How to Set Up Your Google Business Profile

How to Set Up Your Google Business Profile

If you have a local company that does business with customers at a physical site, whether that is at your physical business address or other onsite locations such as a client's business or home, then you can take advantage of creating a Google Business Profile in order to help more local customers find your business. Whether you run a local plumbing business or a local high-end artisanal bakery, you can create a Google Business Profile to help make your business more visible on various Google platforms, enabling customers to come across your company.

In this article, we will cover some of the basics regarding setting up and optimizing a Google Business Profile, which will include the following topics:

  • What is a Google Business Profile?

    A Google Business Profile is a free business profile that enables you to provide details about your business, such as an address, phone number, website, hours of operation as well as photos of your business, to Google users. This information will be used in generating a free business listing that displays these details on various Google platforms such as Google Maps and Google Search. Customers in your area who conduct searches for keywords related to your business can discover your Google Business Profile while looking for relevant local businesses. You can create your Google Business Profile either in Google Maps or Google Search. Google Business Profile was previously known as Google My Business and has recently undergone a name change and a few other adjustments.

  • What Changes Have Been Made?

    With the previous version, Google My Business, the Business Profile Manager app could be used by all users to create and manage business profiles, in addition to being able to create them on Google Maps and Google Search. In 2022 Google is streamlining this process by getting rid of the Business Profile Manager app for most users and will have individuals with only one business listing create their profiles directly on Google Maps or Google Search. However, users with multiple listings, locations, or profiles will still have access to the Business Profile Manager app.

    There is also a direct messaging feature that can be more easily accessed from a desktop computer. This feature allows users to message their customers directly from Google Search as opposed to the old Google My Business app, which was under-utilized by business owners. There are some other minor changes, but the basic purpose and function remain the same. A Google Business Profile is a free business profile you can create that provides details about your business, such as location and contact information to local customers. It allows them to find your business in local searches on Google Maps and Google Search while searching for relevant companies related to your specific industry.

  • Why Should you Have a Google Business Profile?

    A Google Business Profile is, in essence, a free way to market your business. All of the necessary information a customer may need to learn more about your business can be listed on your Google Business Profile. When a customer in your area searches for a local business in your industry, they often look for a company they will eventually make a business transaction with. By creating a Google Business Profile and providing all the information and points of contact potential customers are looking for, you are essentially taking advantage of a highly targeted advertising service, except the customers who are in need of your product or service come looking for you. By having a Google Business Profile, you are enabling them to find your business. Furthermore, this service is free.

    With a Google Business Profile, you can post photos relevant to your business, displaying your building, products, staff, logo, etc. Customers can also find the link to your website, and from there, they may even make purchases from you directly online. In addition, a Google Business Profile allows potential customers to view your hours of operation and find your phone number, enabling them to contact you if they have any questions. Customers can also read and leave reviews on your profile.

    With a Google Business Profile, you can grow your business's foot and website traffic while improving your local SEO. This is a free and effective marketing tool that every eligible business should take advantage of.

  • What is Needed to Create and Optimize a Google Business Profile?

    You will need to provide certain information and take specific actions in effectively setting up an optimized Google Business Profile. This includes:

  • Business Name
  • Business Type
  • Business Category
  • Business Address
  • Business Description
  • Website
  • Contact Phone Number
  • Business Hours
  • Uploading Photos of your Business
  • Verifying your Business with Google
  • Enabling or Disabling Messaging that Allows Customers to Contact you on Google
  • Encouraging your Customers to Leave Reviews
  • Responding to your Customers' Reviews
  • Continually Updating your Profile
  • Advertise your Business with Google Ads

Completing all facets of your Google Business Profile with accurate and detailed information about your company is necessary for creating a successful profile. When adding your business description that will appear across Google services such as Google Maps and Google Search, it is vital that you write a clear and accurate description of your business. It is important that your description truly reflects the nature of your business. This description helps Google determine your business's relevance to a user's search. If your description perfectly matches what a user is searching for, you will rank higher in the search results. Conversely, a vague or unclear description can lower your ranking in the search results. Therefore, by clearly representing your business in your description, Google will know specifically what your company offers and will rank it higher in user searches relevant to and reflective of your description.

While selecting the days and hours you will be open for business, it is essential that you provide accurate days and times that you will actually use as your business hours. Providing inaccurate information can confuse customers and waste their time as they may travel to your business location to pick up an online order or purchase something in person only to find out that it is closed.

Uploading photos of your physical business location, products, and other images relevant to your business can also help optimize your Google Business Profile. For example, uploading pictures of the outside and inside of your business location can help customers find your business and let them know what to expect once inside your building. Adding images of your products is a great way to showcase them to many potential customers; in essence, this acts as free advertising. Additionally, uploading informative pictures such as menus or price and service lists can also be helpful to customers in gaining more familiarity with your business and what you offer. Finally, photos and images of your staff, logo, and other dynamic and engaging aspects of your business can help with customer engagement and brand recognition.

Additionally, you will need to verify your business and location with Google via mail, email, or phone. While customizing your Google Business Profile, you can enable or disable a free messaging feature that allows customers to send you messages on Google. If you do not plan to answer messages regularly, it is better to disable this feature.

Regularly managing and updating your Google Business Profile is another critical aspect. Updating your profile consistently with edited business hours during holidays, renovations, or unexpected business closures will help provide your customers with accurate information about your business. If you move your business, it is vital that you update your address, phone number, and any photos you may have uploaded of your previous location. Consistently updating your profile and ensuring the information you have listed is accurate and up to date is an essential component in creating a successful Google Business Profile. Encouraging your customers to leave reviews and responding to those reviews increases engagement and can also help your profile.

Google also offers businesses the opportunity to run paid ads via Google Ads. This can be an effective way to help your business gain more customers and recognition. However, it is not necessary to run ads in order to create a successful Google Business Profile.

By completing as many aspects of your profile as possible and making sure your information is valid and continuously updated, you will ensure customers view accurate information about your business. In addition to this, by uploading dynamic and engaging photos and interacting with your customers through reviews, you will be well on your way to ensuring your Google Business Profile is more relevant to the search engine. This will increase your chances of making it to the top of the search results, which could drastically improve your web and foot traffic and grow your customer base.

  • How to Begin Setting up your Google Business Profile

    The first thing you will need to set up a Google Business Profile is a Google account if you do not already have one. You can set up a Google Business Profile by going to the Google Business Profile page and clicking "Manage now." From here, you will fill out details about your business.

  • Verify your Business

    Next, you will have to verify your business. You can do this through the mail, the phone, or email, and depending upon the nature of your business, you may have to verify it through a specific method or multiple methods. You will need to follow the corresponding steps that Google asks you to take to verify your business. Again, these steps and the duration of the process may differ depending on your particular type of business. For example, verification via postcard may take up to 14 days to receive the postcard from Google.

    While waiting for your business to be verified, do not edit any of your information, such as business name or business type, or request a new verification code, as this can prolong the verification process. Once your business has been verified, you will notice a "verified" icon placed adjacent to your business location. Verifying your business will allow your business to be recognized by the Google algorithm and be shown to Google users in the local search results.

  • Managing your Profile With Google Business Profile Manager

    Google will be phasing out the Google Business Profile Manager app in 2022 for users with only one business location. However, users with multiple locations will still be able to use Google Business Profile Manager This app allows users to easily manage multiple locations from one place in a convenient fashion. You can update all of your information from here, including business hours, location, contact information, etc. You can also upload new photos, create ads, and view profile insights from Google Business Profile Manager.

  • Managing your Google Business Profile on Google Search

    For users with only one business location, the most convenient way to update your Google Business Profile is through Google Search. You can do this by logging into the Google account you used to set up your Google Business Profile. Then you can type in the name of your business in the Google Search bar or "my business." Alternatively, you can open your account menu and select "Your Business Profile." All these options will allow you to access your Google Business Profile, where you can easily edit or update all of your information, add photos, respond to customer reviews, etc.

    Google is simplifying the process by having users with one business location manage their Google Business Profiles through Google Search or Maps. This way, users don't have to access other apps or services; they can simply access their profiles through the Google Search or Maps page.

  • Managing your Google Business Profile on Google Maps

    Another easy way to manage your Google Business Profile is through the Google Maps app. You can do this by searching for your business name in the Google Maps search bar or by opening the account menu and clicking on "Your Business Profile." Then you can access and update all of your Google Business Profile information from here.

A Google Business Profile is a great way to help market your business and is easier than ever to manage. While setting up your profile, it is important that you provide as much detailed and accurate information as possible. After your initial setup, it is vital that you regularly check your profile and update any outdated information or images. Consistently updating your profile, ensuring everything is fresh and relevant, and regularly checking and responding to your Google Business Profile's customer reviews and messages can help your Google Business Profile rank higher in search results in searches relevant to your business.

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