When businesses that serve a local market ask me what’s the first thing they should do to improve their marketing, I tell them to claim and optimize their Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business or GMB) listing. In this post, you’ll learn what a Google Business Profile listing is, why it’s important, and how to claim and optimize your GBP listing.
What is a Google Business Profile Listing?
Google Business Profile is a tool that lets businesses create an online presence. It’s free and gives you the opportunity to tell prospects information about your business including your business hours, location, the products and services you offer, and much more.
Why is a GBP Listing Important?
Your Google Business Profile listing appears when people search for your business and helps you show up in the Google Maps listings when people search for products and services your business offers.
Creating and maintaining a Google Business Profile presence is important because it can help you generate awareness about your business and generate qualified, free traffic to your website that converts into leads and sales.
How to Claim Your Google Business Profile Listing
There’s a good chance your business already has a Google Business Profile listing. If not, you can add one.
First, see if you already have a listing. Go to google.com and type in the name of your business and the city and state you are located in.
If you see the Knowledge panel appear on the right-hand side, or your business is listed in the maps results, you already have a listing.
If you haven’t claimed the business, you will see a link that says:
Own this business?
Click it and enter your business name.
If you see your business name, click it.
Click Manage Now
If you’ve already claimed it, you will see that the profile has already been claimed. You’re all set and ready to go, but you’ll need to login to Google Business Profile with the account you used to set it up to proceed.
If you need to claim your GBP listing, Google will need to you verify that you own the business. This helps keep your GBP listing secure. You can request Google to send you a postcard. When you receive it, you’ll need to log into your Google Business Profile account and enter it to complete the verification process. You may see other ways to verify your business, but the post card if the most common option.
If you didn’t see your business listing, click Add your business to Google.
Enter your business name and business category.
You can add a location if you have a business location that people can visit. If you do, select Yes and click Next.
Enter your address and click Next.
Enter your phone number and click Next.
Add your website and click Next.
Finally, click Mail and Google will send you a postcard. When you receive it, you’ll need to log into your Google Business Profile account and enter it to complete the verification process.
How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing
For the best chance to make your GBP listing the source of free traffic and leads for your business, you’ll want to make sure your Google Business Profile is as complete as possible.
Go to business.google.com and log in using the same Google account you used to set up your Google Business Profile.
Click the Info menu and fill out all the fields as completely as possible. Pay special attention to the Business Description field. You’ll see this overview field that you’ll find under From the business. Take advantage of the 750 characters you are allowed to use to describe your product and services as thoroughly as possible.
You’ll also want to add photos, products, and services. Click these menus and follow the on screen instructions.
Now that you’ve set up your Google Business Profile listing, you’ll want to actively maintain it. Make sure to regularly post business updates and offers to your profile. Jess GMB is a scheduling tool that makes it faster and easier to post to Google Business Profile consistently. Try it today for free!