What is a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)?
A Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows businesses to manage how their business details appear on Search and Maps. You will have probably have seen these listings when you type a search into Google.
All businesses can create one and they are a great tool for helping increase visits to your website and increase sales. If you are a small business or sole trader with local customers, you absolutely must claim your free listing today!
1. Claim Your Business
- Step 1: Log into the Google Account you want your business linked to (or create one).
- Step 2: Go to business.google.com and select “Manage now” in the top right-hand corner.
- Step 3: Enter the business details you are prompted to enter, clicking next until complete (which includes business name, address, business category, website and phone number).
2. Verify Your Business
Google will now verify that you are indeed the owner of the business. Google will let some businesses verify by phone or email, but for many small businesses and sole traders the only option will be postcard. It only takes about a week for you to receive your postcard though, so select this option if others are not available.
Your postcard will contain a code. When you receive it, log into GMB again and click “Verify Now”.
3. Optimise Your GMB Business
Once you have verified your listing, you will be able to complete all information including opening hours, details of products or services that you offer, photos & video and offers. Your listing will rank better in searches if it is complete, so do consider completing the profile as much as possible.
Photos & Video
As well as adding a cover photo and logo, consider adding photos of the inside and exterior of your shop/offices if applicable, photos of your team and any other photos that will help your customers find out more about you. Note that you can also list products, including images and a link to the relevant page on your website for purchase. This is worth spending some time on.
Videos can also help you stand out. If you don’t have any short videos about your business, you can use a service like Animoto, to create a short explainer video with text and photos.
Anyone can leave a review for your business on your GMB listing. You can ask your customers to leave you a review, to help get you started. It is good practice to respond to all reviews as well, both positive and negative. For negative feedback, it is always best to remain polite and to take construction criticism when applicable. A negative review can actually look positive for the business when it has been taken seriously and responded to and resolved in an appropriate manner.
4. Download The App and Maintain Your Listing
- Step 1: Download the Google My Business App from the Play Store.
- Step 2: Log into the App with the same account you linked your GMB listing to.
- Step 3: Maintain your listing by regularly responding to Customer Reviews, adding new photos/videos and by adding “posts” (which can be Updates, Events or Offers).
If you need any help with SEO for your business, please feel free to get in touch.