What is Google My Business?
GMB is a free tool that gives you a listing of your business that appears on Google and Google Maps. Your listing can include things like:
- Business Name
- Business Hours
- Customer Reviews
- Analytics for your use
Getting on Google My Business can be one of the easiest and fastest ways online to bring clients to your store and even bring more traffic to your website. When you talk about SEO, most of the time you have to hire someone to optimize your website and online brand in order to get your business found online, and it can still take months to see results. With Google My Business, you can see results almost immediately and you need very little technical experience.
To learn how to create, claim, verify, and optimize your Google My Business account, read on:
Create a Google My Business Listing
- On your computer, go to the Google My Business web page.
- At the top right of the screen, click the Manage button.
- You’ll either be asked to sign in to the Google Account you want to be associated with your business (use the email you use for work) or you’ll be asked to create a Google Account. Then click Next.
- You’ll have steps to follow now. Enter your business’ name, choose if you want your business to appear on Google Maps, add your business address, select your business category, add your website and phone number.
- I’m making the assumption that you have all of these things. If you don’t have a business address and you go to customer locations, that’s fine! Just tell Google and they’ll tell you how you should handle your Google My Business listing.
- Select a verification method. If you’re not ready to verify now, click Verify Later > Later.
- TIP – If you see a page that says “This listing has already been claimed” click Request access. Then follow the directed to claim your business.
Verify your Google My Business Listing
There are multiple ways to verify your Google My Business listing and only select businesses have some of these options:
- Instant Verification
For these guidelines, we’ll be using a computer, and the steps are different for the mobile app.
Verification by Mail
- Log in to Google My Business
- Select your business you’re ready to verify, click Verify now
- Make sure your business address is correct and edit your address if it is not and add a contact name. – This address is where your postcard will be delivered and will be the listing of your business.
- Click Send postcard or Mail – It usually takes less than a week to get this postcard but can take up to 14 days. Make sure you don’t edit anything about your Google My Business listing until you receive this postcard and finish the verification process.
- Once you get your podcast, log in to Google My Business, select the business you’re verifying, and click Verify now
- In the code field, enter the 5-digit verification code that is on your postcard
- Click Submit
If your postcard never shows up or you lose it, you can request a new one by logging back into your Google My Business account and following the steps above. When you get to the area where you get to select your business you want to verify, click I don’t have a code and a new one will be sent out.
Verification by Phone
Google will allow some businesses to verify by phone. If you don’t see this option, you’ll have to most likely go down the verify by mail route instead.
- Log in to Google My Business
- Select your business you’re ready to verify, make sure your phone number is correct, click Verify by phone
- Enter the verification code that you receive on your phone.
Verification by Email
Again, not all businesses qualify for the option to verify by email. If you don’t see this option, you’ll have to verify by mail.
- Log in to Google My Business
- Select your business you’re ready to verify, make sure your email is correct, click Send email
- Go to your email inbox, open the email from Google My Business, then click on the verification code or button in that email.
If you’ve already verified your business with the Google Search Console, you may have to ability to do an instant verification. If you do have your business verified with the Google Search Console, with the same Google Account as your Google My Business Account, your Google My Business page will automatically be verified on the creation of the business page.
Optimize your Google My Business Listing
Once you’ve verified your business, you’re ready to start using GMB to its full potential!
Log into your Google My Business dashboard and select your business. Click on Info and choose a section to fill out or update.
Add as much information about your business as possible. These are the details often passed over that make a big difference for getting found on Google. Make sure to add things like:
- Business photos
- The area your business serves
- Hours of operation
- Business photo number (or your personal phone number if you don’t have one)
- Website address
- Business description – This is a big part of what Google pulls from for user searches
- Any special attributes – Free WiFi, Kid Friendly, Etc.
Anyone can suggest an edit of your Google My Business listing, so it’s important to make sure you manage this page by filling out this information and are frequently monitoring.
Google My Business Photos
A big part of your GMB listing is the photos on your listing. Straight from Google’s mouth – Google My Business pages with photos have 35% more clicks through to their website.
These photos should be 720px by 720px and either JPG or PNG. Some ideas for these photos can be:
- The business logo
- The business office or location – exterior and interior
- Work in action or your product
- Happy employees or customers
Google My Business Reviews
Have you had a happy customer recently? Mention to them that you’re on Google My Business for them to leave a review! Having reviews online is great for your online presence for more reasons than one, and one of the best is the “online word-of-mouth” it helps bring for your business.
Respond to ALL reviews
It’s also important to respond to all of the reviews that you get on your GMB listing. It shows appreciation to happy customers and helps showcase their review more, and for the not so good reviews, it show’s that you’re trying to fix a problem or bad experience they may have had.
If you’re a local business, Google My Business is almost always a must-have is our eyes!
And if you aren’t already, get on Yelp and other local directories too!