So, you have a Google Business Profile (GBP), which means that your business location is in Google’s local business directory. By definition, this also means that your business is in the Google Maps system. Keep in mind that the address/ location is the main data point for this system. It’s meant to help people find businesses in their local area, so proximity is a key factor. (A business can choose to keep its physical location address hidden from the public if they don’t want customers to go to their location, but an address must be included when setting up the profile.) But how does your GBP relate to using Google Ads? Is it a necessary component? Is there a link to the GBP from the ads? This article will explain.

Is a Google Business Profile required to run Google Ads?

A Google Business Profile is not required to run Google Ads; however, it can be useful to associate an ad with a GBP when a local business location information is relevant. This is often a point of confusion for people because they think of their “Google page” as being like their Facebook page. For a business to exist in any legitimate way on Facebook, it must have a Facebook page – whether the business is local, regional, national, or international. As for ads, a Facebook page is a mandatory component for running ads on Facebook. But Google Business Profiles are a local business/ maps directory feature, which makes them irrelevant for some businesses.

Should all businesses have a Google Business Profile?

Not all businesses should have a Google Business Profile since the system is meant to be a local business directory, where geographic proximity is the main feature. For example, if a company manufactures car parts and ships them all over the United States, it will probably do no good for them to have a GBP. They don’t want customers coming to their location, and they’re not focusing on a local service area. In fact, they should probably ignore the entire local business ecosystem, which includes thousands of directory sites focused on local businesses (Yelp, YellowBook, HotFrog, CitySearch, Apple Maps, etc.). The local business ecosystem is vast and interconnected. For example, a customer might leave a review on one directory site, which then gets pushed to other directory sites with an affiliation. There is no similar ecosystem for regional, national, and international businesses, although those businesses can certainly have websites and a Facebook business page.

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Reasons to Have a Google Business Profile

There are different reasons why a local business might want to have a GBP. Here are some:

  1. To be seen in Google searches
  2. To be seen in Google Maps (and in Google Maps searches)
  3. So their customers can leave reviews
  4. So their customers can get directions
  5. So information can be easily found, such as hours of operation, services offered, and more.

If none of these benefits would be relevant for your business, you can simply forgo having a GBP. Think of the old Yellow Pages; that’s the closest correlation. It’s about businesses in a local area associated with a preset list of categories (plumber, electrician, printer, etc.).

How Does Google Ads associate with Google Business Profiles?

As long as the link is approved by all parties involved (the Google Ads account manager, the GBP profile manager, and Google), a Google ad can be associated with a business GBP. This was formerly known as a “location extension,” but Google decided to nix the word “extension” in favor of “asset.” Certain assets, such as location assets, might appear as part of an ad at Google’s discretion. Google decides on an impression-by-impression basis whether to show extra assets (FKA “extensions”). The location asset might appear as a clickable link under the ad, perhaps showing a map pin and an address. A click on the location asset would lead to the GBP page. A location asset might also include links for getting directions or initiating a phone call.

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Starting to Advertise from within a Google Business Profile

If you already have a GBP for your business, you’ll notice that there is an “Advertise” link in the admin panel. Google is hoping that you will start using paid advertising since that’s how Google makes most of its revenue. In fact, you might even see an incentive to begin advertising in the form of a promotion. It might say something like, “Get $500 of Advertising on US.” (Most of the promos that Google offers involve getting advertising credit, but that credit is based on you spending money first. For example, an advertiser might get $500 credit from Google if they first spend $500 of their own money within a period of roughly ten weeks from when the promo code was added to a new Google Ads account.)

In Summary

Google Business Profiles are a major part of the online local business ecosystem, which is an important feature of the Internet. This ecosystem has taken the place of the old Yellow Pages that were once used in practically every household. There are thousands of online directories for local businesses, including Apple Maps, Yelp, GBPs, etc. Keep in mind that the directories and directory listings are meant to be helpful in a local way, not regional, national, or international. Therefore, it’s not necessary for businesses using Google Ads to have a GBP, but a link is optional. Don’t confuse a GBP with the functionality of a Facebook Page, and don’t refer to a GBP as a “Google page.” Remember that it’s only a local business directory listing based on a physical address and that it’s meant to be integrated with Google Maps.