Is your business on Google? If not it needs to be.
If you are navigating the world of digital marketing, there are likely a lot of terms being thrown your way, as well as a lot of profiles you are being told to create. Your Google Business Profile (GBP) is one of the most important because it will be front and center during a Google search. The accuracy and usefulness of the information displayed could mean the difference between gaining a new customer or just another user who keeps on scrolling. Some of the benefits your business will experience with a fully set-up GBP profile include:
- Increased presence in a Google search
- An opportunity for customers to leave reviews about your business
- The ability for customers to access up-to-date contact information and hours of operation.
- The option to track calls and analyze data on potential customers.
Consumers today are accustomed to accessing the information they need quickly, and they can grow frustrated if it is not readily available. We want to help you avoid that, and we want to make sure your Google Business Profile communicates the information your customers need to give you the business you deserve. That is why we have put together this comprehensive guide to help you create a GBP. Check out the five simple steps below and create your profile today:
5 Simple Steps to Increase Your Visibility in Google Searches
1. Set Up A Google My Business Account
Not a surprising first step, but you need to make sure your business has an account with Google. To set this up, visit www.google.com/accounts. You will need to sign in with a Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you can also set that up easily from this page. Once you’ve logged in, then you can begin setting up your Google Business Profile.
Some business owners go to set up their profile, only to find that the profile already exists. This could happen for one of a few reasons. It is possible that someone associated with your business set up your profile and forgot or neglected to give you access. If this is the case, there is no need to worry. The process of reclaiming your business is actually quite simple. Search for your business in Google maps. You should see a button that says “Claim this business.” Click that button and then click, “Manage business.” You will be prompted with a verification process that will take you through the necessary steps to reclaim your business.
You can also choose to add owners and managers to your profile. To do this, sign into your profile on your computer. You should see a menu on the left that says "Users." Clicking on that will give you the ability to invite new users. You can then enter the name or email address of those who you would like to add.
2. Complete Your Profile with Up-To-Date Information.
Consistency is important as you set up new profiles pertaining to your business. Make sure you use the same name and spelling that customers are familiar with when you set up your profile. This will help potential customers find you and also help you rank higher on Google.
As you set up your profile, you’ll enter in the typical information about your business like address, phone number, email, etc. You might also be asked to position a marker on the location of your business or chain’s branch on a map. It is important to get accurate information submitted to Google to help with the verification process and to also help your clients find you. Once your business has been verified, you can easily update any information as needed.
3. Select primary and secondary business categories
When you think about your business category, remember that it is the way customers will connect to the services you provide. For example, if your primary business category is home services, Google might show your business as a result when searching for a “painter” or “plumber.” The primary business category is one of a variety of factors that can affect your local ranking on Google.
On your GBP profile, you can set both primary and secondary categories. Choosing the right categories will help your business appear in relevant search results. You are allowed to set one primary category and up to nine secondary categories, but experts do not recommend setting more than four categories total. Otherwise, you risk confusing the search engine and decreasing your ability to rank for primary categories.
There are over 3500 different GBP categories, and in order to increase your chances of ranking highly, you will want to choose the most specific category for your business. Your primary business category holds the most value.
4. Add Photos to Your Profile
- Add your logo to your listing to help consumers locate you
- A cover photo is a great way to showcase a photo of your services
- Adding additional photos of your team and your offices help give a glimpse into the customer experience.
5. Verify Your Local Listing
Before you can verify your profile, you must request to claim it. If you do not verify your business, you will not be able to make any updates to your profile.
The most common way to verify your business is through a postcard. With this method, Google will send a postcard to the address associated with the profile. To make sure the postcard is delivered to the right location, you must make sure the following information is correct:
- A complete and exact address with suite numbers, floors, building numbers, and other key unit information
- Only information that is part of the official address in the listing
After your address is verified, you will receive a postcard from Google. This typically arrives within 14 days. The postcard will include a unique verification code for your business. You will enter this code to confirm that your business is located at the address you listed. This will ensure that your business information is accurate and that you are the only one who can access and change it in the future.
We understand that you might not want to wait for the postcard to arrive before you can start managing your account. Google must understand this too because they offer a few alternative verification methods, such as:
Phone call -- If you choose this method, Google will send a call to the phone number associated with your profile. When you answer the call, you will be given a code that you can enter to verify your profile.
Text message -- Waiting around for a phone call is not always the most convenient. Luckily, Google can send over a text to the phone number associated with the profile that will connect you with a code to enter into GBP.
Email -- If you prefer, Google will send an email with your code to the email address associated with the account. However, this is not always an option because some businesses do not have email addresses with a domain that matches the business name.
Creating your GBP profile involves a few simple steps, but these steps will go a long way to get your services in the eyes of those who need them. Once you have created your GBP profile, you will be one step closer to ranking highly in searches, which will help you create a thriving business.
And just like that, with a few clicks of a button, your business will be able to be front and center during any Google search. In the digital landscape, where your potential customers have seemingly endless options, we want to make sure that you stay ahead of the game. Setting up your GBP successfully will ensure that your customers have the information they need to decide if your business is right for their needs. When your business is ranking highly in searches, you will be one step closer to winning over the customers you deserve.
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