How do I create my Google Business Profile account?
Many local businesses find it difficult to take advantage of the digital opportunities that are available. However, the increasing importance of online searches means that it is necessary to use a digital marketing strategy to get your business seen and attract customers.
You can promote your business online in a number of ways, such as by creating a website or setting up an online store. However, the most important part of a successful online marketing strategy is using Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) correctly.
What is Google Business Profile?
Nowadays, businesses need the internet to promote themselves and attract new customers. This is especially true for local businesses, who need to be found through local Google searches. However, many people believe that in order to improve your online presence, you must have a website. This is not always the case – there are other ways to achieve this goal.
Google Business Profile (GBP) is a free tool that businesses and franchises can use to create a business listing. This will help the business show up higher in Google searches, as well as taking advantage of several related Google services like Google Maps.
The GBP knowledge panel helps people find your business. They can find your email, phone number, website, and even your physical store. GBP is easy to use and update. For example, if you move or if your hours change, you can easily update this information.
What is the purpose of a Google Business Profile?
Creating a Google Business Profile is an easy and effective way to get more people to see your business. It is also important for franchises that want people in their area to visit their stores.
Creating a GBP account will help direct internet users interested in your products or services to your website.
You can use your Google listing to serve as a storefront for your brand and learn more about your customers. In addition to local SEO, this will help you build up your brand and communicate with your customers.
How do I create a Google Business Profile account?
Want to take the plunge and create a new account, or just log in to Google Business Profile? It’s easy.
Sign in to a Google Account
Start by signing in to your Google Account (or create one if you don’t have one), then go to the Google Business Profile site.
Then click on the “Sign in” or “Manage” button to access the business search page.
To add your business, type in its name and click on it when it appears. If it does not appear in the list, you can add it manually. In this case, you will need to provide its name, field of activity, postal address and e-mail address, telephone number and website (if available).
After you have filled in all the information about your business, click on “Continue”. You can now proceed to the next step: validating your account. If you want, you can delay validation by selecting “Try another method” and then clicking “Later”.
If you don’t have a website for your business, you can create one for free from the Google Business Profile.
Mobile App Version
Validate and claim your Business
In order to manage your listing, you will need to validate it. The most common method is validation by mail, which can then be done on a computer or from the Google Maps app.
To validate your Google Business listing, you need to be logged in to GBP. Select the business you want to validate and click on the “Validate” button. You will then be able to access the validation request by receiving a post card through the mail.
Make sure to double-check the information you provide. Be sure to add a contact name. Click “Send Mail” and the Google card should arrive in your mailbox within two weeks.
Once you have received the postcard, log back into your GBP account and select the business you wish to validate. In the menu, click on “Validate” and find the “Code” field. Enter the validation code received by mail and press “Submit”.
Validating your Google Business Profile from a mobile. From the Google Maps app, tap “Send Mail”, select the business to validate, then tap “I don’t have a code”. Your postcard will arrive in no more than 14 days.
After you get the mail, open the application. Select your business. Then press “Enter Code”. Enter the validation code.
You can also validate by phone or email. However, these options are only available for certain types of businesses, such as home-based services.
If you manage a minimum of 10 locations associated with the same company, you can request a group validation. This is a very useful feature for franchisors wishing to create several GBP listings simultaneously.
Update and optimise your Google Business Profile
Now that your Google listing is online, you can go to your GBP dashboard. Click on your business and you will receive directions from Google how and where you can edit your listing.
Make sure the name of your business is the same as it appears on your website and online directories. This is very important because the consistency of your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) is a key factor in local SEO.
You can also change the business category, or add “secondary” related categories if your business has several services. Don’t forget to include the other basic information about your business: phone number, website URL, date and opening hours.
Keep everything up to date. If you move, change your opening hours or other changes it’s important to change all your online accounts to match the new information.
Make sure that your customers know about the specific features of your business. This can include things like your wifi connection, patio tables, and accessibility for disabled people. These features can help you stand out from the competition.
You can write a description of your company to tell your story or to highlight the quality of your products or services. Try to avoid being too commercial. Don’t talk about promotions or offers, focus on your image instead. You must respect a 750 character limit without including URLs or HTML code.
Pictures are important. A recent study showed that businesses with pictures on their Google Business profile get more phone calls, clicks to their website, or people looking for directions.
You can add photos and images to showcase your business. For example, pictures of the store front or interior, your products or your team.
Your GBP page can have a direct impact on your image. A company with good reviews will be more attractive to Internet users. Positive and negative reviews can also help improve your ranking in local searches.
The Google listing can help you measure how well your website is doing in terms of local SEO. You should keep track of indicators such as the number of phone calls, website traffic, and direction requests.
Make sure you monitor your reviews and respond to them. If there are fake reviews or spam, try contacting Google support to get them removed.
The advantages of Google Business Profile for a franchisee
People use search engines every day to find businesses, products, and services near them. If you’re a local business, you need to do local SEO to increase your visibility.
Many people who research products online end up buying them in a physical store. This process is called ROPO: Research Online, Purchase Offline. Being visible online thus helps to attract consumers to the store.
There are many ways to improve the local SEO of a franchise. One way is to create a Google Business Profile. This will put your business on the map for people who are looking for businesses that match the keyword they typed into the search engine.
- In the local pack, several important details about the company appear:
- The name of the company
- Its average rating and the number of customer reviews
- Its field of activity
- Email and postal address
- Phone number
- Opening hours
- A link to the website (if it exists)
- A button to create direction requests on Google Maps
GBP allows you to be found by customers close to you and to showcase your business with limited effort and investment.
“Classic” SEO has the disadvantage of being less accessible, because more businesses are doing it. A small business will have difficulty appearing among the first page Google results for a search that is too generic. E-commerce sites and big brands will be privileged because they can afford to do more with their websites.
With local SEO, a local business can improve its visibility, even if it does not have a lot of resources. Google Business Profile is a simple and free way to do this. However, it is more complex to manage your profile on a daily basis and make sure that it is visible to potential customers.
This is why it can be helpful to work with a specialised SEO agency.