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  • Writer's pictureBelden Digital

Google My Business (Google Business Profile) Guide

Owners of businesses can connect with customers through Google Search and Google Maps by using Google My Business, currently known as Google Business Profile. Maintaining a company profile enables you to take control of your information, acquire credibility through reviews, and enhance your visibility on Google as part of an overall digital marketing strategy.


This post will discuss:

  • Benefits of having a Google Business Profile for your company

  • Creating a Google Business Profile

  • How to make your Google My Business presence more effective

Let's begin by discussing the fundamentals of Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business.


What Is Google My Business (Google Business Profile)?


With the help of the free Google Business Profile (GBP) tool, you can control how your company appears on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping. You may engage with consumers, share company updates, list products and services, and more by using this tool.


Here's an example of a Google Business Profile:

What Is Google My Business

You can still have an account even if you don't have a brick and mortar store as long as you interact with customers. For instance, if you're a plumber, you might only encounter clients at their residences. However, a Google Business Profile is still an option.


What Advantages Does Google My Business Offer?


The following are the three key advantages of keeping a Google Business Profile:

  • Boost Online Presence on Google

  • Acquire Credibility Through Reviews

  • Inform Clients of Business Information


Boost Online Presence on Google

You've probably seen the map and list of businesses that can display at the top of the search results when you look for a business on Google. This is the "local pack" or "map pack.” This “local pack” is displayed for geographically precise inquiries (or search phrases that imply location, like "food near me"). Both business data and Google Maps results are included. Business profiles optimized for Google are considerably more likely to show up in these results. In recent years, mobile searches for terms like "where to buy" and "near me" have surged by over 200%. We refer to these as "discovery searches." Users are searching more broadly for a category than for a specific brand. Therefore, if your business is well-optimized, it is more likely to appear as a geolocated result if a user searches for a general word like "restaurant" and is physically close to your location.


Acquire Credibility Through Reviews

98% of buyers read reviews of nearby companies online. More than once a week, 78% of consumers use the internet to research nearby businesses.

46% of consumers say that online evaluations are "extremely significant" while looking for service providers. Reviews offer insightful criticism on your company. You can respond to reviews, which may help you gain your consumers' trust. But customers don't anticipate flawless evaluations in whole. A mix of favorable and unfavorable ratings, according to Google, is actually more reliable. Building trust and credibility with your present and potential consumers by responding to reviews, both positive and negative, is a useful strategy.


Inform Clients of Business Information

Through your Google Business Profile, you may advertise your company's contact details, services, and more. Additionally, you can inform your clients of impromptu modifications. You might list holiday hours or indicate whether your company is temporarily closed or completely open.


How to Set up Google My Business (Google Business Profile)

The following steps are for creating a Google My Business (Google Business Profile) from the beginning.


1. Add Your Business to Google Maps

Navigate to Google Maps and open the menu in the top left corner. Select the “Add your business” option.


2. Create Business Account

If you already have a business account, simply sign into your account and skip this section.

Follow the instructions to set up a new account if you don't already have one. Select the “Create account” button and choose “To manage my business” from the drop-down menu. Fill out your account information and click “Next.” Next, verify your identity with a phone number, populate the additional questions and agree to the terms.


3. Populate Business Name and Category

To set up your profile, include your business name and category. Be sure to enter your business name exactly as it is. Your business category informs Google of the nature of your business, enhancing searchability. You can easily add new categories or change your business category later.


4. Include Location

If you have a physical location, add a location. Although adding a location is typically optional, some company categories, such as "Restaurant," require it. To skip this step if you don't have a storefront, select "No." Google will request the address of your location if you select "Yes." Make sure to input an exact location because Google Maps will display your address to searchers.


5. Provide Service Area

Depending on whether or not you added a company address, this step will look different. This step is not required if a business address was added. If you offer deliveries or both home and business visits, Google will ask you. Select "Yes" to let searchers know what regions are accessible to you. To move on to the following step, select "No." You cannot skip this step if you didn't provide a company address. Pick one of Google's suggested areas or begin entering the name of the region you serve.


6. Add Contact Information

Provide your contact information.


7. Verify Listing

Until you authenticate your Business Profile, it won't be searchable. Therefore, even if you have the choice to omit business verification at initial setup, you'll eventually need to verify your listing.


Five methods exist to validate your listing:

  • Via phone. Your verification code will be sent to you through automated Google call or text.

  • Via email. Your verification code will be sent to you through email.

  • Via postcard. Your verification code will be sent to you via postcard at the address you provided when you registered.

  • Via video recording. Make a video that demonstrates your location, your company's assets, and your authority as the manager of the enterprise.

  • Via live video call. On a live call with a support agent, show the same proof as the video footage.

How To Optimize Google My Business (Google Business Profile)

The following are steps to ensure your Google Business Profile is well-optimized.


Review NAP Consistency

The most crucial data in your Google My Business profile is your NAP. It stands for name, address, and phone number. Consistency in your NAP makes it easier for customers to recognize and locate your company. To prevent confusion, it's essential to maintain this information's consistency across all of your company's online representations. Start by checking that everything in your business account is accurate. Go to the "Info" page and confirm the accuracy of your company's name, address, and phone number.


Create a Business Description

You can include details about your company's history, goods, and services in your business descriptions. Google advises using your business description to give useful details about your goods and services, as well as the goals and background of your company. Instead of stuffing your description with as many keywords as you can, concentrate on delivering a relevant description.


Here are some more Google suggestions on what to leave out of your business description:

  • Information that is incorrect or unclear

  • Promotions or special offers

  • Foul language

  • Misspellings, nonsense words, or tacky character usage

Read the complete list of recommendations for how to represent your company on Google for more details.


Include Images in Your Listing

Set the cover photo and profile photo that best represent your company, which is typically your logo. Additionally, you can add more professional images to your Google My Business listing. Exterior images, interior photos, product shots, pictures of your employees at work, and pictures of common spaces are a few examples of the kind of business photos you might include.


Highlight Products on GBP

By utilizing the Product Editor in Google Business Planner, you can highlight a carefully curated selection of products right on your company listing. Create collections with at least three products, complete the required fields, and let your consumers click on specific products to view more information.


Respond to Reviews

It's important to monitor your reviews because they'll be one of the first results customers see when they Google your company name. Therefore, Google reviews have a significant impact on how customers perceive your company. When connected into your GBP account, you can manually check your reviews. Offering rewards in exchange for customer reviews is against Google's rules and conditions. However, you can prompt them to do so by including a link in emails, on receipts, or at the conclusion of a chat session. Do you own a business and want help with setting up your Google Business Profile? At Belden Digital, we’ve helped a variety of clients from every industry reach their marketing goals. Contact us today to get information on SEO services that will help your website rank higher in search engines.

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