Setting up your Google Business Profile the right way is essential to your business success
Have you claimed your Google Business Profile? If not, you might be leaving a lot of money on the table. With the recent changes that Google implemented, there are things you should do now in order to keep your business showing up on searches and one of them is setting up your Google Business Profile the right way. Paul Taubman II gives us a detailed walkthrough on how to do it.
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile is what shows up when somebody searches for your business. It’s a free platform that is provided by Google that business owners can use to manage their online presence through the whole Google-controlled realm. Think of this as Google's equivalent to services, like Yelp or Facebook places or Bing places.
When you think about the fact that Google has by far the biggest market share when it comes to internet-related services, it's absolutely essential. So the bottom line, you really need to tend to your Google business profile listing if you have a business of your own, to help things like getting the local three-pack.
Why did they change the name?
They changed the name as well as other details. The way to manage it now is going to be through search as well as map listings. When somebody searches for you on Google maps, you'll also show up there and you'll be able to get it. So the thing that's really new with this is that - changes are coming up.
Google Business Profile Walkthrough
If you haven't claimed your business, this is something that you absolutely positively need to do as soon as possible. You can go to google.com/business and log in or sign in. You can do that if you've never claimed your business.
You will know if a business claims a business because they have all kinds of reviews and things. If your business shows up in Google but you haven't claimed it, you would want to click on the button that says own your business. You could do it that way, or when you log in right from google.com/business and site.
Google Business Profile Information you need to provide:
- What's your business name?
- What's the address?
- What's the phone number?
- Who are you?
- And any kind of basic information.
Getting your Google Business Profile Verified
The next step is where things start to get fuzzy because it's Google. You need to verify your business ownership before you can do anything with it. That can happen in a couple of ways.
One is Google can be in a good mood and tell you you're now verified instantly, just like that. However, 90% of the time Google is going to actually send you a physical postcard with a code on it that you will then have to log back in. It takes three to five days for you to get it, put in the code, and get you verified.
What good is all of this now that you're verified? Once you're verified and you're logged in, there are a few things that you can do. Number one is to edit your business information. Initially, your profile is going to be very bare. It's not going to have anything.
Edit your Google Business profile
Click on edit your business information and you've already entered your business name as part of the verification process. The next thing you want to do is create your description, and you want to make it rich in keywords. You want to talk about the services that you do and let people know obviously what your business is about.
Keep in mind that this is really great for SEO. You want to put those keywords at a maximum of 750 characters. For instance, if you do website maintenance, you can put “let us take care of your website management, maintenance, backups, malware, scanning, update monitoring, and all your website needs”. Have some keywords that you really want to be found for like malware scanning, monitoring website management, maintenance.
Next, Google will actually figure out or try to see what your business category is. Sometimes they do a good job with it, If they don't, you can edit it and you can put it in. These categories are probably not going to be the best categories but pick the best fit. Having the right category is going to be key along with that search engine magic that happens behind the scenes. You want to make sure that if Google doesn't give you a good one, pick the closest.
The next thing is setting up your hours. Originally, there will be no hours selected, but it is something important for search engines. When people come and they search for things, especially on mobile, they want to see when you're open. If you have a regular retail shop or a way that people normally contact you, even if you're working from home and you keep set hours, go ahead and click on the main hours.
If you're temporarily closed due to a pandemic that pops up or you’re a seasonal business like an ice cream store that might not be open during the winter, you can mark it as temporarily closed. If you're completely shut down for whatever reason, you could mark it permanently closed. You can also just easily select the days that you're open. If you’re just available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then you can set those times.
Another good thing to set up is holiday hours. If you're going to be closed for St. Patrick's day, you can mark down that you're closed on St. Patrick's day. It's a great idea to keep your business hours up to date because, if somebody comes to your business at 10 o'clock on Tuesday, but you did not have the right hours, you could potentially leave a negative profile, something that you don't want.
Create a Post or Offer
One of the highly-recommended things that you would like to do on a weekly basis is a post. This is not a whole complete blog post, it doesn't have to be that much, but one thing that you want to do is you can create an offer.
How to create an offer?
- Post an offer
- Update an image
- Put in a title
- Add a starting date
- Add an ending date
- Coupon code if you want.
- Put a link back to your website
There are a ton of things to add as a post on a regular basis to let the search engines know that you're constantly updating, evolving, and adding content.
Different types of posts that Google Business Profile allows
- COVID 19 update
- Hosting an event, a webinar, or training online
- Speaking at somebody else's event
- Giving a talk
Q&A with Paul
Rachele: As far as the hours, I don't have set hours and I'm available seven days a week by appointment, and there's really no way to put that there. So what would you suggest?
Paul: When it's by appointment only, that's something that you can probably put in as a post and update so that at least people know. You could also hide the hours, so they don't know, and make that in your description “we're by appointment only so that we can better serve your individualized schedule”.
Lisa: When the profile shows up on the right-hand side, there are some pictures at the top, are those pictures I would provide, or does Google provide that?
Paul: Yes. So the idea is you can put your logo, you can have your cover, which is kind of the main big one. And then any other images, so you can upload those. You can also upload videos. And the thing with Google Business Profile is other people can also upload their own images. So people you don't even know might be doing that.
Think about it. If you are a restaurant that would be really favorable because people are always posting pictures of their food. So people could leave reviews and when they add images to those reviews, those show up there as well. So photos definitely are something that you want to do. So that's what I said when you get it and you verify it, go through that whole list down the left side and just kind of see what they do.
ABOUT PAUL TAUBMAN II
Paul Taubman II - is the Chief Online Strategist of Digital Maestro. He is skilled in areas such as Website Design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), List Building, Database Optimization, Website Security, and just about any area that impacts your online presence. He has his roots deep in the world of technology. Working as a Solutions Architect at Fortune 500 companies for over 25 years, Paul knows how to get systems to talk to each other and share data.
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