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How to Verify Google Business Profile

This article outlines key information about utilizing Google Business Profile to enhance local businesses' visibility and manageability on Google platforms such as Maps and Search. It emphasizes the importance of the Google Business Profile for businesses that serve customers at a specific location or within a designated service area, offering them a way to connect with potential and current customers by sharing vital business details.

It also details how to claim your Google Business Profile, including setting up the listing, verifying the business, and managing the profile. It highlights the benefits of managing your Google Business Profile, such as insights, reviews, and posts. Additionally, it provides specific advice on creating effective posts by including images and selecting appropriate post types like "What's New," Events, Offers, and Alerts.

If you own a brick-and-mortar store, or a business operating within a specific service area, verifying your business on Google Business Profile is crucial. This step is key to making sure that potential customers can easily find essential information about your business, such as its physical location, contact details, operating hours, and more. The process of getting your business listed on Google Business Profile is not only free but also straightforward.

You'll need to input your business information into the platform to start. This initial step is quick and should only take a few minutes of your time. However, do note that Google may take a few days to complete the verification process for your business.



Google Business Profile No Longer Offers a Free Website

Google Business Profiles have made a major change by discontinuing the option for users to create a free website directly within the platform. This move aims to streamline Google's services and possibly encourage users to explore more comprehensive, professional website solutions that offer greater functionality and customization options beyond what was available with the free website feature.

For businesses that relied on this feature for their online presence, the transition might seem intimidating at first. However, this presents an opportunity to upgrade to a more robust online platform that can better serve their needs and support their growth.

If you're one of these businesses, you can explore Bluehost's blog on why Google is shutting down their free website feature. This will help you understand the implications of this change so you can still maintain or establish your online visibility elsewhere.

Fortunately, transferring your existing content from a Google Business Profile free website to a more permanent, feature-rich hosting solution like Bluehost is straightforward and beneficial. Bluehost offers a step-by-step guide on how to make this transition smoothly to ensure that your online presence remains strong and uninterrupted.

Additionally, if you're still contemplating alternative solutions to replace your Google Business Profile website, check out a separate article that delves into viable alternatives and the advantages they offer. This will help you decide on what web host to choose for your website.

This change by Google Business Profiles emphasizes the importance of having a dedicated, customizable website that can grow with your business. By leveraging the resources and expertise offered by platforms like Bluehost, you can ensure that your online presence is not only preserved but enhanced.

Benefits of Using Google Business Profile for Local SEO

Google Business Profile is a powerful tool offered by Google that provides numerous benefits for local search engine optimization (SEO). Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Increased Visibility in Search: Google Business Profile appears in Google Maps and local search results, making your business more visible to those searching for relevant products or services in your area. This increased visibility can lead to more foot traffic and online inquiries.
  • Improved Local Rankings: You can improve your local rankings by providing detailed and accurate business information. Google prioritizes businesses that offer the most relevant and comprehensive information to users. Regularly updating your Google Business Profile can signal to Google that your business is active. This can further improving your rankings.
  • Customer Trust and Engagement: Listings with complete information and positive reviews are more likely to gain the trust of potential customers. Google Business Profile allows customers to leave reviews, ask questions, and interact directly with your business. Responding to reviews and questions promptly can improve engagement and encourage more customers to visit your business.
  • Valuable Insights: Google Business Profile provides insights and analytics to help you understand how customers find your listing and their actions. This information can guide your local SEO and marketing strategies, helping you to target your audience more effectively.
  • Free and Easy to Use: Google Business Profile is a free tool that's relatively easy to set up and manage. It provides a cost-effective way for small to medium-sized businesses to improve their online presence and compete with larger companies.
  • Showcase Products and Services: You can use Google Business Profile to post updates, offers, events, and photos, showcasing what makes your business unique. This can attract customers looking for specific products or services and give them a sense of what to expect from your business.
  • Direct Messaging: The messaging feature lets potential customers directly contact your business through your Google Business Profile. This can increase leads and allow quick and easy communication with your customer base.
  • Booking and Appointments: For businesses that offer bookings, classes, or appointments, Google Business Profile integrates with booking software. This makes it easy for customers to see availability and book directly from your Google Business Profile.

How to Get Started with a New Google Business Profile

To get started, you will need a Gmail account to associate with your business listing.

  1. Go to: https://business.google.com/create/new
  2. Type your business name to see if profile already exists
  3. If no business listing exists, click the "Add a Business" button

Submit your Business Information to Google

Next, you’ll be asked to enter some basic information about your business—things like business name, business category, address, domain name, and contact information.

After you submit your information, Google will check it to ensure everything is accurate and meets their partner guidelines.

You'll be able to change some of this information after your business has been verified, but changing some higher-level details, like business name or address, might trigger a re-verification process with Google.

Confirm Your Location on the Map

Google might ask to verify your location on Google Maps during this process. Google will place a pin on the map and ask you to verify that it’s in the right place. If it’s off, move the pin until it’s right where you want it.

How to Verify Your Business on Google Business Profile

Once you have confirmed your location, all the information you enter is sent to Google. Then, Google will send you a verification number. Depending on your information and location, you’ll receive a few options for receiving your verification code:

  • Phone call
  • Text message (SMS)
  • Email
  • Postcard (can take 5-7 business days to receive via post)

Once you receive your code, go back to the Google Business Profile section of your Marketing Center to enter your code. Please note it sometimes takes several days for Google to finalize your business listing. After submitting your business information form, you can always come back to it through My Sites > Marketing Center > Google Business Profile if you exit the verification process. You’ll see any business verifications you may have started and the status for each location.

Common Reasons Google Might Not Accept Your Information:

  • Your Address Type Is Invalid

    The address you list will be visible to your customers who search for your business online. Because our goal is to make sure customers can find your physical address, the following address types are not accepted:

    • P.O. boxes
    • Addresses that do not belong to your business or addresses you are not affiliated with
    • Mailing facilities or mailing facilities
    • Addresses that are not identifiable or listed in United States Postal Service mailing databases

    The easiest way to make sure your business address is correct (and will be accepted by Google) is to enter it the same way it appears on Google Maps.

  • Your Phone Number Is Invalid

    The phone number you list will be the number visible to customers who search for your business. It will also be the number Google uses to verify your business if you decide to verify through SMS or a phone call. For those reasons, the following phone number types won’t work for your listing:

    • Phone numbers that are inactive
    • Phone numbers that are not associated with your business
    • Toll-free phone numbers

Tips on Optimizing Your Google Business Profile

  • Complete Your Profile Information: Fill out every section of your Google Business Profile, including your business name, address, phone number, website, business hours, and categories. The more complete your profile, the better your chances of ranking higher in local search results.
  • Choose the Right Business Category: Selecting the most accurate category for your business is vital. It helps Google understand what your business offers and match your listing to relevant searches. You can also add secondary categories to capture more search queries.
  • Add High-Quality Photos: Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps and 35% more website click-throughs than businesses without photos. Regularly update your photos to keep your listing fresh and engaging.
  • Collect and Respond to Reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile. Positive reviews can improve your business's visibility and make it more appealing to potential customers. Always respond to reviews, whether they're positive or negative, to show that you value customer feedback.
  • Use Posts to Engage with Customers: Google Business Profile allows you to post updates, offers, events, and more. These posts appear in Google Search and Maps, helping you to engage with customers and keep them informed about what's happening with your business.
  • Add Products and Services: If applicable, add your products and services to your Google Business Profile. This helps customers know what you offer and can improve your visibility in search results for those specific offerings.
  • Utilize Messaging: Turn on the messaging feature in your Google Business Profile to allow potential customers to message your business directly. This can improve engagement and help capture leads who prefer messaging over calling.
  • Monitor Your Insights: Google Business Profile provides valuable insights into how customers find and interact with your listing. Review your insights to understand what's working and where there might be room for improvement.
  • Keep Your Information Up-to-Date: Ensure your business information is always current, including your hours of operation, especially during holidays or special events. Outdated information can improve customer experience and positively impact your business's reputation.

Using Posts for Your Google Business Profile

Business owners can share valuable updates about their business on their Google Business Profile. There are a number of post types available.

Tip: To include an image in your post, you must provide a URL for the image. You should upload your image to your WordPress Media Library, which is located in your WordPress main menu. Learn more about how below.

 
“What’s New” Does your company have news to share? Share a message, image, and button link with your customers on your listing.
Events Does your company have an upcoming event? Share event details, such as date, time, and registration URL, with your customers through an Event post.
Offers Is your company running a promotion or looking to increase site traffic? Use an Offer post to provide promotion details, such as start and end dates, coupon codes, redemption links, and terms and conditions.
Alert To share your business status and special alerts related to current events, such as COVID-19, use the Alert post type.

Adding Images to Your Posts

To add an image to your post, you'll be required to enter the link or URL of the image (vs. uploading an image from your computer). There are several ways you can accomplish this, including:

  1. Right-click an image in your browser to copy and paste the link address (URL)
  2. Upload an image to your WordPress Media Library (found within your WordPress dashboard menu). Then, click the image in your library to view the URL.
  3. Upload the image to a third-party platform, then copy and paste the link.

Summary

Understanding how to verify your business on Google Business Profile is essential for traditional storefronts and service area businesses aiming to enhance online visibility. This free and straightforward process allows potential customers to easily find critical information about your business, such as location, contact details, and operating hours. By listing your business on Google Business Profile, you can enjoy several benefits for local SEO, including increased visibility in search and Google Maps, improved local rankings, and the ability to foster customer trust through reviews and engagement. Google Business Profile also offers valuable insights into customer behavior, a platform to showcase products and services, direct messaging capabilities, and integration with booking systems. In summary, leveraging Google Business Profile is a cost-effective strategy to improve your online presence, attract more customers, and stay competitive in the local market.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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