In past articles, we’ve discussed the many free online directories that will boost your business.
But, let’s be honest…no free directory listing is more important than having a current Google Business Profile (GBP).
A GBP is a crucial free business directory listing that helps potential customers find your business, learn more about it, build trust and credibility and even contact you directly. All within the realm of Google’s search results.
In our experience with several clients, creating and updating a GBP increases engagement with potential customers by more than 50% month over month.
Let’s answer some of the most often asked questions Avita Group gets about GBP, including:
- How to set up my Google Business Profile?
- How to get instant verification on my Google Business Profile
- How to rank Number 1 in Google’s Local Pack
A Google Business Profile is an essential tool for any business that wants to succeed in the online world. If you don’t have a GBP yet, I encourage you to create one today.
Here’s what to do.
How to Set Up My Google Business Profile?
Setting up your Google Business Profile is easy and only takes a few minutes.
Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and sign in with your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you can create one for free.
- Enter your business name. Google may suggest existing businesses with the same name. If you see your business listed, select it and claim it. If not, click “Create a Business” and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Enter your business address. You can choose to show your address on Google Search and Maps, or you can hide it if you serve customers at their locations.
- Choose your business category. This will help Google understand what your business does and show your listing to the right people.
- Add your contact information. This includes your phone number, website, and email address.
- Verify your listing. Google will send you a postcard with a verification code. Once you receive the postcard, enter the code into your Google Business Profile.
- Add photos and videos. This is a great way to showcase your business and attract customers.
- Respond to reviews. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile. Be sure to respond to all reviews, both positive and negative.
Once you’ve completed these steps, your Google Business Profile will be live!
Here are some additional tips for optimizing your Google Business Profile:
- Use high-quality photos and videos.
- Keep your listing up-to-date with your latest information.
- Run Google Ads to promote your listing.
- Post regular updates on your Google Business Profile.
In addition to the tips above, I would also recommend:
- Adding social links to your profile. This is a new feature that just launched in February 2024. It allows you to include links to your social platforms to broaden your reach.
- Go to your profile and click “edit profile”
- On the subsequent pop-up window, click “Contact” at the top of the screen.
- Scroll down to “social profiles” and click the little pencil icon when you hover over that area. Now you can easily add any of your social profiles you feel appropriate.
- Using keywords throughout your Google Business Profile, including in your business name, description, and category. This will help your listing appear higher in search results.
- Creating a Google My Business website. This is a free website that is automatically generated based on your Google Business Profile information. It’s a great way to have a simple online presence even if you don’t have your own website.
- Running Google Ads Express. This is a pay-per-click advertising program that allows you to target your ads to people who are searching for businesses like yours.
An updated Google Business Profile is also a great way to build trust with potential customers. When people see that your business has a well-maintained BP, they are more likely to believe that you are a legitimate and reputable business.
How to Get Instant Verification Google Business Profile
Imagine this: you’ve meticulously crafted your GBP, showcasing your business’s finest offerings.
But before you can unleash it upon the eager eyes of potential customers, you’re stuck in verification purgatory. Days turn into weeks, the anticipation gnawing at you like a particularly persistent email marketing campaign.
Instant verification cuts through this red tape, transforming your GBP from a hidden gem to a shining beacon within minutes. It’s the difference between a whispered rumor and a front-page headline, propelling your business to the top of search results and directly into the laps of interested customers.
The coveted instant verification isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. Google, like a wise and discerning gatekeeper, reserves this privilege for certain types of businesses.
So, who gets to skip the line and waltz right in?
- Businesses with verified websites: If your website has already been verified with Google Search Console, you’re in luck! Google recognizes your online legitimacy and grants you instant access to GBP verification.
- Certain business categories: Google has a soft spot for some industries, like restaurants and service providers. If your business falls into one of these categories, you might just be fast-tracked to verification heaven.
- Previous GMB verification: Have you dabbled in the world of Google My Business before? If you’ve successfully verified a past listing, your good karma might carry over, granting you instant access for your new venture.
Unlocking the Instant Verification Vault:
So, you’ve identified with one of the chosen categories? Excellent! Now, let’s dive into the practicalities of claiming your instant verification prize:
- Head to the Google Business Profile website and sign in (or create an account if you haven’t already).
- Enter your business information: Name, address, category, the usual suspects. Make sure everything is accurate and up-to-date.
- Cross your fingers and click “Verify Now”: This is where the magic happens. If you qualify for instant verification, you’ll be greeted with a glorious message confirming your immediate legitimacy.
- Sit back and watch the magic unfold: Your GBP will be live and kicking in no time, ready to attract customers and boost your online presence.
But what if instant verification eludes you?
Fear not. Even if you don’t qualify for the instant treatment, there are other verification methods at your disposal:
- Postcard verification: The classic option. Google sends you a postcard with a verification code, which you then enter on your GBP. Expect a wait of around a week.
- Phone verification: Available for some businesses, this method involves receiving a verification code via phone call.
- Email verification: Another option for select businesses, email verification sends you a code to the email address associated with your GBP.
- Video verification: For some business types, Google might request a short video showcasing your business location.
Regardless of the verification method you choose, accuracy and patience are key. Ensure your information is correct, and don’t get discouraged if it takes a bit longer than you’d hoped. Every verified GBP is a step closer to online domination!
Bonus Tip: Once verified, optimize your GBP to its full potential. Add high-quality photos, respond to reviews, and keep your information updated.
With these tips and a dash of digital determination, you’ll have your Google Business Profile verified and ready to conquer the online world in no time.
How to Rank Number 1 in Google’s Local Pack
The Google Local Pack – that coveted trio of businesses at the top of Google Maps search results – is a prime piece of digital real estate.
Landing the #1 spot can mean a flood of new customers and a major boost to your local business.
But how do you dethrone the reigning champions and claim your rightful place at the top?
We previously discussed 9 ways to get your business listed in Google’s local pack, but here are other strategies to explore.
Understanding the Ranking Algorithm
Before we dive into optimization tactics, let’s peek behind the curtain of the Google Local Pack algorithm. While the exact formula remains a closely guarded secret, we know several key factors influence your ranking:
- Relevance: How well your business matches the searcher’s query? Keywords in your listing and website play a crucial role.
- Distance: Proximity to the searcher’s location is a major factor. Optimize your address and ensure it’s accurate.
- Prominence: Google considers factors like positive reviews, high ratings, and citations (mentions of your business online) to gauge your reputation and authority.
- Local SEO: Optimizing your website and online presence for local searches is crucial.
If you don’t have the time or skills to make some of these events transpire, look for a highly-rated digital marketing agency to give you hand setting up your GBP page and even maintaining it from week to week.
By implementing these strategies and staying laser-focused on your local market, you’ll be well on your way to conquering the Google Local Pack and reigning supreme in the digital landscape.
Remember, the journey to Local Pack dominance is paved with consistent effort, strategic optimization, and a deep understanding of your local market.
With dedication and the right tools, you can turn your business into a beacon for local searchers and watch your customer base flourish.
Avita Group – Digital Marketing Agency Los Angeles
Avita Group is one of the longest-tenured, digital marketing agencies in California. Our clients often have had previous agency experiences and ultimately find a long-term home with Avita Group.
The Avita website offers fractional CMO services to boost your brand and your business specializing in organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign management, Online Reputation Management (ORM), and ways to become a LinkedIn ads expert to boost your business.
The Avita Group team boasts a collective experience of over 30 years in the industry led by Founder and CEO, Brad Weber, and has worked with a variety of multi-million dollar companies to help them improve their ROI, build better brand awareness, and mitigate negative online reviews.
Contact us for a free consultation to evaluate how we can transform and elevate your business.