If you are looking for ways to improve your website’s local SEO or promote your business locally, a Google Business Listing is essential. Taking the time to create a professional-looking GMB profile can help boost your brand’s visibility online whether you are a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront or an online-only business.
Whilst optimising Google profiles is simple enough for those in the know, it can often be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together our complete guide to everything Google Business Profiles that is ideal for businesses of any size. We’ve even included a handy free printable Google Business Profile checklist to help get your online presence off to a flying start.
What is a Google Business Profile?
A Google Business Profile is a business listing that appears on some Google search result pages. These often appear as boxes at the side of the page with images, contact information and text. When searching for businesses, users can find all the contact information they need in one search and are sent to businesses near to where they are searching or the specific area they have searched for.
Google My Business is a free business tool that allows you to connect with consumers by posting updates, adding images, responding to customer reviews and more. You can list your online products and services so that customers can find them easily.
For those who have used Google’s services for a long time, you may notice a name change. Google announced in November last year that Google My Business will now be referred to as Google Business Profiles. So, if you are familiar with Google My Business, you should find Google Business Profiles familiar.
Why Should I Get a Google Business Profile?
Google Business Listings are a great way to access countless local customers and searchers. By not having a GMB listing, you could potentially be missing out on a large chunk of your target audience. Creating an optimised Google Business listing means that you can create a cohesive brand experience across every platform. A good GMB profile creates a good first impression and helps represent your brand properly in Google Maps. What Are the Benefits of a Google Business Profile?
Improve your Local SEO
One of the biggest benefits of creating a Google Business Listing is improving your local SEO. With a GMB listing optimised for local searches, you’ll show up in more searches and help support rankings for local keywords. Doing things such as updating your opening times, adding images and responding to reviews can all help support your local SEO efforts and create a fully-optimised Google My Business profile. By specifying the location of your business, you will be able to reach more local searchers and potential customers who could go on to visit your store or check out a product on your website.
Engage With Customers Using Google Business Listings
Google Business Listings are a brilliant way to engage with potential customers where they will be searching for information. Through Google Business Profiles you can post on your GBP, respond to reviews, talk to customers directly and add helpful action buttons and links such as contact buttons and book buttons. Adding a chat button to your Google listing enables you to talk directly to customers, helping to improve conversions without even having to bring customers to your website or shop.
Setting Up a Google My Business Account
You may now be wondering how to set up Google My Business. The good news is that setting up a Google My Business account is free and accessible for anyone who owns a business. Google Business Profiles are now edited through Maps by searching your business name and city and accessing your Business Profile.
To create a GMB listing, you will need to have a Google account and enter your business name to claim it. You’ll need a valid business address that can be verified and add the service area of your business. Follow Google’s step-by-step instructions to create your account. You can manage account access to allow different individuals within your business or organisation to make edits. If your business doesn’t have a bricks and mortar store, you can hide your address.
How to Verify a Business on Google Business Listings
In order to verify your business on a Google Business Listing, you’ll need to find and manage your business on Google’s verify business page here. You’ll need to meet their address guidelines with a business address that Google can find. If you don’t have a customer-facing business location, you can hide your business address on your listing. You can claim your Business Profile through phone, text, email or video and you might need to verify it through more than one method. You can also verify your business address through a postcard sent to that address from Google. Do however note that if you change some of your business information, Google may ask you to re-verify your Google Business Profile.
Is Google My Business Free?
Yes. Creating and using a Google My Business account is completely free. GMB listings can be a great way to boost your local SEO without the costs you might incur through paid advertising on Google.
What Can Be on a Google Business Profile?
When setting up a Google Business profile, you may have a number of questions such as, do I need a website for a Google Business Profile? Do I need a physical storefront to use Google Business profiles? Or, can I add multiple locations to a Google Business Profile? The good news is that Google Business Profiles offer a whole host of ways to engage with your customers and give them the information they need. Some typical features of your Google Business Profile include things such as your business category and description, both important elements to help your business get found in Google.
In addition to the basic information on your Google listing such as name, address, contact information and description, Google Business Listings also offer a wealth of useful tools to help drive customers and conversions. For example, physical shopfronts can use the “add in-store products” feature so that shoppers in the local area can view your products before they shop. Frequently asked questions can also help answer customer queries at a glance whilst providing any needed information about your products or services to help consumers make an informed decision when it comes to your business.
Top Tips for Setting up a Google Business Listing
If you’re just here for the top-level tips on how to get your Google Profile seen, take a look at our top tips below and check out our handy checklist infographic, open or download the PDF for more great links on each of the steps. Without further ado, here are our top tips for setting up a Google Business Listing:
- Make sure all information and content is up to date and complete at all times
- Add relevant photos to your Google Business Profile
- Use the questions and answers section
- Choose your business category wisely
- SEO your Google Business description with keywords related to your business
- Respond to every review, positive or negative to show you are engaged
Need Help Setting Up a Google Business Profile?
Our SEO experts are well-versed in optimising for Google and can help you create a successful Google Business Profile as well as advise on other areas of local SEO. We can hep you to set up a Google Business Listing that is SEO-ready and make it a success whilst advising on all other areas of search engine optimisation. To find out more about how we can help improve your Google Business Profile and provide winning SEO advice, contact our team online or by calling 0121 552 6500 now.