How to Create & Set Up a Google Business Profile
Starting with GBP may seem hard at first, but trust us - it's easier than you think. All you need to do is to follow the simple steps provided by Google. You have to do it (I kid you not) because creating and setting up a GBP is an integral part of local SEO. Without it, you stand no chance of competing with other companies in your city and surrounding areas.
There's no doubt that Google is the world's most-visited website, currently holding the lion's share of the search engine market share. Did you know that customers are almost 3 times more likely to consider a company reputable if they find a complete Business Profile on Google Search and Maps?
What You Need to Do to Claim and Verify Your Business on Google
Since we already discussed about the importance of GBP and why you should have one in the previous article, it is time to move on and see what steps you need to take to finally start with it.
Google Account: You can create it for free and gain access to Gmail, Google Photos, Google Drive, Google Docs, and more. Some people like to call it their "Gmail account", but it is only one of the many features you can use with a Google account.
Business Profile: This will be your free business listing that shows up on Google Maps, also known as the local results of Google Search. Here you manage how your local business shows up across Google.
Google My Business Account: Another free account you need to create to manage and enhance your Business Profile
How to Verify Your Business on Google
Now, with the groundwork laid out, it is time to see how to verify your business on Google.
Step 1: Create a Google My Business Account
The first step to verifying your business on Google is to create a Google My Business account. This account will allow you to manage your business information, such as your address, phone number, and business hours. To create one, go to google.com/business and click on the "Manage Now" button. Then, follow the instructions to enter your business information.
Step 2: Claim Your Business
If you're lucky, your business may already be listed on Google. However, it's important to claim your business to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date. To claim your business, search for your business on Google Maps or Google Search, and click on the "Claim this business" button. Then, follow the instructions to verify that you're the owner of the business.
Step 3: Verify Your Business
To verify your business, Google will send you a postcard with a verification code to the address you provided. It typically takes about 14 days for the postcard to arrive. Once you receive the postcard, log into your Google My Business account and enter the verification code.
Step 4: Optimize Your Business Profile
Now that your business is verified, it's time to optimize your business profile. This includes adding photos, creating a description of your business, and selecting the appropriate categories. The more information you provide, the better your chances of appearing in local search results.
Step 5: Manage Your Business Information
Finally, you have to regularly manage your business information on Google. This includes updating your business hours, responding to customer reviews, and adding new photos. Keeping your information up-to-date and engaging with customers can help improve your search engine rankings and attract new customers.
Don't Forget to Keep Monitoring Your GBP Page!
Setting up a GBP page is just the first step, which means the work is not even close over when you have created your GBP page and filled it in with information about your business. To ensure that your page is effective, you need to keep monitoring it.
Ensure Accurate Information
One of the most important reasons to monitor your GBP page is to ensure that all the information displayed is accurate and up-to-date. This includes things we mentioned a few minutes ago: your business name, address, phone number, business hours, and other important details. Any changes to this information should be updated immediately. This ensures that customers have the right information and helps your business appear more reliable and trustworthy.
Respond to Reviews
Customers often leave reviews on your GBP page, and it's important to respond to them in a timely manner. This shows that you value their feedback and are committed to providing great customer service. Positive reviews can also help attract new customers, while negative reviews can provide valuable feedback that you can use to improve your business.
Monitor Your Business Insights
Your GMB page provides valuable insights about your business, such as how customers are finding your business and what actions they're taking on your page. By monitoring these insights, you can identify areas where you can improve your page and attract more customers.
Update Your Business Information
Your business information may change over time, and it's important to update your GMB page accordingly. For example, if you move to a new location or change your business hours, you need to update your GMB page to reflect these changes. Failure to do so can lead to customer confusion and a decrease in business.
Crush the Competition
Last but not least, monitoring your GMB page can help you stay ahead of your competition. By keeping your page up-to-date and responding to customer reviews, you can create a positive online presence for your business that sets you apart from your competitors.
Having a GMB page is essential for any business owner who wants to attract more customers and stay ahead of their competition. By ensuring that your information is accurate, responding to reviews, monitoring your business insights, updating your business information, and staying ahead of your competition, you can create a positive online presence for your business and attract many new customers.
But remember, if you want to reap all the benefits, you can't just set up your GMB page and then totally forget about it - you have to manage/optimize it regularly.
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