Are you a local business owner looking to increase your visibility and presence in the digital realm? Look no further than Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). Learn how to set up your Google Business Profile to get discovered, communicate with potential customers, build trust through reviews, and optimise your local search rankings in 2023.
What is a Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile lets customers discover your business on relevant search engine result pages (SERPs) or Google Maps. You are missing out on reaching potential customers if you don’t have an account or your account is incomplete.
How do I set up my Google Business Profile?
Firstly, you need a Google Account to manage your Google Business Profile.
If you don’t already have one, create a Google Account for your business, enter your company details and select your business category.
When you set up your Google Business Profile for the first time, you will experience one of the following three scenarios:
A listing that is unclaimed will look similar to a claimed listing; however, it will typically have less business information. Claim your business by clicking the ‘Own This Business?’ link, followed by the blue ‘Manage Now’ button. Continue by following the prompts until you can choose a verification method.
The business listing is already claimed
Request ownership of the account. Go to business.google.com/create and search for your business name. A message will appear saying, ‘This listing has already been claimed’. You will also see the clue of the email address that has previously verified the listing (ie firstname.lastname@example.org).
- If you recognise the email address, you can claim your Google Business Profile (if you have ownership of the email address) or contact the person who owns the email address.
- If you don’t recognise the email address, speak to your employees, business partners, marketing agency or developer (past and present), or previous business owners to see if anyone has claimed the business and matches the email address clue.
- Click the blue ‘Request Access’ button and submit. Follow the ‘Someone else manages this business on Google’ instructions.
Your business listing doesn’t exist on Google Business Profile
Create a listing by visiting https://www.google.com/business/ and pressing the blue ‘Manage Now’ button. Finish creating your account by following the steps. We recommend using your actual business name, and not be tempted to add any keywords to your business name (e.g. Bloom Digital Marketing). We also recommend using your business email instead of your new Gmail account.
Claim your business in Google Maps
On your device, open Google Maps. In the search bar, enter your business name then click through until you find the correct one. Just like claiming a listing on Google, click ‘Claim This Business’ and then ‘Manage Now’. If you have more than one business to manage, click ‘I own or manage another business’. All that’s left is for you to choose a verification method and follow the prompts.
Completing Your Google Business Profile Listing
The best way to optimise your listing (at this point) is to ensure that your account is complete. Finish completing your account by:
Completing your business information in the info tab:
- Add secondary categories. Ensure the categories are relevant to your business and don’t add too many categories.
- Add a business address (if you don’t have a storefront, hide your business address by editing your location in your business information tab)
- Include your service area/s if you provide delivery or on-site services.
- Add your business hours and any ‘special’ hours (i.e. public holidays).
- Include an appointment link if applicable.
- Create a Business Profile Short Name. This is an @ handle (similar to an Instagram handle).
- Include your products and/or services. Some accounts will only see one of these options, depending on your chosen business categories.
- Write a business description that summarises your business in up to 750 characters. Make sure that it’s clear what your company provides and what makes your business unique. Include keywords in the description.
Get the most out of your online presence and learn how to optimise your google business profile today!
Add photos and videos
Adding photos and videos to your profile engages customers, and gives them a visual representation of your business. You can add images and videos by heading to the ‘Photos’ tab above your business name on Google. Google Business Profile allows for videos that are less than 30 seconds long. Try to include images of the interior and exterior of your business (if applicable) and/or employees.
It is important to note: If you optimise your Google Business Profile as soon as you create it (before you log out of it), then when you receive your verification card in the mail, the code should still work. However, we have found that if you try to optimise your Google Business Profile listing after you’ve logged out, before receiving your code, the code is usually invalid, and you will need to apply and wait again.
For more information on Google Business Profile and other marketing platforms, please explore our marketing tips or get in touch with us to discuss your organisation’s needs. As a leading SEO agency in Perth, our friendly team of experts are here to help your business bloom.
Post originally published July 2020, updated Feb 2023.