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Set up a Google Business Profile and be seen online

If your business doesn’t yet have a profile on Google, you’re cutting yourself off from the world’s biggest online audience.

Google is the most popular internet search engine by far, currently enjoying over 86% of the market share. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to make it easier for potential new customers to find you via a Google search, as we talk you through the process of setting up a new Google business profile for your company.

Step 1 – Make a Google account

For you to set up a Google business profile, you need to have a google account. To create a new account, click here. If you’ve already got a personal account with Google, we’d suggest creating a new account specifically for your business so that you can keep your personal and business activities separate.

Step 2 – Build your business account

With your account set up, it’s time to start building your profile. Follow this link and sign in with the account you just created. You’ll then be presented with a list of suggested businesses. If a profile for your business already exists, request ownership. If nothing appears, simply continue to the next page.

Now you need to choose your business type. Google will present you with 3 options: online retail, local store, and service business. Pick the one that best suits the nature of your business. In this piece, we’re just going to focus on the ‘local store’ option.

Once you’ve selected ‘local store,’ click ‘next’ to select a business category. Google will then suggest categories based on the information you’ve already given so select the one that’s most appropriate to you.

On the next screen, you’ll be prompted to input the postal address of your business, your phone number and your website.

You will then be taken to a Google Business verification page where you will need to confirm that your business operates at the address you specified.

Step 3 – Verify your profile

So that Google knows your business profile is genuine, they will ask you to go through one of several verification methods. Google will request one of the following:

  • Phone or email verification: Google will send you a message, call you or send you an email with a verification code, you will then need to submit that verification code online.
  • Postcard verification: this is similar to the phone and email verification but instead of a message to your mobile, you’ll receive a letter in the post that contains a verification code.
  • Video verification: for this method, you will need a camera phone to record a short video that shows the location of your business, some of your equipment and proof of management.
  • Videocall verification: this option is similar to video verification but instead of recording the video and submitting it, a member of Google’s support team will request a videocall with you and ask that you show proof of your business location, equipment, and proof of management while on the call.

Video and videocall verification both require a little planning so if you don’t have the time to do this now, just select ‘verify later.’

If you’d like more information on the different verification methods, click here to be redirected to Google’s Business profile help centre.

Step 4 – List your services

Depending on the category you selected earlier, Google may suggest services for your business. If you don’t feel any apply to you, then unselect them. If you want to add any other services that are not suggested, click on the ‘add custom service’ button.

Step 5 – Add your business hours

It’s important that you display accurate business hours so people know when they can visit or contact you. Once you’ve created your profile, Google gives you the option to add holiday opening hours which are useful for adding temporary opening hours for short periods of time such as bank holidays. It’s good practice to regularly review this information to ensure it’s always correct.

Step 6 – Enable messages

If enabled, people have the option to message you directly through Google. If you’re creating a business profile for the first time, this feature will be enabled by default but if you think you’re going to struggle to respond in good time, it might be best to disable this feature to prevent any messages going unanswered.

Step 7 – Write a description

In this section you’ll want to give a summary of your business. You could mention what you offer, what makes you different from your competitors, why you started your business and anything else you think will be useful to prospective customers.

The description has no influence on your ranking on Google so don’t be tempted to add lots of key words.

Step 8 – Add pictures

To make your profile more engaging and informative, add some pictures of your products, your shop front or your staff. It’s best to avoid using stock images here as they don’t look genuine. Also, try to add more images as time goes on to keep your profile interesting and up to date.

With this step complete, you’ll now have set up your Google Business profile. Congratulations!

You should be redirected to a Google search screen which includes the summary of your business along with a panel of icons which enables you to update and enhance your profile. It will also tell you if you’re yet to verify your business which you should do as soon as you’re able to.

If you’d like help creating a standout Google business profile that will help you drive sales and build your customer base, get in touch with our team on 01268 778555 or email