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As they say, the right time to set up a Google My Business profile was 5 years ago. The second best time is now. You're not too late. In fact if you've landed on this blog, it means you're thinking about the right things as a business owner or stakeholder.
To put it briefly, building a strong Google My Business profile can make you searchable locally. Google My Business listings show up in Google Search as well as Google Maps. People might be searching for your business or the service you provide within their town or city. If you have an updated GMB profile and you fit their description, Google might show your business listing to them.
Here's an easy step-by-step guide on Signing Up for GMB, and setting it up from scratch.
1. Go to Google My Business
On your browser, go to https://www.google.com/business/ and tap Sign Up or Log in.
2. Enter your business's name
After inserting your email address, you'll see this screen.
Here you can search for your business. If Google can already find it, great. If not, it'll allow you to create a business with that name.
3. Insert your business category
Google lists all categories for you to search through. Find your category, and press Next.
4. Business location and service
Enter your business location. If you're a Service & Goods business, and deliver to your customers, you can say so here. This helps people and delivery services locate local businesses.
If you deliver at your customers' address rather than have them come to you, you can choose to hide your address.
5. Customer location(s)
Next you can insert the locations of your customers. If you serve them in more than one city, you can find and select them all.
This is all important so Google can show your business to potential customers in that country.
6. Get Verified as a business by Google
There are a few ways to get verified as a business by Google.
If you're starting from scratch, Google might ask you to insert your mailing address.
Usually in about 5 days to a week, you receive a postcard with a 5-digit code on it. You sign into your Google My Business, select a location, and then click 'Verify Now.'
In the given field, insert the 5-digit code, and press 'Submit.'
Remember; your Google My Business is only activated after your business has been verified by Google.
What this means is that you will still be able to access the dashboard, but Google won't show your listing on Search and Maps until it verifies that your business is legitimate.
7. Write a short description
You can then write a short description of your business. Ideally
- You should mention what problem you're solving and for whom.
- Use keywords that your target audience would use to increase your chances of being found.
- Keep it brief.
That's pretty much it. Your Google My Business is set up.
After putting the foundation in place for your Google My Business, you need to think about how to keep it updated and active.
You can add photos of your workplace, your employees, your customers and a lot more. Making a purchasing decision becomes a lot easier for people when they can see the faces of your company.
You can also get ratings and reviews by easily sharing a link with your customers and stakeholders. We wrote a brief guide on how best to get reviews in this blog.
You can learn in this blog how to use Google My Business to keep your audiences updated during a crisis.
It doesn't end there. The more up-to-date and alive your Google My Business account is, the easier it is for people to find you on Google and contact you.