Google My Business is Now Google Business Profile: Local SEO Tips 2022

July 06, 2022 Mihaela Lica Butler

Having a good business listing in the Google search results or Google Maps is an essential local SEO strategy any business should consider.

The idea of a location-based SEO strategy has been around since Google launched Google Local Business Center in 2007. Back then, the new set of tools making businesses visible to consumers was revolutionary, however, it was underused by many entrepreneurs.

Then, Google Local Business Center became Google Places in 2010, Google Local in 2012, and Google My Business in 2014.

However, it seems like Google never really considered the name of the service relevant enough to last. So, in November 2021, Google came up with yet another name: Google Business Profile. Although the service's scope remained the same, Google improved it, making it more intuitive and easier to use.

While with Google My Business (GMB) users had to log in to a backend dashboard to manage their business profiles, with the new service, they can manage company details, business hours, and all kinds of updates directly from Google Search and Google Maps.

Essential Google Business Profile Business You Should Optimize Now

Of course, everything you publish on Google related to your business is essential. The local listings in Google Search and Maps must be flawless: they are the first impression a user gets about your brand and services when looking for "a business near me."

As early as 2017, Google revealed that searches for "near me" soared some 200% in 2015-2016.


credit: Google

Consumers still search for "near me" businesses to save time and transportation costs. Supporting local businesses is part of a more significant social movement to increase community well-being and protect the local economy.

Given the circumstances, not optimizing your Google local listing is a mistake. Adding essential data like business address, phone number, and operating hours is mandatory but not enough. Instead, it would be best to keep your profile fresh with regular posts, exclusive offers, events, pictures, videos, and everything you deem essential for your brand presence on Google Search and Maps.

  • Add essential information: business hours, website, and phone number to give customers options to contact you - in-store, online, or by phone. Google searchers can press the call button displayed on your Google listing to call you directly without dialling.
  • Add your business operating hours and keep them up to date. Why is this essential? Consider this: earlier in March 2022, Google announced that searches for "open now near me" have grown globally by over 400% YOY. Obviously, customers want to know your operating hours.
  • Products: Google offers you the opportunity to list the products you sell in a physical store. This option is not available for online-only retailers. You can list a product with a name, category (you have the option to create a new category if the one you need does not exist), price, product description, and image. Keep your product listings up to date: you do not want a client to come to purchase in-store, and you have it out of stock. As a result, you might get a negative review.
  • Services: service companies like plumbers, roofers, and others can list their services under the appropriate category and with a customer service link.
  • Images: according to Google, they can help you boost customer interactions exponentially: "Businesses that add photos to their Business Profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don't."

You must not stop after you finish improving the basic - yet essential - business details. Other Google Business Profile tools bear weight: posts.

Posts keep your profile fresh, are free to publish, and keep searchers interested while driving organic traffic to your website. Posts on Google are short updates (up to 1500 words) with one or more images, a call to action, and a link. Many businesses using posts noticed an increase of 20% in page views and post-view statistics of over 5000 views. Creating posts is not an arduous task, but you must always adhere to the Business Profile post content policy as described by Google.

There is also a "more" button you should optimize. Here you can add details about your business: women-owned, LGBT+ friendly, wheelchair access, etc.


Reviews - Essential Feature for Your Google Business Profile

The Google Business Profile allows you to ask for reviews or respond to them straight from Search or Maps. You no longer need to log into the Google Profile Business Manager to manage your online reputation. Instead, Google offers extensive advice and guidelines to help you along. But if you use your common sense, you will never get an issue with Google. Here are some general rules:

  • Keep your responses professional, short, and courteous.
  • Be genuine, and do not try to "sell." Instead, show that you understand the customers' needs and frustrations.
  • Respond to positive and negative reviews alike.
  • Thank your reviewers.
  • Do not attack reviewers who post a complaint or something negative. Instead, acknowledge their issues, apologize, and offer a solution.
  • Try to respond fast.

When you find reviews that violate Google policies, you can request review removal. However, keep in mind that Google will not remove reviews simply because you disagree with a customer.

Google also encourages business owners to request reviews from customers by sharing a Google URL specific to their business. Use this feature but don't abuse it. Only request reviews from clients and not from family and friends.

Other Useful Google Business Profile Features

Google Business Profile is a powerful marketing tool. For example, you can use it to create Google ads, check how your business is performing on Google, ask for reviews, to add offers, updates, and events.

There is also a "turn on chat" feature that allows your customers to message your business on Google for free, and you will see all the new messages on Search or Maps. You can also reply at no cost.

The Q&A feature enables you to answer questions customers have about your business.

All these features - the essentials and extras - make Google Business Profile a must-have for any savvy marketer today. One can only expect this Google service to evolve, offering businesses even more tools to satisfy their customers. Check out Google Business Profile for updates and resources for your niche.