This 10-step guide takes you through the recommended steps to follow in order to set up a Google My Business profile for your company. Setting up and managing your Google My Business listing is a vital part of your local SEO strategy, and it’s completely free! To find out more about local SEO and how it helps to attract more customers in your local area, please read my blog on this. If you’ve already got a Google My Business profile set up for your business and you’d like to make your profile work harder, have a look at my guide on how to optimise your Google My Business listing.
So, here I will help you to get set up with a Google My Business profile for your business. This is what a Google My Business listing looks like in Google – it appears in the right hand column of relevant searches in Google:
Before we get started on the 10-step guide, there are a couple of things to note:
- If your business has been around for a while, it’s likely that there will already be a profile for your business, even if nobody at your company has ever set one up. This is because Google will create one using information from third parties. I’ll take you through how to check whether a Google business profile already exists for your company and how to ‘claim’ it.
- Google has some guidelines for representing your business on Google, so it’s worth giving these a read too.
Step one: Get started –
Get started with Google My Business by following this link.
Step two: Find and manage your business –
Start typing the name of your business in the box and Google will search for your business. If your business name comes up (and therefore already has a profile), click on it. If your business name doesn’t come up, you are given the option to ‘create a business with this name.’ NB: make sure that you put the actual name of your business in here, don’t try to shoehorn in keywords as this is against Google’s guidelines and your listing could be suspended.
Step three: Choose a business category –
Choose a category that fits your business best. Start typing what your business is and options will come up for you to choose from. You can choose additional categories later (after set-up), but I would suggest that you use as few as possible. Again, Google has guidelines on choosing the most relevant categories for your business. If you’re not sure which category to use, look at your nearest competitors to see what they have chosen.
Step four: Add a location –
You will then be asked if you would like to add a location that customers can visit (such as a shop or an office). In most cases you will click yes and enter the exact address, however, if you work from home or you’re a plumber, for example, and don’t receive customers at your address, then click no.
Step five: Add service areas –
Next, you will be asked where you serve your customers – so your service areas. This is ideal if you’re a plumber (that hasn’t added an exact location in the step above), and wants to specify the area(s) that you serve – eg Bristol. It’s also useful for pubs and restaurants that also do takeaways, as you can detail the address of the pub or restaurant in the location field and then specify the service area(s) here. If you’re nationwide then this might not be relevant for you. It’s an optional field so it doesn’t have to be completed.
Step six: Region –
After the location area, you will be asked which region (or country) your business is based in.
Step seven: Contact details –
Then you can insert the contact details that you want to show customers: the main phone number for the office and your company website URL. If you don’t have a company website, you can insert your Facebook company page URL instead. Google will point you towards their free website builder, which uses information from your Google My Business listing. I’d do some research and look into the reviews before deciding whether that’s the route for you.
Step eight: Marketing communications –
You will then be asked to opt-in or opt-out to recommendations and updates from Google. You might find them useful, particularly whilst you’re getting used to Google My Business, and you can always unsubscribe later.
Step nine: Finish and manage your listing –
Finish and manage your listing. That’s it, you’re all set up with a Google My Business profile but the work doesn’t stop there. Now you need to optimise your profile with photos, posts, add your opening hours, respond to customer reviews etc.
Step 10: Verification –
There is one more final step: Google needs to verify your business and will normally do this by posting a verification code. Some businesses may be able to verify via email, phone or Google Search Console. You will see the verification options available to you. For more information about the verification step, please see here.
That’s it, you’re set up with a Google My Business profile for your company. You have made a great step towards finding more customers in your local area. Are you ready to start optimising your profile? Have a look at my tips and advice on how to optimise your Google My Business listing.
If you’re looking for some advice on local SEO and how to attract more customers in your local area, I can help. Get in touch with me for a chat.
- Posted by victoriathomasmarketing
- On 5th October 2020