- Google Business is a vital tool for small businesses, as it’s the primary way people find local businesses.
- Google Business also helps you establish credibility through reviews and helps Google bring you new business.
- Setting up Google Business is extremely easy — as long as you have a mailbox!
- The setup and day-to-day management require a bit of elbow grease, so you may need to rely on contractors or an agency to keep your listing active and up to date.
Business listings and profiles have had a long history with Google Search. Listings first emerged on Google as ‘Google Local,’ where business information was superimposed on Maps. The idea has since evolved from basic business information on a map to a full-blown profile for local businesses.
In 2023, Google Business remains a vital tool, helping customers locate small businesses all throughout the world. It’s how everyone today discovers new restaurants or finds local businesses they want to support. Google Business profiles contain everything searchers need to learn about local businesses. In this article, we’ll spell out what Google Business is, why it’s important, and most importantly, how you can set up a business profile for your small business.
What is Google Business?
Google Business, formerly known as “Google My Business,” is the business listing profiles that appear on both Google Search and Google Maps. If you didn’t know the name, then you’ve likely seen the profiles, they look like this:
Google Business profiles contain everything searchers need to learn more about a business. There’s everything from your business address and contact information to photos and reviews of your business. Business profiles are free to set up and are a critical tool for getting your business known. If your business doesn’t have a Google Business profile, then it’s going to be pretty difficult for customers to find your business.
Why is Google Business important in 2023?
As we mentioned earlier, Google Business has solidified itself as an important tool for small businesses throughout the world. Google Search is the protocol for when we want to find a business or learn more about other customers’ experience with that business. So, if you haven’t set up a Google Business profile, then you’re making it difficult for customers to find your business.
In addition to making your business visible, Google Business is important for a few reasons:
It allows you to control branded search (to a degree)
Google Business profiles take up a considerable amount of space in search results, and in some cases it may help push negative articles below the fold.
Establish credibility from reviews
We all know reviews play a huge role in driving business success. The higher your rating, the more credibility you are likely to have with people searching for your business. Thus, you are more likely positioned to receive phone calls, website clicks, or foot traffic!
Allow Google to bring you new business
It’s simple, all you have to do is complete your profile and Google does the rest. Google will go out there and test you against search terms and find out which are most relevant to you.
How to set up your Google Business profile
Setting up your first Google Business profile is extremely simple! In this section, we’ll walk you through step-by-step how to set up your account. However, it’s important to know that you must have access to a mailbox as Google Business requires you to verify you own the business via postcard.
Here are the steps for setting up a Business Profile, first you are going to want to navigate to Google Business.
Once you’ve signed in, Google will prompt you to type in your business name. Sometimes Google will already be aware of your business so if that’s the case select the closest result that matches your business name and address. If there’s nothing available, simply click the link that says “Add your business to Google”!
From here, Google will prompt you to enter a list of information like:
- Your business name
- Your business category
- Do you want to add a location customers can visit?
- Your business address
- Do you provide deliveries or home and office visits?
- Contact information
Once you’ve entered all the above information, Google will finally ask you to verify your business. The verification process can take place either by entering a code from Google’s postcard or by verifying via phone.
After you’ve completed the verification process, congratulations your business will now be searchable on Google! This process may take up to 1-2 weeks to fully verify your business, but in the meantime, you can begin optimizing your business profile. In this next section, we’ll walk you through how to optimize your business profile to position yourself for success in search results.
Tips for optimizing your Google Business profile
Google likes consistency, so ensure your business information is accurate and consistent across each of your business listings like Yelp, Facebook, and Waze.
Business Categories: Each Google Business listing must choose 1 primary category and has the option to select up to 10 secondary categories. The primary category of your business listing holds the most weight, so be sure to select a category that best describes the main product/service you provide. Your secondary categories should be supporting categories that describe different aspects of your business.
Business photos: Photos, videos, and other visual content are extremely valuable for business listings. First of all, photos give customers an idea of what the location looks like, your products, and gives them an idea of what kind of experience they can expect. There have been multiple studies showing a strong correlation between the number of photos a business has and the number of customer actions taken on those profiles. The golden number at this moment is 100+ photos.
Review Responses: As we mentioned above, reviews have a huge impact on the visibility, and, ultimately, the success of your business. However, it doesn’t just end with getting the reviews. You must respond to reviews, too! This will help you establish credibility among customers who search for your business.
Google Business Posts: Google Posts are another opportunity to boost the visibility of your business listing. Google Posts are essentially social media posts that appear directly in search results. They allow you to push quick updates and promotions directly to consumers searching for your brand. Therefore, the more you post, the more you’re able to let customers searching for your brand know about seasonal promotions, business updates, and blog articles! And, who knows, Google may also take cues from the content in these posts to determine which keywords to rank you for.
Q&A responses: Finally, the Q&A section can be another opportunity to optimize your business listing. The Q&A section allows customers to post questions for businesses, however, anyone is allowed to answer (other customers included). So be sure to keep an eye on questions that come in, so you are able to answer them right away and give your customers accurate information about your business. This is section is open for anyone to ask questions, so as a business owner, you can also post questions. So, post any you think customers would be likely to ask. Additionally, it’s likely Google uses keywords in the Q&A section to learn more about your business and site.
Google Business experts are on stand-by
If your business isn’t listed on Google Business, then what are you doing?! We hope this article helps guide you in the right direction and stresses the importance of this platform. As with most marketing initiatives, the setup and day-to-day management require a bit of elbow grease! So like we always say, if you ever need help, our Google Business experts are here to help! Feel free to contact us here.