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How to use a Google Business Profile as an individual

A Google Business Profile can make your business far more visible on the results page, but did you know that individuals can use them as well?

Google Business Profiles make your business more visible online. Your profile will give you the opportunity to customise your business’s listing across Google Search and Maps.

If you’re in the UK and search for “Base Creative” on your desktop browser, for example, our profile will appear separately down the right hand side of your search results. Look us up on your phone, and our profile will be front and centre at the top of the results page.

Besides the SEO benefits that come with sheer exposure, having a Google Business Profile lets you display useful information about business. Base Creative’s profile shows our location, available hours, online reviews, our LinkedIn profile, and some business updates including articles like this one that were recently published on our website. That easily accessible information on your Google Business Profile can help you find new clients

What you might not know, however, is that in some circumstances individuals can also create Google Business Profiles. This means that if their name is searched locally, the individual’s information will pop up just like a business’s. 

This allows an individual to take advantage of the same Google Business Profile features as a business. Their contact information, website, recent updates and more will be readily available at the top of relevant local search results as long as they meet certain requirements.

However, you can’t just set up a Google Business Profile like it’s a social media account and see your personal information pop up whenever someone nearby searches your name. Google Business Profiles are only approved for individuals who qualify as individual practitioners, such as doctors, dentists, financial planners, solicitors, and insurance and real estate agents.

The dos and don’ts of Google Business Profile for individuals

Google’s guidelines will help you avoid pitfalls and ensure that Google won’t take down your profile. Here are some key takeaways: 

  • Don’t create an individual Google Business Profile instead of one for the business itself. Listing your business should always be your priority. 
  • Google recommends that if you have multiple practitioners at one listing, you should just use your main business listing. 
  • If you do create an individual profile and have your business location listed too, then the title of the Business Profile for the practitioner should only include the name of the practitioner  and not the name of the business.
  • If you are the only practitioner and you effectively represent your location, they advise that the practitioner should share a Business Profile with the business. In this case, you will want to create a single Business Profile, and name it using the following format: [brand/company]: [practitioner name].

What are the benefits for individual practitioners creating a Google Business Profile?

As with any Google Business Profile, an individual profile will give you greater exposure that can help you gain more clients and is particularly effective on mobile, where your listing will appear right at the top of relevant searches. 

Setting up and managing your profile is a great bottom-of-the-funnel marketing activity, as Google is likely to be one of the places your prospects will research you. If you’re regularly asking your clients to leave reviews on your profile, then it will provide social proof that will encourage prospects to enquire. It’s also helpful for your existing clients. If they Google your name for your contact details when seeking advice or support, your listing will provide the information they need immediately. 

Although you can’t control which questions are asked, the question section of your listing can give you the opportunity to show off your expertise in your field or engage with current or prospective clients directly. Updates let you show that you’re active, whether it’s producing content for your website or offering a new service within your profession. 

Fortunately, setting up a Google Business Profile is relatively straightforward. As long as you follow the guidelines, you can reap the benefits as an individual practitioner just like any other business. It won’t work miracles, but a well-managed profile is well worth the extra effort. 

More help

Got any questions about your Google Business Profile? Email me at [email protected].

Abby Webb

Abby Webb

Senior Search & Content Consultant

Abby leads on SEO campaigns, with a strong background in copywriting, content and paid search marketing campaigns.

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