In an effort to increase the visibility of your business on Google, many entrepreneurs create a Google business listing (formally known as a business profile).
If you are an entrepreneur, what you may not have realized beforehand is that creating a business profile doesn’t give you management rights, so management and editing skills are required if you want your Business Profile to function as an effective SEO and lead generation tool.
So how can you manage your ‘Google Business Profile’? the answer is, after creating a free business profile, you must also separately create a free Google My Business account for that profile.
What is Google My Business?
As mentioned, Google My Business is a tool that allows you to manage and optimize your Business Profile on Google. So, to explain what Google My Business is and how it works, first make sure you understand what a Business Profile is.
Your Business Profile is the Google term for your Google business listing. The Business Profile appears on Google Maps and in Google Search local results.
Creating a Business Profile is like the process of adding a location to Google Maps — which anyone can do (including random strangers or automated listing builders).
All Google needs is a business name, location, and category. Once Google confirms that this is not a duplicate, they will create a Business Profile for the location.
The Business Profile is then open for consumers to leave reviews, add photos, ask questions, and even answer questions. A Business Profile can also be populated with information that Google retrieves from around the web.
This means that the Business Profile can stand alone, apart from the Google My Business account. And whether or not you create your own Business Profile, you do not have the ability to manage the information it displays or the reviews it collects.
That’s where Google My Business comes into play. By creating a Google My Business account, you can access, customize, manage, and enhance your Business Profile on Google, all for free, which we’ll cover next.
The Benefits Of Google My Business
So, we’ve come to understand that Google My Business is not your Business Profile, it’s a tool you use to enhance your Business Profile to increase its visibility and effectiveness.
Let’s go over these four core ways you can use Google My Business to make your profile on Google a better local marketing tool.
Interacting with Consumers
Consumers can interact with your Business Profile in many ways, and you use your Google My Business account to re-engage with them.
You can respond to reviews, answer questions, enable direct messages, and set related alerts. You can even use Google My Business to upload posts to your Business Profile, just as you would with Facebook and other social media platforms.
Your Business Highlights
A Business profile contains limited information about your business. However, through the Google My Business account dashboard, you can add more detailed information such as; opening hours, links to sites, products and prices, attributes, and other details that make your business unique.
You’ll also use Google My Business to edit and update as needed.
A complete business profile offers an informative snapshot of your business, including its best features, right inside the SERP.
You can use the Google My Business dashboard to gain important insights into your audience and local search performance.
In the platform’s analytics tab, you can see the queries customers used to find your Business Profile, whether they found you on Google Maps or Google Search, a description of the actions taken on your listing, and how your photos perform compared to other profiles in your category.
Also, note that there is a way to track clicks from a Business Profile via UTM and Google Analytics parameters.
Doing Local SEO
Google has algorithms for ranking its ads and websites, in the same case, Google also has algorithms for ranking Business Profiles.
Through the Google My Business dashboard, you can enter keywords into your Business Profile and perform other optimizations to help it rank in local results, which we discuss next.
Google My Business can help you optimize your business profile to appear on your coveted 3-pack list.
You can maintain accurate information about your online business such as providing information about operating hours, website, telephone number, and your location (full address, service area, or placemark, depending on your business).
Interact with Customers
Now you can upload photos of your business and related products and services. Collect all the reviews and you can respond to consumer reviews.
Attract Potential Customers
Improve how you want your business to appear online so that new customers can find you. With Google My Business, anyone can direct customers to their site, and if you’re ready, can use location-based advertising with Google Ads smart campaigns to reach a larger audience.
Also Read: 7 Easy Ways to Make Money From Google
How to Register on Google My Business
To get a Google My Business account, go to google.com/business and click “Manage now”, which will guide you through creating an account.
Note that Google My Business Accounts don’t automatically create Business Profiles — they give you access to those profiles and the ability to add more of them. So you should make sure you have an existing Business Profile to access.
Another crucial thing is that creating a Google My Business account does not give you automatic access to your Business Profile. Once you’ve created and logged in to your Google My Business account, you’ll then need to find your separate Business Profile on Google Maps and then select the “Claim this business” or “Owner of this business?” link. The link is visible directly on the profile.
Once you have completed the process, your Google My Business account will be associated with your Business Profile and under your management.
Here’s a guide to creating a Google My Business profile;
Sign in to Google My Business
Visit the site www.google.com/business to sign this. You can sign in with a pre-existing Google account or create a new one. If you are already signed in, skip this step. (tip: make sure to sign up using your business email domain).
Add Your Business
Enter your business name. If it doesn’t appear in the drop-down menu, click Add your business to Google. Then select the appropriate category for your business.
Enter Your Location
If you have a physical location that customers can visit, select Yes. Then add your address. You may also be asked to place a location marker on the map.
If your business doesn’t have a location that customers can visit but offers service or delivery, you can list your service areas.
Complete Information and Contact
Enter your business phone number and website address so customers can contact you. If you’re using a Facebook page instead of a website, you can add one.
Completing and Managing Your List
Check Yes if you want to receive updates and notifications. Then click Done. You will then be asked to verify your business.
How to Verify Your Business on Google
After the existing account has been set up, the next step is to verify from your ‘Google My Business. For most businesses, Google verification involves sending a postcard.
- Visit www.google.com/business to sign in,
- if you have multiple Google My Business accounts, make sure you are using the proper acute,
- Postcard by mail is the default verification option. If your business qualifies for other methods, such as phone or email, choose the one you prefer. Fill in the required details.
Double-check to make sure you entered it correctly, then submit the form.
It can take a few days to two weeks for the postcards to arrive. When you receive the postcard, sign in and click Verify location from the menu. Enter the five-digit verification code from your postcard.
How to Add Multiple Locations on Google My Business
If you’ve opened a new location or just created a profile and need to add an additional location, follow these steps.
- From the Google My Business dashboard, click Manage locations in the left menu.
- Click the blue Add location button on the right.
- Type in your business name and click Create a new business with this name.
- Fill in the information and ask for verification.
Another option is to visit Google Maps and drop a pin on the location you want to add. Click Add missing place in the left menu. Fill in the details and select Claim this business.
If you have more than 10 locations, you can add them in bulk.
The Best Way to Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
- Fill in all the data in your business profile. this makes it easier for Google to make their match customers who are currently searching. This can improve your search rankings.
- Use quality photos. According to Google itself, businesses that display photos receive 42 percent more requests for location and 35 percent more clicks from their sites. Without photos and images, it will be difficult for others to recognize your business and brand.
- Building Interaction by serving customer reviews is good. This means you value their feedback. According to a survey conducted by Google and Ipsos Connect, businesses that respond to reviews are considered to be 1.7 times more trusted than those that don’t.
Also Read: $1 Million in Google AdSense Earnings
Optimizing Google My Business for your business or social media profiles can be helpful – especially for small businesses.