Google Business Profile: What is GBP, Why You Need It, and How to Use It?

Let’s first get something out of the way: Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly known as Google My Business, is one of the most uninspiring names given to a Google product, and that is saying something.

Now that’s settled, let’s review exactly what is GBP, why you need it, and how to use it.

For those who want the one sentence summaries:

  • Google Business Profile is your business listing page in Google that appears in maps or in search results.
  • If you have a business you should need to have a GBP page so you have greater user discovery and engagement in maps and Google search results.
  • You need to claim your business page and update it using GBP’s management page or Ayrshare’s API.

What is Google Business Profile?

Have you ever done a Google search and noticed the business listing box on the right hand column of the search results or at the top of the page on a mobile device? It sometimes has the business address, images, videos, and reviews. That is a business’ Google listing in the search engine results page (SERP).

Here is an example of Ayrshare’s listing if you search for Ayrshare in Google Desktop:

Google Business Profile Example
Ayrshare’s GMB on Desktop

And an example of Ayrshare on mobile:

Ayrshare Google Business Profile Mobile Example
Ayrshare GMB on Mobile

With GMB prospects and users can view your uploaded images and videos, coupon offers, click call to action buttons, and scheduled upcoming events like an open house you’re showing.

Why You Need Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile helps you appear in more search results, thus it is an incredible discovery tool; almost like an ad for your business, but for free! If you care about SEO, and you should, then having a GBP listing is a no-brainer.

Check out these GBP stats:

Companies looking for ways to increase their organic SEO need to have a GBP page.

If you have a local business – for example, real estate agency, restaurant, or supermarket – then the discovery is even greater. Just type in “real estate agent” in Google to see how powerful these free ads are.

And best of all, GBP takes a just few minutes to setup and maintain.

How to Use Google Business Profile

First, you need to claim your Google Business Profile page. Just a warning, you might need to receive a post card in the mail with a special code to activate – we did. However, you might be lucky and be able to verify via email or Google Console.

There are a lot of things you can do with GBP including responding to comments, setting business hours, and adding products. A few of our favorite are:

  • Upload photos and videos.
  • Create special offers with coupon codes your users can use.
  • Add a call to action button that can link to your site, article, or special.
  • Advertise an event with location and times.

Update Google Business Profile Manually

After claiming your page, you can manual update your page using the console.

Google Business Profile Dashboard
GMB Console

Update Google Business Profile with an API

If you have a platform that posts or manages your users social accounts, you can use Ayrshare’s Google Business Profile API to connect GBP with your back-end system. This allows you to automate updates from your system for your company or your users. Find out more about the API.

The following JavaScript example publishes an image to Google Business Profile JavaScript call using the Ayrshare API:

     "post": "What an image!",
     "platforms": ["gmb"],
     "mediaUrls": [""]

What Can You Update in Google Business Profile?

There are a lot of things you can do with GBP including responding to comments, setting business hours, and adding products. A few of our favorite are:

  • Upload photos and videos to increase engagement. People love seeing images and videos of your product, service, and business. It is a great way to increase discovery of your business.
  • Create special offers with coupon codes. People love deals and offering a special coupon code can drive traffic to your website.
  • Add a call to action button that links to your site, article, or anywhere you want. You want to give leads or users an action to take, so adding a “Learn More” or “Start Now” button helps convert those Google searchers to site visitors.
  • Advertise your upcoming event with location and times. Have a special event or announcement such as a new product launch, open house showing, or sample sale event?
  • Get analytics on how GBP has performed, such as impression and clicks to your website. This helps you optimize your Google Business Listing.

Now is the time to be on Google Business Profile. It is still new and relatively unknown, so the market hasn’t become saturated. Both online and local business can easily set up a page, assuming they don’t need to wait for a postcard to activate, and immediately start benefiting from it.