To effectively set up Google My Business and optimise your account is critical for local businesses wanting to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs). In this comprehensive guide, we will show you how to verify your business with Google, create a listing that stands out from the competition and make the most of all the features GMB has to offer. So, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been using GMB for a while but haven’t seen the results you were hoping for, read on – this guide has something for everyone!
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool that helps businesses manage their online presence across Google. It’s a dashboard where business owners can control how their brand appears in search results, on Maps and more. With GMB, you’ll have access to features like reviews from customers who’ve bought your products or services before (and leave them feedback), insights on how people are finding your business online, and the ability to respond to customer reviews.
Google Local Pack
If you search for a local business on Google, you’ll see the three most relevant local businesses in that area. These are called “Google Local Packs.”
Google Knowledge Panel
When someone searches for your business name or brand, the side panel on the right-hand side will include information about that company – this is called a “Google Knowledge Panel.”
Google Maps (both the app and desktop and mobile web versions) is a tool that shows users the locations of local businesses, as well as directions and other information like hours of operation.
Benefits Of Google My Business
Opportunity To Appear In Listing Three Pack
As we mentioned earlier, the “Google Local Pack” is a section that appears at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). It shows the three most relevant businesses in a given area for the search query.
Being included in this section is an incredible opportunity for local businesses. Being ranked at the top of a search result means more people will see your business and be interested in visiting it, while also increasing your chances of being clicked on over your competitors.
In addition to appearing in the local pack, businesses can also appear in other places on Google, including the Knowledge Panel, Google Maps and other sections of search results pages.
By having a verified GMB listing, you’re more likely to be found and trusted by potential customers.
Increase Brand Visibility & Build Trust With Positive Reviews
Every GMB listing has a section where customers can leave reviews. This is an excellent opportunity for businesses to build trust with potential customers by displaying positive reviews from past customers.
Not only will this help people decide if they want to do business with you, but it also helps your business rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs). When people are looking for a local business, they’ll often look at the reviews to see how other people feel about it (and decide if it’s worth their time).
Insights Into Your Business’ Online Performance
GMB offers business owners a wealth of information about how their business is performing online. You can see data like where your website traffic is coming from, which pages are most popular among users and even how many people call you directly through the GMB listing.
This means you can make better-informed decisions about how to grow your business online. These insights include:
- The number of people who see your profile, photos, and posts.
- The search terms people are using to find your business.
- The engagement.
- Your audience’s profile (age groups, gender, and countries).
- The number of website visits, phone calls, and people who found the business through directions.
Setting Up Google My Business
You should be signed into a Google account associated with the business you want to create the listing for. If you don’t have a Google account, you can create one here.
Step 1: Go To Google My Business’ Create Page
To create your business listing, go to Google’s “Create a Business with Google” page and click on the blue button that says “Start Now.”
Step 2: Enter Your Business Name
Enter the name of your business. If you already have a listing, then Google will ask if this is the same as another page or not.
Step 3: Choose The Category That Perfectly Relates To Your Business
Google has a huge list of categories to choose from, so it’s important that you select the one that best describes your business. If you can’t find the right category in the list, then look for something similar or choose “others.”
Step 4: Choose Whether Or Not To Add a Location
Here you can choose if you want to have a physical storefront that people can visit.. If you want to add your business location, then click “yes” and fill out the form. If not, then select “no,” and you can always add this information later.
Step 5: Add Your Business Address
If you chose “yes” in the previous step, then you’ll need to add your business address here. Make sure it’s accurate and Google will automatically check the address to see if it’s already in the system or not.
Step 6: Review Matching Listings
Google will check your business name and address to see if it already exists in the system or not. If there’s a match, Google will let you know and give you the option to claim the listing or not. If there’s no match, then you can continue on to the next step.
Step 7: Choose If You Want To Serve People Outside Of This Location
If you don’t want to serve people outside of your physical location, then choose “no.” If you do want to serve people who are looking for your business from outside of your location, then choose “yes.”
For example, if you are setting up a Pizza shop. You would need to choose to offer both pick-up and delivery options.
But, if you’re a Hairdressers, you would only serve your customers at your salon and choose “no.”
Step 8: Select The Areas That You Want To Serve
Google will then ask you to pick the areas that you serve. You can either click on them individually or type in your address, and the map will automatically fill them in.
Step 9: Add Your Contact Details
You need to include your business’ phone number and website URL.
Step 10: Add Your Business’ Operation Hours
Google has recently made it possible to add your business hours on Google My Business. You can do this by going to the “info” tab and then scrolling down until you see the section titled “hours of operation.”
Click on edit and enter in your hours. You can choose to have specific days and hours, or you can just have general hours.
Step 11: Opt For Updates And Recommendations
This is where you can opt to receive updates and recommendations from Google about your business listing.
Step 12: Finish & Manage The Listing
Once you’ve filled out all the information, Google will create your business listing. You’ll then be able to manage it by going to Google My Business.
Step 13: Listing Verification
The next step is to verify your listing. You can choose between postcard and instant verification options. With the postcard option, you’ll receive a postcard with a code in the mail. You can then enter that code to verify your listing.
If you choose instant verification, Google will call your business’ phone number and you can enter the verification code using the keypad.
Step 14: Complete Your Profile
Once verified, you’ll be taken to your business listing. You can now add any missing information and make sure that everything is correct.
Step 15: Welcome To Your GMB Dashboard
Once verified, you’ll be taken to your business listing. You can now add any missing information and make sure that everything is correct. You’ve now created your business listing and it’s time to start optimising it!
Claiming a Google Maps Listing
Step 1: Search For Your Business On Google Maps
Let’s say you have a GMB listing that exists but it is unclaimed. All you need to do is search for your business on Google Maps and click on your business listing.
– Search for your business on Google maps or visit the Google My Business homepage.
– Click on your business listing
Step 2: Claim This Business
– Click on “Is this your business?”
If it is your business, click on “yes.” If it’s not your business, click on “no” and then follow the instructions to report the business.
– Once you click on “yes,” a pop-up will appear with instructions for creating an account and claiming your listing.
– Follow the instructions to create an account and claim your listing.
If you’ve previously claimed this business, sign in with the same email.
– If your business listing is already claimed, click on “request access” and read the instructions carefully about how to get verified for it.
Step 3: Verify The Listing
After you’ve claimed the listing, you’ll need to verify it. There are two ways to do this: postcard or phone verification.
If you choose the postcard verification, Google will send a postcard to your address with a code. You can then enter this code into your GMB dashboard to verify the listing.
– If you choose phone verification, Google will call your business’ number and ask for a code that you can enter into your GMB dashboard.
– Once the verification is complete, visit Google My Business to start optimising it.
Claiming a Google My Business Page
Step 1: Go To Google My Business’ Create Page
Go to Google My Business’ Create Page and search your business name. You can also go here: business.google.com/create
If there is a page for your business, you should be able to find it quite easily.
– If your business name is not found and you’re sure it has been created, click on “I’ve correctly entered the name of my business and I still can’t find it” to troubleshooting.
– Once found, click on “continue.”
Step 2: Request Access To The Page
After the last step, you will be sent a message that confirms that your listing has been verified. The email address used to verify your listing will be shown as hint.
Sometimes people use their personal account in the early days of a business. This might give you a clue about who created the listing. This is why it’s important to use your business email address in Google My Business.
Step 3: Share Your Details With Google
You’ll need to fill out a form with your details. You’ll be asked for the following:
– Full name of the business owner
– Business email address
– Phone number of the business owner (this is where you’ll receive a phone call)
Once you’ve filled out the form, click on “submit.”
Step 4: Wait For a Response
Google will then send the request to the current page manager, and within seven days you can expect a response.
If you are not granted access or denied, you can verify your affiliation with the business to gain access.
Optimising Google My Business
Google My Business Photos
Adding photos to your Google My Business listing is a great way to make it stand out and show customers what you have to offer.
When customers see your photos, they can get a glimpse of what it’s like to visit and shop at your store. Photos also help you rank higher in local search results.
Here are a few tips for taking great photos:
- Use high quality images
- Make sure your photos are crisp and clear.
- Do not use blurry or pixelated images.
- Avoid using stock photos.
- Images should be at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels high and JPG or PNG files.
Google is known for being a very visual search engine, so including photos is a must.
The cover photo is the first thing visitors will see when they land on your Google My Business page. Make sure it’s eye-catching and compelling.
- It should be at least 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels high.
- Use high quality images that reflect your business.
The profile photo is like a business card. It’s what people will see when they search for your business on Google Maps or use the Search by Image feature on Google Images.
- Make sure it’s a professional headshot that shows your face clearly, and avoid using stock photos or pictures of your products.
- The ideal size is 500 pixels wide by 500 pixels high.
Google My Business Videos
Google My Business videos are a great way to show off your business. They allow you to share more information about what it is like working with you, and they are a great way to get new customers interested in your services.
- You can use Google My Business videos to show off your office space, give a virtual tour of your business and more.
- You can also create a video about the services you offer or a product demonstration.
- You can also use your Google My Business video as part of an advertising campaign on YouTube or other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Google My Business Categories
When you create a Google My Business listing, you’ll need to choose the categories that best describe your business.
- This helps Google determine what type of business you are and which keywords to use for your listing.
- You can choose up to ten categories, but the more you choose, the better chance you’ll have at ranking higher in local search results.
Google My Business Descriptions
Your Google My Business description should be a short paragraph that describes your business.
- It should be 150 words or less, and it’s best to use keywords that describe the services you offer and your target audience.
- Do not use more than three keywords per sentence, as this can make it difficult for Google to determine what your business is about.
- Try to keep your descriptions keyword rich, but also make sure they are engaging and interesting to read.
Your Google My Business description is one of the most important pieces of your listing.
Google My Business Reviews
Reviews on Google My Business are a great way to get more customers interested in your business.
- They show that you are an established business with a good reputation.
- When customers see positive reviews, they are more likely to trust your business and buy from you.
- You can create an email list of customers who have left reviews on your Google My Business listing, so when new customers come to your website, they’ll be able to see what other people think about you before making a purchase.
- Google My Business allows customers to leave reviews without having to create a Google account.
As you can see, there are several ways to optimize your Google My Business listings for local search. You’ll want to make sure that all of these elements are optimized so that when customers search for businesses in their area, yours will be one of the first ones they see. It’s a great way to get your business in front of more customers, and it can help you generate more leads and sales. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about local SEO, contact us today!
Yes. But, there are some caveats to this rule. If you’re a locksmith or plumber, and you do most of your work in the homes and businesses of your clients, you may be able to list a service area instead. Many business types can hide their address in Google My Business, but they’re on the hook to prove that they do most of their work at the client location instead of a central office.
Yes, you can list your business as being in multiple locations. You’ll need to create a separate listing for each location, and you’ll need to verify each one. But, you can list them all within one account.
What To Do If the Person Works from Home and Don’t Want The Address Visible on GMB?
If you work from home, and you don’t want your address to be visible on Google Maps, you can enter your business as a service area. Just be sure to list the towns and neighbourhoods that you service. You can also enter your business as a home-based business. This option will let you list your business without verifying it, and there’s no need to enter an address.
Google gives you the option to enter your business category when you create a listing. If it’s not there, choose the closest one that is similar. You can always change your category later if you need to.
The short name is the name of your business that will be used on Google Maps. It’s limited to 25 characters, so make sure it’s concise and easy to remember.
You can find the FAQ section under Posts in your Google My Business dashboard. You’ll have to post one question at a time. Then, you can answer them yourself, and people can answer them as well.
Labels are a way to group your listings together. This can be helpful if you have multiple locations, or if you offer different services. You can create labels for anything you want, and you can add as many as you need.
You can add attributes to your business listings. They’re just a few words that describe what makes your business special. For instance, you could use words like “organic”, “vegan”, or “gluten-free” to describe your restaurant.
NAP consistency helps Google know that your listings are all for the same business. This can help your rankings, and it can also help customers find your business more easily.
If you need to change your address, you can do it in the dashboard of your Google My Business account.
1. Sign in to your Google My Business account. Choose the location you are planning to change.
2. From the menu, click ‘Info’, and then click on the address field.
3. Enter your new address following the process explained above, and then click ‘Apply’.
4. If you can’t find your address on Google Maps, look for the red ‘Set marker location’ button on the right side of the map
5. A map will appear with a red pin. You can use this pin to place the center of your location.
6. When the process is completed, click ‘Apply’. The changes won’t be immediate as Google will review the changes before publishing.
About The Author
Hira Ramzan is a content strategist and has been writing for the past 10 years. Hira has worked with numerous B2B companies, helping them understand the need for high-quality content and how to use it effectively. Her expertise in heterogeneous niches makes her one of the best in the industry. She prides herself on being able to adapt quickly to the changing needs of each client by providing them with high-quality content which will help them grow their brand as well as reach their desired audience.