What Is the Difference Between Google Business Profile and Google Maps?

March 22nd, 2024, 09:00 AM

Google Maps and Google Business Profile are two of the most important platforms in local SEO. But, although they are closely interlinked tools, it's important to understand the differences between Google Business Profile and Google Maps to ensure you're getting the most benefits for your business's local SEO strategy.

Google Maps vs. Google Business Profile

What Is Google Maps?

Google Maps is a free web-based and mobile mapping and navigation application developed by Google. It offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360-degree interactive panoramic views of streets (Street View), real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle, or public transportation. 

Users can search Google Maps for nearby places, like landmarks and parks, and businesses, including restaurants, hotels, gas stations, auto mechanics, and virtually any other type of brick-and-mortar or service-based business.

When users click on a location they're interested in, Google Maps automatically displays the Google Business Profile listing for that place or business (if it has one), which displays key business information, reviews, photos, and more.

What Is Google Business Profile?

Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is a free tool provided by Google that helps businesses manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. 

Business owners can create a profile that includes important information about their business, such as the address, phone number, website, business hours, and a description. They can also add photos, respond to customer reviews, and provide updates about their business, such as special offers or events.

When someone searches for a business or a type of business in their area via Google Search, Google typically displays the three most relevant Google Business Profile listings at the top of search results. These three results are known as Google's 3-Pack, and appearing here is a sort of "Holy Grail" of local SEO.

Additionally, as we mentioned above, when someone clicks on a place in Google Maps application, either on the web or their mobile device, they will also be shown the Google Business Profile for that location. The information provided here helps them evaluate whether they may want to contact or visit the location and compare it to similar locations (competitors) before making a decision.

Google Business Profile vs. Google Maps: Which Should You Use for Your Business?

Google Maps and Google Business Profile are closely related and fully integrated, with Google Maps essentially being a way for users to quickly find and interact with Google Business Profile business listings and get directions to local businesses and other locations. 

On the other hand, Google Business Profile is an online directory service that anyone can use to list a business for free on both Google Search and Google Maps. Having a Google Business Profile is the top way for local businesses to attract more customers by making it easier for people to find them online using the world's top search engine.

In fact, the only way to have a chance at appearing in the top three results on Google is to claim and optimize your Google Business Profile

Doing this allows you to really start tracking and measuring your local SEO performance, making it easier to find ways to outrank competitors on Google and earn a larger share of your local target market.

Quick Tips for Optimizing Your Google Business Profile Presence for Google Maps

Optimizing your Google Business Profile presence for Google Maps can significantly improve your visibility and attract more customers. Here are some quick tips:

  • Claim and verify your business: Claim your business on Google My Business and go through the verification process to ensure that you have control over your listing.
  • Complete your profile: Fill out all the information on your profile accurately and completely, including your business name, address, phone number, website, business hours, and category.
  • Use high-quality images: Add high-resolution photos that showcase your business, including the exterior, interior, products, and services. Images can help attract customers and give them a better sense of what to expect.
  • Encourage reviews: Encourage your satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your Google Business Profile. Respond promptly and professionally to all reviews, whether positive or negative, to show that you value feedback and customer satisfaction.
  • Add posts and updates: Keep your profile fresh and engaging by regularly posting updates, promotions, events, and other relevant content. This can help attract more attention from potential customers and keep existing customers informed.
  • Follow local SEO best practices: Use relevant keywords in your business description, posts, and updates to improve your visibility in local search results. Also, make sure your business location is accurate on Google Maps and consistent across other listing platforms.
  • Monitor insights: Use the insights provided by Google Business Profile to track how people find and interact with your business listing. This data can help you make informed decisions and optimize your profile further.
  • Respond to messages and inquiries: Enable messaging on your profile and respond promptly to customer inquiries. This can help you engage with potential customers and provide better customer service.
  • Track performance with Local Falcon: Use Local Falcon's local rank tracking features to monitor your business's visibility and ranking in local search results. This can help you identify trends, track the impact of your optimizations, and make data-driven decisions to improve your local SEO strategy.

By following these quick tips, you can optimize your Google Maps listing and increase your chances of attracting more customers to your business!

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