Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business, is a Google service that lets your business show up on the web whenever someone searches for the brand name or something very similar. This post explains how to use Google Business Profile, how to create an account, list your business and get more customers.
What is a Google Business Profile, and how does it work?
Google Business Profile is a web product powered by Google. It allows business owners to provide information and descriptions of their businesses. They can also list products they sell or services that they render.
Now, whenever someone searches for something on Google that matches your business description and products or services, your business will show up just above the search results.
A user can see your business phone number, website, email, office address, working hours, products, services, and any other info you upload on your Google Business Profile. From there, potential customers can contact and patronize your business.
Brilliant, right? And on top of that, it’s free. Google My Business is free to use without paying a dime!
Benefits of Google Business Profile for business owners
There are many benefits you can get from using Google Business Profile. Here are some of them.
1. Google Business Profile lets your business appear in Google searches to boost sales
More than 80% of people use Google Maps to locate businesses near them. If your business is listed on Google Business Profile, people are more likely to visit your store, as long as you’re situated near them.
2. Google My Business helps to build trust with customers
One of the biggest challenges that most businesses have is building trust with customers. Many potential customers won’t be confident enough to patronize a business unless some trust has been established.
Google Business Profile makes your business look more professional and trustworthy to people. Businesses that appear on Google are 3 times more likely to be seen as reputable by consumers.
3. Customers can drop reviews on your Google Business Profile
Most people check for reviews before making a purchase decision. If you have a Google Business Profile and listing, your customers can drop reviews.
Potential customers can read those reviews to be more sure about your business. A good review on your Google Business Profile will help to convince them more about the products you sell and the services you render.
4. Google My Business can increase your traffic visits, both in your physical store as well as your website
Although it’s almost impossible to avoid ups and downs, having a Google Business Profile and listing can increase your sales.
It can attract about 35% more clicks to your website. Google My Business is also 70% more likely to attract potential customers to visit your physical store.
5. A Google Business Profile is like an advertisement…
… except that it’s not paid for! A good way to get on top of Google search results is PPC advertising, but it requires money. An alternative is organic search engine optimization (SEO), but that takes time.
On the other hand, a Google Business Profile listing is free. Customers can see relevant info about your business like your phone number and address without even leaving the Google search engine results page.
Also Read: 4 Reasons Your Business Needs A Website
How to create a Google Business Profile account
It’s fast and easy to set up a Google Business Profile. It’s no different from opening an account on Facebook. The requirements are only a phone number and an email address.
1. Sign in to Google Business Profile Manager
If your browser (Chrome, Opera, Edge, etc) is already logged into a Google account, you will be automatically logged-into Google Business Profile Manager.
If not, you can sign in to your usual Google account manually by providing your email address. You can also create a new Google account if you wish to.
2. Start adding your business info
In this step, you will start with your business name. When you start typing your business name, an auto-complete feature will make suggestions. If it doesn’t appear in the drop-down menu, click on “Add your business to Google”.
On the next page, input your business name, and then select an appropriate category. Once you’re done, click on “Next”.
3. Provide your location
If your business has a physical location that customers can visit, indicate it on the page by clicking on “Yes”. Next, add your business address.
If you don’t have a physical location that customers can visit but you render door-to-door services, you can highlight your service areas. After that, click on “Next”.
If that doesn’t apply to you, Google will ask you which country or region you’re based. Input it and click on “Next”
4. Provide your business contact info
On the next page, input your business website URL and phone number with which customers can get to your business. Note that this step is optional. Click on next when you’re done.
5. Verify your business
To verify your Google Business Profile, you have to provide your physical address. Note that this information is only used to verify your business and be sure of your transparency.
It won’t be visible on your Google Business Profile.
How to verify your Google Business Profile
On the next page, input your address and click “Next”. If you have a physical address, a postcard containing your 5-digit verification code will be sent by mail to verify your location.
If your business has no physical address, it will be verified through an email address.
After receiving the code, either by postcard or email, input it on the next screen. If you have closed the tab already, you can click on and verify your business here.
How to customize your Google Business Profile
After verifying your business, you can proceed to customize your Google Business Profile.
On the next page, provide the following information.
- Opening and closing hours
- Your messaging preferences
- A description of your business
- Professional and presentable photos of your business
After you have provided this info, click on “Continue“. Congratulations, your Google Business Profile is now up and running.
You will be redirected to your Business Profile Manager dashboard. From your dashboard, you can manage your business profile, view insights, see and respond to customer reviews, reply to messages, and even create Google ads.
Also Read: What you should consider choosing a business
How to optimize your Google Business Profile
Here are key tips on how to optimize your Google Business Profile. There are many businesses like yours on Google, and not all of them can appear on the results page.
Only the most optimized business profiles will appear for relevant keywords. Here are a few tips.
- 1. Complete all the sections of your profile. Fill it with accurate information.
- 2. Verify your location(s). If your business has multiple offices and branches, ensure you verify them all.
- 3. Add real and professional images and videos of your business.
- 4. Include keywords that are relevant to your industry in your profile and description. You can use free tools like Google Trends and Keyword Planner.
- 5. Encourage your customers (past and existing) to drop their reviews on your Google Business Profile.
- 6. Keep your info up to date. If you change your address, email, phone number, website URL, etc, make sure it’s updated on your profile.
- 7. Use special features and attributes, if they are available for your industry and location.
For instance, restaurants can upload menus, meal photos as well as popular dishes.
- 8. Add all the products you sell or the services you render in your inventory.
Having a Google Business Profile gives you an advantage over your competitors that are not yet using it. Aside from all the benefits, it’s also free to use.
You can click here to get started with Google My Business.