Google Places Profiles (formerly Google My Business) is one of the most effective tools marketers use when working with local businesses. Businesses cannot operate without the British poundlocal packageOr Local Finder, which should be the main goal of such companies.
research shows88% of consumersSomeone searching for a local product or service on a mobile device calls or visits a store within 24 hours. Additionally, 97% of consumers say they learn more about local businesses online than any other channel. Both impressive numbers underscore the importance of building a strong online presence for local businesses.
Creating a Google Places profile for your business, or the local businesses you work with, is an important first step to SEO success. Setting up this feature correctly is critical. Therefore, this comprehensive guide will show you how best to set up your Google Places profile.
related: How to create, optimize and manage a Google business profile– Free online courses
Step-by-step guide: How to create a Google business profile
1. Create a business Google account
Before creating a Google Local listing, you must create a Google account. Anyone can use a Google account and it's easy to use.
You can set up your Google account with an existing email address or create a new one. AccessAccounts.google.comThen select “Create Account” to begin.
2. Access the Google Business Profile Gateway
Once you have a new email address, go togoogle.com/businessThen click “Manage Now” to begin:
3. Find a company
First enter the company name to see if a configuration file with the same name already exists. If so, it will appear as you type. If you don't see your business name, click Add your business to Google.
Request access to an existing company profile
If someone has already created a Google Places profile for this business, don't worry. You can request that you be assigned to manage the profile. Just click "Request Access" and you'll be guided through the process.
4. Add the company name and category
If you are creating a new profile, the next step is to add your business name and category. The name used here should exactly match the official company name. Do not try to add keywords to the name as this is against the regulationsGoogle's policies.
Next, select the category that best fits your business. You can edit this later in the configuration file and add more categories. So don't worry if you're not quite sure what to choose at the moment.
See our advice for local businesses for more informationHow to choose the best sterling category.
5. Does the company have a physical location?
If your business has a physical location that customers can visit for face-to-face interactions, now is the time to share that information. If so, select Yes and click Next. Select "No" if the business only operates online or has a physical location but does not serve customers in person.
to warn:Don't try to manipulate local rankings by inappropriately saying the business has a physical location. Such policy violations may result in future suspension or removal of that entry.
6. Enter the company location
If the business has a physical location, you can now provide the address. You may be asked to find a pin on the map to confirm the location.
It is important that the address you provide is correct and complete to avoid customer confusion or problems with the verification process.
7. Does the company offer home delivery or service?
if that is abusiness in the service sector, or choose Yes in the next step if the company ships items to customers' homes.
If you select Yes, you will need to enter the region where the company operates or ships. You can edit this information again later and add new locations at any time as your business expands.
8. Add contact information
The next step is to add the company's contact details. You must enter a phone number and you also have the option to add a company website. If the company does not have a website, please check the box on this page.
You can add this information later when you create your website.
As an agency setting up GBP for a client, you need to enter the client's contact details, not your own. It's a good idea to clearly communicate to your customers that Google will be contacting them for the verification process, which we'll discuss shortly.
9. Be informed
Before proceeding to verify your business, you'll be asked if you'd like Google to help you with tips and suggestions. Although there is no obligation, you may benefit from receiving this information.
related: The Beginner's Guide to Local SEO– Free online courses
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10. Check the company
In this step, you need to choose a verification method to prove that the business operates at the address provided. Receiving a postcard in the mail to a business address is the most common method of verification, but you can also verify by phone or email.
Remarks:You can still make changes and updates to your GBP while waiting for confirmation, but this profile will not appear on Google during this time.
This type of verification applies to all companies. The postcards are usually sent to the business address within five days.
The postcard contains a code that must be entered in the appropriate place in the GBP account. If you do not receive a postcard, you can request a replacement postcard.
Some companies can verify their accounts over the phone, but not all have this option. If you're eligible, you'll see this option on the confirmation page.
If you choose this method, you will receive a code via automated call.
As with phone verification, email alternatives are not available to everyone.
If you have the option to confirm by email, you can request a code in your inbox. This only applies to email addresses linked to GBP accounts.
Continue reading: Verify your Google business profile
11. Add your business hours
Adding your hours of operation is crucial so potential customers know when to visit or contact you.
The opening times you provide must be correct and you should always edit this information if your opening times change (either permanently or temporarily).
There are a number of reasons why your business hours may change temporarily, such as public holidays or staff illness. In these cases, it is best to let your customer know. For more information on why this is important and how to easily do it, check out our guideManage business hours in your Google Places profile.
12. Add message
Receiving messages from prospects across GBP is a great way to engage with your target audience and increase sales. However, you should only enable this if you can commit to consistent administration. Not replying to messages will result in poor user experience and can damage your company's reputation.
If you really want to accept the message, just click this button. You can always go back and pause or disable this feature.
13. Add a business description
Providing a business description helps consumers understand what it is about and if it is appropriate for their needs.
You can write up to 750 characters in this section. So, be sure to use this opportunity to convey your most important information clearly and concisely.
14. Add photos
Adding photos is a great way to help searchers visualize your business and get a glimpse of your brand. Customers can add their own photo to the listing. Some will also do this if they leave you a messageGoogle review.
Note that you have no control over the order in which the photos appear in the list. So it's best to mix some of your own photos with user-generated content.
Make sure you showcase different aspects of your products and services, as well as different areas of your physical location.
Our ultimate guide to looking good onlineSterling-PhotosTeach you everything you need to know!
Optimize your Google business profile
Once your listing is live, it's time to start thinking about how best to optimize your GBP to maximize viewability and conversions.
Important ongoing tasks include:
- Add new photos and videos
- useConnect with your audience and answer their questions
- createPost to Google Business ProfileView offers and promotions
- List yoursService, product or menu item
- Encourage your customers to "follow" you on Google Maps.
- Request a Google review
For expert advice on optimizing your GBP entries,Check out Niki Mosier's free courseAt BrightLocal Academy.
Check the Google company profile