertising.
  8. Improved Local SEO:
    • Optimizing your Google Business Profile can significantly enhance your local SEO efforts. Local SEO focuses on optimizing your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches, which is crucial for small businesses.
  9. Showcase Your Business:
    • You can upload photos and videos, highlight special attributes, and showcase what makes your business unique. This visual content can attract and engage potential customers.
  10. Integration with Google Ecosystem:
    • Being part of the Google ecosystem means your business information is seamlessly integrated across various Google services like Google Maps, Google Search, and Google Assistant, ensuring consistent visibility and accessibility.

In summary, a well-optimized Google Business Profile enhances online visibility, attracts local customers, builds trust, and fosters customer engagement. Joe’s initially incomplete profile caused him to miss potential customers like Sarah. Once updated, his shop gained prominence in search results, increased customer trust through reviews, and improved interaction. This led to more foot traffic and revenue, giving Joe a competitive edge and driving sustainable growth through positive feedback and data-driven strategies.

How do you set up a GBP account

Before you can engage with potential customers, make sure your profile is set up and verified on Google. Customers can only find your business profile on Google after you complete verification.


  1. On your computer, sign in to your Google Account, or create one. 
    • If you create a new Google Account, sign up with your business email domain.
  2. Go to create a profile. 
  3. Enter the name of your business. You may also be able to select your business from the list of suggested businesses as you type. 
  4. Search for your business category.
  5. Click Next. 
  6. Choose whether you have a location customers can visit.
    • For businesses with a storefront staffed during business hours: Click Yes.
      • You may be asked to enter your business address or position a marker on a map for the location of your businesses. When finished, click Next.
    • For businesses that don't have a storefront staffed during business hours: Click No.
  7. Enter the service area of your business.
    • You can set your service area based on the cities, postal codes, or other areas that you serve. You can add up to 20 service areas. 
    • Tip: We recommend you do not extend the boundaries of your overall area farther than 2 hours driving time from where your business is based. For some businesses, it may be appropriate to have a larger service area.
  8. Enter a phone number and website URL.
  9. Click Next.
  10. Click Finish.
  11. Select a verification option.
    • Tip: We recommend reviewing your information before you request verification.
      • To verify now: At the top, find the red banner and click Verify now.
      • To verify later: Click Verify later Later.
      • If you’re not authorized to manage the Business Profile for the chain: Find the person in your organization who’s authorized and continue the process.

How can you optimize your GBP for better reach

Now that you have created your Google Business Profile, your work isn’t done. The “if you build it, they will come” approach doesn’t apply to marketing. To ensure your profile is visible and ranks high in search results, you’ll need to make some important tweaks and optimizations.

  1. Complete Your Profile:
    • Ensure all business information is accurate and up-to-date, including name, address, phone number, website, and hours of operation.
  2. Add High-Quality Photos:
    • Upload photos of your business, products, services, and team. High-quality images make your profile more attractive and engaging.
  3. Use Relevant Keywords:
    • Incorporate relevant keywords into your business description and services to improve your profile’s searchability.
  4. Collect and Respond to Reviews:
    • Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and respond to all reviews promptly. Engaging with reviews shows that you value customer feedback.
  5. Post Regular Updates:
    • Share news, promotions, events, and offers through Google Posts. Regular updates keep your profile active and informative.

By following these steps, you can enhance your Google Business Profile’s reach, attract more customers, and improve your overall online presence. If you have already done these basic steps, there are 10 more tips and tricks I have up my sleeve that you can try. 

Download: 10 Ways to improve local search visibility by filling out the form below

10 Ways to improve local search visibility


5 Ways to Manage your GBP

Managing your Google Business Profile (GBP) effectively is crucial for maintaining a strong online presence and ensuring continued engagement with potential customers. Here are steps to manage your GBP efficiently:

  1. Regularly Update Information:
    • Keep your business hours, address, phone number, and website up-to-date. Make sure any changes in your business operations are promptly reflected on your profile.
  2. Respond to Reviews:
    • Monitor reviews regularly and respond to them promptly. Thank customers for positive reviews and address any issues raised in negative reviews professionally and courteously.
  3. Post Regular Updates:
    • Share updates about new products, services, special offers, events, and important announcements. Regular posts keep your profile active and engaging.
  4. Upload New Photos:
    • Continuously add fresh, high-quality photos of your business, team, products, and events. Updated visuals keep your profile appealing and relevant.
  5. Monitor Insights:
    • Regularly review the insights provided by Google. Analyze how customers find your business, what actions they take, and adjust your strategies accordingly.
  6. Answer Customer Questions:
    • Stay on top of the Q&A section on your profile. Provide clear and helpful answers to potential customers' questions.
  7. Utilize Google Messaging:
    • If you have enabled messaging, make sure to respond to customer inquiries promptly. This can help convert inquiries into actual business.
  8. Encourage and Manage Reviews:
    • Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews. Regularly check and manage your reviews to ensure a positive online reputation.
  9. Check for Consistency:
    • Ensure that the information on your GBP is consistent with what is listed on your website and other online directories. Consistency helps in building trust and improving local SEO.
  10. Stay Updated with Google Features:
    • Google frequently updates its features and tools. Stay informed about new features and leverage them to enhance your profile. For instance, utilize Google Posts, booking buttons, or new attribute options as they become available.
  11. Engage with the Community:
    • Participate in local community events and promote your involvement on your profile. This builds local awareness and establishes your business as a community-focused entity.
  12. Use Promotions and Offers:
    • Regularly update special offers and promotions on your GBP. This can attract more customers and keep your existing customers informed about your latest deals.
  13. Monitor Competitors:
    • Keep an eye on your competitors’ profiles. Analyze what they are doing well and identify areas where you can improve or differentiate your business.
  14. Set Up Notifications:
    • Enable notifications for updates and interactions on your profile so you can respond swiftly to customer activities and reviews.

By following these steps, you can ensure your Google Business Profile remains dynamic, engaging, and effective in attracting and retaining customers. Regular management and optimization of your GBP will help maintain a strong online presence and drive sustained business growth.

Google Business Profile Support

Joe’s Auto Repair had a stellar reputation in the local community for providing top-notch service and honest work. However, he was losing customers because he needed a stronger online presence to attract new clients. As the story from the beginning stated, Joe used his daughter Emily to create his Google Business Profile because he didn’t have the time nor ability to. 

If this all seems daunting or you just don't have the time, let us be your Emily. Call or request a consultation today at Our experts will help set up and optimize your Google Business Profile, ensuring you attract more customers and grow your business.

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