How to Set Up Google Business Profile
Read below the ultimate guide and tips on how to set-up your Google business profile for better appearance on Google maps and local results
What is Google Business Profile?
With "Google Business profile, (formerly known as Google My Business, or GMB), your company can be found by potential customers free of charge and even without your own website using the classic Google web search or Maps.
Put simply, it's like a digital business card placed in the central of an important conference. With this you can:
- Enter opening hours, telephone numbers and your website
- Let prospects easily navigate to you via Google Maps
- Get ratings and comment on them
- present your services and products
- Insert photos & videos
- View stats for your reach
- Create posts on offers, events & and new products
Who is Google Business Profile for?
The basic functions are relevant for any size of company, because opening times as well as an address or a telephone number represent important customer information for most companies.
But especially for the local marketing of products and services such as that of a consultant, doctor, craftsman, shopkeeper, or restaurant, for example, Google Business Profile is an important channel to be found more easily.
Set up Google Business Profile in 8 steps
Jump directly to the desired chapter or start with the first step.
- Create a new Google Business profile
- Apply for ownership
- The home page briefly
- Add information, images, and products about the company
- Create posts with offers and events
- Add more users
- Create and manage locations
- Receive & comment on ratings
Step 1: Create or adopt a company profile
To start setting up Google Business Profile, you must first create a Google user. You can do this here quickly and at no cost.
For the first step, go to: www.google.com/business and type in the name of your company in the input field.
If your company already appears in the suggestion list, you can select it directly and jump straight to step 2 of this tutorial. This may be the case if you or someone else has already suggested that name through Google Business Profile.
After entering the company, these questions must be answered
Would you like to add a location that customers can go to - for example a physical store or an office?
The answer to this point is yes for anyone who would like to receive customers at the specified address. Anyone who has given their home office address, acts exclusively online or provides their service at the customer's location can therefore indicate no here.
What is the address?
Your customers can use Google Maps to navigate directly to this address later.
Do you also work for customers outside of this company location?
If you receive customers and perform your services outside of your premises, then click Yes here. A good example is a restaurant with a guest room that also delivers food.
Add regions where customers are served (optional)
Here you enter your catchment area in which you would still actively visit customers on site or provide your service.
Now you can jump directly to the 6th question.
Optional: What is the catchment area of your company?
Here I personally proceed as follows: First I indicate the countries in which I would be active. For example, for the DACH region Germany Austria and Switzerland. Now I also select the federal state in which I am located. Then I specify the catchment area with the city in which I am, or which is relevant.
If you didn't enter an area in step 5, you will still get the following question: "In which region is your company located?"
>>> From here everyone gets the same questions again <<<
Select the category that best describes your business
In which main industry would you most likely see yourself?
Unfortunately, you can only use the suggestions, which are sometimes very general. Later you can select additional branches - here only one.
Which contact details should customers see?
Entering your telephone number is optional and can then also be used to apply for ownership. In this step you can only enter a single phone number and add more later.
Do you own a website? Then this should be entered here. In step 4 of the article, I have a special tip.
Don't have one yet? Google also offers you to create a free website automatically here. I'll get into that later and you don't have to make a final decision here either.
--- These were the most important questions for the initial setup. ---
Step 2: Apply for ownership
The options available to confirm your ownership vary and depend on your previous statements and information provided.
If you have just added your company, you can often only use the first method:
Confirm ownership by postcard
Here Google wants to check whether the company really exists, and you are the owner and have access to the mailbox.
After you have requested the postcard, it will take a few days and you will receive a letter with a confirmation code.
If you enter this via your Google Business Profile account, your ownership is confirmed, and you can use it without restrictions.
Receive the activation code via SMS or call
This option is usually not available for competitive niches that may also be spammy, but in case it is available - it requires that you have added a mobile or landline number.
This option is often not available for previously unknown companies.
Receive code via email address
The same applies to confirmation via e-mail.
Confirm your Google Business Profile entry by postcard
Step 3: The start page briefly:
If your company has not yet been confirmed - no problem - most of the setup functions are already available to you.
Each time you log in to Google My Business, you will first be taken to your home page. The control center, so to speak, that gives you a quick overview of your company.
On the left is the navigation bar, which you can use to create new content for your company, edit existing content, place advertising, and add other companies or locations.
In the box on the right, you will find a lot of information. After logging in, this dashboard gives you an initial overview of your access statistics or shows you new ratings for you to comment on.
The homepage of a Google My Business account
Step 4: Add information, images, and products about the company
You can use the Info menu item in the left column to view and edit almost all your information.
As already promised, you can change your details from step 1 here or add more to the branch, telephone number and catchment area.
Opening Hours & Exceptions
In the opening times you can enter individual opening times for each day, which are repeated weekly.
For company holidays, public holidays and other exceptions, there are the special opening times in the next point.
My tip: Take your time and enter the times when your customer is in front of closed doors. From the customer's point of view, it is more than annoying when, for example, you go to a café or shop, and it suddenly closes.
This also saves you unnecessary stress with negative reviews from angry customers.
In case you did get negative reviews you can always buy google reviews as a way to overcome the impact of such negative reviews
Short name of your profile
Here you can enter an individual name for your company, which only you can wear. It is comparable to a username, can only be assigned once and will later be visible in the link to your ratings and Google Maps.
If you haven't already done it in step 1, you can add the URL to your website here and - if available - a separate link to your appointments/events.
My tip: If you enter your URL in the https://yourWebsite.com scheme, visitors who found you via your Google Business Profile entry will be displayed as direct traffic in Google Analytics.
Of course, that would be a pity, because then you won't be able to see whether the work on your GMB page is bearing fruit; Therefore, you should first modify your URL a little using Google's Campaign URL Builder.
Enter your website under Website URL. Then enter a name for the traffic source under Campaign Source. In this case e.g., "GMB-listing".
For Campaign Medium, you now specify the type of traffic, e.g., "organic".
Now you will receive a URL that will enable you to later assign the traffic to your GMB profile. Now enter this URL in your profile on GMB - your visitors will not be able to see this extended URL.
google business campaign url builder
Your service description
Your service description
Under Services you will find the categories you have selected for your business. You can now further subdivide these areas with individual services and store descriptive texts or optionally prices.
This content is currently only visible to your customers if you also have a website created via Google Business Profile (I will come to that later).
In any case, I recommend that you fill these entries with the information under which you would also like to be found. This content is used by Google to better assess and evaluate your company.
If your competitors do not enter any services, you have an advantage!
- Enter google business Profile benefits
- Enter products
This feature is super exciting.
Google offers the possibility to create your own products and services in freely selectable product categories. You can highlight your most important products here and create a digital shop window.
The input is very intuitive and, in addition to an image, prices and a descriptive text, also allows additional buttons to link the product to your own URL.
enter google business profile products
You can view the finished result by clicking the "View on Google" button. This allows you to offer your visitors a great overview of the available offers even without the website.
google business profile product overview
Brief description of your company
The next field under the About menu item is the description of your business.
You have 750 characters (about 100 words) to introduce yourself to a potential customer.
This is about arousing interest and giving an overview of what a customer can expect from you and what makes you stand out. Preferably with a CTA (call to action) along the lines of "... it's best to come to us directly." to graduate.
Photos & Videos
Images & videos create trust and can arouse interest. Provided the quality is convincing, but nowadays you don't need high-priced camera equipment. Authenticity is everything.
In addition to uploading your logo, you can show your potential customers your team, the building, the premises and references from previous projects.
For the image size, Google recommends the 1:1 format with a recommended resolution of at least 750 x 750 pixels.
Step 5: Create posts with offers and events
If you want to inform your customers regularly about your own events, offers and new products, you can do this with articles.
When you have published your first news, you will quickly notice that Google wants a fairly high publication density here.
After just a few days, unique news are graded in terms of their relevance so that they are no longer primarily visible.
By frequently creating content that adds value to your visits (meaningful information), you can always optimize your site and improve your ranking.
Create Google Business Profile post
Step 6: Add more users
As the owner, you have the option of activating additional users for your company. There is a slim menu in the left menu bar under Users for administration with different roles and permissions.
The Owner role has full access, e.g. the admin cannot add new users and the site manager is highly restricted and can adjust opening times, create posts, and reply to comments.
Each additional user also needs their own Google account in order to be able to log in. Therefore, enter the e-mail address of your users registered with Google directly.
Google Business Profile - add new user
Step 7: Create and manage locations
In the left menu bar, you will find "Manage locations" or the field "Add new location" in the lower area.
You can use this function to create several locations, which do not necessarily have to belong together.
For example, you can create additional branches and combine them as a location group and thus maintain them across the board or create different companies as separate locations.
Step 8: Get & Comment on Ratings
Anyone who shops online, or streams movies knows the power of reviews.
The situation is similar for customers who encounter your profile for the first time.
It is not only interesting what customers and business partners write about you, but also your reaction to it. Don't leave negative, but also positive, comments unanswered. If you ever get angry, emotions have no place in your answer - stay professional!
If you receive a "fake review" or if it becomes offensive, you cannot delete it yourself, you can only report it to Google for verification.
However, you don't need to be silently waiting for customers to rate you. You know from your own experience that you usually only write a review if you have had particularly positive or negative experiences.
My tip: reviews are your debt as an entrepreneur. Therefore, create an e-mail template with your individual review link and send it to your customer after completing the entire purchase process.
You can also combine this with sending your invoice.
Do you meet your customers offline and have no contact with your customers via email?
No problem - create extra business cards with the rating link and a friendly request for rating. Introducing a QR code also makes sense here and you can hand over the card to your customers personally.
You can find the direct link for your reviews on your home page under "Get more reviews". Unfortunately, your customer or business partner also needs a Google account.
In addition to Google, I recommend that you offer another rating option to enable people without a Google account to do a simple review.
Extra: A Google Business website
A free website via Google sounds very tempting and is better than none.
However, you should know that your freedom of design in terms of content and creativity is very limited here.
The big advantage of this site is the direct hosting by Google. This brings you fast loading times and trust from Google.