Google My Business – what it is, why you need it, and how to set it up?

In this post I explain what google business profile and Google My Business account are, why you need them and how to set them up.

If you’re just starting with digital marketing for your business, maybe you have a startup just kicking it off or an established local business that just didn’t make the step into digital yet, a great place to start would be creating a “Google My Business” account and setting up your business profile.

If you already know what having a business profile on google means, that’s great. If you have one set up, you’re already doing amazing.

If the whole topic is new to you, worry not, in this post we’ll cover what it is, why you should consider it and how to set up your Google My Business account and your business profile on google.

The end result would be having detailed information about your business displayed on google searches like in the example below:

What is “Google My Business”?

Google My Business is a tool for businesses and organizations used to manage their online presence across Google Search and Maps.

It provides you with a dashboard from which you can edit your business information like:
  • opening hours,
  • address,
  • a website
  • or even add photos of your business and products.

You’ll also have insight into search metrics related to your business – showing how people have found your business and what searches lead them to you. This is very valuable data for the next steps when you start marketing your business and creating search engine ads.

Important - “Business Profiles on Google My Business can only be created for businesses that either have a physical location that customers can visit, or that travel to visit customers where they are.” Further guidelines available here.

Why should I get a Google Business Profile?

Most of the reasons are covered in detail in my post about the 8 main benefits of digital marketing. But let’s mention 3 that are especially relevant in this case:

1. According to Smart Insights, 81% of people search online for products and services, and Google holds 70% of the search engine market share.

  • So in short – you want to show your business, products, and services on Google because that’s where people go to look for them.
  • Adding your business to Google will show you to google users who are searching for services/products you offer.
  • Additionally, you’d be able to tap into your local customer potential by adding your business on the google map. This is really handy when potential visitors that are close to you are looking for your products and services.

 

2. It provides you with more than just a dashboard to edit your business information. You get the opportunity to interact with your customers and receive reviews from them, as well as to get insights on how people are finding you online and what actions they take once they do.

 

3. Lastly, it’s FREE. Setting up a profile for your business on Google is free, simple and done pretty quickly. Unlike other more elaborate digital marketing channels which require more preparation and planning like development of a website and creation of a content strategy for social media, you’re most likely to have all the necessary information for your Google business profile already.

Being free, getting insights into customer related data and showing your business where customers are looking for it, I believe those should be enough for you to get interested in how you can get one as well.

How do I set up Google My Business account and a business profile?

As mentioned, compared to other channels, preparation for setting up your business profile and creating Google My Business account will be very simple.

 

1. Go to Google My Business

 

2. Sign in with the Google Account

If you already have a Google account you’ll be using for your business jump to step no. 3. If you don’t have one – create a google account for your business as per step 2.1.

2.1. Creating a new Google account

Make sure you select that you’re creating it to manage your business.

 

3. Add your business name
3.1. The business name already exists

In case it already exists, it is possible that Google tried to provide information about your business based on what information was available online, but this information might not always be correct.

This is another reason to create a Google My Business account, claim your business, and provide correct and helpful information to your customers.

 

3.2. New business name

We will continue assuming your business profile isn’t existing yet. Click on “Create a business with this name.”

4. Select your business category

 

5. Add a location of your business
5.1 Physical location

If you have a store or office your customers can visit:

 

5.2 Area of operation for services and deliveries (optional)

If you provide deliveries or visits, you can add the area you are operating in:

 

5.3 No physical location, nor area services 

If you don’t have an address for your business & you do not specify areas where you provide your services, you’ll be asked what region your business is based in.

 

6. Contact details

Provide contact details through which your customers can reach to you (Phone and/or website)

 

7. Verifying your business.

Most local businesses will be asked to be verified by mail, some businesses like area service providers will be able to be verified by phone, email or instant verification.

7.1. Verification by mail

A postcard will be sent to your business address with a unique code for your business. This can take up to 14 days (additional delays due to COVID-19). In the meantime, do not edit any of the information provided or request a new code as this can lead to further delays.

7.2 Verify on Google My Bussines account

Once you receive it, you’ll log in to your Google My Business account and at the bottom left you’ll be able to verify your business location by adding the received code.

 

That finishes the setup of your Google My Business account. Now while waiting for the postcard with the verification code, you could add some more information about your business

Here is some motivation on why you’d want to do it according to Google:

Customers are 2.7 times more likely to consider a business reputable if they find a complete Business Profile on Google Search and Maps.

Customers are 70% more likely to visit and 50% more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with a complete Business Profile.

Let me know if this post has helped you set up your Google business profile. If there are still any open questions you have, feel free to reach out!

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