Improving your Local SEO

google my business map and description

My Google Business Profile and Map

As small business owners I’m sure you have all heard about Google and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You may not fully understand SEO, because it’s a fairly complex subject all about algorithms, search terms and keywords. So, if you want your business website to rank higher in search results, employing an SEO expert will help. However, although it would be beneficial, hiring a professional to do that for you on an ongoing basis is not something many small business owners can afford.

Large companies employ teams of SEO experts to monitor trends, research and analysis data, and constantly update and refresh site pages. For small businesses though, your best Local SEO friend is your Google Business Profile (GBP), previously called Google My Business. (Not to be confused with Google+ which was shutdown in April 2019, yet I still see lots of businesses displaying the icon on their website). 

What is a Google Business Profile?

In a nutshell, GBP is a business listing on Google, similar to or ‘Pages Jaunes’ in France. The incredible bonus with GBP is the advantageous local SEO that goes with it.

GBP was developed to standardise the information displayed by Google in Google Search and Google Maps, so businesses can be found more easily by potential customers. It helps ensure that your customers have up to date information about your business, for example opening hours, address, and contact details. Additionally, you can add links to your main business website, share posts, offers and other information, in the same as you can on social media. It also allows two-way communication between you and your customers by allowing them to ask questions, create reviews and for you to respond. 

How does Google Business work?

When you claim a business listing on GBP and are verified as the owner of that address, you will be a named business location on Google Maps. Your listing will be as detailed as you want it to be, and it will all be highly visible in three strategic Google areas.

1. Google Business Panel

This is the box that displays your business information. When someone searches on your business name, this panel appears on the right-hand side of the Google Search Results. On mobile devices it will appear near the top. It’s a really useful summary of the information that is important to new and existing customers, especially if they want to contact you. 

If you have several social media sites…Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest…your profiles in each one should be consistent. The same goes for Google Business Profile. And if you have a business logo – display it! 

Make sure you have a profile image so you are more recognisable. Complete the profile section, making it relevant to your business, and appealing to your audience. 

2. Local Pack

These are the top 3 Google listings that will appear below a map when someone searches for businesses in a particular location, or using ‘Near Me’. For searchers, the Local Pack makes the search simple as it helps them locate a local business. For local businesses it helps them rank higher up the listings, which boosts their online presence and visibility.

3. Google Maps

Pinpoints your business on a map, with a summary of the address, opening hours and provides directions to your location.

Added Extras

As if that wasn’t enough, when you set up your GBP listing you also get access to Google Insights. This is really useful information that can tell you how many people have searched for your business, the search terms they used (think SEO Keywords), whether they used a mobile device, as well as many other performance related insights. 

Although the Google Business website element is being removed from March 2024, there are other options available to create a free web page. I get a lot of enquiries about this and will be covered in a later article.

For now let’s just talk about your Google Business listing… you can add a description of your business, products, images, events, services and prices. There are a few scheduling tools which you can use to add updates to your profile. Personally, I use a free version of It works well for me and I can swap between different clients accounts quickly and easily.

Just think of Google Business as an another social media platform but with added benefits. For example, ratings and reviews on Google will help your business rank higher in search results. So encourage your clients and customers to leave feedback by sharing a link to your Google reviews. Social media accounts can now be added to your profile too which means an opportunity to get more followers. 

Here is a link to my Google Business Profile. Check it out and see just how much you can do to enhance your online business presence. Keep your profile and business details up to date and improve your Local SEO quickly and easily.

If you need any help or advice setting up your business listing please get in touch. I’m always happy to help.

Shirley Atkinson SAA It Testing About Us


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Shirley Atkinson, Freelance Website Usability Testing & Online Business Services for SMEs


Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013



Need some help? Please contact me:

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