Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business)

The Google Business Profile

“The one free marketing tool almost nobody uses”

Google Business Profile (formerly named Google My Business) is a free and powerful marketing tool that can help small businesses improve their local search visibility, attract more customers, and increase engagement. It appears prominently in Google search results and maps, making it essential for local businesses.

A Google Business Profile (GBP) allows you as an owner to upload photos of your store,  product displays as well as videos and dynamic shots of your or your team in action.

When someone searches for a business on Google, the search engine often displays a knowledge panel (the Google Business Profile) on the right-hand side of the search results page.

This knowledge panel contains important information about the business, such as its name, address, phone number, website URL, hours of operation, photos, reviews, and more. This knowledge panel is generated based on the business’s Google listing.

By claiming and optimizing their GBP listing, a small business owner can provide accurate and up-to-date information to potential customers who are searching for companies or services like theirs.

This information can help customers make quick decisions about which business to choose and can increase the likelihood that they will visit the business’s website, physical location or call their office.

In addition to providing basic business information, small business owners can use GBP to highlight their products and services with original photos and short videos, as well as add attributes such as “women-led” or “disability accessible,”.

GBp account owners can also upload updates (short articles), post sales, and products plus announce events to engage with customers. They can also respond to customer reviews and track insights about their business’s performance on the the GBP platform.

The other cool thing about GBP is that your customers can interact with your profile. People can leave reviews, upload photos they have taken, ask questions, and “like” the answers to other people’s questions. This kind of interaction is very similar to the social aspect found on social media like Instagram or Facebook.

But the one thing that small business owners often fail to do is to fully complete and optimize their Google Business Profile.

Many business owners may simply claim their listing and provide the basic information about their business, such as the name, address, phone number, and hours of operation, but fail to provide detailed and accurate information that can improve their visibility and attract more customers.

To fully optimize their GBP listing, small business owners should add as much relevant and detailed information as possible. This includes their website URL, products and services, business category, attributes, photos, and videos.

By providing more detailed information, small business owners can help Google better understand their business and show their listing to more relevant searchers.

Another thing that small business owners may fail to do is to actively manage and respond to customer reviews. Reviews can greatly impact a business’s reputation and local search ranking, so it’s important for business owners to respond promptly and professionally to both positive AND negative reviews.

Small business owners may also fail to regularly update their GBP listing with new information, such as changes in their business hours, or holiday closings or new products and services.

By keeping their GBP listing up-to-date and accurate, small business owners can improve their customers’ experience and avoid any confusion or frustration.

For example, a local restaurant, I liked to visit changed hands during COVID, but the new owners never claimed or changed the business info on Google.

So when I asked for long-time favorite burger combo – that was still displayed on their GBP – I was told they had stop serving that a “long time ago, but somehow people are still asking for it!”

I mentioned that the old menu was still on GBP, and the new owner waved a dismissive hand and said he didn’t mess with Google since he had a website.

I have discovered that the reasons why small business owners often fail to claim or optimize their GBP listing can vary wildly.

They may feel that they do not have the time, resources, or knowledge to effectively use the platform properly.

Or like the owner above, they may feel that their website can overcome any and all errors or misinformation Google has about them or their business.

Or they may simply underestimate the importance of optimizing their listing for local search and fail to see how bad info on your Google Business listing can negatively impact their public reputation.

But failing to optimize and maintain your GBP listing can also lead to a lower search ranking, less visibility, and fewer responses from customers.


Therefore, it’s critically important for small business owners to take the time to fully capitalize on their GBP listing and actively manage it to attract more customers and improve their online reputation.

If you are having trouble with your Google Business Profile or are not certain how to best use to improve your local rankings, feel free to > contact me.

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