When engaging with local businesses, one of the most useful tools for marketers is Google Business Profile (GBP). Firms cannot appear in the Local Pack or Local Finder without GBP, which should be a primary goal for businesses of this type.
According to research, 88 percent of consumers who search for local products or services on their mobile device will call or visit a store within 24 hours. Furthermore, 97 percent of customers claim they learn more about local businesses on the internet than from any other source. Both of these astounding figures emphasize the need for a solid internet presence for small businesses.
The first step toward SEO success is to create a Google Business Profile for your company or the local businesses with which you’re working. Because properly setting up a Google Business Profile is crucial, this comprehensive article will explain to you how to do so.
1. Open a Google Business account.
You’ll need to create a Google Account before you can create a Google local listing. Everyone can create a Google Account, and they’re quite easy to use.
To create a Google Account, you can either use an existing email address or create a new one. To get started, go to accounts.google.com and click ‘Create an account.’
2. Go to the Google Business Profile Gateway and fill out the form.
To get started, go to google.com/business and click ‘Manage now’ once you have your new email address:
3. Locate the Company
Start by entering the company name to see whether there is already a profile with that name. If it does, you’ll notice it pop up as you type. If your company name does not display, go ahead and click ‘Add your business to Google.’
Getting Access to an Existing Business Profile Requesting Access to an Existing Business Profile
Don’t worry if someone has already created a Google Business Profile for the company. You have the option of requesting that the management of the profile be transferred to you. Simply click ‘Request Access,’ and you’ll be taken step-by-step through the process.
4. Add the name of the company and the category it belongs to.
If you’re making a new profile, the next step is to give it a name and a category. The name you use here should be identical to the official company name. Don’t be tempted to stuff keywords into the name because that’s against Google’s rules.
Then, pick the category that most closely resembles your company. You’ll be able to update this later in your profile, as well as add more categories, so don’t worry if you’re not sure what to choose right now.
Check out our tips for local businesses on how to choose the best GBP categories for more information.
5. Is there a physical location for the company?
If your company has a physical location where clients may engage with you in person, you’ll need to disclose this information today. If this is the case, click ‘Next’ after selecting ‘Yes.’ Select ‘No’ instead if the company only works online or has a physical location but does not receive customers in person.
6. Fill in the Business Address.
You can now provide the address if the company has a physical location. To validate the location, you may be requested to place a pin on a map.
To avoid customer confusion or concerns with the verification process, make sure the address you provide is exact and comprehensive.
7. Is the company offering residential delivery or services?
Select ‘Yes’ on the next step if this is a service-area business or if the business delivers things to clients’ homes.
If you choose ‘Yes,’ you’ll be asked to list the places that the company serves or delivers to. You’ll be able to change this information at a later time, and you’ll be able to add new locations as your company grows.
8. Include your contact information.
The next step is to include the company’s contact information. You’ll need to give your phone number, and you can also add your company’s website. Check the box on this page if the company does not have a website.
You’ll be able to add this information later if you construct a website.
When setting up GBP for a customer, you’ll need to use the client’s contact information rather than your own. It’s a good idea to let your client know that they’ll be called by Google for the verification process, which we’ll go over in more detail later.
9. Keep up to date
You’ll be asked if you’d want to receive helpful advice and recommendations from Google before moving on to validating the business. Although you are under no obligation to receive this material, you may find it useful.
Sign up for our email to learn more about GBP and how to become a local marketing pro.
10. Verify the Company
You must select a verification technique to demonstrate that the firm is running at the stated address in this phase. The most typical method of verification is receiving a postcard mailed to the business address, although you may also be able to do so via phone or email.
Verification of Postcards
All firms can use this form of verification. A postcard will be mailed to the company address and should arrive in five days.
A code will be included on the postcard, which must be typed into the relevant location inside the GBP account. You can ask for a replacement if you don’t receive the postcard.
Verification via phone
Some businesses may be able to verify their accounts over the phone, but not everyone will have this choice. This option will appear on the verification page if you are eligible.
If you choose this option, an automated phone call will provide you with a code.
Verification of Email
The email option, like phone verification, isn’t available to everyone.
You can request a code to your mailbox if you have the option to verify via email. Only the email address associated with the GBP account will be able to do so.
11. Include your company’s hours of operation
It’s critical to include your business hours so that potential customers know when they can come to see you or contact you.
It’s critical that the hours you indicate are correct, and you should update this information whenever your operating hour’s change, whether permanently or temporarily.
There are a variety of reasons why your operating hours may be temporarily altered, including public holidays or employee illness. It’s a good idea to inform your customers in these situations. Check out our guide on managing opening hours in Google Business Profile for more information on why this is important and how to do it quickly.
12. Incorporate Messaging
Accepting messages from potential customers in GBP is an excellent method to engage your audience and increase sales. However, you should only use this feature if you are confident in your ability to manage it regularly. Unresponsiveness to communications creates a negative user experience and may hurt your company’s reputation.
Simply click the button if you want to accept messages. You can return at any time to pause or disable this feature.
13. Include your company’s description.
Giving customers a description of the company can assist them to understand what it’s about and whether it’s a good fit for their needs.
You have up to 750 characters in this part, so take advantage of it to convey the most relevant information in a clear and concise manner.
14. Insert Photographs
Using photos to assist searchers to visualize the business and getting a sense of the brand is a great idea. Customers can upload their own images to the site, and some will do so while leaving a Google review for you.
You won’t have any control over the order in which photographs appear on your listing, so having a few of your own photos mixed in with the user-generated content is a good idea.
Make sure to highlight various features of your products and services, as well as various aspects of your actual location.
Everything you need to know about looking nice online with GBP photographs is in our definitive guide!
Boost the visibility of your Google My Business profile
Once your listing is ready to launch, think about how you can optimize GBP to increase visibility and conversions.
The following are some of the most important ongoing tasks:
New photographs and videos are being added.
To communicate with your audience and answer their questions, use Google Business Profile Q&A.
Adding deals and promotions to your Google Business Profile Posts
Including a list of your services, products, or menu items
Inviting clients to ‘Follow’ you on Google Maps
Asking for Google reviews