If you’ve read the first part of this blog series on local SEO directories, you’ll already be familiar with the concept of online business directory listings. These listings provide a great way to gain visibility for your business, as well as help potential customers find you more easily.

After you’ve reclaimed your old business directory listings, it’s time to take advantage of new opportunities and create more online business listings. This can involve submitting your business information to online databases or creating listings on specific directories that serve your geographic area.

Google Business Profile, Bing Places for Business, and Apple Business Connect offer ideal directories to start your local SEO strategy. Adding your business to a wider variety of online directories will help improve your presence in local search results and ensure that potential customers can easily find your business.

Google still retains a dominant share of the search engine market, making Google Business Profile one of the most effective directories for any business to join.

Google Profile for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses

Google has been the world’s leading search engine since the early 2000s. Despite the best efforts from its competitors such as Yahoo and Bing, Google is still dominating the search engine market over 20 years later. Not only is it the most sought-after search engine by Internet users, but it also provides a range of valuable resources, tools, and technology for businesses and organizations.

Google’s Business Profile Manager (formerly Google My Business) is a powerful, free resource for businesses of all sizes. The platform allows businesses to leverage Google’s vast network, giving them a great boost in terms of digital presence and visibility.

A well-optimized Google Business Profile can help businesses reach more customers, increase brand awareness, directly showcase their products or services, and drive more overall sales. When done correctly, an optimized Google Business Profile can give businesses a major SEO advantage.

However, a staggering 58% of small and medium-sized businesses overlook the advantages of local SEO. Investing in local SEO services provides your business with an effective, powerful, and long-term strategy for staying a step ahead of your competition.

Did You Know?

An overwhelming majority of small to medium-sized businesses fail to recognize the benefits that a well-optimized Google Business Profile offers and consequently miss out on key SEO opportunities.

Benefits of a Google Business Profile

Boost local brand awareness

Consider treating your Google Business Profile as a miniature version of your main website. Include all your major business details, such as contact information, locations, and the services you offer. Your Google Business Profile is a free extension of your web presence, making it easier for customers to find out more about you online.

Get found by your target audience

The Google Local Map Pack is a specialized search engine results page (SERP) that uses Google Maps to show businesses nearest to the user’s location. It pulls information from your Google Business Profile, allowing customers to immediately access essential information such as your business address, opening hours, contact information, and reviews. Optimizing your business profile increases the chances of Google featuring your business at the top of its local map pack search results, thus, helping your business get found.

Establishes trust in your brand

Establishing trust with your customers is the key to maintaining a successful digital presence. One of the most effective ways to build a relationship with them is by showcasing past and present reviews. Google Business Profile puts your reviews on prominent display, giving you an impressive boost in visibility. The more positive feedback you receive, the more trustworthiness and authority your brand will earn, leading to increased confidence when purchasing from your site.

Take advantage of this phenomenal opportunity to boost your site rankings and grow your customer base.

Click on each of the images below to learn more about content, directories, and Google profiles for local SEO:

Google Business Profile Optimization Services Blue Zenith
Online Web Directories for Local SEO Near Me
Local SEO Services Blue Zenith

Google Business Profile: Questions and Answers

We provide simple, direct answers to some of the most commonly asked questions in regard to Google Business Profile.

How Much Does a Google Business Profile Cost?

It’s completely free to list your business on Google Business Profile. This extends to businesses with multiple physical locations (such as businesses that have an office in downtown Denver, another one in Centennial, Los Angeles, etc.).

Although Google does require payment for their advertising services, Google Ads is an entirely separate platform from the free Google Business Profile.

Can I Change My Google Business Name and Keep My Reviews?

In recent years, Google has made it possible for companies to update their business profile names without losing existing customer reviews.

My Business Has an Existing Google Business Profile—Can I Change Its Name?

For businesses that are undergoing rebranding or an acquisition, Google provides a streamlined process for updating their business names and changing their profile information as needed. However, it is important for these changes to be made meticulously. Haphazardly changing your name or any other element of your business profile can have a detrimental impact on your rankings. If you’re uncertain, it is always best to seek help and guidance from a qualified SEO professional.

Does Deleting My Google Business Profile Hurt SEO?

Absolutely! Haphazardly deleting your Google Business Profile can damage your SEO rankings, negatively impact your site traffic, and diminish your business’s overall visibility on the web. Furthermore, Google cannot recover deleted business profiles. We highly recommend against arbitrarily deleting business profiles, as this type of damage is often irreversible.

Why is My Business Not Showing Up on Google?

There could be a multitude of causes why your business profile isn’t showing up in Google Search results, including but not limited to:

  • You haven’t claimed or verified your Google Business Profile yet (according to Google, this can take anywhere from 7 to 14 business days). Additionally, your profile won’t be visible to potential customers until after you’ve completed your verification process.
  • Your physical business locations have changed, and your addresses haven’t been updated yet.
  • Your business address wasn’t properly entered.
  • You did not add a unique business phone number to your profile.
  • Your locations and areas of service weren’t properly set up.
  • Google detected too much keyword stuffing or other black hat SEO practices.
  • You have duplicate listings for the same business.
  • Other elements of your business profile were not properly optimized.

What Does GMB Mean?

GMB is a longstanding acronym that stands for “Google My Business.” GBP is an acronym that stands for “Google Business Profile.”

What is the Difference Between Google My Business and Google Business Profile?

Google Business Profile Manager is the most recently updated version of the earlier Google My Business platform, a digital local directory that helps businesses develop their online presence. The new version serves the same purpose, albeit with an improved interface and an array of additional features to help businesses market themselves more efficiently.

Google My Business vs Google Business Profile

Google Business Then  Now
Platform names Google +, Google Local, Google Places for Business, Google My Business Google Business Profile Manager
Type of businesses it supports Businesses with a physical store or brick-and-mortar locations Brick-and-mortar businesses, businesses with multiple locations, service-based businesses, and hybrid businesses
Admin access locations Manage, claim, and verify business listings through the Google My Business dashboard or app Manage, claim, and verify business listings directly from Google Search or Maps
Messaging customers Can message customers through the Google My Business messenger (functions in similar ways to a texting app) Can still message your customers directly from business listings on Google Maps or Search. Added read receipts
Calls from customers No detailed call history from Google My Business Access to a detailed call history log, including differentiation between your missed vs. answered calls (your profile must be verified to access this feature)

Hire Google Business Profile Experts to Get Your Business Ranking

A comprehensive local SEO strategy is key to staying ahead of your competitors and maximizing long-term business success. We understand that staying competitive in the digital space can be difficult, especially for busy business owners trying to manage daily operations and balance other priorities.

That’s why Blue Zenith is here to help: Our local SEO services are designed to assist you with optimizing your Google Business Profile and other aspects of your website. We provide easy and effortless solutions to amplify your online visibility, remain competitive, and maximize your business rankings.

Get Your Website Optimized!

Read Our Local SEO Content Strategy Series

This blog is the second in a series of articles about local SEO content and listing strategies for small businesses. Read the entire series by clicking through the links below.

Digital Directories: Our Local SEO Content Strategy, Part One

Google Business Profiles: Our Local SEO Strategy, Part Two

Forming a Social Media Strategy: Utilizing Directories, Part Three, Bing Places For Business

Forming a Social Media Strategy: Utilizing Local Directories, Part Four – Should I use Yelp?

Forming a Social Media Strategy: Utilizing Local Directories, Part Five, Superpages and Dex. Are there any other business directories I should use?