Setting up a Google Business Profile in Kenya is the first step for any business owner looking to increase their chances of appearing in google search results. Google is the leading search engine in the world.
It commands around 8.5 billion daily searches, equivalent to about 88.6 billion searches per month. This tells you that if your content is on Google, it will likely reach many potential customers worldwide.
People use Google to search for things such as location, products, and services and get reviews and recommendations on products, among other things. Google Business Profile is one of the major essential free and powerful tools used by business owners to improve visibility in Google search results. It helps them to increase the number of visits to their sites.
Google Business Profile allows business owners to promote their physical store, products, and services and manage their store effectively. Just like a physical phonebook, Google Business Profile gives details of your business to increase your chance of reaching potential customers, hence making your business easier to appear on Google search results.
Google Business Profile is a tool used to effectively manage and communicate with your customers, helping you to build trust and loyalty between you and your customers.
In this article, we will share great insights to help you understand how to use Google Business Profile for your business growth. We will give you a step-by-step guide to help you set up your Google Business Profile in Kenya and optimize it. Read on.
Table of Contents
What Is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile helps you to manage how your business shows up on all Google products, such as Maps and Search. It serves customers at a particular location or within a designated service area. It is a business directory listing that appears when potential customers search in Google Maps and in the local results of Google Search.
Creating a Business Profile is equivalent to adding a place to Google Maps, which is simple. To create this profile, all that you will require is the business name, location, and category. Google will then confirm that this information is not duplicated and create the Business Profile for that location. Customers can then leave reviews, add photos, ask questions, and even answer questions. Google may also put information in the Business Profile, which it pulls in from across the web.
This means a Business Profile can exist independently, without the Google Business Profile account. However, you are not able to manage the information that Google Business Profile displays or the reviews it collects.
That is why Google Business Profile is very important. Creating a Google Business Profile account helps access, customize, manage, and improve your Business Profile on Google, all for free.
Why Do You Need a Google Business Profile in Kenya?
In spite of the industry of your business, you will need a Google Business profile in Kenya for several reasons. This is a tool that is very important that will help you to boost your brand or business visibility, discoverability, credibility, etc. If you are still unsure if creating a Google Business Profile is profitable for your business, read on.
1. Getting Found on Google Search Results
Google Business Profile is a great strategy to help you increase your online presence. In a digital world, your online presence will help you stay ahead or in front of your competitors.
When your brand is visible, it drives brand awareness and more potential customers to your business. To make it easier for potential customers to find you online, strive to provide the correct information, including the correct address, operating hours, website, business category, and phone number.
When you list your business on Google Business Profile, you are setting your brand up to get found on Google search results, thereby increasing your chance of getting found online.
2. Customer Insights
When you know your customers, you get insights that place you in a better position to appeal to them or serve them better. Google Business Profile gives you insights into your target customers, their location, and how they engage with your business. It provides an insights section where you will find what your customers are doing. For example, you will get to know if they are requesting your store location, clicking on your website, checking any products out, or if they are calling your business, among others. You can use this information to know how to modify your changes, understand your customers better and improve your business.
3. Promote Your Products
Customers cannot buy from you unless they know you have the products they want. It is, therefore, crucial to create awareness of your products. However, running paid ads on Google and social media to promote your products can be quite costly. But with Google Business Profile, you can run them for free. Google Business Profile listing is a great way to promote your products. You are required to list your product accurately and regularly update it for a successful SEO.
Here’s how To Promote Your Product on Google Business Profile:
- Offer Page These pages act like billboards in your Google Business Profile for your product. They help you showcase your products and offers by bringing them to the forefront of your profile. The deals or offers will appear above your reviews with the image of the products attached to them. This gives shoppers the urge to make a purchase.
- Events You can promote your products using events in your Google Business Profile. If you have any events, deals or promotions that are coming up, you can use your GMB profile to schedule and set the event. You will need to provide information on the location and time of the events to enable interested persons to attend.
4. Show Up in Google Map Search
According to research, a whopping 90% of people use Google Maps to locate a business they are interested in. They search for nearby businesses with the products or services they seek. With Google Business Profile, it makes it easier and more convenient for customers to visit your store, and they will be more likely to make a purchase.
5. Boost Sales With Reviews
Most customers like going through the online reviews of a product or service before making a purchase. Since Google Business Profile allows customers to leave reviews after they have purchased your products, potential customers can review these reviews and make purchase decisions. The feedback that customers leave on your business allows other customers to see, thereby increasing trust, credibility and sales.
Things You Need to Set up a Google Business Profile Account
Now that you know the importance of a Google Business Profile, it’s time to set up your account. Setting up this account will help you propel your business forward.
Here are some things you need to set up a Google Business Profile.
1. Google Account
You will need a Google account to set up a Google Business Profile account. If you have already signed up for a Gmail account, then you already have a Google account, but if you don’t have a Google account, here is a walkthrough on how to open one.
How to Open a Google Account
It is easy to create a Google account and only takes a few minutes. Follow these steps to set up a Google account on a browser.
- On your browser, type accounts.google.com
- Click on the signup button to create a Google Account
- Enter the details requested, i.e. your Name, Password, and Username name of your choice
- Click the Next button, then enter your Date of Birth, Phone number, recovery email, and gender, as requested.
- Click on the Next button to verify your phone number
- Follow the next instructions to complete your account creation
If you are creating a Google account using your phone, follow these instructions:
- Go to your phone ‘Settings.’
- If you are using an Android phone Select ‘Account’. If you are using an IOS phone, go to the ‘Mail’ option to find this setting
- Click ‘Add Account’ and select ‘Google’ to create a Google Account
- Follow the instructions on the screen and provide the required personal information
- Click ‘I Agree to create an account
2. Business Name and Business Information
When setting up a Google Business Profile account, you will be requested to provide a business name and also your business information. This business information includes Business Location, Operation Hours, Categories, Service Area, etc. Google will use this information to set up your Google Business Profile. Ensure that you provide this information because if the necessary information isn’t provided, you stand a chance of losing some potential customers to your competitors.
After providing all the necessary details, the final step is to verify your account before it can be published. You will get a verification code on the email address or phone number that you provided. Once you have completed this process, your business will now be published and seen on Google search results.
Step-By-Step Guide for Creating a Google Business Profile Account
Follow the steps below to create a Google Business Profile in Kenya.
Step 1: Create a Google Account
If you already have a Google Account, use it to set up your account. However, if you don’t have a Google account, follow the steps provided above to create one.
Step 2: Go to business.google.com
Follow this link to get more information about Google Business Profile.
Once your account is up and running, you can manage your business listing, post updates online, reply to reviews, and upload photos.
With this account, you’ll have access to your dashboard via the mobile app at any time from anywhere. When a review or question is made, you and your staff can respond quickly, gaining a new customer immediately. On your Google Business Profile page, click the button ‘Manage Now’ to start managing your business info.
Step 3. Business Name
Provide the name of your business as requested. Ensure that it is recognized by customers if you have several names. Also, make sure your business name follows the right business naming convention and is easy to remember so your customers can easily find you.
Step 4. Business Location
Enter the location of your business. If you don’t have a physical location, select ‘I deliver goods and services’ and then click ‘hide my address’ to ensure the address isn’t shown to your customers.
Step 5. Area of Service
In this section, you are required to provide the area in which you serve your customers. If you run a service-based company without any location, choose ‘Specific areas’ and list the areas you serve.
If your business has a physical location and only offers services to those who live nearby, choose ‘Distance around your business location’ and enter the desired number of miles or kilometers. If your company has multiple locations, only use your primary location, then add the rest later.
Step 6. Business Category
You will be required to choose a business category for your business. Strive to choose a business category that suits your business best. Tell Google what you do. When you start typing in the letter of your category, a drop-down of suggestions of various categories you can choose from will appear. Choose one that fits your business best.
Step 7. Contact Details
Customers visiting your Google Business Profile in Kenya can only contact you through the contact details you provided. Although this section is optional, it is also important because you will be able to serve your customers before they leave your page. Ensure that you input the correct details.
Verify Your Business
Verifying your business is the first step towards optimizing your Google Business profile in Kenya. Remember that this is a powerful and essential tool to help you boost your visibility in Google search results. After setting up your account, it is time to verify your business to ensure that your information is displayed accurately to enable you to see statistics and customer reviews. It also lets Google know that you alone have access to the profile.
Follow these steps to verify your business:
Step 1. Sign In to Your Account
To begin verifying your account, you will need to sign into your Google Business Profile account. Go to https://www.google.com/business/.
If you don’t have a Google Business Profile Account, go to Google Business Profile website and click on the blue button that displays “Start Now”. Fill in the necessary details in the provided boxes. For guidance, check out the ‘How to create a Google Business Profile account’ section above for a step-by-step guide. Once your account has been created, sign in to your account.
Step 2: Click On the Verify Button
After signing into your account, you will be directed to your dashboard. Here, you will see a ‘Verify’ button next to your business name. Click to start the verification process.
Step 3: Choose the Verification Method
You can verify your business on your Google Business profile in Kenya through several methods:
- Email Verification
If you choose the email verification method, Google will send you a verification code in your email. To complete your verification, you can confirm it by entering the code on your Google Business Profile dashboard.
- Postcard Verification
In this method, Google will mail your verification code to the business address you provided. Once you receive it, enter the code in your Google Business Profile dashboard to complete the process.
- Phone Number Verification
The final method of verification is through your phone number. Google will call the business number you provided and then provide you with the verification code. Enter this code in your Google Business profile dashboard in the space provided to verify your account.
Ensure that you choose the method of verification that is convenient for you. Also, depending on your business category, some verification methods might not be available or accessible.
Step 4: Wait to be Verified
Wait for your verification to be complete and approved. After you have used any of these verification methods accurately, you will have to wait for Google to review your business and get you verified. This period might take a few days, so be patient.
Step 5: Confirmation
Once Google has verified your information, go through the information you provided to make sure it is accurate. Providing misleading information can lead you to lose some potential customers. Without verification, your business will not be visible on Google Maps and results.
Adding Photos and Videos to your Google Business Profile Account
Photos and videos are a great way to showcase your business. They can highlight how your products are made, what your company looks like, showcase the facilities in your business, and what your team looks like. It helps make a very strong first impression on your target customers.
Photos and videos are a visual representation of your business. Therefore, they help you stand out from the crowd. They help customers understand what your business is about when searching for your business online.
There are several types of photos and videos that you can add to your profile. Here are some types of photos you can add:
- Cover photo: This is likely the first thing a customer sees when they visit your profile. A photo set at the top of your profile represents your business.
- Business photos: These photos could be anything relating to the service you offer or products. They are crucial in aiding customers in their purchase decision-making.
- Logo: Uploading your logo helps to highlight your business on Google search results.
- Exterior photo: These photos show the location of your business, making it easier for customers to find you.
- Interior photos: This she’s the design and interiors of your business, giving your customers the view and feel of your business atmosphere.
- Product photos: This displays the pictures of your products to give your customers an idea of what your products are like and be able to trust you.
- Rooms: If your business is in the hotel industry, this photo is a selling point for your business. It showcases what your room looks like and it’s standard. This helps customers to plan their stay at your hotel during a vacation.
- Photo of your team members: This helps customers to know that your company has a group of happy and satisfied people who work together to achieve a common goal.
- Foods and drinks: For the restaurant industry, help customers choose the perfect place for dinner by showcasing your dish.
- Common area: Help potential customers picture the luxuries and amenities they might be enjoying if you work in the hospitality industry.
How to Add Photos and Videos to Your Profile
- Log into your Google Business Profile
- Click on the ‘Photos’ tab in the left-hand menu
- Choose the type of photos you want to add or a video
- Click the Add button once you have selected the photo or video you want to add.
- After uploading, you can choose to add captions or locations. This is optional, but if you choose to provide it, it’s a great way to provide more information about the photos and also gives location, especially if you added an “Exterior Photo.”
- Click on the ‘Publish’ button to publish your photo or video.
Optimize Your Google Business Profile in Kenya
Optimization helps your business to stand out. An optimized Google Business profile in Kenya helps improve engagement, boost your local ranking, and convert more potential customers.
Here’s how to optimize your Google Business Profile in Kenya.
If you have followed the above steps, created your Google Business profile in Kenya, and verified it, you have already started optimizing your profile. Ensure that you fill out all necessary details correctly, such as your website URL, business name, location, contact details, and operating hours.
Choosing the right category is very important for your business discoverability. Studies show that 84% of business profile views on Google result from discovery searches. Therefore, choose the right and primary category that best fits your industry.
1. Use Keywords in the Description
Your business description is an overview of your business. It tells potential customers what you do and offers. Including relevant keywords in your description will get your profile optimized. These are the words that customers are likely to key in the Google search box when making a search. They could include a product or service you offer, where you offer them, or any other words they are likely to search.
2. High-quality Photos
High-quality photos and videos will help you increase views and engagement. It makes your business stand out among other local stores. They also give your customers an insight into what to expect and increase credibility. Ensure your photos and videos follow Google requirements and are sharp and attractive. Use a high-resolution camera or smartphone to take photos of the products you sell.
3. Encourage Reviews
Customer online reviews are essential to your reputation and impact your online ranking. Encourage customers to leave a review by asking for feedback after providing services to them or making a purchase. When a customer comes across your profile online while searching for something like a hairstylist in their location, they will review customers’ reviews and feedback to clear their doubts and decide whether to contact that hairstylist. The reviews and feedback help customers trust your brand after they have read what other customers experienced in your business.
4. Always Keep Your Information Updated
Keeping your Google Business profile in Kenya information updated and accurate will help you rank higher on Google search results. This information includes your phone number, business address, website URL, etc. Remember to update your photos and videos of your products and services, especially when you have new products.
5. Monitor Insights
The insights that are provided by Google about your customers are a very important tool in helping optimize your profile. You can use this information to make decisions about your online marketing strategy as well as improve customer experience.
How to Write a Compelling Business Description
A business description gives an overview of what your business does and how it works. If you write a compelling business description, it will attract potential customers. These tips will help you write compelling business descriptions:
1. Consider the Basics
The first step is to ask yourself these questions:
- What is my company name?
- What does my business do?
- What value does it offer?
- Where is my business located?
- Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience helps you determine your tone of voice, style method, and how to craft your posts. Understanding your audience’s preferences is key to successfully optimizing your profile. Strive to determine who your target audience is, their language, interests, and their pain point. This will help you tailor your business description to those areas.
- Unique Value Proposition
Your unique proposition is what gives you an advantage over your competitors. It gives customers reasons to choose your business over other businesses. Let your customers know what problems you solve, how you solve them, and why they should choose you over other competitors. Ensure that your description emphasizes these areas.
- Use Clear Language
The language that you use in your business description should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. Use everyday language that everyone knows, and avoid jargon and technical language. Use short sentences and paragraphs and use active voice instead of passive. Avoid adjectives and adverbs if they are unnecessary, and define any technical terms that you use in your description.
5. Check Out Other Business Descriptions
Consider checking out the description of other businesses in your industry. This will inspire you to help you rightly channel your business description. It will also help you include the right keywords in your description.
6. Tell a Compelling Story
Storytelling helps you connect emotionally with your audience and drives engagement. Use storytelling to draw a picture of your business in the mind of your readers. For example, you can tell a story of what inspired you to start your business. You can also share examples of how your products are made, what they are made from, and how they can help people.
Responding to and Managing Customer Reviews
Customers leave reviews when they are happy, satisfied, or disappointed by your services or products. Either way, they expect your feedback. Therefore, you should either appreciate them if they leave a positive review or make them feel heard if they leave a negative review. It is very important to respond to reviews and customer feedback on Google because it is one of the most popular search engines.
Studies show that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Google Business Profile in Kenya reviews impact your business image greatly. They also help to determine how well your business ranks compared to competitors in the same industry.
It is particularly hard to respond to negative reviews. Still, it is also a great way to show your potential clients that you take your business seriously and every customer matters.
To respond to a bad review, start by internally assessing and evaluating the feedback. The best way is to have a template so that your responses can be consistent. Respond publicly to the review and be transparent about the mistakes that might have occurred.
Ask questions when details aren’t clear, empathize with the client and offer solutions. After this, work towards having a one-on-one conversation with the client to get the details of their concerns.
How to Access and Interpret Your Google Business Profile Insights
Google Business Profile insights are important because they provide detailed information about your customers, listings, and performance.
Follow these steps to access and interpret your Google Business Profile insights.
- Once you sign into your Google Business Profile, you will see your existing listings on your dashboard.
- You will automatically be taken to that listing if you have only one listing. Otherwise, click on the listing you want to access and view insights.
- After clicking, you will see a menu located on the left-hand side. Click on the ‘Insights’ tab to access the listing data.
- This is what to look for once the insights tab has opened:
- Views: This shows you how many times your listing has been viewed or seen by customers
- Customer action: This shows you the action your audience is taking on your profile, especially after viewing or clicking on a listing.
- Search Query: You will see how customers search for your business online.
Having a Google business profile in Kenya is very crucial to the success of your business. As we have seen in this article, it will make your business more discoverable online, leading to more clients and better profits.
Therefore, if you have not yet signed up for your business profile, follow the aforementioned steps and enjoy abundant clients and business growth. If the steps are cumbersome or you need a hand in creating your Google Business profile in Kenya, reach out to us for assistance.