Looking for new ways to get your brand noticed? Creating a Google Business Profile can really help. This free tool allows you to take charge of the way your business appears on Google Search and Maps. With a business profile, you can connect with customers, post updates, list your products and services, accept online orders, and more.
- What is a Google Business Profile?
- Should You Create a Google Business Profile?
- How to Create a Google Business Profile
- Engaging With Customers Through Your Google Business Profile
What is a Google Business Profile?
Similar to a social media account, a Google Business Profile is a space where you can post all of your brand information, including what you do and what you sell. It can also help customers easily find you. If you run a business that serves customers at a particular location, or you serve customers within a designated service area, your business profile can help people find you. Verified businesses on Google are twice as likely to be considered reputable.
With a business profile, you can:
Maintain Accurate Information About Your Business Online
You can tell Google your hours, website, phone number, and location (a street address, service area, or place marker, depending on your business). You can also use Google Maps and Search to stay up-to-date with your online presence, wherever you are.
Interact With Customers
Retailers can post photos of their business and your products and services on the profile, as well as collect and respond to reviews from customers.
Attract New Customers
Improve how your business appears online so new customers can find you with the profile. You can also point new customers to your website, where they can get more information on your products and services.
Should You Create a Google Business Profile?
Managing a business profile on Google is no different than managing a social media account, and they both help to give your brand more exposure. It is a quick and free process that can greatly boost your business.
Use a Profile for In-Person Businesses
In-person businesses are a great fit for the Google Business Profile. These profiles are built for companies that make in-person contact with customers during specific hours. It’s not for exclusively online businesses. In order to create a successful profile that will not be suspended, you must:
- Represent your business as it’s consistently represented and recognized in the real world across signage, stationery, and other branding.
- Make sure your address and/or service area is accurate and precise.
- Choose the fewest number of categories it takes to describe your overall core business.
- There should only be one profile per business, as this can cause problems with how your information displays on Google Maps and Search.
For Online-Only Businesses
You can still grow your business with Google by getting started with Smart campaigns, Google’s easy-to-use online advertising platform.
How to Create a Google Business Profile
Before you can engage with potential customers, make sure your profile is set up and verified on Google. Customers can only find your business profile on Google after you complete verification.
- On your computer screen, sign in to your Google account, or create one.
If you create a new Google account, sign up with your business email domain.
- Go to Create a profile.
- Enter the name of your business.
You may also be able to select your company from the list of suggested businesses as you type.
- If you get a message that someone else has already verified the business, request ownership of the Business Profile.
- Search for your business category.
- Click Next.
- Choose whether you have a location customers can visit.
For businesses with a storefront staffed during business hours: Click Yes.
- You may be asked to enter your business address or position a marker on a map for the location of your business. When finished, click Next.
- For businesses that do not have a storefront staffed during business hours: Click No.
- Enter the service area of your business.
You can set your service area based on the cities, postal codes, or other areas you serve. You can add up to 20 service areas.
- Tip: Google recommends that you do not extend the boundaries of your overall area farther than 2 hours driving time from where your business is based. For some businesses, it may be appropriate to have a larger service area.
- Enter a phone number and website URL.
- Click Next.
You also have the option to create a website based on your information.
- Tip: Google recommends entering the individual phone number or store page for each location, rather than a remote call center.
- Click Finish.
- Select a verification option.
Review your information before you request verification.
- To verify now: At the top, find the red banner and click Verify Now.
- To verify later: Click Verify Later.
- If you are not authorized to manage the business profile for your company, find the person in your organization who is authorized and continue the process.
Engaging With Customers Through Your Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile easily allows you or anyone on your team to interact with customers online and answer any questions they may have. Here is some of what you can do:
Your customers can get in touch with you real-time when you turn on messaging. You can answer questions, tell your story, and attract more customers to your brand. Messaging works best as a conversation between your business and to shoppers. You can learn how to set up messaging on your business profile here.
Manage Your Bookings
When you manage your bookings through another booking provider, you get web and app services that seamlessly use your customer’s Google account. Shoppers can also benefit from automatic booking reminders and built-in integration with Google products like Calendar. You can find all bookings made through Reserve with Google in the Bookings tab in your business profile.
Turn on Quotes
Customers can directly request a quote for your services from your business profile on Google when you turn on the quotes feature. If you turned on messaging, a “Request a quote” button may show on your business profile on Search. Shoppers can use this button to request a quote for your services.
When a customer requests a quote, you get an email with a response form. You can reply directly from either notification. These options make it easy for you to review quote requests and connect with potential customers. When you get a new message, it is important to reply within 24 hours.
Creating a Google Business Profile for your brand can be very rewarding. Especially since it’s a free service, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get started today.