A Google Business Profile is a powerful way to help your business on search — and it’s easier to manage than you think.

You know that moment when you’re searching for something on Google and you see a business profile card pop up? That’s a Google Business Profile page in action. A built-in feature on the search engine, these free profiles offer businesses the chance to develop a strong first impression online. And, since more than 83% of the global population uses Google as its primary search engine, according to Statista, chances are high that a Google Business Profile will get more than a few eyeballs on it.

So how can you set up your Google Business Profile?

1 | Google Your Business

The first step may seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll want to search for the name of your business to see what comes up. If there is no profile card, or the profile card is rudimentary, it’s likely that no Google Business Profile exists. If, on the other hand, a profile card does exist but has outdated information, it’s possible that this was set up in the past and has not been revisited recently.

2 | Claim or Manage Your Profile

The next step in the process will be to claim or manage your profile page. If you’re starting from scratch, you can claim your business for the first time. You’ll need to enter contact/verification information, as well as basic information about your business. (Don’t worry, you can update everything later.) If you try to claim your page but see that someone else already oversees it, you’ll need to get in touch with that person to verify your claim.

3 | Build Out Your Google Business Profile

Once you have access to your Google Business Profile, there are several ways to personalize it. First, you’ll want to add all the essential information, including phone number, website, operating hours and address. From there, you can showcase the personality of your business by uploading photos, a logo and a cover image for your profile page. You can also add social links to your various platforms. Finally, don’t forget to add any additional attributes that might appeal to potential customers, such as Black-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned and/or LGBTQ+ friendly.

4 | Use Your Profile

Now that your profile is ready to go, the next step is to use it as a tool for your business. There are a few ways to go about this. First, you can add posts to your profile to notify customers of special events, offers and updates. You can also use it to respond to reviews that people may leave on your business to generate conversation with your community. In a similar vein, you can message with customers directly if you turn this feature on as part of your profile. You can also use it as an FAQ forum to address any frequently asked questions, so people have all the information they need at their fingertips.

5 | Adapt Your Profile for Your Business

Along with the features every business should use, Google Business Profiles also offer several industry-specific tools. Restaurants can add “order” buttons for pickup or delivery, along with options to reserve a table or view a menu. Storefronts can list in-store products for free, thereby tapping into Google’s shopping integrations and allowing customers to view products more easily. Service providers can benefit too, thanks to built-in options to do things like “add a quote,” thereby making it easier for customers to reach out in the first place.

6 | Monitor and Update

When all is said and done, perhaps the biggest tip is to check up on your Google Business Profile regularly. Treat it as you would any other social platform and use it as a tool to post relevant updates, change business hours and provide consumers with the most up-to-date information. Make sure to check links, photos and listing info periodically to ensure that everything on your profile accurately reflects your business.

Want to learn more about Google Business Profiles and set one up for your business? Reach out to TMCC’s experts at newbusiness@todaymediacustom.com.