What is Google My Business?
We have your answers.
When we say Google My Business of we’re not suggesting you actually Google your business (although you can!).
To gain more visibility online, Google My Business (as 2022, this tool is now called a Google Business Profile) is a free tool that enables businesses to promote their profile and website on Google Search and Google Maps. Once posted, a business can:
- See and connect with their customers
- Post updates to their profile
- Watch how people interact with their business using Google
Simply put, this is a tool that optimizes your Business Profile on Google’s services.
Here, we’ll help you understand how to get your business on Google and how to create your Google Business Page.
Before we begin: The benefits of using Google Business Profiles
Now, more so than ever, people are searching for businesses online, so creating your business listing on Google and Google Maps can benefit your business in several ways.
So, what are Google Business Profiles? This free service gives your business more substantial leverage in an effort to attract, engage and retain potential customers through local searches. It also gives your business a presence on Google Search and Google Maps and lets you share your business in an accurate and signature way to you and your brand.
This service opens engagement with people and potential customers through reviews and the Question and Answer section. And, if you take the extra step of interacting with your customers, you can optimize your customer engagement with even better results.
You can give customers a “sneak preview” into your business when you provide essential and up-to-date information such as:
- Hours of operation
- Holiday hours
- Contact information
- Online ordering
- Appointment links
- Information about products and services offered
- Access to your social media profiles
Business News and Updates
You can also share company news, updates, and events. Even providing details such as your address allows customers to navigate to your business quickly with a link for directions from Google Maps.
So, let’s get started! How to get your business on Google.
Google Business Profiles serves as Google’s official business profile for a company, and it creates a business location profile on Google Maps for businesses. You can get your business on Google Maps, Search, and other Google services using this tool.
A Business Profile is even more than a local listing. This free service—as we mentioned—lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps.
Creating your business profile on Google is simple. Of course, it’s even easier to use the services of a digital marketing agency, like Blue Laser Digital, so that they may help you to not only have a Google Business Profile but to optimize, manage and elevate your listing.
Google Business Profiles incorporates a company’s business information into search results for both traditional and Maps searches. This incorporation provides a valuable service for businesses of all sizes to control their public profile on the world’s largest search platform: Google.
How to create, claim and verify your business on Google
You can use these steps to create your Google Business Profile. Once you’ve created your profile, you can then add and claim your business through Google Maps.
You’ll need to have a Google account and if you don’t have one, be sure to sign up for one. The process is easy. Once your Google account is set up, visit google.com/business, and you’ll have to fill out a form about your business: name, address, phone number and your business category. This is what’s known as your “Business Profile” – this is their term for Google business listings, aka get listed on Google. Business Profiles appear in Google Maps and local search results.
Here’s what a Google Business Profile looks like (this is an example of our Google local listing):
How to Get Your Business on Google Maps
Creating a Business Profile is the same as adding your business to Google Maps. Once you’ve submitted your form, Google then reviews your information and ensures that it’s not a duplicate or hosts false information, and then poof! You’re in business with a Business Profile. This is a way to claim your business on Google.
You’re now on Google. Here’s what happens next…
Your profile on Google helps your business show up when it matters most: the very moment your potential next customer is searching for products or services such as yours on Google Search or Google Maps.
Once Google business listings are created, users and customers can:
- Leave reviews
- Ask questions
- Add photos
- Answer questions posted by other users.
The good news is that this profile elevates your business’ listing in local search results. The bad news is that, unfortunately, once posted, you no longer have the ability to manage the reviews and comments you receive. You can and should respond to each review and comment made about your company (we recommend responding positively and not reacting negatively to criticism. Simply ask what you could have done better.). Your Google Business Profile and website are often the first impression for your potential customer.
Improve local ranking with your Google Business Profile
Here’s how it works: When a user searches for a business or place near their location, they’ll find local listings across Google. For example, if you googled “fast food near me,” a listing of all of the fast-food restaurants near you would show up in your search results.
Local ranking is based on relevance, distance, and prominence
Local SEO relevance is all about how well your business matches with what a user is looking for. Distance is precisely what the word means: How close your business is to the user. Prominence is how well-known and popular your business is. This is measured based on the information Google has about a business, such as:
- Links to and from your site
- News articles and blog posts about your business
- Business directory listings (Yellow Pages, BBB, Industry Organizations, etc.)
- Social Media Profiles
These factors help find the best match for a search. There are algorithms built into the search function on Google that will show you a bike service repair shop that may be further away from your location, but it is more likely to have all of the resources you’re looking for, rather than a service shop that may be closer to you with fewer resources.
To maximize how often users find your business in local search results, be sure to provide accurate, complete and valuable information so that users know:
- What you do
- Where you’re located
- When they can access your business
It’s essential to keep your hours of operation accurate, i.e., when you open and close and even special hours for holidays and events.
Use your Google Business Profile as a dashboard to gain critical insights of your audience and local search performances used by them.
Tips for representing your business on Google
Stay on Brand
- It’s important that you represent your business through your branding. Ensure you’re using your company’s logo, colors and tone of voice. If your business’ name is “Jewelry by Jenn,” then name it precisely that. Don’t change the name of your business. Changing the name or including unnecessary information is not permitted and could ultimately result in your profile being suspended.
Give Accurate Information
- Be sure that your address and service area is accurate and precise.
Properly Categorize Your Business
- Use the least amount of categories it takes to describe your overall core business.
One Profile per Business
- Choose only one profile per business. Choosing more than one profile can create problems with how your business’ information is displayed on Google Maps and Search.
Showcase Your Business
- Be sure to “show off!” Post photos showcasing your products, your employees, culture or office space.
- Whether it’s you or an assigned member from your team, be sure to edit your listing proactively. You should also routinely check in and ensure your details are accurate and as thorough as you can make them. Keep in mind that you’re in control over your profile as it appears in search results, so commit to keeping it as updated and as informed as possible.
No Website? No Problem
- If you don’t have a website, a Google Business Profile can still help you to maintain an online presence. Visit your Google Business Profile at any time to edit your information, and you can even check how many people have seen and clicked on your business listing.
Get Useful Insights
- You can learn insights on how potential customers searched for your business and where they are based.
Track Your Calls
- You can also find out how many people called your business directly from the phone number you’ve posted on local search results in Google Search and Google Maps.
That’s a wrap!
And there you have it, folks. It’s truly as simple as carving out an hour or so of your time to get started with Google Business Profiles. It’s a free service, and the rewards to your business will be revealed mere moments after you complete your profile. This is yet one more easy and successful way to connect with your next customer or client. Just remember: It only works if you work with it. Be sure to remain committed to keeping your Google Business Profile as up-to-date as possible.
You may have further questions, and that’s okay! We get it. That’s why Blue Laser Digital is here: To help. Together, we can create a better future for your business. Let’s get started.