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How To Set Up Google My Business Profile

Get found by more customers in UK ! Easy steps to create a free Google My Business Profile to show your business on Google Maps & Search.

Google My Business (GMB) has become an indispensable tool for UK businesses aiming to enhance their local online presence. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of setting up and optimising Google my business profile to boost your visibility on Google Search and Maps, ultimately driving more customers to your business.

The importance of GMB for UK businesses cannot be overstated. As more consumers turn to online searches to find local products and services, having a well optimised GMB profile can make the difference between being discovered or overlooked. Check here to know, how to increase leads from gmb?

Recent UK specific statistics underscore the importance of GMB
Recent UK specific statistics underscore the importance of GMB
Credit: Google Consumer Insights
  • According to Google consumer insights, nearly 78% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a physical location within 24 hours, and 28% of those visits result in a purchase.
  • According to Google, businesses with a complete GMB profile are 2.7 times more likely to be considered reputable by consumers.
  • Research from BrightLocal shows that 64% of UK consumers have used GMB to find local business information and 50% deterred from reaching out if the business information was outdated.

How to Set up Google My Business Profile

Step-by-Step Guide to Set Up Google My Business Profile

1. Creating a Google Account

If you don’t already have a Google account for your business, you’ll need to create one. This account will be used to manage your GMB profile and other Google services. 

Follow these steps to create a Google account:

  1. Navigate to accounts.google.com
  2. Click “Create account”
  3. Select “To manage my business”
  4. Fill in your details, including your name, desired email address, and a strong password
  5. Follow the verification process, which may include phone number verification


Pro Tip: Use an email address that multiple team members can access. This ensures continuity in managing your GMB profile even if staff changes occur.

2. Business Name and Category
Business name and Business category for GMB

Choosing the right name and category is crucial for visibility in local search results. Here are some tips for selecting specific categories to improve visibility:

  •  Use your exact business name as it appears in the real world
  •  Choose the most precise primary category available
  •  Add secondary categories to cover all aspects of your business
  •  Update categories if your business offerings change


Example:
A pub that also serves food might select “Pub” as the primary category, with “Gastropub” and “British Restaurant” as secondary categories.

“Many businesses underestimate the importance of category selection,” says Mark Thompson, UK Local SEO Consultant. “I’ve seen clients improve their local search visibility by up to 30% just by refining their GMB categories.”

3. Adding Business Location
enter location address for google my business profile

Accurate location data is crucial for local search performance. Here’s how to get it right: 

  •  Enter your full address, including postcode
  •  For service area businesses, define your coverage by postcodes or radius
  •  Use the map marker to pinpoint your exact location
  •  If you have multiple locations, create separate GMB profiles for each


Tip for service areas: Be realistic about your coverage area. Overextending can dilute your local search performance. It’s better to start with a smaller, more focused area and expand as your business grows.

4. Contact Information
Direct Deliveries and Home Visitschoose the areas you cover for Google My Business Profile

If you own a local service business or business that does direct deliveries, you can choose the multiple locations you cover.

No direct deliveries nor home visitsContact Information Google My Business Profile

Consistency is key when it comes to your business information online. Here’s how to ensure your contact details are optimised:

  •  Use a local phone number when possible
  •  Ensure your website URL is correct and matches across all listings
  •  Double Check that your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information is identical everywhere online
  •  Include additional contact methods if available, such as email or messaging options


Pro Tip:
Set up a spreadsheet to track all your online listings and ensure consistency across platforms. This can be a time consuming process but is crucial for local SEO in UK.

How To Verify Google My Business Profile

How to verify google my business profile

Verification is a critical step in setting up your GMB profile. It confirms you’re the legitimate owner of the business and gives you full access to manage your listing. Here’s a detailed explanation of verification methods: 

  1. Postcard Verification (most common method):
  • Request a postcard to your business address
  • Typically arrives within 5 days
  • Enter the 5 digit code in your GMB dashboard
  • If you don’t receive the postcard within 14 days, you can request a new one
  1. Phone Verification:
  • Ensure you can answer the business phone
  • Request the verification call
  • Enter the 6 digit code provided over the phone
  • This method is instant but not available for all businesses
  1. Email Verification:
  • Available for some businesses
  • Check your business email for the verification message
  • Click the verification link in the email
  • This method is also instant but less common
  1. Instant Verification:
  • Available if you’ve already verified your business website with Google Search Console
  • This is the quickest method but not available to all businesses
  1. Video Recording Verification:
  • This method requires you to record a video of your business location
  • You’ll need to show specific elements like your storefront, signage, and business interior
  • Follow Google’s instructions carefully for what to include in the video
  • Upload the video through your GMB dashboard
  • Google will review the video to confirm your business location and details
  1. Live Video Call Verification:
  • Schedule a live video call with a Google representative
  • During the call, you’ll need to show your business location in real-time
  • The representative may ask you to demonstrate certain aspects of your business
  • This method is particularly useful for businesses that have had difficulty verifying through other methods
  • It’s also commonly used for service-area businesses or those without a physical storefront

     

Troubleshooting tips for common verification issues:
  • If your postcard doesn’t arrive, check your address and request a new one after 14 days
  • For phone verification, ensure your phone system accepts calls from unknown numbers
  • If you’re having persistent problems, contact GMB support through your account
  • Some businesses in sensitive industries (like locksmiths or CCTV installers) may face additional verification steps
  • For video verifications, ensure you have a stable internet connection and good lighting
  • Practise your video tour beforehand to ensure you cover all required elements smoothly

     

Pro Tip: “If you’re asked to do a video verification, treat it as an opportunity to showcase your business. Ensure your space is tidy and you’re ready to highlight what makes your business unique,” advises Mark Thompson, Local SEO Consultant.

“Don’t skip verification, even if it seems tedious,” warns Emma Davis, GMB Specialist. “Unverified listings have limited features and are less likely to appear in local search results.”

How To Optimise Google My Business Profile

Once your GMB profile is set up and verified, it’s time to optimise it for maximum visibility and engagement. Here’s how:

1. Complete Data Entry

The importance of thoroughness cannot be overstated. Here are detailed examples: 

Business Description: “The Green Grocer is Cardiff’s premier organic food store, offering locally sourced produce, artisanal breads, and eco friendly household items since 2010. Our knowledgeable staff provides nutrition advice and cooking tips to support your healthy lifestyle. We pride ourselves on our relationships with local farmers and our commitment to sustainable practices.”

Services: List specific offerings, e.g.:

  •  “Organic Fruit & Veg Box Delivery”
  •  “Nutrition Consultations”
  •  “Local Honey Selection”
  •  “Plastic-Free Pantry Staples”
  •  “Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products”


Remember to update this information regularly as your offerings change.

2. Adding Keywords

Strategies for natural keyword integration:

  •  In your business description: “best organic shop in Cardiff”, “locally sourced produce”, “sustainable living”
  •  In your services: “gluten free options”, “vegan friendly products”, “zero waste shopping”
  •  In photo captions: “Fresh organic strawberries from Jones Farm, Carmarthenshire”
  •  In posts: “This week’s organic vegetable box features seasonal Welsh leeks” 


Pro Tip:
Use Google’s Keyword Planner or other SEO tools to find relevant local keyword opportunities for your business.

3. Categories and Attributes

Selecting the right categories and adding relevant attributes can significantly improve your visibility for specific searches: 

  •  Primary Category: “Organic Food Store”
  •  Additional Categories: “Health Food Store”, “Grocery Delivery Service”, “Farmers Market”
  •  Attributes: “Womenled”, “Wheelchair accessible”, “Offers delivery”, “Plastic Free packaging”, “Locally sourced ingredients”, “Eco Friendly products”


“Don’t overlook attributes,” advises John Smith, Local SEO Expert. “They help Google understand the unique aspects of your business and can improve your visibility for specific searches.”

4. Photos and Videos
Add Photos and Videos Google My Business Profile

Visual content is crucial for engaging potential customers. Here are best practices for high quality images and videos: 

  •  Upload at least 15 high resolution images
  •  Include photos of your storefront, interior, products, and staff
  •  Add a short welcome video or virtual tour of your store
  •  Use descriptive file names, e.g., “cardifforganicproduceselection.jpg
  •  Update photos regularly to show seasonal products or changes to your business


Pro Tip:
Consider hiring a professional photographer for key images. High Quality visuals can significantly impact customer perceptions and engagement.

How To Utilise Google My Business Features

To get the most out of your GMB profile, take advantage of these key features:

1. Posts and Updates

Regular engagement is key to keeping your profile fresh and engaging. Here are some effective examples: 

  •  Share weekly specials: “This week: 20% off all organic cleaning products!”
  •  Announce events: “Join us for a free nutrition workshop this Saturday at 2 PM”
  •  Highlight new products: “Now stocking: Organic Welsh apple cider from Pembridge Orchards”
  •  Share tips and advice: “5 ways to reduce plastic waste in your kitchen”


Aim to post at least once a week to keep your profile active and engaging.

2. Managing Reviews

Reviews play a crucial role in local SEO and customer decision making. Here are good practices for managing reviews: 

  •  Set up a short URL for easy review sharing (e.g., bit.ly/reviewgreengrocer)
  •  Respond to all reviews within 24 hours
  •  For positive reviews, thank the customer and highlight something specific they mentioned
  •  For negative reviews, apologise and offer to resolve the issue offline
  •  Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews, but never offer incentives for reviews as this violates Google’s policies


“Respond to every review, good or bad,” says Lisa Johnson, Customer Experience Specialist. “It shows you value customer feedback and are actively engaged with your community.”

3. Insights and Analytics

Google Insights provides valuable data to help you understand and optimise your GMB performance: 

  •  Track how customers find your GMB listing (direct vs. discovery searches)
  •  Monitor what actions they take (website clicks, calls, direction requests)
  •  Analyse photo views and engagement to inform your visual content strategy
  •  Use the “Popular times” feature to understand peak hours and staff accordingly


Pro Tip: Set up a monthly review of your GMB insights to track progress and identify areas for improvement.

Advanced Tips for GMB Optimisation

To take your GMB profile to the next level, consider these advanced strategies:

  1. Backlinks and Citations

    Building a strong backlink profile and ensuring consistent citations can significantly boost your local SEO:

  •  Seek links from local news sites, chambers of commerce, and industry associations
  •  Ensure consistent NAP information across all online directories
  •  Participate in local events and get mentioned on event websites
  •  Consider sponsoring local sports teams or community events for increased visibility
  1. Mobile Optimisation

    With the majority of local searches happening on mobile devices, mobile first web design is crucial:

  •  Test your website on various mobile devices to ensure a good user experience
  •  Ensure all buttons and links are easily clickable on small screens
  •  Optimise your website loading speed for mobile users
  •  Consider creating a mobile app for easy ordering or booking if relevant to your business
  1. Security and Speed

    Website security and speed are important ranking factors:

  •  Implement SSL certification (https://)
  •  Optimise image sizes and leverage browser caching
  •  Use a content delivery network (CDN) to improve load times
  •  Regularly update your website software and plugins to maintain security


“Speed and security aren’t just about SEO,” notes Tom Brown, Web Developer. “They directly impact user experience and can affect conversion rates.”

How Can We Help You

Need personalised assistance with your GMB strategy? Why not hire SEO Agency? Our team at UTDS Optimal Choice is here to help. Contact us for a free consultation and take your online presence to the next level.

Remember, optimising your Google My Business profile is an ongoing process. Stay engaged, keep your information up-to-date, and continue to provide value to your customers both online and offline. With persistence and attention to detail, you can significantly improve your local search visibility and attract more customers to your business.

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