Google Business Profile vs Facebook Page: The Clear Winner for Local Service Businesses

Forget a Facebook page, Google Business Profile is a free tool that connects local service providers with locals actively looking for their services online.

Are you missing out on nearly half of your potential customers?

If you run a local service-based business and aren’t leveraging Google Business Profile (GBP), the answer is likely yes.

Consider this: 46% of all Google’s 5.6 billion daily searches are local, and 56% of actions on a GBP listing lead to meaningful engagement with the business. 

That means if you’re not taking advantage of this free tool, you’re letting the local opportunities go straight to those who are: your competition.

GBP puts your business on the map – literally. It allows you to manage your online presence across Google Search and Maps, making it easier for customers to find you when they need you most.  By creating and optimising a GBP listing, you can:

  • Improve your visibility in local search results
  • Attract more targeted leads actively searching for your services
  • Drive business growth without spending a dime on advertising

While many business owners rely solely on social media to connect with their audience, GBP gives you a powerful advantage. It puts your website in front of your most valuable audience: people actively searching for your services in your area.

Up next, I’ll give you everything you need to know to make an informed decision about whether GBP is right for your service business (spoiler alert: it is), and the first steps you can take to set up your profile and start driving local attention.

The Benefits of a Well-Optimised Google Business Profile For Local Service Businesses

A well-optimised GBP offers numerous benefits for local service businesses, contributing to overall growth and success:

  • Increased customer reach and engagement: A GBP listing extends a brand’s visibility to a wider audience, enabling businesses to connect with more potential customers who are actively searching for their products or services.
  • Improved brand awareness and recognition: A strong presence on GBP helps create a distinct and memorable brand identity, enhancing brand recall and positioning the business as the go-to choice for customers in the local market.
  • More targeted leads and conversions: GBP’s integration with Google Search and Maps allows businesses to attract highly qualified leads who are more likely to convert, as they are actively seeking relevant products or services.
  • Stronger competitive advantage: A well-managed GBP listing can help businesses gain a competitive edge by highlighting their unique strengths, offerings, and customer experiences, differentiating them from competitors.
  • Enhanced trust and credibility with customers: By actively responding to reviews, and maintaining a high rating, businesses demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction and transparency, building trust and credibility with potential customers.
  • Positive impact on overall business growth and revenue: The increased visibility, engagement, and trust fostered by a well-optimised GBP listing can significantly impact a business’s bottom line, driving growth and unlocking new revenue streams.

Where Will Information From Your Google Business Profile Page Appear?

When you create your GBP listing, the information you provide will appear in various places across Google’s ecosystem, making it easier for potential customers to find and engage with your business:

  • Google Search Results: GBP listings appear in organic local search results as the prominent “Local 3-pack”
Google’s search results page showing the local 3 pack and map.
Google’s search results page showing the local 3 pack and map.

  • Google Maps: GBP listings are integrated with Google Maps, allowing users to easily find businesses when searching for local services or exploring their area.

  • Google Knowledge Panel: When a user searches for a business by name, Google may display a dedicated Knowledge Panel showcasing key information from the GBP listing.

  • Google Local Finder: GBP listings appear in the expanded view when users click on the “More places” link in the Local 3-pack or search for a broader category.

By maintaining a complete, accurate, and optimised GBP listing, businesses can ensure that their information is prominently displayed across these key Google platforms, driving more local search traffic and attracting high-intent customers.

The Limitations of Social Media Visibility

While social media platforms offer valuable opportunities for local businesses to connect with their target audience, they have limitations when it comes to attracting new customers who are actively searching for local services:

  • Passive medium: Social media is largely a passive medium, and there’s no guarantee that posts will be seen by the right people at the right time.
  • Lower intent: Social media users are often casually browsing their feeds, and their intent may not align with their immediate needs, unlike users who turn to search engines like Google with a specific query in mind.
  • Credibility and trustworthiness: Appearing in local search results through GBP lends credibility and trustworthiness to a business, as potential customers perceive them as legitimate and established compared to businesses they stumble upon on social media.

Why GBP Outperforms Social Media for targeting local high-intent customers

Google Business Profile holds several key advantages over social media platforms when it comes to driving local search visibility and attracting potential customers:

  • Direct integration with Google Search and Maps: GBP is directly integrated with Google’s search and mapping tools, prioritising relevant listings when users search for local services, putting businesses in front of potential customers at the exact moment they are seeking a specific service. This is where the money is.
  • Strong local search intent: Local search intent is often much stronger than social media browsing intent, making traffic from GBP listings highly valuable, as these users are more likely to convert into leads or customers.

By prioritising GBP optimisation over social media efforts, many businesses can create a comprehensive online presence that effectively reaches and converts their target audience.

Setting Up and Optimising Your Google Business Profile

To take advantage of the benefits offered by GBP, it’s essential to set up and optimise your listing correctly:

  1. Create or claim your listing: Visit the Google Business Profile website and click on the “Manage now” button. If your business already appears on Google Maps, claim the existing listing; otherwise, create a new listing by providing your business name, address, and category.
  2. Verify your business: Google requires verification to ensure the accuracy and security of your listing. Verification methods include receiving a postcard with a verification code, phone verification, email verification, or instant verification (for certain businesses managed through Google Search Console). We’ve even seen video verification requests from Google in recent years. I’ll be creating a how-to on GBP business verification in the near future as it’s always a sticky point we see local service businesses facing on setup.
  3. Complete your profile: Fill out your GBP listing with accurate and detailed information, including your business name, address, phone number, website URL, hours of operation, business description, and categories. Use terms you think prospective customers might search naturally throughout your profile to improve local search visibility.
  4. Add photos and videos: Enhance your listing with high-quality photos and videos showcasing your business, products, services, and team, making your listing more engaging and appealing.
  5. Encourage and respond to reviews: Reviews play a crucial role in building trust and credibility. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your GBP listing, and respond to all reviews professionally and promptly.
  6. Post regular updates: Use GBP’s posting feature to share special offers, promotions, events, or new products and services, keeping your listing fresh and engaging.
  7. Monitor and analyse performance: Regularly check your GBP insights to track your listing’s performance, including search impressions, clicks, calls, and direction requests, using this data to identify areas for improvement and refine your optimization strategies.

Managing Your GBP for Ongoing Success

To ensure ongoing success and maintain a strong online presence, actively manage your GBP listing and engage with your audience regularly:

  • Update business information: Keep your listing accurate and up-to-date as your business grows and evolves, including updating hours of operation, adding new products or services, and refreshing photos and videos.
  • Engage with customer reviews: Monitor your listing for new reviews and respond to each one, expressing gratitude for positive reviews and addressing concerns professionally in negative reviews.
  • Utilise analytics tools: Use GBP’s analytics tools to gain insights into your listing’s performance, identify trends, gauge the effectiveness of your optimization efforts, and make data-driven decisions to improve local search visibility and customer engagement.
  • Continuously monitor and analyse performance: Regularly review your GBP performance, refine your strategies, and adapt to changes in customer behaviour or local market conditions to ensure your listing remains a valuable asset for your business.

By following these best practices for setting up, optimising, and managing your Google Business Profile, local service businesses can create a robust and effective listing that attracts more customers, drives engagement, and ultimately contributes to business growth.

Remember, GBP optimisation is an ongoing process, so keep your listing up-to-date and actively engage with your audience to maintain a strong online presence.

Thanks for reading. I hope you got some value!