Great question! Here is a step-by-step guide to help you set up your Google Business Profile:
Create your profile
- Go to this web page: google.com/business
- Click the "Sign in" link in the top right corner (we know you don't yet have an account, but "Sign in" is what you will click to start creating your profile).
This is the screen you should see if you've never set up a Google Business Profile:
- Fill in the information on this screen above.
- Type your business name. If you are registered as an LLC or Corporation, use the exact same business name you used to register your business. If you don't have an entity set up yet, use the working business name you're using.
- Choose a business category. Start typing a category that makes sense to you for your business and see what options Google shows you. You will have to choose one of Google's preset options, so choose what is closest to you. Then click Next
- Choose whether or not to add your location to your account:
- If you have a physical location, you will certainly want to add this.
- If you don't have a physical location, you can add your home address if you'd like.
- If you don't want to add an address, please know that It is optional.
- You can't use a P.O. Box in this spot.
- After choosing yes, and filling in the information, or choosing, no, click Next
7. Another optional question is "where do you serve your customers?" It is a very good idea to answer this.
- You can pick your state, or nearby states, if you don't just serve your state
- You can pick several cities nearby if, for example, you're a power washer and you serve 10 counties or cities in close proximity.
- You can choose the United States, which is what we did at Jottful.
- You can start typing and your city, state, or the United States should pop up, so you can select it. Select as many as you want. Then, click Next
8. Add your contact information:
- Add your phone number with area code
- Add your domain. You don't need to include https:// or www Just type your website address (domain) and Google will add whatever else it needs.
- Leave the "I don't have a website box" unchecked because you already have a Jottful website! Then, click Next
9. The next screen is a marketing question from Google.
- We advise clicking no to reduce marketing messages in your inbox.
- You can choose yes if you want to get Google's marketing emails. Then, click Next
Verify your business
You'll notice with this next screen that you've moved onto the next section, which is to verify your business. The option each person is given for verification varies.
10. You may be asked to give your address, so Google can send you a postcard. If that is your only option, select it, and make sure you enter your correct address. *Then look for the postcard, and be sure to follow the instructions on it to verify your business with Google.
11. You may also be given the option of verifying via phone, text, or email. If that is the case, we recommend selecting one of these options, as it will be a faster verification process than waiting for a postcard to arrive.
12. You may be asked to submit a video through Google's platform. This option appears for certain industries. So far, we've seen a financial advisor, a trucking company, and a cleaning company be required to verify with video. Google will ask for a few pieces of verification documentation. They may seem strange (like taking a video of your street sign) or like a headache (taking a video of your original entity paperwork with your EIN number), but do as Google requests and upload the video into their platform.
Address Verification Screen (10)
Choice of Phone, Text, or Email Verification Screen (11)
If you select text, you'll receive a code to put into the next screen, like this:
For email, text, or phone verification, you'll likely receive the following acceptance screen. Yay! Then, click Next
Congrats, you made it through the verification screen!
Customize your profile
13. Now, it's time to customize your profile. The first thing you'll do is add your hours of operation.
- This is a tedious step. You need to add the starting and ending hours for each day of the week.
- Choose your hours based on what is a reasonable block of time for you to be responsive to clients or customers. (Don't lock yourself into responding to clients at midnight!)
- When you've filled in all days, click Next
14. Next, Google will ask if you want people to be able to send you a message through your Google Business profile. Go ahead and click the button to "agree". Click Next
15. Next, Google will ask if you want to keep a history of those who call you from your Google Business profile. We suggest you select "turn on". Click Next
16. Now it's time to add your business description!
- This is where your website will come in handy.
- Type your Jottful website address (your domain) in a browser window.
- You may have a paragraph of text on your homepage, about page, or services page that works perfectly as a short summary for your business description on Google Business. If so, copy it from your website, and paste it into this box.
- You may instead want to copy a few sentences from a few different spots on your website to create the best description for your Google Business profile. Then, edit your copied text so it flows into a nice description. Click Next
17. Now it's time to add your images!
- You may still have images saved on your computer that you can upload. They could be on your desktop, in a saved folder, or in your downloads folder.
- If you don't - perhaps you have them only on your phone, or we used stock photos on your website instead of your own, then you can log into Jottful's editor to download some images from your Image Library, which you can then upload to your Google Business profile. (If you don't remember how to login to the editor, read this short article: How do I log in to my Jottful website so I can make changes?)
To get started, click "Add photos":
Then, you can either drag images from your desktop into this box below, or select photos one-by-one if you click the blue button below.
If you click that blue button, you'll see a screen like this pop up, where you can select an image to add to your Google Business profile.
Please add at least 4 and up to 10-15 images.
Adding images is the last step in setting up your Google Business Profile.
Now you'll have to wait 3-5 days for Google to officially verify your business and your profile. You'll know you've been verified when your images are showing on your profile and when you get an email from Google congratulating you on being verified.
When you are officially verified, you can find your Google Business profile by typing your business name and your city into your website search bar. Your Google Business profile should show up on the right side of your screen like this:
As long as you are using a browser with the email address you used to set up your Google Business profile, you will also see the option to edit your profile on the left under your business name, like this:
18. Finally, if you want to add a "Review My Business on Google" link or button to your website, find "Get reviews" after scrolling down your profile:
Click that button to get to this screen:
Click the copy icon just to the right of the review and past the link in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org We can add it to your website!
Congratulations on setting up your Google Business profile! This will help Google know you're in business, online, and wanting to be found. Get busy asking for Google reviews. Gathering more will be helpful in making you more visible online!