Impact Group Marketing Blog


A Beginner’s Guide: How to Use Google Business Profile (Formerly Google My Business)

If you want to market your business online or improve your search engine optimization, Google Business Profile is the most effective local marketing tool – and the perfect place to start.

Formerly known as Google My Business, this free, easy-to-use tool puts your business information in front of potential customers and improves your online presence.

What is Google Business Profile?

Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a free business tool that allows you to directly manage and influence how your business appears on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping. Google Business Profile (GBP) is an invaluable tool for both large and small businesses to improve their company’s visibility in Google search.

With billions of users every day, having a profile or listing within Google’s search platforms is vital to business success – and mastering this tool will help you reach customers and build a stronger online reputation.

By updating your business profile with Google, you can provide visitors with essential information about your business and claim your business listing on Google Maps. Some of the information on your business profile include:

  • Physical Address
  • Website Address
  • Hours of Operation
  • Phone Number
  • Photos
  • Customer Reviews

Who Qualifies for a Google Business Profile?

Before you attempt to set up a GBP, make sure you qualify. Here are some of the requirements:

  • Physical Location – Since the platform is attached to Google Maps, your business must have a physical address that customers can visit.
  • Service Area – If your business serves customers in a service location, you can specify a service area instead of a physical address.
  • Ownership – The person establishing the GBP must be the owner or authorized business staff to create a Google My Business profile. You can assign a separate staff to manage the profile once it’s published.
  • Business Type – Only certain types of businesses are eligible for GBP, including restaurants, professional services, and retail shops. Some businesses, such as delivery-only and online-only businesses, are not eligible.
  • Verification – You must verify your business information by video, email, phone, or postcard to confirm that you are the owner or authorized representative.
  • Duplication – Users are prohibited from creating separate business profiles for the same business location or multiple locations for a single business. And a business with permanent signage is recommended.

Here is a complete list of Google’s eligibility requirements.

How to Get Your Business on Google Maps

Follow these steps if you need to add your business to Google for the first time.

  1. Visit the Google Business Profile login page.
  2. Log in with the Google account you want to associate with your business.
  3. Click the blue “Manage Now” button.
  4. Enter your business’s name in the search box.
  5. If your business is already on Google Maps or has a business listing, it may appear after you enter your business’s name. If it does, select your business’s name. If it doesn’t, click the “Create a Business with this Name” link.
  6. Choose how you want Google Maps to display your business.
  7. Select the business category that most closely matches your business. You may choose multiple categories if needed.
  8. Provide your business phone number and/or website address.
  9. Select “Finish”
  10. Verify your business.

How to Claim a Business Listing

There are several reasons why your business already appears on Google Maps, but the most common is that a customer or someone in your company added the listing. If your business already appears on Google Maps but hasn’t been claimed yet, follow these steps to claim your business listing officially.

  1. Visit Google Maps.
  2. Enter your business’s name in the search box.
  3. Click your business’s name when it appears on the map.
  4. Click “Claim This Business” and then “Manage Now.”
  5. Choose the preferred verification options and follow the on-screen prompts.

How to Verify a Google Business Profile

The final step is to verify your business listing by phone, email, or mail.

Verify by Phone

If your business can verify by phone, you’ll see that option when you start the verification process.

  1. Log in to Google Business Profile
  2. Make sure the phone number listed is correct.
  3. Select “Verify by Phone”
  4. Wait for a call or text with a verification code.
  5. Enter that code and click “Submit.”

Verify by Email

  1. Log in to Google Business Profile.
  2. Make sure the email address listed is correct.
  3. Select “Verify by Email”
  4. Wait for an email with a verification button, then click that button.

Verify by Mail

Most businesses can verify by mail, but this will take a few days.

  1. Log in to Google Business Profile.
  2. Make sure the mailing address listed is correct.
  3. Select “Verify by Mail”
  4. Wait to receive a postcard that includes a verification code.
  5. Enter it in the code field screen and click “Submit.”

How to Edit Your Google Business Profile

As a business owner or company manager, keeping your business’s information current is essential. Follow these simple steps to edit and update your listing.

  1. Log in to your Google Business Profile page.
  2. Choose the page you need to update.
  3. On the menu, click “Info,” then make the necessary changes or updates.
  4. Click “Done Editing” to save changes.

How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile

Once you’ve successfully activated your account, you need to optimize it. An optimized business listing will increase your chances of appearing on the first page of search engine results and being included in the Google Map Pack.

Here are some of the most popular ways to optimize your profile.

  • Fill Out Your Profile Completely – When you access your “Info” page, include all essential information.
  • Add Photos – Add a cover photo, logo, and photos showing your products or services.
  • Include Specific Descriptions – Does your business offer free Wi-Fi or outdoor seating? Is it pet-friendly? Include specific descriptions that give you an advantage over your competitors.
  • Post Blurbs and News – You can add short posts that announce promotions, special events, or other important news about your business.

Bottom Line

Once your Google Business Profile is up and running, continuously update the information by posting photos and news with links to your website. Doing so will improve your chances of being easily discovered in local searches – and increase conversions.

In our digital world, having an active Google Business Profile is essential. If you’d like assistance setting up and managing your Google Business Profile, contact the digital marketing experts at Impact Group Marketing – we’d love to help!

Read More: 5 Things You Should Do to Market Your Small Business