If you are a local brick and mortar business looking to rank your business in neighbourhood searches, you need to know that local SEO starts with a Google Business Profile.

Ever typed in “best pizza near me” and gotten bombarded with restaurants? That, my friends, is the magic of local SEO (Search Engine Optimization). But how do you, as a local business owner, make sure that your corner pizzeria pops up at the top of that search instead of getting buried beneath all the other local competition? Enter Google Business Profiles (formerly known as Google My Business). And if you don’t know what they are, here’s ours as an example, because we bet you’ve seen them before, possibly just didn’t notice them or didn’t know how they come about.

What Are Google Business Profiles and How Do They Help With Local SEO?

Think of your Google Business Profile as your digital storefront on Google Search and Google Maps. It’s where potential customers can find all your crucial info – address, phone number, website, hours, and even real pictures of your actual space and even your latest cheesy creations. But it’s not just about displaying basic details. A well-optimized profile can be the secret weapon that skyrockets your local SEO and drives hungry customers straight to your door, in other words increasing actual footfall at your pizzeria.

And here’s how a Google Business Profile can up your local SEO game:

  • Boost Your Visibility: Imagine someone typing “best pizza near me” and BAM! Your restaurant pops right up at the top. That’s the magic of a complete and optimized Google Business Profile. The more people see your listing, the hungrier they’ll get and the more likely they are to swing by your place (and maybe even grab that extra large you’ve been dreaming of).
  • Local Cred Booster: Google is all about giving people the info they need. A well-managed profile with accurate details and awesome reviews shows everyone you’re a legit, trustworthy business that cares about its customers. That’s a recipe for local SEO success!
  • Engage with Customers: A GBP helps you respond to reviews, answer questions, and post updates directly through your own business profile. This two-way street shows potential customers you care and encourages two-way interaction. It is also your opportunity to create positive PR for your pizzeria.

Of course, just creating a Google Business Profile and leaving it as that forever and ever, doesn’t help you. A complete, relevant and active profile is what will help. So here are some best practices to help you squeeze out the most local SEO juice from your GBP listing:

Google My Business Best Practices:

  • Claim and verify: First things first, claim your existing profile or create a new one. Google will send a verification code to ensure you’re the rightful owner.
  • Complete the profile: Provide all the essential information – name, address, phone number, website, category (pizza place, duh!), and hours of operation.
  • Add trustworthy pictures of your real place and products: Add high-quality photos that showcase your delicious food, inviting ambiance, and happy customers.
  • Ask for and even actively encourage people to leave reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews and respond to both positive and negative feedback in a professional and courteous manner.
  • Post regularly, and consistently: Keep your profile fresh with updates about new menu items, special offers, or fun events happening at your pizzeria.

Follow out Google Profile tips and win in your local SEO.

This blog is part of Blogchatter’s A2Z Challenge.