Why Digital Businesses Should Leverage Local SEO and Google Business Profile

A Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is well known as a vital tool for Local SEO.
The reason for this is that Google Business Profiles (GBP) show up at the top of organic search results to put local businesses in front of customers.
When a person searches for a “plumber” or “pet grooming service” they want to find one nearby. Google knows this, so it shows them Google Business Profiles of nearby businesses.
For this reason, any business wanting to create a GBP had to have a physical address. Now any business that offers local services (including those who travel to their customers) can create one.
Let’s take a closer look at the GBP and how to leverage it.

Who Can Create a GBP?

First, it’s vital to understand who can create a Google Business Profile.

According to Google’s guidelines, ”Listings on Google My Business can only be created for businesses that either have a physical location that customers can visit, or that travel to visit customers where they are.”

It was in 2019 that they began allowing businesses who travel in a certain geographical area to create a Google Business Profile.
As long as you provide local services in a set area, you can create the listing. These services can include your own storefront, but they can also include businesses that travel to their customers.

Some examples of eligible businesses include:

  • Real estate agents
  • Local restaurants/cafes
  • Insurance agents
  • Cleaning services
  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Seasonal businesses
So, even if you have no physical address, and you are limited to local SEO then the GBP can be for you.

On the other hand, online-only businesses are not eligible for a GBP. The criteria for non-eligible businesses include:

  • Online stores without a local presence
  • 100% online/digital businesses
  • Rental properties
  • Lead generation companies

What is Local?

Simply put, if your business does not have a location customers can visit BUT offers in-person services or deliveries, you can list your service areas. But what else determines if you qualify to advertise as a local business via Google My Business?
First, how far is the service area?

Google states that you can have up to 20 different service areas! The “service area” can encompass around 2 hours of driving time.


One idea is to host workshops. Of course, you want to safely do this. Make sure to follow all local and national pandemic guidelines. If weather permits, outside workshops are the ideal option.

Hosting in-person workshops or certain events will allow you to state that you serve that local area. It’s one sort of “workaround” that primarily digital businesses can consider.

When doing this, you can take the easy option and essentially target your home base or where you currently live. However, you can also leverage this strategy to target certain areas that you believe will be the most ideal for you. Just keep in mind that if you must travel far to do this, it will cost you more money and time than if you do it nearby.


Co-Branding may also allow you to claim a local service area. Are you co-marketing or co-branding with a business that does have a local address/service area? If so, you may be able to use this to create a GBP profile.

Benefits of Local SEO for Digital Businesses

Even those who do not only serve one area should still bolster their SEO. Why is it so important to focus on local SEO if you are eligible? Here are a few of the top reasons:

Local Community

When it comes to marketing your business, doing so on a national level is very difficult. Online businesses will need to compete with every other option around the country. You won’t have a strong sense of community, which will make it more difficult to build loyalty.

Even if you provide digital services and cannot use a GBP, you should emphasize local SEO. Local SEO is less competitive, which will help you rank higher and attract more customers in that area.

One example is an online-only clothing store. If you try to earn a spot for something like “summer dresses,” that will be much more difficult than aiming for “Santa Monica summer dresses.” You compete against a smaller pool when you use local SEO.

This does mean that not as many people will search for the term. However, it’s still more beneficial to get on the first page for a relevant local SEO term than it is to be several pages down for a general keyword.

Social Proof

By focusing on local SEO, you can also generate more social proof. You’ll be able to narrow in on a smaller group of people, which makes it easier to convert more loyal customers.

Furthermore, if you target a certain area, you can develop a reputation within that community. People may connect your brand with their location. If you have something like “Milwaukee marketer” throughout your website, people will more closely associate you with their area.

Based on these connections, you can generate more social proof. People from the area may be more likely to recommend you to others as a “local option”, and word will spread about your business throughout that location.

Furthermore, more reviews and testimonials service as social proof for future conversions. Generating more reviews on both Google and third-party sites helps you increase your presence and reputation. Always encourage reviews!

How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile

If you are able to create a Google Business Profile, then you should certainly do it! Here are a few tips that can help you optimize your profile:

  • Completely fill out your profile. Fill out all sections of the form with accurate information. Include photos as well, keeping in mind that the average profile has 11. If you have a short introduction video, include that too!
  • Ask for reviews. Reviews are incredibly helpful for your GBP profile. They serve as social proof and help elevate your brand. Send your review link to your customers and be sure to kindly ask for reviews.
  • Regular Posts. Share your news or blogs right to your profile via “Posts.” This is a good way to engage your audience and make your brand look more professional.

Engage 2 Engage is Here to Help!

As you can see, local SEO is a powerful tool for national and digital businesses. Some may even be able to leverage a Google Business Profile to attract more local customers. Even if your business is not eligible, there are other ways to optimize your website for local SEO (and even national SEO).

Understandably, the topic of local SEO and GBP can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why our team of marketing experts is here to help. We offer comprehensive digital marketing services to entrepreneurs and small businesses alike.

Let us help you outline and implement a clear marketing roadmap, including local (or national) SEO. With our done-with-you services, we become an extension of your brand, helping you to grow your business online. The best part is that we offer several affordable plans and services to choose from

Learn more about Engage 2 Engage and how we can help you by checking out our marketing programs today!


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