Google Business: how to max out it’s use as an online business

Quick Question…
I know the GBP magic happens for local businesses but should that stop an online business creating and fully optimising a profile? Rx

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Great question @rachel1 — let’s tag in our @Google_Business_Experts for an assist :muscle:

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Brilliant, who are they? Rx

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I’m happy to jump in here!
The answer is NO. Take full advantage of it but understand the tool’s super power - it’s hyperlocal focused.
Here’s how to max out it’s use as an online business:

  1. You need an actual physical address to verify you’re the owner of the business. You will suppress the publishing of it to Google Search & Maps but you need an actual address to get the direct mail piece that will have the 5-digit verification code in it that is often the only way Google confirms that you’re a real business. P.O. Boxes don’t work but know that your address will not show up on search & maps if during the setup process when you’re asked if you want to show your address on Google Search & Maps you choose “No, I serve my customers at their location.” (essentially you do when you deliver things to their home or electronically). The question shows up in about the 4th step during the set up process.

  2. If you try to reach the whole world, you will dilute the very super power of Google Business Profile. You have the ability to choose up to 20 locations by either city name, state, or zip code that you provide service. Choose locations all within 35 to no more than 100 miles from each other. Once you start choosing from Miami to Seattle, you’ve diluted the tool’s power and you will not show up on Search & Maps. Use the tool at the capacity it can serve you best - focus on an area where you get the best customers at and stay within that 35-100 mile radius. IF it’s close to where your actual address is (even if that address is not published) it’s a signal to Google that you are really local and the Business Profiles core purpose is to serve local businesses. It will deliver more SEO pings to the algorithm and you will be better served by using Google Merchant Center or Google Ads to reach further out than local.

  3. Fill out all areas of your Business Profile:
    a. Choose one main category for your business
    b. After you’re verified, choose 9 sub categories to showcase the uniqueness of your business (your USP)
    c. Fill out your description completely
    d. Post regularly (it’s a great place to repurpose social posts since not everyone is in each of the platforms you’re getting another chance for it to be seen)
    e. For hours of operation, if you’re online then put 24/7 - you don’t have to select business hours.
    f. Do not give in to the temptation (or the notifications) to “drop your pin” at your location - once you do that - you’re on the map :wink: Just leave it alone.

Hope that’s helpful! What other questions can I help you with about the Business Profile?

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This may also be helpful to you, @rachel1 !

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OMG, @maria thank you so much for all this information, it’s brilliant. Certainly cleared up the confusion for me. Many thanks, really appreciate you taking the time to be so generous with your reply :heart: Rx

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This is amazing @maria! Many thanks for answering Rachel’s question. Think it will help a lot of us who have online businesses!

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Good…right? Thanks for asking…think this will help lots of us with online businesses! Keep the questions coming!

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Thank you, Deb! I’m so happy that it’s helpful. I often feel that the strength is this tool is hidden in plain site :smiley:

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Yes, yes, yes! I’m happy to answer questions :slight_smile:

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