How To Set Up A Google Business Profile

Consider this scenario: You’ve been working nonstop all day.

When you finally get off work, you discover you’re so hungry that you’re irritated; also more commonly known as “hangry.”

Those rumblings of hunger make you want to go the nearest eatery and eat something.

What are your options?

Most likely, you’ll use Google and, as a result, a Google Business Profile on your smartphone to locate a nearby restaurant with favorable reviews and images.

Imagine you’re the owner of that eatery. You’ve just gained a new client!

 

According to Google, there are over five billion restaurant searches every month, three billion hotel searches, one billion clothes store searches, and 600 million searches for hair and beauty facilities.

 

It is your responsibility as a marketer, to convert those inquiries into potential customers When customers are seeking for a specific product, service, or type of company, Google Business Profile makes it simple to find them on Google Search and Maps.

What is ‘Google Business Profile’?

Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a free tool that allows small business owners (and nonprofits) to promote their business information on Google Search and Maps. With Google Business Profile, you can connect with your customers, post updates to your business profile, and see how customers are interacting with your business on Google.

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It’s important to note that Google Business Profile does not replace your website; instead, it’s a complementary marketing profile to help drive more eyes on your website. 

The features of Google Business Profile assist you in attracting, engaging, and converting customers. You can do the following with a certified Google Business Profile:

  • Make contact with customers by calling, messaging, or reacting to reviews.
  • -See how people interact with and connect with your brand.
  • -Use Google to highlight products, images, or menu items.
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  • Let’s walk through the process of creating a Google Business Profile before we do anything else. Note: If a listing for your business already exists and you click the “Own this business?” link within the listing, you’ll go through the same steps.

How to Create a Google Business Profile

Now that you’re aware of the marketing potential of Google Business Profile, how do you go about creating a new profile? The procedures for creating a Google Business Profile are listed below. If you like to learn visually, I’ve made this helpful video to assist you.

For those who like to read instructions, follow the process below to build out your business profile.

Step 1:  Start by going to google.com/business

Be sure to bookmark this address, as you’ll need it to access your Google Business Profile listing in the future. 

Step 2:  Log in with your Google account

If you don’t have a Google account, visit google.com/accounts. You’ll be able to create a free account with any email address. I strongly suggest creating a separate one for your business to keep things more organized. 

Step 3: Enter your business name

Be sure you spell your name correctly and use Title Case (where you capitalize the first letter of each word.) This is the first impression for a customer, and you want to make sure it’s a positive experience. 

Step 4: Enter your business address

This screen is where you’ll enter your business address, so Google can verify that your business exists. This cannot be a post office box or mailbox in a storefront like Postal Annex or UPS Store. You can also only have one business per residence.

Step 5: Choose whether you’re a storefront or a service provider

Here’s where you make the distinction between whether you want customers to visit your storefront or if you work remotely within a local service area.  You can choose a certain mile radius around your business, a specific city or state, or a group of zip codes. 

Step 6:  Choose your Primary business category

Choosing your primary category is very important because it determines where and when you will show up on Google searches. Google is all about relevance, so if a potential customer searches for “Italian Restaurant” but you’re a pizza place, then you may not show up. If the customer searches for “Best pizza near me,” then you’d have a much better chance of your business profile showing up in the search results. 

Step 7: Add your phone number and website

Both phone calls and website clicks are tracked by Google Business Profile, so make sure your information is as accurate as possible. 

Step 8: Verify your local listing (most likely with a postcard)

According to Google, to manage your business information in Search, Maps, and other Google properties, you must verify your business listing. The verification process helps Google make sure your business information is accurate and that only you, the business owner or manager, has access to it.

Step 9: Finish populating your Google Business Profile listing

I’ll talk more about optimizing your Google Business Profile in the next installment of our Google My Business series. 

Final Thoughts

Consider a new customer who walks into your shop and says they found you on Google. They discovered YOU. No need to fantasize because Google Business Profile makes it all possible. Take use of this Google-provided free tool to begin attracting, engaging, and converting new clients right away.