Google receives nearly 6 billion searches per day. It goes without saying your business should have a local business profile on Google, a Google My Business profile. Having a Google My Business Profile have many benefits, including:
- Google My Business profiles are free
- Google My Business profiles are easy to create and maintain
- Google My Business profiles allow your business to appear in Google Maps, Google search and Google+
- Google My Business profiles give happy customers a place to leave reviews.
Start by searching for your business on Google My Business. Often times, businesses already have profiles in existence. When you search, be sure to look at the “Pages” section of the search results. You are looking for a Google My Business “page.”
If you have a listing out there, and it is not claimed or verified, continue by claiming your business. If this option is not available, your listing has been claimed. Often, listings are claimed with Gmail email addresses. Think back – did you or someone at your business create a Gmail email address? Did they create a Google account long ago? Can’t remember? You can request a call from Google to help you access your Google My Business page.
When you have claimed or accessed your Google My Business profile, be sure to fill out as much information as possible and add several pictures, for example:
- A logo
- Profile picture
- Cover photo
- Pictures of your storefront or office
- Headshots of your team
- Pictures of your products
- Photos of employees at work
You can even link videos from YouTube about your business.
You can choose up to ten categories for your business. Your primary tag is your main category, and the most important. Two additional categories will show on your Google My Business profile.
If you are a new business, or you do not have a Google My Business page, you should create your listing. Choose the appropriate category: storefront, service area, or brand.
A storefront is considered a business that services clients at your location, like a restaurant, retail store, office, etc.
If you service clients at their location, you are considered a service area. This option is great for contractors and business operating out of their homes because you have hide your address.
A brand refers to a sports team, product, band, artist, etc.
Fill out the information required by Google My Business, including your business name, address, phone number, website, and primary category (you’ll be able to add additional categories later).
Once you have completed your profile and hit “submit”, you will need to choose a way to verify your business. Some will have the option to verify by phone immediately – others will have to wait seven to ten days for a postcard by mail to the business address. If you are asked to wait the seven days, you can request a call from Google to speed up the verification process. Note: your Google Page is not live until the verification is complete.
Once your Google My Business profile is live, be sure to encourage your customers to review your business. Pay attention to your reviews. You can respond to good or bad reviews as the owner. This is a great way to demonstrate your customer service skills and use your responses as a way to advertise your friendliness to potential.