Google Business Profile or GBP is one of the most affordable and reliable tools you can use to promote your company.
Formerly known as Google My Business or GMB, it is an effective advertising platform for targeting and attracting customers in specific areas in or near your location. With a local GBP listing, your target audience will be able to find you during their Google searches.
Because of this, SEO specialists in Dubai say your GBP listing is a great tool to use in your local search engine optimization campaign.
Moreover, your GBP is easy to maintain and optimize, allowing you to manage it yourself as you reach more customers.
And once you have a GBP listing, you can ensure Google has your correct and up-to-date business name, address, phone number, and other key information. You can also interact with online searchers and attract potential customers.
Setting Up Your Google Business Profile
Creating your GBP listing requires going through several steps. Although the process may seem time-consuming, it is easy to follow.
Below is an overview of the steps you have to follow to set up your profile:
1. Open google.com/business.
If you already have a Google account, click on the “Sign In” button on the top right-hand corner of the screen.
Make sure you use an account you want to connect with your GBP listing.
If you don’t have a Google account yet, create one first before going to this link.
2. Submit your official business name.
After logging in, type the name of your business name in the search box.
If your business name doesn’t exist, you have to enter it.
Make sure to spell your name correctly and capitalize the first letter of each word, except the stop words. Avoid adding any keywords since doing so is a violation of Google guidelines.
If your business name is already on Google, you have to claim it. If not, proceed to the next steps.
3. Enter your business address.
After inputting your business name, enter your business address.
You need to submit this information to help Google verify the existence of your business.
At this point, you have to decide whether you want your customers to visit your brick-and-mortar store or access your services remotely.
If you don’t have a storefront or want customers to purchase your products or services remotely, you must select a particular town, city, or state. You can also use several zip codes to make it easy for your target audience to know about your brand.
If you are still setting up your company, consider opening and operating your business within a mile radius of the areas where your target audience is likely to be located. Doing so will prove to be a smart strategic move that you will benefit from.
Whichever way you go, avoid using your mailbox or post office box address since you won’t be able to add the most useful one for your business.
4. Choose your business category.
The next step involves selecting the primary category for your business. Although this may seem straightforward, this process requires some careful thinking.
This is because your main category will dictate where or when your business is likely to show up on Google Maps and Google Search.
Google’s top priority is providing relevant information to online searchers. When users type a specific category to search for a product or service they need, your business profile is likely to show up on the search engine results page or SERP when your company is under the same classification.
If you’re unsure about which category to choose, don’t feel too stressed out. You can edit this later and add other relevant ones for your business.
5. Enter your contact details.
GBP tracks phone calls and website clicks. Therefore, it is vital that you input your phone number and website here correctly.
If you don’t have a website yet, you can add this detail later once you already have one.
6. Verify your business.
This step is a crucial part of the setup process since verifying your business allows Google to recognize your company and confirm the pieces of information you entered are correct.
Confirming your local listing can also help you control and manage your business information on Google Search and Google Maps. Additionally, verifying your profile ensures you are the only one who has access to these details.
All these can give you the assurance that your business will show up on local search queries on Google.
You can verify your account through the following ways:
- By mail or post – Google will send a postcard to your registered address. You then have to input the code on GBP to verify your listing.
- By phone – You can choose to receive a phone call or text message with the verification code, which you have to enter in your GBP account if your business is eligible for this method.
- By email – Google will send you an email with a verification code to enter for confirmation.
Once you have verified your account, your listing will appear on Google within a few hours or days.
You’ll likely get an email from Google informing you that your listing now appears on Google Search and Google Maps.
7. Optimize your profile.
Once your GBP listing is up and running, you can optimize it to help it climb and rank higher on local SERPs.
Providers of search engine optimization services say you can optimize your profile by:
- Adding high-quality images and video clips.
- Asking customers for Google reviews and responding to them.
- Adding other relevant categories for your business profile.
- Using GBP Posts to announce important news, promos, and offers.
- Adding call to action buttons where relevant.
Claiming an Existing GBP Listing.
If your business name already exists on GBP, don’t worry. And don’t try to create a new profile with the same details.
You can claim this existing profile by requesting Google management to hand it over to you.
To do this, click “Request Access” and you will be guided through the entire process of claiming your business name.
You will then receive a notification when you have control over the existing profile.
Your job doesn’t end when you have set up your GBP listing. You need to keep optimizing and updating it to boost your ranking on Google and reap the benefits of being on top of local search queries.
Eloisa Mangilinan is a full-time Content Writer at SEO Sherpa, a multi-awarded search engine optimization company in the UAE. She produces content for different niches for guest post sites, blogs and client websites. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Saint Louis University.