Local SEO

How to Set Up a Google My Business Profile

Written by

Mackenzie Griffith

Ever search for a company and see their address, phone number, hours, and website link all pop up at the top of your Google search?

Well, this is a feature of Google My Business, and it's an absolute 'must' for any local business hoping to compete in search. The average Google My Business profile receives 33 clicks/month and when surveyed 38% of consumers recall visiting a website from the GMB profile rather than the website in the search results.

A Google My Business Profile (also called GMB) is an absolute necessity if you want to compete in local search.

If you want your business, from restaurants to landscaping companies, to appear in Google map searches, have a profile that lists reviews, hours, and more to attract customers then you're going to need a Google My Business Profile set up for your company.

In this article we'll walk you through the basics of a Google My Business profile, how to set one up, and how to optimize your profile to increase your traffic and get more leads to your site.

What is a Google My Business Profile?

A Google My Business profile (GMB) is a free tool offered by Google that allows business owners to monitor what appears on Google Search and Maps for their company.

Having a GMB profile can be a great start to improving your SEO because it allows you to manage important information of Google such as the name of your company, the location, hours, and photos. Google My Business also has a feature which allows you to see when and how people are searching for you, which is important if you want to connect your business to key words.

This is critical to the success of your business in search because the more information you can provide up front, the more likely you are to stand out in search results and attract visitors to your website.

What are the Benefits of creating a GMB Profile?

Your business can benefit in many ways from setting up a Google My Business profile. Here are a few ways GMB could be beneficial to your company, and consequently help with SEO:

Benefit #1: Earn Trust From Your Customers

In order to get a customer to purchase from your site, there needs to be some sense of trust between the customer and your business. The majority of customers place a lot of trust in Google, so if your website is trending at the top of Google Search people will instantly be more equipped to trust your brand. Google creates a trustworthy environment for customers because companies have to go through multiple verification steps before being listed on Google Search.

Benefit #2: Appear in Google map searches

Without a Google my Business profile there is no way your site can appear in Google map searches, which puts you at a serious disadvantage if you are a local business trying to capitalize on 'near me' searches, or appear in the Google Maps app. Setting up a profile with your address guarantees you a spot, which you can further optimize to improve your rank.

Benefit #3: Rank Higher in Google Results

The more information you provide Google, the higher you will rank in its Search and Map results. Google likes businesses that provide it with as much quality information as they can. The more information you can feed Google about your business, the more verified you will become, and the higher it will rank you. Setting up a GMB profile for your company is the best way to feed Google this information.

Benefit #4: Increase Engagement with Customers

Google My Business profiles are one of the best ways to increase engagement with your customers. GMB not only allows potential customers to access your website, but provides the link to call your business directly or book an appointment. This makes it easier for customers to engage with your site, and also saves them a lot of time.

How do I create a GMB Profile?

Creating a Google My Business Profile is simple, it's just a few steps.

Here's a breakdown:

Create a Google My Business Listing

You can create a GMB Profile by:

  1. Logging into the Google account that you want to use for your business (If you don't have an account yet, sign up!).
  2. Go to https://business.google.com/create?hl=en&gmbsrc=us-en-ha-se-z-gmb-s-z-h~bk and click "add your business to Google."
  3. Enter the name of your business.
  4. Enter the business address;
  5. If you deliver to customers, you can check "I deliver goods and services to my customers" and if you work from home and don't want customers to see your address, check "Hide my address (its not a store)."

Verify Your Business on Google

There are various ways you can verify your GMB profile, here are just a few:

Instant verification

If you've used Google Search Console before and have already verified your information there, you should be able to do an email verification for your GMB profile.

If this is the case, you should sign into GMB with the same account that you used for Google Search Console, and this may instantly verify your GMB account.

Verify by phone

When you log into your GMB account, choose the business that you want to verify. Make sure your phone number is correct, and then choose "verify by phone." When you click this, you should receive a text with a verification code to verify your GMB account.

Verify by email

Like with verifying by phone, you take all of the same steps to verify by email, except make sure that GMB has the correct email for your business and choose "verify by email." You should receive an email with a verification code when clicking this.

Do you need a physical address to set up a Google my Business profile?

The short answer is yes. You need a physical address when setting up your Google My Business profile, however there is a bit of nuance here. If you own a pizza parlor then the address is easy - it's the address of your shop. What if you are a plumber or landscaper? You travel to do business at your customers' homes/locations though you will still need to provide a central location when setting up your profile. You can hide this from display though (for example, if you use your home as your address).

If you run a a virtual-only business with no physical address then you cannot set up a Google My Business profile.

How to optimize your Google My Business profile

To optimize your use on Google My Business, there are a few pieces of information you should know.

  • Make sure to include photos! Businesses with photos receive way more traffic to their site.
  • You can also add videos to your GMB account, but they must be 30 seconds or shorter.
  • Make sure to use attributes and highlights as they can set your profile apart from similar businesses and help optimize your listing.
  • You want to receive as many reviews for customers as you can so that your site becomes more trustworthy. The best way to receive more reviews is by responding to the ones already posted.

Overall, Google My Business Profile is a great way to get started when building your business and trying to rank locally. With so many helpful features, a GMB profile is one of the best things you can do to increase traffic too your site and compete in local search.

Updated on:

September 28, 2020

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