A Brief History of Google
Google has been the biggest search engine for decades. In 2014 Google created a business listing services platform called Google My Business (GMB). The purpose of this platform was to connect consumers searching for products and services to local area businesses. Google search gets over 1.6 Billion searches per day searching for local businesses. These searches can be made from the Google search bar or even through Google maps.
This platform also was given priority placement on the first page of Google search results, known as the “Google 3 pack”. So when people search for a “plumber near me” they would see a result similar to this but for your local area. You would see the Google ads at the top, the Google 3 pack for local businesses, and the organic traffic afterward.
In 2021 Google decided to rename Google my Business to Google Business Profile. Moving forward in this post, I will use Google Business Profile to represent this platform, even though I sometimes catch myself still saying Google my Business when discussing this topic. Old habits die hard :).
How to create a Google Business Profile?
Here are the steps to create your Google Business Profile. There are restrictions that Google has regarding which types of businesses can use this platform, so make sure you check before starting.
Step 1: Go to https://www.Google.com/business
Click on the Manage now button to get started.
Step 2: Log in with your Google account
You must log in to a Google business account to start this process. Choose the account carefully because whoever has access to this Google account will have complete control over this Google business listing, even to delete it. You can imagine how bad that would be if you have a listing with lots of great 5-star reviews from your customers and someone deletes the listing.
Step 3: Verify your Google Account
Google has created a two-step authorization method to verify Google account access. You may need to verify your Google account with the Youtube app or website. Make sure you are logged into Youtube with the same Google account you are signing in with for Google Business Profiles so you will get the authorization pop-up to approve.
Step 4: Choose your Business Name
Once your Google account has been verified, you will enter your business name. When entering your business name, you want the customer to know what your business does by looking at just the name. If the business name is “Joe’s Plumbing Services, ” the customer will know what you do.
Sometimes your business may already be listed by Google. If you already see a business listing, it is better to claim the existing listing and use it rather than create another one. You can review this Google help document to help you with that.
Step 5: Choose your Business Type
You will need to choose which type of business you have so Google search will know how to send customers to you. There are currently three choices. You can select all that apply to your business.
If you select Online Retailer, you can put your online store web address for your business listing.
Step 6: Choose your Business Category
You will need to select your primary business category. To select a category, start typing to receive a list of available categories from Google. If you need help with determining how to select a category, you can visit the Google help article HERE.
For example, we will follow our plumbing example from earlier. We start typing Plumber and
You can select up to ten categories to be listed under but use the best category for your primary, first choice so that Google can send the right customers to you. You can only add one category on setup but can add others after your Google Business Profile has been set up.
Step 7: Enter the Business Address
When you enter the business address, remember you can’t use a P.O. Box or mailbox store as the address. If you put a mailbox store with a Suite #, for instance, in the address, you risk getting the listings shut down by Google. Use a physical address to a residence or building, and remember you can only use the address once with a business. If you create a second business listing, you can’t reuse the same address.
Step 8: Enter the Business Phone Number
Enter your business phone number. Make sure that someone is available to either get a text message or receive a call on this number later during the verification process.
Step 9: Verify your Business Listing
In the past, this process could take weeks to get verified because Google would send a postcard to your business address with a code that you would have to go back into your business listing and enter to verify. Now Google uses the business phone number for verification by calling or texting so your business listing will be activated immediately.
Your Google Business Profile will be active once it has been verified.
Step 10: Enter the Business Services
This is where you can start adding all the services your business provides. Google will give you some examples, but they allow you to enter your services manually. As a plumber, your services may include “Hot Water Heaters”, “Install and Repair general plumbing”, “Drain Cleaning” etc. There is a limit of 120 unique services per business profile.
Step 11: Enter the Business Hours
Enter the hours of operation for each day of the week.
Step 12: Turn on Google Business Profile Messaging
A nice feature of the Google Business Profile is that people who view your business on a mobile device can send you a message, similar to texting, through the platform. You can then respond to this message from your Google business listing.
You have to enable this feature first before you can use it.
Step 13: Enter your Business Description.
You are allowed 750 characters to describe your business and services. Choose your words carefully and try to integrate some of the keywords that customers would use to find your business on Google.
Step 14: Add Photos and Videos of your Business
Google encourages you to upload photos and videos of your business. If you do not have any, you can use your cell phone and take pictures of the front of your business, lobby area, and workspace areas that would give customers a sense of your business services. You upload company logos or even shoot a quick video simply outlining what your business does. People do business with other people they like and trust, and this is a way to make a connection with your customers.
The following steps include creating an advertisement with Google Ads for your business and adding a website domain to your profile if you don’t already have one.
Once your Google Business Profile has been verified and completed the steps to set up your business profile, you must go to https://www.google.com/business again and click manage to access your business profile.
There are still a couple of items that you need to complete to get your business listing completed.
Go to the Edit Profile icon and make sure that every item that can be filled out has been completed. This is where you can add additional categories to your business.
If your business has an online booking calendar link or setup, go into Bookings and set it up. This will allow your customers to access this from your business profile.
Now that your listing is active on Google, you can send your customers a review request. Go to the Ask for Review icon to retrieve a link you can send to your customers that will take them directly to your business to leave a review. The more good reviews you have, the more customers you will get from Google. They will rank your business higher than others if you have more reviews. Managing your reviews can be challenging and time-consuming, so if you are looking for software that can help you get more reviews automatically, you can check out my other blog post, where I go over the software that can do it for you.
Creating Additional Business Listings
Google Business Profile platforms allow you to create multiple business listings under the same Google business account. Once your first listing is created, you need to go into your business listing and click on the three vertical dots in the top right corner of the profile.
From the menu, you will need to select “Add a new Business Profile.” This will allow you to create an additional business listing under the same Google account. This makes business listing management much more manageable with just one login.
When your business listing becomes active on your Google Business Profile, your listing will automatically be added to Google Maps.
Google Business Profile Conclusion
Creating and having an optimized Google Business Profile is a must for every business owner in today’s business world. Now that you have your Google Business Profile set up, you will start presenting your business to customers searching for your service from either the Google Search Platform or Google Maps.