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Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is essential for any small business with a physical location or that serves a specific geographic area. Your Google Business Profile will help you boost your online presence and help customers find you on Google search and Google Maps, driving more local traffic and customers to your business. It’s free to create and manage your Google Business Profile.
In addition to increasing your business’s discoverability online, a Google Business Profile can also offer additional channels for taking orders, communicating with customers, and sending them to your own website. Crucially, it’s also a tool for collecting, managing, and displaying customer reviews and ratings of your business.
This article explains in detail how to set up your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) and how to use each of the profile’s features to connect with customers and grow your business.
Setting up your Google Business Profile
Getting started with your Google Business Profile is a fairly straightforward process. First, you will need to create a Google account if you don’t already have one. If you have a Gmail account for your business or use Google Analytics, you already have a Google account. Log into Google and follow these three easy steps to set up your Google Business Profile.
Find or add your business on Google
Visit Google Business Profile and click the button that reads “manage now.” You’ll have the option to search for your business by name. If it comes up, click “continue.” If you can’t find your business, click “add.”
You’ll be prompted to add your business address, or the region where you operate if you don’t have a physical location, and your contact information.
Verifying your business listing on Google
You will need to provide a physical address in order to verify your business (PO boxes are not eligible for this process). This address will not appear on your Google Business Profile or be used anywhere else publicly. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, Google will send you a postcard with a 5-digit code to verify your address and business listing. If you provide service within a region and don’t have a physical location, you may be able to receive a code via email.
Once you have your 5-digit code, return to https://business.google.com to enter the code and verify your business.
Setting up your profile and completing all sections
Add the basics to your Google Business Profile: your hours of operation, a detailed desccription of your business, and contact details. Once you click “continue”, you will move to the Business Profile Manager, where you can add much more information, manage your Google reviews, and more.
Optimizing your Google Business Profile
At this point, you’re ready to begin improving the various sections of your listing. Adding photos, keywords, and responding to reviews can make your Google Business Profile more attractive to potential customers. Follow these tips to get started.
Upload high-quality images and videos
Adding media to your Google Business Profile is one of the best ways to help you stand out in search results and on Google Maps. Upload photos of your business inside and out so customers know what to expect when they arrive. You may also want to create a brief explainer video that details the type of inventory you offer, the services your business provides, and any promotions you’re running.
Create compelling descriptions and use keywords
Take some time to write comprehensive descriptions of what your business does and what makes it unique. For example, if your business offers 24/7 emergency plumbing services or same-day repairs, be sure to include that in your listing. Consider including details about specific products or menu offerings, so potential customers can easily find you when searching Google Maps for specific categories or items, like “Mexican food near me” or “women’s clothing shop open now.”
Google Business Profiles also include special features and attributes depending on the type of business you run. Explore the options that are most relevant for you, and add Google’s calls-to-action buttons when appropriate if your business allows potential customers to book their own appointment, make a reservation, or place an order for delivery. Attributes allow you to add specific details to your listing, such as whether you have outdoor seating, your business is wheelchair accessible, if you offer WiFi, and much more.
Solicit customer reviews — and respond to them
Reviews appear on your business listing in Google search results and Google Maps, providing an opportunity for potential customers to see your star rating and comments from satisfied customers. You can use email automations to prompt recent customers to share their experience in a review. You can’t remove bad reviews or control which reviews appear on your Google Business Profile, but you can respond to reviews to say thank you, address problems or questions, or offer follow up service. By creating this dialogue, you’ll send a message to potential customers that your business is trustworthy, transparent, and dedicated to providing quality service.
Keep your business information up-to-date
Whenever any of your business details change — like location, hours of operation, or contact info — make sure to update your Google listing accordingly. Take a few moments each month or quarter to review your listing for any inaccuracies or outdated description data, and consider adding any new offerings or photographs. Whenever your business rolls out a new service or seasonal promotion, add that information to your listing as well.
Using your Google Business Profile to increase visibility and traffic
Your Google Business profile is an invaluable tool for driving traffic to your business website and ultimately bringing more attention to your brand. Here are a few ways that you can use your Google Business Profile to grow your venture.
Track performance insights
Your Google Business Profile provides you with a view of valuable data , such as the number of times customers search for your business, whether they used a phone or PC to view your listing, and how many listing impressions result in a phone call. Reviewing this data regularly can help you discover ways to make your business easier to find or reveal dead links and other issues that may be turning customers away.
Running Google Ad campaigns
Google Ads can be an effective strategy for ensuring your business shows up near the top of relevant Google search results. The cost of Google ad campaigns varies widely depending on the industry, but many businesses report a return of about $2 for every $1 invested. If you’d like to attract a new cohort of leads to your company, Google ad campaigns can be very useful.
Utilizing Google Business Profile features like posts and messaging
Another useful feature of Google Business Profiles is the ability to add posts to your listing to deliver important updates to customers. These posts can include limited-time offers, members-only discounts, industry-relevant local news, or other information related to what your business is doing. Google Business Profiles also provides a chat feature that makes it possible for customers to contact you directly through a messaging app, making it easy to answer questions whenever they arise.
Valuable business tools
In today’s ever expanding digital world, services such as Google Business Profiles remain critical for both businesses and consumers. For business owners, using all of the features of their Google Business Profile is one of the best ways to increase brand recognition, maximize website traffic, and improve conversion rates.
Running a successful business isn’t always easy. At Novo, we make it simple for business owners to monitor cash flow, expenses, and invoices so you keep operations running smoothly. Get started with a Novo business checking account today.
Novo Platform Inc. strives to provide accurate information but cannot guarantee that this content is correct, complete, or up-to-date. This page is for informational purposes only and is not financial or legal advice nor an endorsement of any third-party products or services. All products and services are presented without warranty. Novo Platform Inc. does not provide any financial or legal advice, and you should consult your own financial, legal, or tax advisors.
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