Google has spent a lot of time revamping their platform, which has also resulted in Google My Business Profiles carrying more weight in search results than ever before. So — how exactly do you claim your Google business profile? Fear not, loyal reader: We’ve got a no-stress guide to help you climb to the top of Google search.
Let’s get started!
STEP 1: CLAIMING YOUR PROFILE
To begin the process of setting up your Google business profile, you’ll start at the Google My Business landing page.
Click “Sign In” in the top right corner, then sign into your existing Google account.
Then, follow the setup guide: Enter your business’s name, location, and other identifying information.
While you’re entering your business’s information, make sure that you’re taking care to enter the information exactly as you want it to appear on your profile. Editing this information once you’ve claimed and verified your profile can frankly be a bit of a pain, so it’s best to use caution before moving on to the next screen in the setup process.
Then, select your business’s appropriate category from the dropdown, enter a phone number (and website, if you have one), and click finish.
You’re almost there! There’s one last step though, and it’s admittedly pretty tedious.
To complete your profile setup, you have to verify your account. This can be done a few different ways, but the most common method is to verify your business through a physical postcard sent in the mail.
Google will send a postcard with a 5-digit code on it to your business’s physical location. This can take up to two weeks, so it might take several days after you start the setup process to arrive.
STEP 2: GETTING SET UP
Now that you’ve claimed your Google business profile, you can begin the process of optimizing it by entering more information about your business.
Start with an engaging visual for your cover photo. You should upload a photo of yourself and your brokerage’s logo if you have one. Make sure your headshot or photos are high-resolution and relatively recent: After all, searchers can’t associate your name with a face if there’s no face there!
Add other important information, too: Operating hours and accessibility info should be the first things you add here, but if there are other identifying features or special things you want people to know about your business, this is the time and place to add them.
STEP 3: MAINTAINING YOUR PROFILE
Once your necessary information is entered, it’s important to remember this one thing: You can’t set-it-and-forget-it and still improve your ranking on Google. There are a few things you have to do over time to keep appearing in more and more searches.
For starters, you should ask clients, colleagues, and friends to leave five-star reviews on your Google business profile. If there’s anyone who can attest to your character, ask them to leave you a review! First-time buyers actually value reputation more than referrals, so Google reviews add serious credibility to your profile.
Also check for any new reviews left on your profile. If a new one has popped up, be sure to respond to it. The few seconds of your time it takes to respond to a Google review are worth the payoff of a positive recommendation. Replying to reviews makes you seem more approachable and attentive, which goes a long way when building your reputation.
Finally, take a look at the posting tool. This gives you the option to update potential clients about major wins in real time. You need to update your profile at least once a week. Google wants to connect people with businesses that are relevant to their searches. If your profile isn’t being updated, Google might start to think your business is inactive, and that isn’t a great experience for Google searchers. So, keep adding content every week to let Google know you’re good!