Google Business Profile - Guidelines For Getting Set Up Properly

Jan 16, 2023
Google Business Profile Guidelines for Getting Your Profile Set Up

Your Google Business Profile is an amazing free feature that’s ready-built into Google’s product suite that lets you manage your online business profile.

It’s super powerful as it helps you increase your visibility on Google, gain more credibility online, and it also helps you keep tabs on the accuracy of your business information.

And no, you don’t need to be a brick-and-mortar outfit with a storefront to benefit from having a Google Business Profile; GBPs are for everyone (almost!).

So today, I’m going to give you some guidelines for getting your Google Business Profile set up properly, and we’ll look at:

The benefits of having a Google Business Profile (Aka - why should you bother!)

How to check to see if you’ve already got a Google Business Profile.

How to create Google Business Profile from scratch if you haven’t already got one.

How to set up your Google Business Profile properly.

Ready to jump in?

Good, let’s start with why you should bother setting your Google Business Profile up in the first place.

3 Benefits of Having a Google Business Profile

So, you’ve got a website, and you’re using social media to get the word out about your business.  Why do you need to bother with setting up a Google Business Profile? 

Well, there are some really compelling reasons why you might want to take a few minutes to set up a Google Business Profile, including:

  • Improving your visibility on Google
  • Boosting your credibility with reviews
  • Making your customers happy!

Increase Your Visibility on Google

Have you ever noticed the map and business details that show up when you Google a business or a service you’re looking for?

Here’s what shows up in Google when I search for “Coffee Shops Near Me”.

Yeah, that map section.

Well, it’s called the “Local Pack”, and it gives you the location and details for businesses in your local areas that you’ve just Googled.

If you’ve optimised your Google Business Profile really well (I’m going to show you how to do that next week), then you’re much more likely to show up in the coveted spot on Google’s first page.

Discovery searches, which are what people enter when they’re looking for things like “Hypnotherapist in Horsham”, “Pilates Studio in Edinburgh”, or “Coffee Shop near me”, have increased by over 200% in the last few years. Hence, it’s worth getting a profile set up and optimised if you want to take advantage of this trend.

Gain Credibility with Reviews

Did you know that 98% of people read online reviews for businesses before making up their minds about whether to use them?

So, it makes sense to have some reviews then, doesn’t it? 

The reviews on your Google Business Profile give your potential customers hugely valuable feedback about your business and helps you build that all-important trust factor too.

And remember, you don’t need a full sweep of 5-star reviews, a mix of good and not-so-good reviews is much better from a trustworthiness perspective.

I’ll be talking more about how to ask for and manage your reviews next week so stay tuned.

Give Your Customers the Business Information They Need

What days of the week are you open?  Are you closed over Christmas?  Can they get to you before you close?  What’s your phone number?  Where’s your clinic? 

If you’ve set up your Google Business Profile properly, it will make your customers’ lives much easier, and as a result, they’ll be happier.  And that’s great for business!

How To Set Up Your Google Business Profile

So, now you know why you need a Google Business Profile, let’s get stuck into how you get one set up properly.

First, Check To See If You Already Have A Google Business Profile

The first thing to do is to find out if you already have a Google Business Profile. 

You might have set one up ages ago and forgotten about it.  Or, Google might have set one up for you if your business has been around for a few years. 

How To Find Your Google Business Profile.

Step 1: Go To Google Maps and click on the hamburger on the left of the search box. 

Step 2: Click on Add Your Business


Step 3: Enter your business name to check if you already have a Google Business Profile.

If you already have a Google Business Profile, you’ll see this message. 

Just click on continue to complete your Business Profile setup.

If you don’t have a business profile, here’s what you need to do.

Setting Up Your Google Business Profile From Scratch

Here’s what you need to do to set up your Google Business Profile from scratch.

Step 1: Go to Google Maps and Add Your Business

Head over to Google Maps and click on the hamburger in the left-hand search box to open the menu.

Then, select “Add Your Business.”

If You Haven’t Got A Google Business Account, Create One

Here’s what you need to do to create a Google Business Account.

  1. Go to the Google Account Sign-In Page and click Create Google Account.  Click the “Create account” button and choose “To manage my business” from the drop-down menu.
  2. Choose an account to “Manage a Business.”
  3. Fill out your business information. 
  4. Then verify your phone number
  5. Agree to Google’s T&Cs
  6. Start Setting Up Your Google Business Profile.

How To Set Up Your Google Busines Profile

Okay, so you’ve found your Google Business Profile or created one from scratch.

Now you’re ready to set up your Google Business Profile - properly!

Step One: Choose Your Business Name and Category

The first thing you need to do is add your business name and business category.

Make sure you use your official business name and choose a business category that best describes what you do.  There might not be an exact match so go with something on the list that sounds close to what you do. 

You can change your business category later, so don’t let this stop you from getting on with the job.

Step 2: Add Your Business Location

Add your physical location details if you have your own shop, studio office or practice room where people can visit you.

But if you don’t have a specific “storefront”, choose no and skip this step.

If you do, Google will ask you for your location details, and searchers will be able to see your location on Google maps in the search results.

Step 3: Choose Your Service Are

If you added a business address in step 2, this step is optional.

But if you didn’t, this step is required. 

You’ll be asked if you offer home visits, deliveries and office visits.

Do you visit clients in their homes, or do you go to meetings in town?  Do you offer services in shared practice spaces?  Then choose the area you offer your services in, and you’re all set.

Step 4: Add Your Contact Information 

The next thing you need to do is add your phone number and your website details.

Nothing too complicated here!

Step 5: Opt-In to Updates and Recommendations

Google is now going to ask you if you want updates and recommendations from them as far as your Google Business Profile goes.

I’d recommend you opt-in to these as they can be super useful when they bring out new functionality you can use to boost your profile.

Step 6: Verify Your Google Business Profile

The next thing you need to do is verify your Google Business Profile, as you won’t show up in Google Searches until you do.

There are five ways to verify your listing, and the method you need to use depends on whether you’ve added a physical location or not.

  • By phone.  You’ll receive a Google automated call or text with your verification code.
  • By email.  You will receive an email containing your verification code.
  • By postcard.  You will receive a postcard at your registered address containing your verification code.
  • By video recording.  Record a video that shows proof of location.
  • By live video call.  Show the same proof for the video recording but on a live call with a support representative.

Once you’ve got your verification code, pop it into your account, and you’re all set.

Well, nearly!

Step 7: Add More Information

It’s totally worth adding as much information as you can about your business, as you never really know what potential customers are looking for. 

Here are some options you can take advantage of in your Google Business Profile.

  •  Specific Services You Offer
  • Operating Days and Hours
  • Business Description
  • Photos of your business

The options you have open to you depend on your business category, but one option that’s open to all is your business description, and it’s worth spending a bit of time getting it right as it’s super helpful for your customers and your SEO.

Getting Your Google Business Profile Description Right

According to Google, your business description should include:

  • Information on your products or services
  • What do you think is your Unique Selling Point
  • Your company history and mission.
  • Anything else your potential customers might find helpful.

And be careful with spelling.  Google can penalise you for having a sloppily written business description!

For more details on what you can and can’t include in your business description, read an article from Google themselves.

What’s Next?

So, I hope you’ve found these guidelines for setting your Google Business Profile properly helpful. 

Take your time to work through each of the steps I’ve set out for you, and make sure you pay special attention to the information you can add to the Add More Information section of your profile.

Next week I’m going to be talking all about how to optimise your profile and answering some Google Business Profile FAQs, including where to find your GBP reviews, whether you can have a GBP even if you don’t have a physical business address and how to stop your home address from showing up on Google if you don’t want to show the whole world where you live!

Let me know if there’s anything else you want to know about setting up and optimising your Google Business Profile, and I’ll make sure I cover it next week.

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