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Set Up a Google Business Account in 6 Steps

A Google Business Account can dramatically improve your visibility and help you manage your online presence—plus, it’s easy to set up. Learn how to do it.

Small, local businesses don't always have large budgets to compete with big box retailers, so they must find ways to get noticed online without overspending. Whenever you have the opportunity to market your business for free, there's no reason not to take advantage of it.

Few platforms allow you to market your business for free. However, Google allows small businesses with local addresses to create a Google business account, also known as a Google My Business account. These accounts are completely free and allow you to get found online by people in your area looking for what you offer.

Whether you're a brick-and-mortar pet store or a Thai restaurant, you can get noticed and help potential customers find you online by appearing in search results pages on Google.

What is a Google business account?

A Google business page is a free Google business listing that allows you to share details about your business with prospective customers when they enter a related search.

Creating a Google business account is completely free and allows you to increase your online visibility by appearing in Google search results and Google Maps. If you know how search engines work, you know that a user types in a search query and Google shows them results based on relevance. The same concept applies to local searches.

Unfortunately, not all businesses are eligible for a Google business listing.

To create a Google business profile, you must have a physical location where customers come to shop, eat, or meet with you or provide services in which you visit customers in their homes or at their businesses. Therefore, online businesses cannot have Google business pages because they're only available to local businesses with a physical location or storefront.

How can a Google business profile help you?

Google business profiles are used for local SEO strategies to increase your online visibility. A few benefits of Google business listings include:

Builds awareness about your company

Your Google business account can help build your brand awareness because it increases your online visibility. When you claim your free google business profile, customers can see your business on Google Maps and Google search when someone types in a query related to your business.

For example, if you run an independent dog grooming business, someone might enter "dog groomer" into the search bar, and if your business has a listing, it has the opportunity to show up based on the user's location and how close your business is to them, among other factors.

It also boosts your brand awareness in other ways by helping to educate potential customers. Your business account allows people to ask questions and get answers directly from you or local guides. You can also engage with customers when they post reviews to build better relationships.

Helps customers find your business

Your Google business profile can help customers easily find your business because you'll show up in Google Maps.

If someone uses Maps to find businesses like restaurants, dog groomers, stores, or any other local business, yours has the opportunity to show up based on their search query. Additionally, you have complete control over your profile, allowing you to add company information like what you sell and your business hours.

Can help you generate strong word of mouth

Social proof is important in the digital age, and without testimonials and reviews, it can be difficult to convince customers to purchase your products.

Google business accounts focus on reviews, allowing customers to review your business and generate strong word of mouth. Reviews can help grow your audience, especially positive reviews, because they improve your brand image.

Many people decide how to spend their money based on the reviews of others. If your business has positive reviews, it may not take much more convincing to have customers walk through your door.

Google My Business allows customers to leave a star rating and a more detailed review to provide context. Of course, negative reviews can be harmful to your business, so it's important to focus on generating good word of mouth.

Can help you create a strong online presence

One of the most significant benefits of a Google business listing is that it helps you create a strong online presence.

Whether you use social media marketing, digital advertising, or even SEO, you should always find new ways to grow your online presence to help customers find you online.

A Google business profile can be optimized to help you rank higher than your competition for specific search queries, allowing you to easily be found even if customers don't know your business name.

Other Google tools everyone should use

Google is known for its suite of tools to help small businesses succeed in a competitive market. Whether you're an experienced digital marketer or a small business owner, you can use these tools to help your business grow. A few other Google tools include:

Google Analytics

Google Analytics can help you learn more about your website, providing you with important information on website traffic, where visitors came from, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) you can use to improve website performance.

Google Search Console

Google search console gives you insights into your organic search performance, providing insight on keywords customers use to find your website online. You can also use it to determine whether you're following Google guidelines on mobile and desktop to improve your search rankings.

Google Ads

Google Ads is Google's advertising platform that allows you to bid on keywords and create search and display ads to help you reach your audience. From retargeting ads to display ads and even video ads on Youtube, Google ads allow you to reach your target audience wherever they spend their time online.

Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows you to implement code on your website to connect with other tools like Google Analytics to get additional insights into your website visitors.

How to create a Google business profile

Every business eligible should have a Google business profile to help them grow their online presence and build brand awareness. Here's how to claim and set up your free business listing:

Step 1: Claim your account

When you're ready to begin, you can claim your Google My Business account using Google Business Manager. Google will ask for your company email account, which it will use to help verify you're the owner or manager of the business.

Once you're logged in, you can enter your business name in the search bar. If your business doesn't appear, you'll need to add it by selecting your business category and going through the steps on your screen.

Step 2: Enter the location

Google will ask if you have a physical location where customers can visit. Depending on your type of business, you may not have a physical business address customers visit.

For example, if you provide a service like a plumber, you might not have a storefront. Either way, click Yes or No to proceed to the next step. If you click No, Google will ask you which areas you service.

Step 3: Enter contact information

The goal is to complete your profile as much as possible. Google needs your business contact information to verify it, so share your business number and website address.

Step 4: Verification

Google needs to verify your business by its location, so you'll need to give them your business's address. It will not accept a PO box because you must have a physical location, even if customers can't visit you there. Google will then give you options for how to verify your account. In most cases, you'll only have the option to verify by postcard in the mail. However, service businesses may be able to verify through email address.

Once your postcard comes in the mail within a few business days, you'll enter the five-digit verification code to verify your business.

Step 5: Customization

Once you're verified, you can complete your profile by entering your business hours, messaging preferences, and description of your business, and upload photos to provide potential customers with as much information as possible.

Always upload photos of your business's interior and exterior. Believe it or not, your business address is part of your brand identity, so you should only upload high-quality images that can help customers find you.

Step 6: Respond to reviews

Over time, your Google business profile will get reviews. You'll be notified through the email address you used to sign up for your account.

Responding to these reviews isn't required, but it can boost your online visibility and improve your word-of-mouth because replying to reviews can show customers you care about their experience. You can also get customer reviews to increase your star rating in several ways, but the best way is to simply ask customers for their feedback and provide them a link to your Google account.

Create a Google-optimized website with Mailchimp

Part of the information you enter in your Google business account is your website, so customers can easily find your website online.

However, depending on the nature of your business, you should invest in other ways to increase your online visibility to earn more web traffic. Optimizing your website for search engines is one way to increase web traffic without spending money on advertising.

Mailchimp makes it easy to optimize your website with meta descriptions, titles, and more. With the drag-and-drop editor, you can design a beautiful website without any coding skills.

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