What's Google my Business and how does it work?

Article Summary: This page explains the concept of a Google My Business/Google Business profile, detailing its importance for businesses looking to enhance their online presence and attract more customers through Google search and maps. It provides a comprehensive guide on setting up and optimizing a profile for maximum visibility and engagement.

Now known as Google Business Profile (GBP), this is your easy way to get search engine love from Google. Many people overlook this valuable tool while some don’t even know what it is. In a nutshell this is your business listing within Google. This allows people to see the information about your business or service that you offer. I will answer some of the more common questions about your Google Business Profile.

Yes. It is a free listing service from Google. Most common search engines have a free listing service. It just takes a little footwork on your part to get it set-up but it’s easy

There are some great features you can utilize in your GBP.

  • Screenshot of the GGC Digital Business ProfileReviews: This is a feature in Google that you should be encouraging your customers or clients to complete. Anyone can leave a review about your business. Your reviews are listed top and center, just below your title and website buttons as shown on this image. This gives you authority and builds trust with not only customers but Google. Within your business profile dashboard, there is a link displayed that you can share with clients so they can easily find you and review you. Many folks print post cards to hand out to clients but also consider posting this link within email communication on social media. DO NOT shy away from responding to negative reviews either. If someone is not pleased with your services and writes a review, use this as an opportunity to win them back. Respond in a matter that is pleasant and offer to rectify the situation off line. It is human nature to put more trust if you see a mix of reviews so don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world if someone says something negative.
  • Posts: Within your Google profile, you can also create posts like mini blog posts. Use this as a way to introduce a service, shout out to a client and etc. Within these posts, you get an option to add a variety of buttons where you can redirect them back to your website which is where you really want them.
  • Videos: Another feature is GBP allows you to post up to a 30 second video to your profile. Another fun way to promote or highlight your business or service offering. 
  • Questions & Answers: This is another great feature within GBP. An individual can post questions to you about your business and services. You have an opportunity to sell yourself within this area. These questions along with their answers are housed on your business profile as well.
  • a screenshot from Google Business profile where a client is utilizing the products featureProducts: Another great feature is the products section. You can actually add a catalog of products you offer and then send visitors to specific pages on your website to get more information. This is great if you are a bakery or computer business. This image shows an example of a client who offers printer products for sale and rent. Clicking on each image brings up a detailed paragraph written by the client with a link to the page on their website. It also easily displays the business name and click to call phone number if you prefer to do that. 
  • Messages: This is another optional feature that you can turn on. An individual can message you directly through your profile on Google. What is also cool about this is you can get a notification on your phone about any messages received. It will pop up through the Google maps app since the individual found your listing on search. On your phone within the app, there is a link for “updates”. This is where any messages will appear. You can respond to these on the go which makes this another great feature.

Screenshot of the GGC Digital Business ProfileIt’s pretty easy to claim your profile. First thing you can do is see if it is available or if someone in your company has already claimed it. Go to Google and search for your business. If you have a claimed business, you will see it on the right hand side of the screen with some information in it. A claimed profile looks like what you see here in this example for my company GGC Digital. This is just the top part of the profile but it displays a host more information on the Google search screen if the information is filled out. If you have not claimed a profile, nothing will appear. Then you know it’s available for you to claim. You may also see a button or notice that says to “claim your business”. 

To get started, it’s super simple. Go to https://business.google.com and click on “manage now”. From there it will walk you through the steps of filling in the basic information about your business. Google offers several ways to verify your business so you can pick which one works for you. If you choose to verify by postcard, it can take about 5 days to get that in the mail. It’s very easy to lose this little card in your junk mail so make sure you carefully look through everything. However, they now offer several instant and quicker ways to get this done. See methods of verification on the Google help center.

NOTE: Make sure you get everything right. Sometimes you will be required to re-verify if there is a major change like address location.

Believe it or not, that does happen. Many times a manager will claim a business location and then leave the company or just forget they did it. Google knows this is common and provides a way for you to fix this. Here are the steps to get access:

  1. Screenshot of the Claim your business link from GoogleGo to Google and locate your business listing.
  2. You’ll see a link along that profile that says “own this business?”. Click on that and go through the steps it requires.
  3. You’ll likely get a message that someone has already claimed the business.
  4. Then you’ll click on “get access”.
  5. From there the individual who has access to the account will be sent an email to give you access.

Now it’s a waiting game. After 3 days if you don’t hear back, then log into Google my Business and walk through the steps to claim it or verify it. Read more on Google about claiming or changing ownership of a listing.

We encourage everyone to claim their business whether you have a website or not. It’s so important for many reasons. It’s not hard to set-up and not hard to manage. If you need help setting this up or if you’d like someone to take over posting for you or managing reviews, our team can help. You can reach out to us online and we can talk about your options.

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