Good luck showing up at the top of Google without a Google business profile — you’ll need it. According to Chitika, Page 1 of Google enjoys 95 percent of the action, and in order to get there as a local business, you need to have a Google business profile.

According to one expert, a Google business profile is “critical. It’s the centerpiece and fundamental to any local campaign! You simply don’t exist if you don’t create a [Google Business Profile] for your local business.”

This is prime real estate that Google is giving away for free. Why squander it?

If you don’t already know, a business profile is an important piece of real estate on Google that lets you craft and boost how you appear on Search and Maps, putting you front and center. To read more about what a Google business profile actually is, click here.

Without further ado, though, here’s how to set up your Google Business Profile.

Step 1: Go to Google’s My Business page.

You can read what Google says about the product there by scrolling down.

Step 2: Once you’re done browsing, click “Manage now.”

Step 3: Log in.

If you don’t have a Google account, click “Create account” on the bottom-left corner of the page.

Step 4: Enter the name of your business and click “Next.”

Step 5: If you have an office or an in-person store, you should click “Yes.”

  1. If YES, enter the address next.
  2. If NO, enter the area in which you serve your customers. This is optional, but do it — it’s important that potential clients know where you’re based. You can enter more than one city.
    1. On the next page, enter your region/country.

Step 6: Choose the category of your business.

There are a number of options that pop up for “Real estate,” so find the one that most closely resembles your business from the suggestions. You have to choose an existing one.

Step 7: Enter the contact info you want your customers to have.

  1. First enter your phone number. If your phone number isn’t from America, click the American flag and find your country’s.
  2. Then enter your website’s URL, which is the address you type in. You can click “I don’t need a website” (not recommended) or “Get a free website based on your info.” This website looks simple and awesome and is 100-percent free to maintain.

Step 8: Click “Finish.”

Step 9: If you didn’t enter an address earlier, you’ll be prompted to enter one here.

This one is merely to verify your account, so it won’t be seen by the public.

Step 10: Choose a way to verify.

You can either click “verify later” or enter your name to have Google mail you a verification postcard. Google claims it will take up to five days for it to arrive, possibly longer when you add weekends. Only a select few companies can verify these profiles for you without the mail-in process.

Step 11: Click “Continue” and then “Get started.”

Step 12: Enter your info.

On the right-hand side of the page, click the plus-signs to add your hours, logo and description. Leave nothing blank.

Step 13: Click the “Info” tab on the left-hand side of the page to set up all of your info.

There, you can edit every detail by clicking the corresponding pencil icon.

Special hours are hours on dates like Christmas Eve, where there’s often ambiguity on hours.

Edit your “Opening date,” either past or future, to help customers notice your page.

Step 14: Receive the postcard.

You won’t be able to do much else now before verifying your business.

Step 15: Send the postcard back to Google.

It can take five days or longer for it to reach Google, depending on where you are and the speed of the post office. The whole process could take up to two weeks.

Step 16: Get verified.

Once you’re verified, you’ll be able to reply to reviews, edit your information, message customers, publish photos and create Google Business posts. You should do all of this, and you can by toggling between the tabs on the left-hand side of the page.

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