How to Setup a Google Business Profile
(Formerly Known as Google My Business)
Your Google company listing, also known as your Google business profile, offers more opportunities than you know. It highlights your key strengths and makes it easy for customers to find, learn about and contact your business when done right. To optimize your business profile properly, you need to have access to it. How? You must first confirm with Google that you are the rightful owner.
Although it seems simple, the process of creating, applying, and verifying can become a challenge – as you have probably already found out. And why? Because it requires several steps that need to be taken in order to setup your profile properly.
In this article, you’ll learn all about Google and get step-by-step instructions on setting up a Google My Business (GMB) account, applying for, and verifying your Google Business profile. At Southtown Web Design, we include your GBP setup with any of our SEO plans.
Interested in setting this up yourself? No problem, continue on!
What is a Google Business Profile (formerly called Google My Business)?
Having a GBP listing shows that your company is reliable and trustworthy. You can create a Google Business profile to help customers identify your business and its details, such as your company’s name, location, and hours of operation. You can also include a website, phone number, and reviews.
This tool is free and makes it easier for businesses to manage their online presence on Google. Using accurate, up-to-date information, customers can find your business online and learn more about it.
Google Business Profile: Why Do I Need One?
A Google Company page is a must for local companies and small business owners who care about their local search engine optimization presence.
Your business will only appear in a search for “X near me” if your Google Business page is set up and optimized correctly. If it is not, users will always see your competitors, which means you are missing out on potentially new customers.
Your business can use a Google Business Profile page to manage the data you want to share with your customers. As a business owner, you can also respond directly to feedback. Your Google Business profile makes it easy for customers to discover your business and get directions. Once you enter the correct address into your profile, users can see your location and get directions from Google Maps with just one click.
With a GBP account, you can see how many people have called you directly from your dashboard and what keywords they searched for and more. These insights can benefit your business significantly by optimizing your pages for those keywords to help drive more traffic to your business.
We will not be going over how to fully optimize your listing for Google’s search engines in order to rank well, as this article is solely about setting up your Business Profile.
Set Up a Google Business profile
Here is the step-by-step guide to create your very own Google Business Profile.
Create a Google Account for your Business
To get started, you will need a Gmail address (Gmail). You have to create one if you do not already have one. If you already have an account, you can skip this step.
To set up an account: Visit gmail.com. Then click on Create Account.
A registration form will appear. Verify your account by phone. For your security, Google uses two-step verification. Google will send you a verification code via SMS. Enter the code to verify your account.
Then you’ll see a form where you need to enter personal information such as your name and date of birth, etc. Enter your personal information, read Google’s terms and conditions, and click “I accept”. You now have a Gmail account.
Find or Add Your Business Name
There are two ways you can start creating your Google Business Profile. If you’re still in your gmail account, click the 9 dots in the top right corner of your Gmail Account and select Business Profile. This will take you to the Google Business Profile setup. The other way to get there is to just type in Google Business Profile in a Google search and it will more than likely be the first search result or you can just go to this link: www.google.com/business.
Once you’ve landed on the Google Business page, select “Manage Now” to get started. Then enter the name of the business and select it if it exists or click on “create a business with this name”. Be careful not to accidentally select the name of another nearby business if your company name is similar to that of another business.
The next important step that is going to help index your business in Google is by selecting the correct category for your business.
To add a location or to not?
In this step, if you’re a brick and mortar business, then you’re going to want to select the option yes. If you’re a service area business and serve your customers at their location, then you’re going to want to select no.
In this article, we are going to be selecting “No” and clicking next. Upon selecting no, Google will ask you where you serve your customers. It’s important to select all the areas you service, which could potentially help with your ranking in those areas in the long run.
Add Contact Information
From here, you’re going to want to add in your business’s contact phone number and website URL. If you don’t have a website, you can select the option “I don’t have a website”.
Verify Your Google Business Profile
This is probably one of the most important steps, because without verifying the business, your listing will not be pushed live.
Even though we selected not to add a location, we still need to input an address. If you’re a service area business you can just use your home address or any commercial location that you own or are leasing.
I would not put a P.O Box or a UPS Mailing Address, as Google will flag this as not an actual business location and will potentially remove it from their database. We don’t want that!
For the purpose of this article, we are going to be clicking “Verify Later”. Typically you’ll input your address and you will receive a postcard in the mail with a verification code that you will need to finish verifying your business with Google.
Add Business Hours/Messaging
The next step is to add your actual business hours. It is important to provide real up to date information to Google or it could potentially be hurting your rankings down the road. After inputting your business hours, click next and move on to the next section, which is adding messaging.
This is a neat feature that Google has added that can help you communicate with potential customers straight from your Google Business Profile. If you do turn this feature on, make sure you respond as soon as possible or Google will just remove that feature from your account if you can’t provide users with quick information. The reason they will disable it, is because it creates a poor user experience and goes against what Google is about.
If you’re adding that feature click next, if not click skip.
Help potential customers know a little about your business before they make the plunge to contact you for more details.
A lot of people are busy and on the go and if they can get a quick bio about the business what services you provide, it could mean the difference between them contacting you or your competitor.
If you’re strapped for time and want to get back to adding in a bio later, just click skip or click next if you’ve already inputted your business’s bio.
Next step is to be adding in photos of the type of services you provide. This is a great way to really sell your services by showing past work you’ve completed in order for customers to see you’re work first hand. Which can help entice potential customers to want to work together.
Claim your $500 Free Advertising Credit
A google Business Profile already helps in providing a lot of much needed exposure to the business, but they don’t stop there. Another perk when creating a new Business Profile is that they sometimes offer free advertising spend to help drive immediate traffic to your business.
This can help significantly when you’re first starting your business and trying to get your first customers. I’m sure by now you can see the value of have a Google Business Profile and how it could actually be hurting you by not having one. Most, if not all your competitors probably have a business profile and if you don’t have one, it just give them that added competitive edge.
Once this step is completed, you have fully setup your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business). The next step is to just wait for the Google postcard to arrive in order to fully verify your Google Business Listing and for it to be pushed live for the world to see!
Before launching a local marketing campaign, make sure your Google Business profile is complete, and you know the basics of local SEO. Creating a Google My Business profile is one of the first things you should do.
Imagine a new customer coming into your business and telling you they found you on Google. Good news: With a Google Business profile, it really is possible.
Still, have questions? Please get in touch with us today. We’ll be happy to advise you on all aspects of your digital presence and marketing campaigns.