Google Local Search
Google has the vast majority of search market share, including the growing “local searches” category. We recommend having a Google Business Profile (recently renamed from Google My Business page) to get your business in front of potential or current customers. This applies regardless of if you have a physical location where you serve customers or if you are a service business serving customers in their homes.
“Google searches (on Google.com and Maps) guide consumers to 1.5 billion destinations every year.”
If you already have a Google Business Profile
Use the following checklist to be sure you are not missing any essentials. Potential (and current) customers are seeing your Google business listing while searching Google and it’s worth a few minutes of your time to make sure this best supports your brand.
Google Business Profile Audit Checklist
- Verify that you have access to edit the listing by going to business.google.com/locations.
- Make sure the Status shows Verified.
- Use the exact same phone number (and format) on each listing and on your website.
- Use the official USPS address for all listings and on your website.
- Check your reviews and reply to each one. If you don’t have any new reviews, send your customers a link to your listing to ask for reviews. Reviews are one of the key aspects of a the Google Business Profile.
- Go back to step 5 and ask for reviews – it is that important!
How do you create a Google Business Profile?
However, here are a few things you should know:
- The main location to create and manage your listing is google.com/business/.
- As you set up the listing, check the items listed above in the “Google Business Profile Audit Checklist.”
- You will need to receive a physical postcard at your address and possibly verify other business info before the listing is approved.
- Be sure to select the correct Service Areas.
What does a Google Business Profile get you?
Here are some of the benefits of having a Google Business Profile:
- Expanded visibility of your business within a search results page
- Ability to show relevant info to customers, such as hours of operation
- A trusted place to receive and display reviews
- Adds your business to Google Maps
- Improves SEO for your website
Tips & Things to Know
- You can send a direct link to customers to make it easy for them to leave your business a review. This link is found In the admin area of your Google Business Profile.
- Google will try to entice you to start a basic (Google Ads Express) campaign. This is not recommended. The reason for this is the Google Ads Express version is extremely limited in options and often results in wasted advertising spend as it reaches the wrong audience. A full Google Ads account with strategy and conversion tracking behind it is a much better option.
- Google provides minimal support for their Google Business Profiles. If you run into issues it can be a headache to get them sorted out.
Common questions about Google Business Profiles and Local Search
Should I set up more than one listing if I serve multiple areas?
Unfortunately this answer depends on the exact situation. Here are a few general guidelines to follow:
- If you have multiple physical locations (such as retail stores), then yes, definitely have all locations listed.
- If you serve customers at their location within 100 miles, then just a single Google Business Profile is recommended. This is easier for you to manage and allows you to keep your reviews all on one listing.
- If you serve customers at their location and cover a wide service area (more than 100 miles), then it is worth considering having multiple Google Business Profiles. However, you will need to have a physical mailing address in each location and you will no longer have a single profile to collect reviews on.
My business does not have a physical location. Does this still apply to us?
Yes, you are able to create a business page with your information. When you create the listing, choose the option that you do not have a store location and then select the geographic area that you serve.
Does this help my website rank higher in searches?
Search engines do not like to share their secrets, but we can be pretty sure that it does help. However, even if it does not help your website directly, it does increases the visibility of your business on search pages as well as on Google Maps, so it is worth the time to create it.
How do I ask people to leave reviews on my Google Business Profile?
Google now offers a direct link for you to share with customers so they can easily leave you a review. On your profile you'll see an option for Share review form that will generate a link for your business.
Where Will the Google Business Profile Listing Actually Show Up?
The business listing is displayed on Google Maps. This includes both maps.google.com as well as mobile apps. Even more importantly though, it is now connected with location based searches on Google.
Location 1: Google Search
Location 2: Google Search Sidebar
Location 3: Google Maps