Small business owners wear a lot of hats. A small business owner may take care of finance, human resources, customer service, strategy, and marketing, to name a few responsibilities. With your time stretched thin, it’s important for you to prioritize and take part in what brings “the most bang for your buck.”

One of the most stressful and important hats a business owner wears is marketing. With so many avenues to market, which is the best for my company?

Most effective strategies include some sort of digital marketing, and that trend will continue with the prevalence of mobile use. If you want “the most bang for your buck,” start with business profiles. Some estimate as many as 4 out of 5 potential clients use a search engine like Google to find local information. Business profiles give your business a better chance to show up in an online search.

What Is a Business Profile?

A business profile is an online citation of your address and business name.

There is plenty to learn about business profiles. What is important to have in a properly optimized business profile? Where should I create and submit business profiles? What do all the changes to business profiles and maps mean for my business? What is the proper name for business profiles (I’ve heard them called local citations, business citations/listings, etc.)?

For now, I leave these questions for other blog posts and will focus this article on the value of business profiles.

The Importance of Business Profiles

Let’s pretend I just started my own plumbing company.

I spend hours trying to come up with a good business name and feel “Dr. Whit’s Plumbing” is the answer. I have all the equipment and tools necessary to offer great plumbing services. I have a basic website that outlines my services and location. I live in Annabella, a small city in Utah. Because Annabella is small, I should be able to compete and offer this service to my neighbors.

Even though Annabella is small, its residents still have plenty of plumbing needs. Mrs. Jones, a friend of mine, types in “plumber Annabella UT” into Google and gets the following result.

Mrs. Jones notices that none of the listed companies are located in Annabella, UT and decides to call one of the listings that showed up in the maps.

I would have received Mrs. Jones’s business if I was listed in the maps. And the only way to show up in a search like the example provided is by having a business profile. Many websites offer business profiles, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yelp.

The more online business profiles I have that provide consistent business information, the more likely I am to show up in a listing on Google or other search engines. Google wants to provide the best results to its users and will scour the Internet making sure information like my business name, address, and phone number are the same across all my business profiles.

Nearly half of online searches are for local companies and services, like plumbing. Over half of local searches result in action in one day. The majority of people taking action want a company to be within five miles of their search location. Local search statistics go on and on; the important thing is that you learn from these statistics and start creating business profiles.

Showing up in a local search is vital for a local company. When located in a specific area, companies can show up in a maps result, but you have to create a local business profile. Make the careful creation of business profiles part of your online marketing strategy.

This is Dr. Whit’s Plumbing.

Dr. Whit’s Plumbing is a local company that wants to generate more leads.

Dr. Whit’s Plumbing creates good business profiles.

Dr. Whit’s Plumbing is smart.

Be like Dr. Whit’s Plumbing.