In an effort to gain more visibility on Google, many businesses create a Google business listing (known officially as a Business Profile).
If you’re one such business owner, something you might not realize is that creating a Business Profile does not give you management over it, and you need those management and editing capabilities if you want your Business Profile to work for you as an effective SEO and lead generation tool.
So how do you gain management over your Google Business Profile? The answer is that, in addition to creating a free Business Profile, you must also separately create a free Google My Business account for that profile.
A Google My Business account is the only means by which you can claim ownership of your Business Profile, attain management rights to it, and unlock additional free features to increase your visibility on Google
Creating a Business Profile is the same thing as adding a place to Google Maps—which is something that anyone (including a random stranger or an automated listing generator) can do.
All that Google requires is the business name, location, and category. Once Google confirms it is not a duplicate, they will create the Business Profile for that location.
The Business Profile is then open to consumers to leave reviews, add photos, ask questions, and even answer questions. The Business Profile may also get populated with information that Google pulls in from across the web.
So we’ve established that Google My Business is not your Business Profile, but rather a tool by which you enhance your Business Profile to boost its visibility and effectiveness. Let’s cover the four core ways you can use this Google My Business to make your profile on Google listing a better local marketing tool.
1. Engage with consumers
You can respond to reviews, answer questions, enable direct messaging, and set up associated alerts. You can even use Google My Business to publish posts to your Business Profile, much like you would with Facebook and other social media platforms.
2. Highlight your business
Through your Google My Business account dashboard, you can provide hours, a link to your website, products and pricing, attributes, and other details that make your business unique.
3. Gain insights
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, a breakdown of actions taken on your listing, and how your photos are performing compared to other profiles in your category.
4. Perform local SEO
Just as Google has algorithms for ranking its ads and websites, it also has one for ranking Business Profiles. Through your Google My Business dashboard, you can incorporate keywords into your Business Profile and perform other optimizations to help it rank in local results, which we’re going to cover next.
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