Google Business Profile

Guide to Google My Business in 2023 (Google Business Profile)

Google Business Profile - also known as Google My Business - is an indispensable tool for small and medium-sized businesses that want customers online. Find out in this guide to Google My Business in 2023. I'll give you all the tools you need to create and optimise a business profile that performs and gets seen on Google.

Want a basic introduction to Google My Business? Then you might want to read our previous blog post "Google My Business - how to set up your online business card".

Louise Dissing
- SEO-specialist
Last updated: 6. dec. 2022

How to create your Google Business Profile

First of all, it's important to check if your company already has a business profile on Google. The easiest way to do this is to search for your business name in the search results.

The next steps depend on whether your company already has a company profile or not. If you already have a business profile on Google, any new one will be entered as a "duplicate". You really want to avoid that - otherwise you can look forward to a very long conversation with Google support. Trust me, you'd rather be forced to watch an entire season of Paradise Hotel in one sitting than go through that.

You don't already have a Google My Business

If no profile appears when you search for your company name, you can immediately start creating a new one.

Example
Search for "Webamp" on Google. Here you will immediately see a company profile on the right side of the screen if you are using a computer. If you search on your phone, the profile will appear first on the page.

You have a Google My Business

If your business profile is already on Google, try to access it instead of creating a new one. To do this, tap "Do you own this business?" You will then be redirected to a new page where you will be given a bit of information that may indicate who the current owner of your business profile is.

You must now press request access. If it is your own email address, you will immediately receive an email that you can use to gain access. If you do not know the email address, you will be able to claim the company after 3-7 days, during which you will need to reconfirm via. postcard, telephone or e-mail address. I'll get into the confirmation methods in a bit.

Verify your business profile on Google

Your new company profile isn't worth much if you don't get it verified. In fact, it won't show up in Google's search results at all.

There are several ways to verify your Google Business Profile - but you may not be in control of which method to use. In fact, it's a rare sight that you're given multiple choices.

There are the following ways to confirm a GMB

  • Postcards

    In some cases, you will need to confirm your ownership of the company profile via a postcard sent to the address you have provided. The postcard will arrive within 14 days. Confirmation by postcard is a good method, although you may have to wait a while for the postcard to arrive at your address. This is often the method to use when setting up a new business profile - although it seems somewhat slow and analogous, given that we are dealing with online marketing.

  • E-mail

    In other cases, you can confirm the profile via an email sent to the email address you have provided. This is definitely the easiest method and works perfectly most of the time. However, it's not often that you're lucky enough to get this option - but if you do, choose this confirmation method.

  • Phone calls

    You may also find that you can verify your company profile through a phone call. However, past experience shows that this is not the best method, as it is often difficult to hear the first few numbers that are listed. You can certainly try, and possibly choose another option afterwards if it fails.

  • SMS

    SMS verification is the last option to be able to verify your company profile. It is a good solution if the phone number you have provided can receive SMS messages.

Problems confirming Google My Business

Having created and verified a number of company profiles over the years, I've gathered some good advice for you to take with you.

Entering a phone number not to be displayed

More people choose to add a personal phone number that can receive SMS messages if the number that should be on the company profile cannot. This can be quite appealing as it's a quick confirmation method - but for goodness sake, don't. Remember what I wrote about Paradise Hotel earlier?

Once you have confirmed via that phone number, you can't just change it afterwards. Your GMB is as linked to that number as Patrick Swayze is to 'Baby' in Dirty Dancing.

If this happens, after a lengthy email correspondence with the Google support line, you will be asked to reconfirm via postcard - and the number will remain visible until you receive the postcard. In other words, you risk being called on your home number until the error is corrected.

Submitting change many times

Google cares about security and they don't like it when you don't follow their guidelines. If you submit the same changes over and over again, hoping that Google will accept the change, you're sadly mistaken.

In most cases, this will only result in your company profile being suspended. You will then need to contact Google support again and prove that your business profile complies with all guidelines.

Fill in the correct company name

All companies are looking to appear in the wonderful "local 3-pack", and if you work with SEO, you know that those with the most relevance will appear first. Several therefore try to create a business profile with the name of the service they want to rank on.

For example, you have a carpentry business, so you choose to create a GMB and call it "roofing", "extensions" or "total contracting".

It's not a good idea - Google is constantly updating their algorithms and they're getting smarter. If you get caught "cheating" like this, you risk being blacklisted.

Fortunately, if you take some of my advice, you can easily get to the top in an honest way.

How do I fill out my Google My Business?

To make sure your Google My Business is up to date, there are a few things you need to be aware of. In addition, you must actually be inside the profile regularly if it is to perform.

You must review the following areas:

    • Company category
    • Description
    • Website
    • Service areas
    • Opening hours
    • Extended opening hours
    • Labels
    • Services
    • Products
    • Pictures
    • Storage.

    If you already focus on SEO on your website, it can add value if you're really sharp when filling in the points above. Most of the points we've elaborated on in our previous blog post about GMB, and those not mentioned we'll get to later in the guide.

    Purpose of a Google My Business

    Why have a company profile? There are several reasons, and you'll find some of them right here.

    To appear in Google's "local 3-pack"

    The ultimate purpose of a Google My Business is to appear in the famous "local 3-pack". Google selects and displays the 3 most relevant business profiles when you make a search.

    Does your company profile appear on one or more keyword combinations? Then potential customers have a great chance of discovering your business.

    Webamp is displayed in Google's "local 3-pack", for example, when you search for "seo".

    Visibility, visibility and more visibility

    If you want to be visible in your local area, it's essential that you have a Google My Business. Business profiles are one of the first things that pop up when you do a search, and of course your business needs to be listed there.

    A 2019 study found that 81% of respondents needed to trust a brand to make a purchase - and that happens through visibility and brand awareness.

    It provides good customer experiences

    Is there anything more important than a good customer experience? Good results are important, of course, but you'll be putting yourself at risk if you don't put the same emphasis on customer satisfaction.

    If you have a business profile on Google, your customers can quickly find all relevant information about your company. If you've spent countless hours trying to find a company's opening hours or address, you know how frustrating it can be.

    Google Business Profile: Gain more visibility through listings

    If you want to get the most out of your Google Business Profile, it's important that you remember to give it love. It's not enough to simply update your opening hours every now and then. As mentioned earlier, Google rewards active business profiles - and one of the best ways to keep a GMB active and relevant is through posts.

    Google has announced that the listings will enable customers to make better purchasing decisions by having access to more business information and updates.

    In addition, the benefits of creating listings include the ability to:

    • Communicate directly with your local customers.
    • Give customers a better experience with timely information.
    • Promote sales, special offers, events, news and other offers.
    • Engage your customers with videos and images.

    Read more about Google's post on local business listings.

    The different listings on Google My Business

    What types of listings can you create on your Google My Business? Well, you have 3 different options. Your listings will both appear at the bottom of your business profile.

    You have the option to create the following listings:

    • General updates and news
    • Offers (offers)
    • Events (add event)

    The main difference between the general status updates for offers and events is that you need to enter the date on which the offer/event starts and ends. The good thing about this feature is that the listings are automatically removed from your profile once the listing has expired. The general updates will not be removed.

    Add photos and videos to your posts

    Most people are captivated by images and videos, and that's also the case when we talk about Google My Business listings. Posts with photos and videos of great products or friendly people simply get more views and clicks.

    You can read much more about Google's guidelines on image and video uploading here.

    Google recommends the following when creating a listing:

    • "A compelling image that supports your message".
    • "A text that speaks to customers: this is your chance to speak directly to your customers".
    • "A call-to-action button that asks users to take an action immediately".
    Create a listing on your Google My Business
    Guide to Google My Business 2023

    8 tips for a good Google Business Profile

    Having trouble filling in your company profile? Here are 8 tips for a great Google My Business profile that creates value for you and your current and future customers.

    1. Make sure that everything that can be filled in is filled in. This includes everything from web address and opening hours to products and services.
    2. Remember to update your opening hours in case of closing days, otherwise you can quickly get dissatisfied customers and bad reviews.
    3. Create products for the most important of your services/products, and link to that landing page on your website!
    4. Use different categories when creating your products, if there are more, they will be displayed on your GMB.
    5. Grab potential customers' attention with posts, be it any offers, events or status updates - and remember to add photos or videos to the posts to make them perform better.
    6. Use good images with friendly people or relevant products. Also make sure to add new images often, not just at creation.
    7. Reply to your reviews - good or bad.
    8. If you want to display social icons on your business profile that link to your social media, you can't just add them. Place the linked icons in the footer of your website and they are likely to appear on your GMB.

    Data collection: gain insight into views and search trends

    Each month, Google sends you an efficiency report that shows you the number of phone calls, website clicks from the business profile, messages, profile views, searches and the number of people who asked for directions.

    You will also see your top 3 search terms - when and by which searches your company profile is typically viewed.

    The efficiency report compares the last month with the month before.

    Keep up to date

    If you want to keep up to date on how your company profile is performing during the month, you can also access all the information through "Performance".

    Here you will be able to retrieve data from several months and see how many people viewed your business profile through Google Search and Google Maps - and not least whether they used a phone or computer. You can also see all the search terms that have been used to view your business profile.

    If you start creating listings, you'll also get a separate "status email" for each listing, so you can see how they're doing.

    The synergy between Google my Business and SEO

    Can a Google My Business strengthen my SEO? Isn't it more important to focus on the on-page SEO rather than the off-page? Surely it only affects local search results?

    These are just a few of the questions you'll get when you start the conversation about the synergies between Google My Business and SEO. You can read more about the others below.

    SEO and Google My Business - why?

    1. It drives more traffic to
      If there's one thing we SEO geeks love, it's traffic to the site. This includes everything from traffic through organic and paid search results to traffic through social media and external websites.

      Visitors to your website boost your website's relevance in Google's eyes - which is a ranking factor when we're talking SEO. So if you can drive even more traffic to your website by boosting your Google My Business, what's holding you back?

    2. Google gets a better understanding of your service areas
      If you work with SEO, you hopefully already know how important content is for your optimisation. There is a good reason why you implement a blog universe, various guides and have adequate texts on your website.

      Google will always show users the most relevant content based on their search, through information and listings on your Google My Business you clarify which areas your business specialises in. The more relevant content about your business, the better.

    3. Google loves it when we use their tools
      There's no doubt that Google loves it when we use their tools and applications - and Google My Business is no exception. Have you wondered why you can only add email addresses registered to a Google account in Google Analytics? That's right - they want you to use their tools. As Jakob Kjellberg would say: "Get started!"

    4. Google prioritises local searches
      If you work with SEO, you'll be following Google's many algorithm updates. Google's "Local Search Update" in 2021 sent a clear signal that Google is prioritizing and weighting local search results.

      If you have a dental clinic, carpentry business or restaurant, you will most likely want to be visible in certain local areas. You'll be missing out if GMB isn't part of your local SEO strategy.

    5. It creates brand awareness - show up to 3 places
      Imagine a customer seeing your business name in both organic search results, in a paid ad and even in Google's "local 3-pack". What are the chances you'll click through to that business? In my experience, it's as likely as Brazil qualifying for the World Cup.

    6. Strengthening your company's credibility
      How important is your website's credibility? If you ask a SEO specialist, they'll say "very important". It divides waters whether online reviews affect one's rankings on Google, after Google shared their Search Quility Rater guidelines.

      Reviews you can get and make visible through your Google My Business. There's little doubt that positive reviews attract more customers to your website, which can contribute to a higher conversion rate. Wouldn't you be more likely to make a purchase or contact a business if good reviews were the first thing that jumped out at you.

    7. Products can drive traffic to key pages
      It is quite possible that Google has not announced that a Google My Business affects rankings in organic search results. However, we do know that relevant internal and external links strengthen SEO.

      In Google My Business, you can create products where you can describe and link directly to the landing page about the specific product or service. I will leave it up to you to judge whether this can contribute to a positive development in the rankings.

    FAQ - Google My Business

    What is Google My Business?

    A Google My Business is your company's online business card. If set up correctly, it contains all the information about your business that is relevant to users. This includes opening hours, contact information, services and/or products, customer reviews and a direct link to your website.

    Is Google My Business free?

    Yes, it's free to set up a Google My Business. You can create your new business profile here.

    To make sure your new Google Business Profile is set up correctly, get help from a SEO specialist today.

    Where will my Google My Business appear?

    Your online business profile will appear in more places on Google.

    Your profile will be visible:

    • in a "regular" Google search
    • in a Google Maps search
    • on GPS when users use Google Maps.
    Why have a Google My Business?

    While there are many reasons to have a Google My Business, the biggest ones are to make your business visible, to create brand awareness in local search results. Every business should have an online business profile.

    Most people use their phone to search, and the 3 most relevant company profiles will be displayed - taking up most of the screen. If you already have a focus on SEO, a good GMB can also have a positive impact on your rankings. In the SEO world, Google My Business belongs under off-page SEO.

    How do I sign in to my Google My Business?

    If you need to sign in to your Google My Business, simply sign in via this page: https://www.google.com/business/. You will need to sign in with the google account that manages the business profile.

    After a major update in 2022, in most cases it will only be possible to update your business profile directly on Google. You will be automatically redirected when you log in via the link provided.

    What is local 3-pack?

    If you do a search on Google, the 3 most relevant company profiles are displayed in the so-called "local 3-pack".

    Webamp is displayed, for example, when you search for SEO-bureau.

    Get help with Google Business Profile

    I hope my guide helped you understand how Google My Business can add value to your business.

    Does it all seem a bit extensive? Don't worry, at Webamp I or one of my talented colleagues are ready to help you. You are more than welcome to contact us by phone at 70 60 50 28, send an email to info@webamp.dk or fill in our contact form.

    Learn more about SEO, and increase your online presence

    Whether you're a generalist or a marketing specialist, our SEO specialists have put together some great advice for you on our blog.

    Learn more about SEO in Webamp Academy.

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