What’s a Google Business Profile, anyway?
It’s 2023. And you probably know that having an online presence is a must-have for any small business. Sure you’ve got the usual online suspects: social media, email marketing, a professional looking website, etc. But too many small businesses skip setting up a Business Profile with Google.
A Google Business Profile will significantly boost your online visibility and attract more customers. Think of any business you’ve ever Googled. You know that nice little business block with photos, hours, and Google ratings? That’s a Google Business Profile. The good news? They’re totally free to create, and come with a huge set of benefits for your business.
Here’s why Google Business Profile is worth the time it takes to get set up, and a quick step-by-step guide on how to get up and running.
Why A Google Business Profile is Worth It
Yep, a Google Business Profile makes your business official. But beyond there, there are several big advantages to creating a Google Business Profile:
- Increased Visibility: With a Google Business Profile, your business will appear in local search results and on Google Maps. When users search for products or services that align with what you offer in your area, your business profile will be displayed prominently, driving more organic traffic to your website.
- Accurate Information: A Google Business Profile ensures that your business information is accurate and up-to-date. It includes essential details like your business name, address, phone number, website, and hours of operation. Sure, this isn;t the sexiest perk in the world. But customers your customers will appreciate it (think of the last time you Googled a business without their hours listed — amateur hour indeed!)
- Customer Reviews: Customer reviews play a significant role in shaping the perception of your business. A Google Business Profile allows customers to leave reviews and ratings, which can build trust and credibility for your small business. Positive reviews act as powerful social proof, encouraging others to choose your products or services. Tip: need a few reviews? Ask prior customers, friends, or family to leave one.
- Insights and Analytics: Google provides valuable insights and analytics on your Business Profile. You can learn about customer behavior, such as how they found your business and what actions they took, enabling you to make data-driven decisions to improve your marketing strategy. If you’re just starting out, this might not matter to you quite as much. But if you end up taking a data-driven approach to your business, you’ll appreciate these details.
- Free Marketing: Setting up a Google Business Profile is entirely free, providing your small business with an excellent marketing opportunity without any additional cost. Not bad!
Create Your Google Business Profile in 9 Steps
Yep, 9 steps should do it! Here’s how:
Step 1: Sign in or Create a Google Account
If you don't have a Google Account for your business, you'll need to create one. If you already have one, sign in to Google Business Profile using your existing account. Easy.
Step 2: Go to Google My Business
Once you're signed in, go to the Google My Business website (https://www.google.com/business/) and click on the "Manage Now" button.
Step 3: Enter Your Business Name
Type in your business name. If your business name appears in the drop-down menu as you type, select it. If not, continue entering your business name and other required information.
Step 4: Choose Your Business Category
Select the category that best describes your business. This helps Google understand what your business is about and present it to relevant users. Not sure? No sweat. You can change this later!
Step 5: Add Your Business Location
If you have a physical store or office that customers can visit, enter your business address. If you operate online or don't have a physical location, you can still set up a service-area business and specify the regions you serve.
Step 6: Provide Contact Information
Enter your business phone number and website URL. This makes it easy for customers to contact you and find more information about your products or services.
Step 7: Verify Your Business
Google may require you to verify your business to ensure accuracy. This is typically done through a postcard sent to your business address with a verification code. Follow the instructions provided by Google to complete the verification process.
Step 8: Optimize Your Profile
This part's easy. Once your business is verified, take some time to optimize your Google Business Profile. Add high-quality images that showcase your products, services, and ambiance. Craft a compelling business description and include relevant keywords to enhance your chances of showing up in relevant searches.
Step 9: Get Some Reviews!
Encourage your past customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile. Positive reviews can significantly influence potential customers' decisions, so definitely take some time to reach out!
It might seem like a small thing, but a Google Business Profile can make a big impact on your small business. It boosts your online presence, builds credibility, and provides valuable insights into your customer base.