Google Business Profile: Guide For Google My Business in 2024

In this guide, we will show you how to manage your Google My Business profile and get more reviews.

Google My Business Page

Every business owner needs a Google Business profile to reach its target audience. Google reviews are usually the main reason for this, but establishing a strong local SEO is one of the benefits of having a Google listing.

To find out how to create an account and use Google services to grow, check the step-by-step guide below:

Need more Google reviews?

What is Google My Business? (Now known as Google Business Profile)?

Google Business Profile is basically a listing of information that any big or small business can provide for Google to use in Maps or search results.

GMB was previously known as Google Places, then Google My Business, and now all these accounts are automatically upgraded to Google Business Profile accounts.

“Google Business Profile formerly know as Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.”

Google My Business definition.
Google local search

Main Google Business profile features

Here are the main features provided by Google Business Profile:

  • Business information display: Showcases your business’s name, address, and hours.
  • Customer Reviews: Allows customers to leave reviews and businesses to respond.
  • Business messaging: Enables direct messaging between customers and businesses.
  • Insights: Provides analytics on customer interactions and profile views.
  • Posts: Share updates, offers, and events directly on your profile.
  • Photos and videos: Upload images and videos related to your business.
  • Services and products: List and describe what your business offers.
  • Q&A Section: Allows public questions and answers on your business profile.
  • Appointment booking: Integrates with booking services for appointments or reservations.
  • Google Maps integration: Your business appears on Google Maps for local searches.

FYI: You can automatically embed Google reviews widget on your website and show authentic user-generated reviews, increasing trust for more sales. Try it now.

Image

Embed Google Reviews in seconds.

Automatically generate and embed Google reviews and use AI reviews management tools to help you unlock your website’s sales potential.

Start 7-day free trial

Is Google Business Profile Free?

Yes, creating and managing a Google Business Profile (GBP) is absolutely free. This unique offering from Google allows businesses to boost their online presence and reach prospects effectively without any added cost.

By setting up a GBP, businesses can manage their information across Google’s services, engage with customers, and share key updates about their products or services. It’s a powerful tool that can help businesses save on marketing costs while promoting their brand effectively.

What is GBP Eligibility?

GBP Eligibility” refers to the criteria that determine whether a business can create and maintain a Google Business Profile (GBP). To be eligible:

  1. In-Person interactions: The business must have in-person interactions with customers, either at a business location or through direct customer visits.
  2. Physical location: A physical location is preferable but not mandatory. Service-area businesses without a public storefront can still qualify.
  3. Business authenticity: The business must be legitimate and verifiable.
  4. Ineligible businesses: Purely online businesses, rental properties, and certain other categories are not eligible for GBP.

These criteria ensure that Google Business Profiles accurately represent genuine local businesses, enhancing the reliability of information on Google Maps and Search.

How to set up your Google Business Profile?

Setting up a Google My Business account is FREE. The GMB listing is not a substitute for your website, so yes, you should continue maintaining and promoting your website.

To get started, first, go ahead and do a search and try to find your business in the Google local search results by using Google Maps or simply by typing your business name in the Google search desktop version and check if there is detailed information about your company on the right side as a snippet.

If you already have a Google Business listing in some categories but are not claimed or verified, follow the steps below in this text.

Steps to create a new Google Business Profile

If you still do not own one, you can create your Google Business Profile listing for free right now. See the interactive demo or check the screenshots below:

The account creation process is simple and aimed at any business, not just a local one.

Make sure you type the correct business address in the form or use the pin marker to find it on the Google Maps provided in the onboarding process.

Step 1: Go to https://www.google.com/business, click Sign in or Manage now to log in with your Gmail, or create a new Google email account if you still don’t have one.

Log in to Google business profile

Step 2: Once you log in, you can start the process to fill in the critical information for your profile. First, type in your company name and choose the business category – for example, clothing store:

Provide business name to create Google business profile

Note: in case your business is already on Google, select it and you will get this type of information asking you to log in with the associated account.

[Company name] is currently managed by ec…@gmail.com.

If this email belongs to you, switch accounts, or use Account Recovery help guide if you no longer have access to that email address.

You can also continue to request access from the current manager of this business on Google.

Step 4: Next, choose if you have a physical location and type your address:

Provide physical location for Google business profile

Note that you can also create a Google business profile without a physical address.

Step 5: Next, you have a few steps to go through to define working hours, upload photos from your products or store, write a more detailed description for your business, etc. Most of the steps you can skip and define later.

Upload photos to Google Business profile

Step 6: Once you finish, you will be redirected to a page where you will get a confirmation that your information will be processed to verify your new account.

Continue with Google business profile creation

When you click Continue, you will be redirected to Google Search, where you can see all the shortcuts to continue editing your profile.

Step 8: After a few minutes, just refresth in Search, and you will see the message that your business is now listed. Click ‘Manage now‘ to update your information, create a post, or send the review link to your customers.

Confirmation for Google business profile

Step 9: To always access your Business Profile Manager, or in case you want to add more Google profiles, just navigate. to Google.com and click the menu icon in the top-right corner. Then click on the Business Profile Manager icon.

Google Business Profile Manager

Here is an example of our Google Business Profile page with all the options to edit or manage the profile.

Google business profile page example

Please note that in case Google can’t verify your location and there are some inconsistencies in your overall business information, you will be required to verify your business in a few ways; check the section below.

How to verify your Google Business Profile?

Now that you have your business page, you have to verify it. Google will offer you three options for verification:

Option 1: Verification by mail

To do this, follow the steps below:

  • Sign in to your Google Business Profile account.
  • Click “Verify” and choose mail as a verification method.
  • Enter the name of the person on the verification postcard that should be mailed.
  • Specify the correct physical address to which the card should be mailed to.
  • Click “Send a postcard.”
  • After a few weeks, you will receive a postcard with a verification number.
  • Click ‘Verify Now’ in the top red bar and follow the instructions where you will need to enter the verification code from your postcard.

Option 2: Verification by email

  • Sign in to your GMB page
  • Click “Verify” and choose to verify by email from the drop-down
  • Enter your email address
  • Enter the code you receive into your GMB verification page or click “Verify” within the email.

Option 3: Verification by phone

  • Sign in to your GMB page
  • Click “Verify” and click on your phone number
  • You’ll receive a phone call, and the automated system will tell you the code.
  • Enter the code into the field.
Verify Google My Business

According to their guidelines, your information may take a few weeks to appear on Google. 

Check the Google Verify My Business Guidelines for all details about the verification flow.

How to claim an existing listing?

Claiming an existing Google Business Profile is a straightforward process. Here are the steps to do so:

  1. Find your business: Go to Google Business Profile (business.google.com/add) and sign in with your business email account. Enter the name and address of your business, then select it from the search results.
  2. Request access: If the Google Business Profile has already been claimed, you’ll see a message indicating this. In this case, click on ‘Request Access’ and fill out the form.
  3. Submit the request: After filling out the form, click ‘Submit’. The current owner of the Google Business Profile listing will receive an email about your request.
  4. Wait for a response: The current owner has 3-7 days to respond to your request. If they approve it, you’ll receive an email and will be able to manage the business listing. If they deny your request or do not respond within the given timeframe, you may have the option to claim the listing directly or appeal to Google.

Remember, claiming your Google Business Listing is crucial for managing your online presence and engaging with your customers effectively.

How to Optimize your Google Business Profile?

Focus on the slightest details for better ranking and Google search visibility. Here are the tips:

1. Optimize Google Business Profile listing

As a part of your marketing strategy, optimizing your listing for search engines and searchers is always a great opportunity.

To start with this right away, it is important to add as much relevant info and media as possible in the first days you are setting up your listing.

Here are some tips on how to set up and optimize your Google Business Profile:

  1. Choose an appealing profile photo and cover photo that will stand on the list
  2. Be as detailed as possible when entering contact information, such as business category, business location, phone number, website URL, hours of operation, etc.
  3. Choose the relevant business type: storefront (restaurants, bars, hotels, etc.), service area (delivery, taxi service, transportation service, etc.), or brand (products, brands, causes, etc.)
  4. Post lots of photos, especially if you are in the food business
  5. Get reviews so you will eventually rank at the top

To edit your information, go to your Google Business Profile dashboard, select ‘Edit profile,’ and then choose a section to fill out or update.

Option to edit Google business profile

Here, you should edit and update all the required sections. The more information you add the better.

Edit Google Business Profile info

However, at any point in time, you can always edit your business listing to do further optimization or update your information.

The latest option in the Google Business Profile is the ability to add links to social media profiles. You can do this under the Contact tab as shown below:

Add social media profiles in Google business page

Now, let’s dive into how to edit and get the most out of the other sections in your Google Business Profile listing

2. Optimize Google My Business photos

Depending on your business case, Google Photos is one of the touching points for your new customers to discover your offer. If you are a restaurant or a hotel, the photos you will manage on your Google My Business account will be a strong selling point to get new guests on board.

The goal with photos is to make your Google My Business profile appeal live and make people feel that you are right there, ready to serve them.

Here are the Google My Business photos you should pay attention to:

Profile photo

Your profile photo appears when you post Google posts, updates, upload new photos, videos, or review responses. The most common example here is to upload your logo as a profile photo in an appropriate format.

Cover photo

The cover photo is one of the most important parts of the look of your Google Business Profile. It usually shows at the center of your listing when someone searches your business name in Search but often Google makes their own customization of the search results and may show other photos they assume are relevant.

Here are the required dimensions for your Google Business Profile cover photo:

  • Dimensions: 1080 x 608 pixels (minimum 480 x 270; maximum 2120 x 1192) Format: JPG or PNG.
  • Size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB.
  • Minimum Resolution: 720 px tall, 720 px wide.

You should upload other images along with your profile and header photos to make your listing more informative and appealing. Today, uploading even your company’s videos is also a great idea.

To make the most out of these photos and stand out from the competition, here is a list of a few ideas that you can do:

  • Hire a professional to capture the best moments in your local business
  • Make sure photos are authentic and updated
  • Post photos in a specific category, such as Exterior, Interior, or Team photos
  • Regularly post photos with your latest offers or menus

By sharing relevant photos, you will avoid customer reviews and comments that confirm that the dish was not like in the photos or that the room sizes are smaller than the photos you’ve shared.

Note that the users can actually post their own photos and give visual ‘evidence’ of what they’ve actually experienced.

3. Use Google Posts to increase organic traffic

Google Posts or rencelty Google Updates are a recent feature added to the Google Business Profile Suite.

This functionality allows businesses to publish short posts with links to news, events, or offers about their products and services directly in the Google search panel, which displays on the right side of the Google search results.

By making this small feature, Google actually wants to bring the social media component into the search results by allowing small businesses to push their latest news. Here are the steps to create your first Google post or update:

Step 1: Go to your Google Business Profile manager and click Add Update:

Click to add an update on Google Business Profile

Step 2: In the popup, choose what you want to post, update, event or offer:

Step 3: If you choose an update, you will need to fill in the following:

  • Upload photo: recommended resolution of 720 px tall, 720 px wide, or minimum: 250x250px.
  • Write a description that can be from up to 1500 characters.
  • Choose a call to action button that is optional: Book, Order online, Buy, Learn more, Sign up, or Get an Offer.
  • You can click Preview, and if it looks good, click Post.
Create a Google update

Here is how the Google Posts appear in search results:

That’s it.

How will people see my Google posts and updates?

After you publish your Google Posts, it will immediately appear on the right-side panel (Knowledge Panel) in the Google search results when people search for your business.

Here an example of how our Google Post looks like in the Google search homepage results:

Google post live example

Here are a few more facts you need to know about Google Posts:

  • You can publish up to 10 Google posts
  • If you have multiple posts, they will be displayed as a carousel in the Knowledge Panel
  • Get analytics: Views (times your post was seen) and Engagement (times a customer clicked your button)
  • Google Posts are removed after 7 days, except for event posts that will be removed after the event date.

Here are a few more facts you need to know about Google Posts:

  • You can publish up to 10 Google posts
  • If you have multiple posts, they will be displayed as a carousel in the Knowledge Panel
  • Get analytics: Views (times your post was seen) and Engagement (times a customer clicked your button)
  • Google Posts are removed after 7 days, except for event posts that will be removed after the event date.

4. Get more Google business reviews

I mentioned Google reviews a few times. And here is why.

Reviews are one of the biggest indicators for Google to rank your location in their local listings.

With positive and negative reviews posted by your customers, you can easily differentiate from your competitors in the Google local search, and potential customers can get a real insight into the quality of your offerings.

So basically, when people search for keywords in your industry, especially when searching Google Maps, Google most definitely considers the rank based on your average rating and the number of reviews.

Like other review sites, one of the best practices to get Google reviews is to let your customers know they can do this. And just ask!

This is proven by the 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal:

“68% of consumers left a review after a local business asked them to”

Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal

Sharing a simple link to your Google reviews form can initially get you the first reviews on Google. To get the Google reviews link

  1. Type your company name in Google’s search bar and follow these steps:
  2. In the Profile section, click on Get reviews
  3. Please copy the link from the popup and share it with your customers. 

Here is an example of this link: 

https://g.page/r/CfO4tqbmA5_lEBM/review

google reviews link

Follow this detailed tutorial on how to create a Google My Business reviews link.

To start collecting Google reviews, you can do these simple actions:

  • Send emails with the review submission form to your customers.
  • Share this link with other social media profiles.
  • Create a “Leave a review” button on your website.
  • Print a QR code with the link in your menus or fliers.
  • Create a campaign to incentivize customers to leave reviews.

5. Respond to Google reviews

As your Google Business Profile starts collecting new reviews, you will need to consider a strategy for handling these customer reviews or answering questions posted in the Q&A section.

So basically, your online reputation and rank will strongly depend on how you as a company will handle and respond to the Google reviews posted by your customers.

Step 1: To view the new reviews, just click on the Reviews option in your Google Business Profile.

Please note: Ensure the email you used to create My Business Account is always on. Or assign a person to your team and add him as a manager. By doing this, you will make sure that you will never miss a review in your Google Business Profile manager. Every time somebody posts a review about your business, Google will send you an email notification.

Step 2: A popup will open with all the reviews. Here, just click ‘Reply‘ next to the review you want to respond to, as shown below:

How to reply to Google Review

You can also access all reviews on this link: business.google.com/reviews, where you will also see the option to reply to each review.

Furthermore, you can respond to reviews by downloading the official Google My Business app on your mobile devices, where you will get direct notifications for all new reviews people post on your profile.

Pay special attention to the negative reviews. Unsatisfied customers can literally break or make your business.You will need to have your customer team or a person dedicated to understanding, analyzing, and responding with details to every single negative review.

Read more:

How to handle negative reviews with greater success.

How to delete negative Google review?

If the negative review is not according to the Google content rules and is simply fake, you can flag it as inappropriate, and Google will delete and remove it. There is no option at the moment, to delete a review by yourself, you can only report it.

Here is how to flag or report a Google review:

  1. Log in to your Google Business Profile account.
  2. Navigate to Reviews.
  3. Find the review and click the three dots in the top right corner.
  4. Click ‘Flag as inappropriate.’
Report or delete Google review

For more details read the full guide to flag inappropriate Google reviews.

Why are my Google reviews not showing?

Sometimes, there can be problems with Google showing your customer reviews. And you’ll ask yourself, “Why can’t I see my Google reviews”?

But don’t worry; many local businesses experience some of the issues. 

Here is a list of the most common “Google reviews not showing” reasons:

  • Google disabled reviews temporarily – Sometimes Google decides to disable the reviews due to some reason. That was the case last year when the COVID-19 crisis started. If you still have this issue and your reviews are still not showing, contact the GMB after the COVID-19 guidance page.
  • Outdated listing information
  • Inactive listing
  • Brand new listing
  • Duplicate listings
  • Changed location – Google should move your existing reviews to the new location. But sometimes, it may not do that automatically. You can report it as a problem to Google and re-verify your listing.

Google Business Profile Benefits

Without it, your location will not appear in the Google Maps listings, especially for the main local queries when people search on Google from their mobile phones. The algorithm will not find you in the “local pack,” and you’ll lose potential customers. So, here’s why you should start to manage now:

Google Business Profile helps you gain many benefits that can significantly boost your business’s online presence. Here are some practical explanations of each benefit:

Increased visibility in Google Maps

GMB profiles appear across Google’s ecosystem, including Google Maps, Search, and even Google Shopping. This increased visibility can help your business get discovered by potential customers. For example, suppose you own a restaurant called “Per Se” in New York.

After setting up a Google Business Profile, when someone searches “restaurants near me” or “Per Se New York” on Google, your restaurant appears in the search results and on Google Maps.

This increased visibility makes it easier for potential customers to find your restaurant, enhancing your online presence and potentially increasing foot traffic.

increased visibility in Google search of a Google business profile

Improved local SEO in Google Search

GMB integrates with Google Maps, making your business easier to find for local customers. This can significantly improve your local SEO, making your business more visible to people searching for your products or services in your area.

Regarding local SEO, Google Business Profile is a remarkable free tool for digital marketing.

Google is very different from social media networks and enables unique metrics and insights for marketers.

Search is intent-driven, which means the user has the will and interest to do an action. And in some cases, such as the local search, they want to do that action NOW.

That is why the intent-driven concept allows a business that can match the consumer discovery right at that moment to win big in increasing conversions.

Suppose you already have accounts and manage Yelp, Linkedin, Facebook Business Page, Instagram profiles, or any other review sites. In that case, you must do the same and manage your Google Business Profile.

Building trust with customers

GMB allows you to showcase customer reviews, which can help build trust with potential customers. Positive reviews can significantly enhance your business’s reputation and attract more customers.

Increased traffic

A well-managed GMB profile can increase traffic to your website. By providing accurate and up-to-date information about your business, you can attract more potential customers and drive more traffic to your site.

Customer insights

GMB provides valuable insights about your customers, such as how they found your business and their actions on your listing. These insights can help you understand your customers better and optimize your marketing strategy accordingly.

Free advertising

Essentially, GMB is a form of free advertising. Creating and optimizing your GMB profile allows you to promote your business on Google without any additional cost.

Leveraging these benefits can help your business grow and succeed in the online marketplace.

To sum up, if you invest enough resources to handle online reviews, manage photos, and post updates regularly, your Google Business Profile can turn into a new acquisition channel for your business. And this will have an effect on both Google Search and Maps, too.

Manage your GMB with EmbedSocial

Once you have your Google Business Profile up and running, you should focus on continuously updating the information by posting photos or just posting news with links to your website.

By doing this, you are increasing the possibility of being easily discovered in the local search, which will lead to increased conversions due to the intent-driven nature of the search.

Display Google photos on website

You can use EmbedSocial to display the Google photos posted by your customers on your website and provide social proof about your service.

Embed Google posts on website

And finally, you can generate and embed Google posts on your website automatically. All this in one Google listing management platform.

Publish Google posts on multiple Google business profiles

Coming soon: EmbedSocial is testing the ability for businesses with multiple listings to publish posts on multiple Google Business Profiles. Saving tons of time for agencies to manage their clients’ profiles.

Respond to reviews on multiple Google business profiles

View all reviews from multiple profiles on one page, and click on the Reply option to respond to reviews for all locations on one single page. You won’t need to log in to each profile on Google just to respond to the received reviews. With EmbedSocial, you can use an AI reviews responder to quickly compose replies and save time when responding to the reviews.

Embed Google reviews on website

Similarly, you can generate and embed Google reviews from multiple listings on any web page and literally use the user-generated content on your Google Business Profile to make your website more trustworthy.

FYI: You can automatically embed Google reviews widget on your website and show authentic user-generated reviews, increasing trust for more sales. Try it now.

Image

Embed Google Reviews in seconds.

Automatically generate and embed Google reviews and use AI reviews management tools to help you unlock your website’s sales potential.

Start 7-day free trial

Frequently Asked Questions about Google Business Profile

How do I see Google business reviews?

The best way to see your company’s reviews is to log in to your profile and click on the left-hand Reviews menu. You will see all the published reviews on your Google profile on the Reviews page.  see all google my business reviews

Is Google Business Profile free?

Yes. You can create and manage Google Business profiles completely free.

How to remove bad reviews from my Google Business Profile?

You actually can’t delete a bad review by yourself. But you can use the ‘Flag’ option to report a review that violates Google’s community standards.

How do you download my company’s Google reviews?

There is no free option in Google My Business Profile to download your reviews. But if you use a service like EmbedReviews to generate all your Google reviews, then there is an export to CSV option that you can use to download all the generated reviews.

Do Google reviews help with the ranking?

Yes. One of the factors to rank a local result is the proximity of the business and the number of reviews, which means that businesses that have more Google reviews rank higher than other similar businesses in the area.

What kind of business information can you add to your Google business listing?

You can add a wealth of information to your Google business listing to make it more comprehensive and helpful for potential customers.

This includes your business name, location, contact details (phone number and email), business hours, and website link.

You can also add photos to give people a visual idea of your business, products, or services. Additionally, you can share updates and posts, respond to customer reviews, and even add special attributes like if your business is women-led or offers outdoor seating. Remember, the more complete and up-to-date your information, the better it is for your online presence.

What is a Google Knowledge Panel?

A Google Knowledge Panel is an information box that appears when you search for entities (people, places, organizations, things) that are in the Knowledge Graph. It provides a quick snapshot of information on the search topic, which could include aspects like a brief business description, photos, and key facts.

For businesses, the Knowledge Panel can display helpful information such as the name, location, operating hours, and customer reviews. It’s a valuable asset for improving your business’s visibility on Google.

Do you need to have a physical address to use GBP?

A physical address is not strictly necessary. Businesses that travel to their customers, like plumbers, can also manage a profile.


Co-Founder of EmbedSocial and Head of Growth. A previous owner of a Facebook Partner Company and a digital marketing agency. Marketing API geek and a Call of Duty fan.