Google Business Profile is a free and powerful tool that helps businesses manage their online presence on Google Search and Maps. A well-optimized Google Business Profile can help your business appear higher in search results, attract more customers, and increase your online visibility. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to create and optimize your Google Business Profile. Please note, that Google Business Profiles are typically used for businesses that have either a physical address (storefront, office, etc…) or businesses that provide services on a client’s site (plumbers, electricians, etc….). Virtual businesses, such as freelancers, typically aren’t supposed to use Google Business Profile, however many do.
Step 1: Claim your Google Business Profile
The first step to creating your Google Business Profile is to sign up. Go to the Google for Business website (https://www.google.com/business/) and click on the “Start Now” button. You will be prompted to sign in to your Google account or create a new one if you don’t have one already.
Step 2: Enter Your Business Information
Once you’ve signed in, you’ll be asked to enter your business information. Then, start with your business name, address, phone number, and website URL. Make sure to enter your information accurately and consistently across all platforms to ensure that your customers can find you easily. If you’re a business that provides on-site services (such as a plumber), be sure to set your service area.
Step 3: Verify Your Business
Google will ask you to verify your business after you enter your business information. You can do this by mail, phone, email, or instant verification if you’ve already verified your business with Google Search Console. If you have a physical address, you’ll receive a postcard within five business days with a code to validate your address. Once your business is verified, you can start optimizing your Google Business Profile.
Step 4: Add Your Business Description
One of the most important elements of your Google Business Profile is your business description. This is where you can provide a brief overview of your business. Be sure to include the products or services you offer and what makes you unique. Make sure to keep your description concise and engaging to attract potential customers. And don’t forget to add your business hours. Google will email you before certain holidays to ask whether you’ll be open. So be sure to keep your hours current so potential clients won’t stop by when you’re closed.
Step 5: Add Photos and Videos
Adding photos and videos to your Google Business Profile is a great way to showcase your business and attract potential customers. Make sure to add high-quality photos and videos that accurately represent your business. You can add photos of your products, team, and location, as well as videos that highlight your services or customer testimonials. Additionally, you can create posts and share offers directly on your profile.
Step 6: Manage Reviews
Customer reviews are an important part of your Google Business Profile – in fact, they are the reason many businesses created a Google Business Profile to begin with. Reviews can influence your business’s reputation and search rankings so make sure you read and respond to them.
Get the ball rolling by encouraging your customers to leave reviews. Again, make sure to respond promptly to any negative reviews or reviews that ask questions. This shows that you care about your customers’ experiences and are committed to providing excellent service.
Step 7: Keep Your Profile Up-to-Date
Finally, make sure to keep your Google Business Profile up-to-date with accurate and current information. This includes your business hours, phone number, website URL, and any other relevant details. Regularly updating your profile can help improve your search rankings and ensure that your customers can find you easily.
Bonus tip: Don’t over-optimize. Over-optimizing your Google Business Profile can get your profile locked down for review, or even possibly suspended.
Creating and optimizing your Google Business Profile is a crucial step in managing your online presence and attracting new customers. By following these steps and regularly updating your profile, you can improve your visibility in search results and build a strong online reputation for your business. As always, if you run into any issues with your profile, please don’t hesitate to contact us.