How to Create and Optimize a Google Business Profile For Your Business
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile is a free business listing provided by Google. It enables you to get listed on Google Search and Google Maps and manage the information about your business that is shown on search results. It helps customers find your business when they search online on Google.
If you are a local business, having an optimized Google Business Profile is an important step to improve your local search or SEO (search engine optimization) rankings on Google. It is a free method of digital marketing for a local business with a lot of online visibility. It enables local customers to find your business when they search online for products and services in their area.
A Google Business Profile is considered to be the most important ranking factor for a business to rank in the local pack. The local pack is the listing of three businesses featured at the top of the Google organic search rankings for a relevant search.
Google Business Profile was previously called Google My Business and rebranded as Google Business Profile on 11/4/21.
How does Google Business Profile work?
A Google Business Profile is a free listing that enables you to manage how your business information appears on Google Search and Google Maps. It helps you to keep your business information updated, connect with customers, highlight your products and services, add images of your business, add posts and special offers, collect and respond to customer reviews, and more.
Why is Local SEO Important?
Having a Google Business Profile is essential to improve your local SEO rankings.
Here are some statistics that show the importance of local search or SEO,
- 4 in 5 customers use search engines to find local information. (Source: Think with Google)
- 72% of customers that did a local search visited a store within 5 miles (source: HubSpot marketing statistics)
- 18% of local searches made on smartphones led to a purchase within a day, whereas only 7% of non-local searches led to a sale. (Source: Think with Google)
How to Setup a Google Business Profile For Your Business
To follow the steps on video, view our YouTube video below:
Creating a Google Business Profile for your business is not difficult. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Go to https://business.google.com/
2. Sign in with your google account
3. Enter your Business name and address
4. You can choose if you want your business location to be listed on Google Maps
- If you serve customers at your business address,
- enter your business address
- If you don’t serve customers at your business address, for example, if you are a service area business,
- enter your business address
- choose “I deliver goods and services to my customers”
- list your service areas
5. Select your business category.
This is an important step. Make sure you select the right category for your business. You can select up to 10 categories for your business and 1 primary category which is given the most importance by Google. Select all the categories that apply to your business.
6. Enter your phone number and website URL
Enter your primary phone number and website URL.
Request Verification by Google for your Google Business Profile
Your business will need to be verified by Google before your business profile will be shown on Google Search or Google Maps.
Most businesses have to verify by mail. Service-area businesses can also verify by phone or email.
1. To verify by mail. Click Finish.
2. Verify that your business address is correct or make changes.
3. Click “Send postcard”
4. Google will send a postcard to your business address with a verification code, usually in 14 days.
Enter Your Google Verification Code to Verify Your Google Business Profile
Once you get your postcard from Google in the mail, you must enter the verification code into your Google Business Profile to complete verification.
1. Visit google.com/verifymybusiness
2. Sign in to your Google account
3. Enter the verification code from your postcard
4. Click “Submit”
5. Your verification is complete.
6. Once verified, your business listing is eligible to be shown on Google Search and Google Maps.
Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing
Once your Google Business Profile listing is shown on Google, you should optimize your profile and keep it regularly updated.
Why You Should Optimize Your Google Business Profile
- Your Google Business Profile listing will be shown on Google Search and Maps when people search for businesses near them.
- An optimized Google Business Profile qualifies your business to be shown in the local pack of three businesses shown above the organic search or SEO listings, right below the paid search or Pay Per Click ads. This is a highly visible position on the organic listings that can result in many clicks.
- Adding lots of photos and keeping your business information updated provides your customers with the latest information about your business and operating hours when they search online for your business.
The Google Business Profile Dashboard
When you log into your Google Business Profile, you will see a dashboard where you can manage and update your business information:
This dashboard may be replaced soon since Google is trying to have users manage their business information directly from Google Search.
Steps to Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Here are the steps to optimize your Google Business Profile listing,
- Review and update your business information and make any changes.
- Verify your business location and address.
- Post your business hours, including special hours for holidays and weekends.
- Enter a complete business description. This should be your best elevator pitch. Use important keywords relevant to your business in your description. Mention your important products and services. You have 750 characters for your business description.
- Enter your services. Enter all your business services.
- Add plenty of pictures to your business listing. This includes a cover photo, logo, pictures of your team, pictures of your store, and products and services. You should regularly add photos and keep it updated.
- You can add a video about the story behind your business and what makes it unique.
- Your customers can post reviews on your Google Business Profile. Potential customers can view your reviews on Google. Positive reviews improve trust and customer confidence.
- You should regularly respond to customer reviews. Keep your responses professional and positive.
- Google Business Profile has a feature called Posts which is a great way to connect with customers. Add Posts regularly with information on special events; offers, products or links to new blog posts on your website.
- Turn on messaging so that customers can directly message you from your listing.
- Google Business Profile has a Q and A feature. Customers can ask you questions from your listing. Respond regularly to customer questions.
- Check Google Business Profile Insights regularly for valuable information on how customers search for your business. This includes information on search queries used and the actions customers take to visit your website, call or message you.
A complete and well-optimized Google Business Profile is essential for every business. It enables your business to be shown on Google Search and Google Maps when customers search online for products or services that you offer.
With a Google Business Profile, you can post your business information; post photos and special events; receive and respond to customer reviews; get messages from customers and track how customers find you on Google.
A Google Business Profile is important for local SEO. It helps to improve your local SEO or search rankings so that local customers can find you when they search online on Google. Get started today!
Article First Published: September 12, 2019. Updated August 15, 2022.
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All screenshots taken by author.