How to correctly set-up your Google Business Profile
You’re a small business with big plans. You’ve figured out who you want to help, created products people love and are always looking for ways to spread the word. We could say you’re on a bit of a mission.
Talking of missions, here’s Google’s: ‘to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’. That’s why they’ve added maps, street view, autocorrect, flights, translate and more to their main attraction: Google search. True to their word, Google is making the world’s information available at the click of a button.
Part of that means giving people access to companies just like yours. Whether you’re a watch repair shop in Scotland, a carpet cleaner in Ireland or an accountant in Wales, people want what you have, and they’re actively seeking you out. The best way to give the people what they want? Put yourself in front of them, of course!
A Google business profile is a smart, free way to boost your sales (and profit!). People in your local area are seeking you out – nearly 80 percent of consumers search for local businesses, services, and information on search engines like Google.
Setting up a Google business profile is a no-brainer, especially for savvy business owners like you who are looking for free ways to promote your company.
Let’s run through how to get you set up swiftly and easily, as well as how to optimise your profile to give you every chance of success. Did we mention it’s free?
How to put your business on Google for free
Google has kept things nice and easy, and we love them for it. There’s a few steps to run through, but they don’t take long and once we’ve nailed them, your business will be more visible to the people who need you. We’ve broken them down into 8 simple steps for you. Let’s dive in.
- Log into the Google account associated with your business (or create one): Your business may already be associated with a business account, so use this account to login. If you’re starting from scratch, login to your gmail account or create one to get started. It’s nice and easy, and takes less than 2 minutes to get set up.
Click the business profile section to manage your account
You should see the business profile section in the top right hand corner, but you can head here if you can’t find it. You’ll see a big button that says ‘Manage now’ – click on that one, and you’ll be taken to your dashboard so you can get started.
‘Find and manage your business’
Next, you’ll need to enter the name of your business. If a listing has already been created, it should show up as you start typing. If not, type your business name out and click ‘Next.’
Choose a primary business category
What category do you operate in? This step determines how Google markets you, and it also decides your ranking. We need to be as accurate as possible, so take your time with this step.
Add your business address (if you have one)
Google will ask if you have a physical location, and if you do make sure you click yes and fill in the details. We’re trying to be as specific as we can here, so follow the instructions down to a T. If you don’t have a physical address, click ‘no’ on this one.
Add your phone number and website
Easy stuff. Just pop your details in, so customers have a way of reaching you. I know we’ve said it before, but for those of you at the back who didn’t hear us, we’ll say it again: the more info you can provide Google, the better your results will be in the long run.
Complete the final details
You’ll be given the option to fill out business hours, a business description, a logo/cover photo, an opening date and more. Fill out everything you can, and if there’s something you don’t have access to, make sure you come back to it as soon as you can. Completing the whole puzzle (and it’s an easy puzzle!) is our priority here.
Verify your account
The last step is verifying your account. There’s a few ways this can be done: phone or email are two of the most popular, but sometimes Google won’t offer this as an option as they look to crack down on fake profiles. If that’s the case, Google will send a postcard to your address within 5 business days, and you can verify your business by following the instructions on the postcard. It doesn’t take long, and is more than worth the effort.
There it is! You’re up and running, and now you can tap into Google’s gigantic customer base without having to get your wallet out. Below, we’ll talk about setting your account up for success with our top tips for optimising your Google business profile.
How to optimise your Google my business profile for success
There’s doing, and then there’s doing well. Since you’re reading a blog post like this one, we doubt you fall under the category of business owners who do things half heartedly. Below, we’ll go over the best ways to stand out, be counted and bring in the customers who are looking for you. The tips are short and sharp, but they’re all you need to know to create a high-performing GBP.
Choose a category
The fine details really do count when it comes to your GBP. As we mentioned earlier, you’ll be asked to pick a primary category, and as many as 9 secondary categories. Try to really hone in on who you are, what you do and what your customers will be searching for. If there are 9 secondary categories that relate to what you offer, fill in 9 – the more ‘associations’ there are with your company, the more likely it is your business will show up when people are searching.
Lots and lots of photos. Google says businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website, and that’s why we’re going to take advantage of it. First up is your cover photo, which is what people first see when they search for businesses in your industry. Make it pretty, make it memorable, and make it inviting. That way, people click on your business, rather than the next guys!
The next stop is your profile picture. The world sees this picture when you upload a new photo, post a video or comment on a review. It’s a little bit like your Facebook profile, only this one is seen by people who want to give you money! Professional, friendly and welcoming is the best route for your profile picture. It seems dramatic, but your profile picture is a representation of who you are as a company. Customers will judge you on it, so make sure you leave a good first impression.
Top tip: post general photos too! Things like events, screenshots of reviews, what you’re getting up to, before and after pictures! Customers want to get to know your brand, and photos give them a close-up of who you are and what you represent.
Reviews are like your own mini-advertising agency. Nothing is more powerful in the marketing world than word-of-mouth referrals, and reviews do exactly that: they tell the very people you’re trying to help what experiences others have had with your business.
Top tip: ask your existing customers to hop on Google and leave a brief, honest review of their experience with you. The more reviews you can get, the better. Credibility is what we’re shooting for here, and you’ll achieve it by having a long list of reviews from happy customers who are more than happy to shout about your brilliance from the rooftops.
Make sure you keep on top of your reviews too. Thank positive reviews for their custom, and let them know that you’re excited to see them again soon. If a negative review comes in (everyone gets one at some point), reply as soon as you can. Listen to what they have to say, understand their position and then try to troubleshoot whatever the problem is. That way, future customers will see that you care, take the time to make things right if mistakes happen, and have a genuine desire to right your wrongs (we’re all human).
Post to your profile
Think about Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and any of the other biggies out there. The huge accounts are always active; letting people know what they’re up to, sharing their thoughts, offering discounts and engaging with ‘their people’. Your GBP should be no different. We like to say you should post twice a week, but if you can’t quite manage it you should aim for once a week as an absolute minimum. Keep yourself at the front of people’s minds – if they’re not ready to buy now, guess who they’ll go to when they are?
Add your products and services
Make it explicitly clear what you offer. This is another one that sounds obvious, but it’s often forgotten about. List exactly what you provide with links to those products/services. Remember, it’s all about making the buying process as simple as possible.
Let’s say you’re a personal trainer. List every service you offer: weight sessions, outdoor running, yoga, food plans, group sessions, bulk discounts etc. Everything you offer for sale should be made abundantly clear. That way, you’ll attract a bigger pool of potential customers, and customers are likely to order more too! Your competitors might not be doing this, which is exactly why you should.
There it is! How to create a Google business profile, and how to optimise it so you can make the most of free advertising on one of the world’s most visited websites. Follow the steps we’ve talked about, keep going the extra mile for your customers and stay consistent with it. New business will be queueing up at your door in no time!
Want to turn your website and Google business profile into your personal piggy bank? Our local business SEO strategy has provided massive results for businesses just like yours, so if more sales and quick growth is high on your to-do list, click here to book a free strategy call.