What Is Google Business Profile? A Guide

Written by Matthew Ludden / August 24, 2022 / 9 Minute Read
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This comprehensive guide provides valuable insights into effectively utilizing Google Business Profile, a tool crucial for businesses of all sizes. Learn how to claim your profile, manage it effectively, interact with customers, and stand out from the competition by creating a dynamic, well-branded online identity.


Google Business Profile is a free listing available to nearly all businesses. Google My Business was rebranded as Google Business Profile in November 2021.

Many businesses know that Google My Business was a free service to manage your online presence on Google Search and Google Maps. As a business owner, Google Business Profile is far more robust than Google My Business.

Google Business Profile Account allows you to add more information, including more detailed information about your physical location, business hours, business phone numbers, and website. Google Business Profile listing can also include photos, products, services, and even post updates for your audience. Most importantly, every Google Business Profile has online reviews.

Why is Google Business Profile Important?

Google Business Profile is a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes. It can help you reach a wider audience, generate more leads, and increase sales.

When someone searches for your company on Google, your Google Business Profile appears prominently in native search results. If you are a business owner or marketing a business online, Google is the most essential search engine in the world and, frankly, the most important digital marketing tool.

Your Google Business Profile listing is more prominent than your homepage. With over 5.4 billion searches per day, managing your Google Business Profile listing is an important step in your journey to better market your business.

Claim Ownership of Your Google Business Profile Free Tool

Google services mustn’t charge for a profile. If you previously managed a Google My Business, you may be able to access your profile immediately. If you are a new business or did not previously manage your Google My Business profile, you must claim ownership through a verification method.

There are four different verification options for Google Business Profile:

  • Postcard: Google will send you a postcard with a verification code to the address of your business.
  • Phone call: Google will ask you to provide a verification code.
  • Email: Google will send you an email with a verification code.
  • Video verification: Google will ask you to take a short video of yourself inside your business.

Once verified, you can start updating your profile and managing your account. Some information may already exist if you previously managed a Google My Business. Google users can also provide helpful information and leave reviews of businesses, so you will want to edit your profile frequently.

How to Manage a Google Business Profile Account

There are several elements within your Google Business Profile. The first step in managing your GBP is to edit the profile with up-to-date information. Make sure your business information is accurate.

When people search on mobile devices, your contact details will appear in native search and Google Local. A strong profile helps brick-and-mortar small businesses reach their target audience without paying for ads.

A Google Business Profile is often your business’s most prominent marketing tool. You will want to manage the other elements on the business dashboard. Some features apply to every business, including:

  • Read Reviews: People will interact and gain insights about your business from online reviews. You should respond to every review with courtesy, including negative reviews. Managing your profile professionally protects your reputation online. Ask your customers to leave positive reviews. You can even share review forms via email or text links to your reviews with satisfied customers. Inside your business, you can create a QR code so delighted customers can leave a positive review before leaving your company.
  • Messages: You can interact with potential customers through the messaging feature. Just your social media accounts and checking your messages daily keep prospective customers up to date and satisfied.
  • Add Photo: Add photos that show the best of your business. These images can be captured by a smartphone, but take time to present your business in the best possible manner. New customers will likely discover your business through your profile, especially if you are a local business. Many photos help Google Business Profile stand out from other similar businesses.

In Google Search, your Google Business Profile will appear alongside your homepage. The key difference is Google displays far more business information for your Google Business Profile than your organic search results.

A GBP business account includes images, addresses, contact information, business descriptions, social media links, reviews, and posts. Google users form a first impression of your business from your Google Business Profile in Google Search and Google+ Local.

You need a fully optimized Google Business Profile to stand out from competitors and appeal to prospective customers. Add additional information to your business dashboard if you offer products and services.

  • Edit Products: You can provide product details, including images and a link to your web page. This is a crucial feature that Google My Business lacked. You can highlight the most critical products and speak to potential customers before they visit your website or your business.
  • Edit Services: Just like products, Google Business Profile allows you to provide a list of services you offer. Adding details to your profile helps increase search visibility. Relevant keywords on your products, services, and posts greatly benefit your local SEO.
  • Add Update: Adding a personalized update 1-2 each week builds a steady cadence for your audience and Google.

A well-managed and active Google Business Profile is vital to local businesses. When customers search Google, what information do you want them to find? As a business owner, you want to share your contact information, business address, and operating hours.

Like Google My Business did for many years, Google Business Profile allows you to share this information. Now Google will enable you to curate your business account with even more dynamic content. An excellent Google Business Profile can increase visibility and convert leads into buying customers.

You must also consider what you don’t want potential customers to find. Unsightly images, limited information, poor reviews, and a lack of important information can be detrimental. A potential lead can quickly overlook a poorly managed or neglected Google Business Profile.

Whether you are a small business owner with an outdated profile leftover from the Google My Business era or a new business ready to claim your Google Business Profile for the first time, learning the basics helps you discover the value of this tool and stand out from competitors.

5 Keys to Understanding What is a Google Business Profile

GBP Is Free

Google Business Profile is not a paid form of marketing. Unlike Google Ads, your Google Business Profile can be claimed for free, and you can access all the available features.

Increased Visibility

A Google Business Profile helps your business appear locally on Google Search and Google Maps. A well-managed Google Business Profile can increase your company’s visibility and bring in more potential customers.

Both large, medium, and small business owners can benefit from the increased visibility of a well-branded identity on your Google Business Profile.


The most powerful listing tool in the world, Google Business Profile, displays your name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and social media profiles. Just as relevant, Google prominently displays reviews from Google users.

Google Reviews

All GBPs allow public reviews of your business. Both positive and negative reviews help you stand out. Positive reviews from actual customers provide potential new customers with a credible endorsement of your business online. This means that cultivating positive reviews is valuable.

Inevitably, your business will receive an occasional poor review. The goal is to earn many positive reviews to help your business stand out when you appear on the map pack and in local searches. Depending on your business type, Google reviews can drive new customers to your business or discourage potential customers.

Better Customer Engagement

Fully optimizing your GBP helps you engage quickly with your customers. Several functions allow you to communicate quickly and easily across your Google Business Profile.

You can publish posts, provide updates, share images, respond to reviews, and even offer customers direct messaging. While updating your website can be laborious, Google makes adding accurate information to your free business profile simple.

Can You Have Multiple Listings for Your Business?

You can have multiple Google Business Profile (GBP) listings for your business if you have multiple locations or a distinct service offering. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Each listing must represent a specific location or service offering.
  • All listings must be accurate and up-to-date.
  • You must not create duplicate listings to manipulate your results.

Google wants to provide helpful content to people. If you have a legitimate business, then a Google Business Profile helps to manage your online presence better and reach more customers.

There is no benefit to multiple GBPs for a single business. In fact, you will likely harm your search visibility and be suspended by Google.

Legitimate examples of multiple GBPs include:

  • A restaurant with two locations: Each business account will capture the Google+ Local searches when someone is near the location. When managing the profiles, add more unique information about each location, such as the hours of operation, menu, and distinct photos.
  • Multiple service offerings: Offering numerous services that are very different, like a residential plumbing service and a commercial plumbing service. These two service offerings target unique audiences. A separate profile with distinct company names, phone numbers, images, and other information may be worthwhile.

Can a Business Have a Google Business Profile without a Physical Address?

A business can have a Google Business Profile without an actual address. This is called a service area business. Service area businesses are businesses that provide services to customers at their homes or businesses rather than having a physical location where customers can come to them.

Who Should Use Google Business Profile Listing

Google Business Profile is important for two key reasons: improving local SEO and online reputation management.

Local SEO

Local SEO refers to your business’s visibility across Google and other search engines. Google Business Profile is a free tool and an exceptionally prominent marketing strategy in local searches.

If your business name appears on the first page of Google search results, you gain relevance and the chance to increase sales. If your business has a physical address or you provide services in a geographic area, a Google Business Profile listing is essential in business today.

Online Reputation Management

Some business profiles are less prominent than others. For example, if your business never uses a Google My Business, you may not need an optimized Google Business Profile. The primary example of why all businesses should claim a Google Business Profile is reputation management. When someone searches your business name, the Google Business Profile will likely appear in native results alongside the home page.

A well-managed profile defines your business, business phone number, domain, and social media links. This is highly relevant. While a regular cadence of Google posts is not vital for this type of profile, a routine check on your business page is recommended.

5 Simple Steps to Managing Your Google Business Profile

  1. Post Accurate Information: Your Google Business Profile should contain all your business information. Check-in frequently, including updating hours around holidays.
  2. Post-Quality Images: Start with a fantastic cover photo and add more. Your Google Business Profile is a brochure for your business. Choose images that show the best of your brand.
  3. Ask for Positive Reviews: Google reviews are prominent in all results. Ask your satisfied and loyal customers to leave reviews.
  4. Respond to All Reviews: Every Google Business Profile will include some negative reviews. Respond to all reviews with professionalism and courtesy. How you respond to criticism on your business profiles will speak to potential customers.
  5. Post Updates Frequently: Small businesses and local service providers benefit from Google posts. When you publish posts regularly, you tell customers and the internet more about your excellent products and services.

A History of the Evolution of Google Business Profile

Throughout the years, Google has made significant changes to its platform, refining and renaming its local business listing features to serve users and businesses better. Below is the evolution of GBPs, previously known as Google My Business, Google+ Local, Google Places, and Google Local.

As Google adapted to the needs of users and businesses, it refined its business account features and underwent numerous name changes. Understanding these transformations is crucial for businesses to optimize their online presence and fully leverage the platform’s potential.

Google Local

Launched: 2004

Google Local marked the beginning of Google’s foray into local search, as it aimed to provide users with relevant information on nearby businesses. Users could find addresses, phone numbers, and operating hours with ease. Google Local used a combination of mapping technology and local search results to help users find businesses that catered to their specific needs. It laid the groundwork for subsequent iterations of local search offerings by Google, paving the way for more advanced features.

Google Maps

Launched: 2005

When Google Maps was launched, Google Local became integral to the service. Maps expanded the accessibility of each local business account and listing, making it easier for users to navigate and explore their surroundings.

In addition to local search results, Google Maps introduced features such as satellite imagery, street view, and real-time traffic updates. The integration of Google Local into the Maps app demonstrated the company’s commitment to connecting users with local businesses and improving the overall user experience.

Google Places

Launched: 2010

Google Places represented a significant shift in Google’s approach to local search. It allowed businesses to claim and manage their listings, thereby giving them more control over their online presence.

With Google Places, businesses could add images, update contact information, and respond to customer reviews. This platform also introduced the concept of Place Pages, which provided users with a wealth of information about businesses, including photos, reviews, and additional details. Google Places laid the foundation for a more interactive and user-friendly local search experience.

Google+ Local

Launched: 2012

Google+ Local emerged as the successor to Google Places, as Google sought to unify its social media and local search platforms. By integrating Google Places with the Google+ social network, Google+ Local offered users a more cohesive experience, with local search results accompanied by social features such as reviews, ratings, and circles.

For businesses, Google+ Local provided an opportunity to leverage their Google+ presence to enhance their local search visibility. The launch of Google+ Local also marked the introduction of the Zagat rating system, further enhancing the depth and quality of user-generated reviews.


Google My Business

Launched: 2014

Google My Business (GMB) consolidated Google+ Local and Google Places, creating a comprehensive platform for businesses to manage their online presence across Google’s local search engine results page and across Google Maps.

Google My Business offered a user-friendly interface and a range of features, including creating and updating business listings, responding to reviews, and accessing valuable insights into customer behavior and engagement.

Additionally, Google My Business introduced features such as virtual tours, posts, and the option to add managers to help businesses manage their accounts more effectively. With Google My Business, businesses could maintain a consistent presence across Google’s various platforms, strengthening their overall online visibility.

Google Business Profiles

Launched: 2021

Google Business Profiles represents the most recent evolution of Google’s local search offering, simplifying the process of managing your business account and enhancing the user experience. This update streamlined the platform’s interface and introduced new features like messaging, appointment booking, and review management.

The messaging feature enables businesses to communicate directly with potential customers, fostering stronger relationships and providing an additional channel for customer support. Appointment booking allows users to schedule appointments or reservations with businesses directly through the platform, offering a seamless and convenient experience.

GBPs also introduced new ways for businesses to showcase their offerings, such as product catalogs and the ability to highlight specific services. Moreover, businesses can now access performance insights, helping them better understand their audience and make data-driven decisions.

GBPs also emphasize the importance of user-generated content by encouraging users to contribute photos, reviews, and ratings, creating a more dynamic and interactive experience for businesses and users.

As GBPs continue to evolve, it remains a powerful tool for businesses to manage their online presence and connect with customers. By understanding the history and progression of Google’s local search platforms, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and optimize their online visibility in an ever-changing digital landscape.

What is Google Business Profile?

In summary, Google Business Profile is the replacement for Google My Business. Your business listing is prominently displayed in searches and other Google products. Google Business Profile is vital to local SEO and online reputation, and Valve+Meter optimizes our client’s GBP as part of our ongoing SEO services.