It is almost universal nowadays that people fire up Google to look up an establishment and find its business hours and if it’s open.
This begs a few questions:
How can I get my business on the map?
How is this information updated?
How do I make my business stand out when searched on google?
Well, the answers to these questions are here on this page.
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile is a free business listing that is shown to the people who search for your business or your business-related information on Google.
It's also a free tool that helps small business owners and entrepreneurs to manage their online presence. It provides a way to create an online presence that is search engine friendly and easy for customers to find.
Why Google Business Profile is important for businesses?
Most small businesses spend a lot of time on social media marketing but forget perhaps the most fundamental step - which is creating a profile for your business on Google and optimizing the search rankings.
No matter how many social platforms you use Google still remains the number one go-to option for making vital buying decisions. The first things that people do is in-depth Google search while looking for your products or services online. Wouldn't you want your business to be the first search result that pops up in the search results?
Wouldn't you want to be the first search result that pops up in the search results?
A business profile on Google has quickly become a "must have" for all businesses.
Having a Google Business Profile:
Helps you show your business in searches when someone looks up related information
Lets your customers find you in search results and under ‘Near me’ in Google Maps
Lets you engage with your customers
Provides vital information about your company, such as your hours of operation, phone number, and more
Helps your customers find your business with simple directions with Google Maps Navigation
Creates online credibility and influences customers' buying decisions
There are also other reasons to have a business profile. It’s free so you don’t have to pay a dime for it, and it’s more useful that you can ever imagine. Additionally, it helps you rank higher on a search results page and generate leads.
Read this article if you want to dive in more deeper of why you should use Google Business Profile as a small business owner.
How to Get Your Business on the Map?
Watch the short video above or follow the steps below to get your business visible on Google Search and Map:
1. Add or Claim Your Business
Write your business name in the browser and click "Own this business?" to claim it. If the business is not yet claimable in Google search, you can create it by right-clicking "Add your business" on Google Maps.
Follow along with the “Create profile” process and fill in the necessary information.
Business Name. Make sure to include the type of business in “Business Name”. For instance, if your local business is a restaurant called “Eat More”, enter your business name as “Eat More Restaurant”. The type of business works as a keyword and helps your business show up in local searches.
Business Address. Enter the address of your local business. Make sure you include as much information. This makes your business easy to find. It will also help your business to show up correctly on Google Maps when Google adds your local business to the business profile list.
Business Category. Choose the category that best suits your local business. Start typing and Google will present you with a list of top business categories. Choose one and later you can add more if you want.
Company Contacts. Enter your local business contacts such as your phone number or WhatsApp and your website if you have one. Filling in this data is not mandatory, but of course, it helps a lot if you want your business to be attractive to your audience, as it gives your customers more confidence.
2. Business Profile Verification
Finally, to complete your local business registration, you need to verify your account. Use the Google Search Console, email, regular mail, or the phone to verify your company.
Google Search Console can be used to expedite the verification process, but this choice is only available to you if your company has already been verified there.
Google will send a verification code if you choose to verify your business by phone, mail, or email. Enter the verification code into your Google Business Profile as soon as you receive it. If you choose to verify your business by mail, a postcard containing a verification code should arrive in 14 days.
Google will send a postcard to your address with a verification code for your local business address. Upon receiving the card, you will need to validate your local business profile to use all the tools that Google Business offers.
3. Profile Info and Website
Create your website. Once you've completed your business registration, Google Business will ask if you want a free website. Google Business creates a website for your local business automatically. If your local business doesn't have a website, use this great opportunity. Google Business creates a website based on your registered information. Updates you publish on your Google Business Profile appear automatically also on this website.
Customize your website. You can change the template and template colors of your website, edit the content and photos, and add more photos about your local business, The options are limited but can be very useful for a small business owner just starting out.
Fill in the description of your business
Add your products in the Products section
Upload a few pictures of your business.
Once you publish and validate your local business on Google, it will appear in user searches for your business and/or related search terms. It is important that you pay attention to how your business appears, what information is being displayed, etc.
If you want to optimize your Google presence read on Be Seen on Maps and Search - getting the most out of Google Business Profile.
Keep Your Profile Info Up to Date
Photo by Hookle
In the beginning of 2022, Google did major improvements to simplify business profiles across Google. Today, if you own the business and are logged in to the browser, you can access your business profile directly in Google Search or Maps. Just write your business name and update any info on the go.
Your Google Business Profile is the first point of contact between you and your potential customers. It’s a reflection of your business, and it is vital to keep it up to date.
You can edit your business name, address, hours, categories, description of your business, and photos.
It's vital to keep your opening hours up to date to keep providing accurate information to your customers
It's vital to keep your opening hours up to date to keep providing accurate information to your customers. Any new promotion, event, or changes in your business hours should be up there on your Google Business Profile.
Learn more about managing both Google services and social media presence efficiently.
Interact With Your Customers
Photo by Hookle
It's important to address your customers’ concerns and respond to their reviews.
Your customers can chat directly with you on Google Search through messages. Thus, it's good to enable notifications to be able to react to messages as soon as possible.
Reviews are vital especially for service businesses, such as restaurants, to get customers. The more reviews and stars the more you get customers. As simple as that!
Read also these tips for how to turn customer feedback into great social media post.
Publish Content Regularly
Photo by Hookle
It's important that you publish new content to help your audience understand what's new, what promotions are active, and all other relevant details. You can do this manually on the browser.
However, there are social scheduling tools, such as Hookle, that can help you automate your posts by scheduling them and keeping your Google Business Profile up to date.
Best of all, scheduling tools allow you to schedule the content not only on Google but across all your social channels in one go. And if you created a website on Google, the content automatically appears there too. How convenient is that!
Start keeping Google Business Profile up today and download your Hookle App here.