You just started a business, and you have been hearing about a Google Business Page, or Google Business Listing, or maybe it was called a Google My Business Page? You may know nothing about it, or you may know a lot about it, but do you know everything you need to know? For example, do you need one? Is it free? Does Google create one automatically? If you work from home, but don’t want your home address pasted all over the internet, can you still get one? All of these questions and more are answered in this brief, informative article from a web design expert.
- Are Google Business Page, Google My Business and Google Business Profile the same thing?
Yes, they are all the same thing. It used to be called a Google My Business page or Google Business Listing, and Google recently changed the name to Google Business Profile. They all mean the same thing.
- What is it?
A google business profile is what shows up on the right hand side of the computer screen during a Google Search for your business. Ours looks like this:
- Do you need a Google Business Profile?
According to our web design expert, you really should have a Google Business Profile if your customer base is local. If you have a website and get customers from all over the globe, it is not imperative that you have a Google Business Profile.
If you do have a local customer base, a web design expert will tell you that a Google Business Profile helps to make sure when someone is searching for your company on Google, your business will show up on the search results page. Once your Google Business Listing is listed, potential customers will know where you are located, how to visit, contact, and buy from your business, whether you have a business website and much more. Over 50% of all Google Business Listings get at least one thousand views each month, so it just makes good business sense to have an up-to-date Google Business Listing with accurate information about your business.
- Does Google automatically create a Google Business Profile for you once you launch your website, or do you have to create a Google Business Profile yourself?
Google can and does create a Google Business Profile for many businesses. If Google crawls a website that was created by a web development expert, and the website mentions your business, Google can take that information and create a Google Business Profile for that business. If you have a company website for example, that would be a great source of information for Google to glean to make a Business Profile page.
You should do a Google search for your business. If Google has already created a Business Profile for you, it will show up on the search results page with a message that asks “Is this your business and do you want to claim it?”. Click “Yes” to claim it as your business!
- Are Google Business Listings free?
Yes, it‘s free to create your Business Profile on Google. You can create your profile at no cost, then you can manage your business from Google Search and Maps.
- I work out of my home and don’t want my address on the internet. Do you need a physical address to set up your profile?
Even if you have a physical address, you may not want to share that on the internet. You may work out of your home, or you may have a virtual business, or a service business that does not require customers to come to your place of business.
During the setup process, you will be asked if there is a physical address you want your customers to visit, but that is not required for this step. If you do not give a physical address for privacy or other reasons, you will be asked to specify the areas you services. No pin will appear on the map showing your exact location, instead, a red box will appear outlining your business service area. For example, here is a service area from a Google Business Profile from a theatrical troupe that travels to each location at which they perform:
The area outlined in red is the area that they service.
Even if you don’t have a physical address, you will be required to put a phone number that customers can contact you, and a website address.
Once you get it verified, you can do a lot with your page, such as add more information to your business, including office hours, contact information, product information and more! This quote from Google says it all: “Local results favor the most relevant results for each search, and businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches.”
You can also add photos, your logo and a cover photo for your business.
We also suggest that you ask all of your customers for a Google Review as well!
- Can I have a Google Business Profile if I don’t have a website?
It’s ok if you don’t have a website. You just check the box for “I don’t have a website”. You won’t get penalized for not having a website.
- Is it true that Google has to verify your business?
Yes, you have to verify your business. As recently as the beginning of 2022, Google listed postcards as their first choice for verification, followed by phone, email and video recording. That changed in July, 2022 when Google listed video as their preferred method of verification, followed by email, phone and then postcard.
If you choose the postcard verification method, Google will literally snail mail you a postcard with a code on it. Don’t lose this code! Usually it takes about a week, but we have seen them take several weeks for the postcard to come. When it comes, you need to enter the code that is on the postcard into your Google Business Profile.
If you choose the video verification process, it’s a little more complicated. If you choose this option, you have to scan a qr code and schedule a time with a google representative to start recording the documentation of your business, including signage, etc. Check out our blog article about video verification for more details to be prepared.
9 How do I get started creating a Google Business Profile?
To start, go to https://www.google.com/business/, click on Manage Now, and follow the prompts.
10. How do I manage my Google Business Profile?
You can manage it from the Google My Business app, but we like to manage it directly from https://www.google.com/business/
Setting up a Google Business Profile is actually pretty simple, but if it’s your first time, it can be a little overwhelming. Hopefully this article helped answer some of your more pressing questions and will encourage you to create your first Google Business Profile! If you have questions or need some assistance, ask our web design expert at 212creative.com.