An absolutely brilliant yet free tool to explode your local leads. When you are looking for goods or services, you always start Local. isn’t local the first step?
In fact, according to recent research 78% of local mobile searches result in an in-store or online purchase. This is the audience you want to target to maximise your conversion.
This blog will help you understand what is Google My Business listing, how to set it up, and how to optimize it to get the best out of your local SEO.
What is Google My Business (GMB)?
How does Google My Business work?
Should you use Google My Business?
How to set Google My Business and get listed on Google?
Different ways to verify your business on Google My Business.
Hot tips to Optimise your Google My Business Listing
Can I get help from the Google My Business Support team?
Frequently Asked Questions – GMB
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to promote your Business Profile and business website on Google Search and Maps. With your Google My Business account, you can see and connect with your customers, post updates to your Business Profile, and see how customers are interacting with your business on Google. To get the best out of Google My Business listing you need to have a physical and local address and be providing goods and services from it. So, if you’re a 100% online business, you can’t really get a lot out of Google My Business listing.
Every time you do a local search, you’ll see the businesses near your physical location. This is how it looks:
An example of a Google My Business entry
How does Google My Business work?
Google allows you to list and register your local business. This allows your website to appear in search results when people are looking for something you offer.
In the listing, you can include the services you offer, an FAQ section, and a few photos. You can also allow customers to write reviews about your business as believe it or not, word of mouth is still powerful and goes a long way. You can also add a few interesting business attributes that will show up on your knowledge graph.
Why you should use Google My Business?
This next fact will shock the surprise out of you 😊, Google dominates the search results worldwide, especially the local search. As of January 20, 94.78% of all searches took place on Google.
Search engine market share graph
As a small business owner, Google My Business (GMB) has to be your top priority and you can’t ignore the benefits it has to offer.
Research shows that 92% of online shoppers like to compare brands online before making a purchase. And most of them jump on Google search to find companies that they would like to buy something from.
Also Not only this but also, 49% of all Google My Business listings will receive more than 1000 searches each month, while 96% of listings will be viewed at least 25 times a month.
Now, you might wonder Do you know what happens when your company is listed and seen on Google My Business?
Statistics show that 56% of people who see your GMB listing click their way through to your website, while another 24% call your company directly. This is great news for companies looking to survive and thrive despite difficult economic conditions.
This survey shows that an entry in Google My Business can also help small businesses achieve local SEO success by guaranteeing visibility on Google Maps and Google Search for SMBs.
Just look at these results from a study of Google’s local ranking factors:
The results below from a study of Google’s local ranking factors might interest you:
Plus, prospects can get in touch with you instantly through GMB while you keep an eye on your listing to see what previous customers think of your brand, plan their visit, navigate them to your location, and more.
There are tons of reasons to use Google My Business! I am sure by now you know that there are tons of reasons why you should use Google My Business!
Now that you know what Google My Business is and why you should use it for your local business, let’s go over how to set it up.
How do I set up Google My Business? (And get listed on Google)
Setting up your Google My Business profile and getting it on Google is an important part of local search. Here’s how you can create a Google My Business profile for your company:
Step 1 – Go to the official Google My Business website
Google My Business homepage, start here to set up your account
If you’re not already signed in to your Google Account, it will ask you to sign in before continuing.
Make sure you are signed in to the account you want to be associated with the GMB record you are creating.
Step 2 – Find your business or create a new listing
If you haven’t set up a GMB listing in the past, you can search for your company name or you can click to add a new listing.
Find your business on GMB
It’s not uncommon for someone to already have your business listed. If so, you should see your business appear. If it doesn’t appear, click Add your business to Google
Step 3 – Setting up your name
Now you can add your company name:
Add your company name to the GMB
When you’ve added it, press the next button.
Step 4 – Selecting a Category
Now you need to select the category on Google My Business that best describes your business.
This step is pretty important if you want to show up on Google ‘s results page when customers search for a product or service that you offer.
You can set primary and secondary categories, so choose them wisely.
Choosing a business category on GMB
Enter under the category “Business” what your company does and you will get some automatically generated suggestions to choose from:
Examples of the business category options on GMB (some of them are very obscure!)
Step 5 – Set your company’s address
Now you have to set up the location that you want to link to your listing.
Add a place to GMB
You have to choose between the following options:
Option # 1 (YES) Brick and mortar business listing
Option # 2 (NO) Business Listing service area
Let’s quickly go through each one:
Option # 1 (YES) Brick and mortar business listing
If you’re creating a listing for a physical store with a location, add that here:
Choice of address for a physical premises store
Option # 2 (NO) Business Listing service area
If you don’t have physical premises but still serve customers in an area, you can add that here:
Selecting the address for a business with a service area
You can either search for your area or use the options suggested.
Step 6 – Add your contact details
Now you need to add a way for customers to get in touch with you (phone + website):
Add contact details to your GMB listing
Adding your website to Google My Business can attract a customer to your website where you can convert them more easily . If you provide your phone number, customers can contact you directly.
Step 7 – Finish and review your listing
Once you have filled in all the relevant information in the GMB, you can submit your entry:
Finish and manage your GMB listing
Almost there, but here is one more important step you need to take:
Verify your entry.
Choose a method to verify your listing (a very important step)
In order for your entry to appear in Google My Business, you have to confirm it. This may take a few days, but you can tweak your listing while you wait.
To confirm your listing, Google will send you a postcard with a verification code on it.
Postcard verification for Google My Business
5 ways to get your business verified on Google My Business
Depending on the type of business listing you want to register or manage, you have a choice of options to review your business:
Verification by post (postcard)
Verification by phone
Verification by email
1. Verification by post (postcard)
The most common is by postcard. If you are logged into your GMB profile, check that your business address is correct and click on “Mail”.
As soon as it arrives, you have to log into your Google account, click on “Verify” in the menu and enter the verification code from your postcard.
While you’re waiting for your postcard to arrive (which should take about 5 days), Google recommends that you don’t:
Edit your company name
Edit your address
Change the business category
Request a new code
This could slow down the verification process and require Google customer support to intervene.
2. Verification by phone
Google allows some companies to check their listing over the phone. If this applies to you, you will see the ‘Verify by phone’ option.
Make sure your phone number is correct and you will be sent a verification code via SMS.
3. Verify by email
Google allows some companies to review their listing via email. If this applies to you, you will see the option to “Verify by Email”. Make sure your email address is correct and you will then receive a link to confirm your entry.
4. Immediate verification
If you’ve already verified your business using the Google Search Console, you may be able to review your listing right away.
Well, that isn’t hard either: just log into Google My Business with the same account that you used to verify your business with the Google Search Console, and you’re done.
Some GMB business categories cannot be verified immediately. If you don’t see a notification asking you to confirm your listing, you’ll need to use another verification method.
5. Bulk verification
If you have more than 10 locations for the same business, you can use the bulk check. To qualify, you shouldn’t be a service company or an agency that manages multiple companies.
Here you can find out how you can verify your entries in Google My Business all together:
Log into Google My Business and choose a location
Select “Get Verified” next to one of your locations
Click on “Chain”.
Now fill out the form with all the information (company name, location, contact details, etc.)
Submit the form (it can take up to a week for Google to process it).
6 tips for optimizing your Google listing MyBusiness
Let’s recap, by now you should have done it:
Set up your GMB listing
Your business details added
Your entry has been verified
And what now? Well, it’s time to tweak your listing!
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Go to the Google My Business Dashboard, click on your entry and select “About”. Then select an area that you want to complete or update.
GMB dashboard to edit your information
Check out these tips to get the most out of your Google My Business profile:
1. Keep your listing information up to date
One of the best ways to optimize your Google My Business listing is also the most obvious: keep it up to date.
At the very least, make sure that the following points are always correct:
As a business, you should display contact information in case customers want to get in touch. And GMB is just an extension of that.
You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to find you and get in touch with you.
Name, address, telephone number (NAP) are important contact details that you need to have on your GMB.
A correct address can help customers contact your business/service area quickly. If they can’t find you easily, chances are they’ll get in touch with a competitor.
It is useful for potential customers to keep your phone number, work hours, and product categories up to date. Especially when you consider that a company’s details appear on average up to 1,009 times per month in search results.
You don’t want to lose your prospects by providing invalid/incorrect information. So make sure to update your entry regularly.
This can come in handy when you want to add information about a new product or recently launched service to share with your customers.
It usually takes Google three business days to review and update the information. You can even add managers to run your business site.
Beware of competitors, however, because they too can change your entries.
2. Upload photos to your listing
Your GMB listing is the perfect place to showcase your products and services by adding pictures, videos, and virtual tours to promote your business.
You can upload engaging pictures of your products and services, or maybe give visitors a look into your office.
An example of photos uploaded to a Google My Business listing
As you flip through these, customers are encouraged to check out the company’s website and eventually contact you to learn more or to place an order.
Once your business listing is verified, it can display a combination of tagged and uploaded photos. That means you can upload photos not only as a business owner but also as a customer.
The average number of photos on GMB lists
A study shows that small businesses upload an average of 11 photos, but there are many businesses on GMB that have hundreds more. Don’t forget to upload a logo or cover photo of your brand as well.
The Google search results for your brand and keywords will show the most viewed images and videos at the top.
When uploading photos, try to keep the file size between 10KB and 5MB and use PNG or JPG formats.
Here are the best Google My Business image sizes you can use:
Profile picture – 250 x 250 pixels
Cover photo – 1080 x 608 pixels
Split images – 497 x 373 pixels
3. Add information about your products/services
Sometimes one of the best things you can do to help your business grow is shown what you’re doing.
Show your product or service offering on GMB
You can customize your company’s GMB page by clearly mentioning the services you offer and the products you sell. This should help your customers understand what your business is about.
For example, restaurants can add links to their menus and indicate their restaurant location.
Run a restaurant? Add links to your menu + online orders on GMB
It is better to add different sections for a wide variety of dishes served in the restaurant . You could even add the descriptions and prices of everything to create a kind of virtual menu that visitors can browse and choose.
Insurance companies, marketing agencies, online health consultancies, legal advice firms , can set up different sections for the services they offer and offer the possibility of booking consultations directly
Add a way for potential customers to book an appointment through the GMB
A description, along with the service charge, should be given to persuade customers to place a call.
Eliminate and relieve your customers of long queues and endless phone calls by using the “Reserve / Book” option.
Do you run a hotel? Add a button to book a room from your GMB
Anyone anywhere in the world can pay for tickets, book appointments and reserve a seat at their favorite places.
4. Answer questions (before they are asked)
Did you know that your Google My Business profile has a built-in FAQ tool?
You can anticipate and dispel any doubts people might have about your business. Create an FAQ section online to make it easier for your customers. For example, a potential customer might want to know what areas you service.
Collect and answer customer questions about your GMB entry
In the case of restaurants, a customer may want to check that the food does not contain any allergic ingredients or how many people it is serving.
Likewise, in the case of service-oriented businesses, a person could check to see if a particular service is available in their area or if there are any side effects.
Clarify these doubts and ambiguities in an FAQ section. If you want to go beyond that, you can also communicate with customers by turning on the messaging option!
5. Publish Google Posts
Do you want to get a few clicks and potential sales? Take advantage of Google Posts :
You can use Google Posts to show what you can do
Google Posts are a great way for you to connect directly with your potential customers by drawing their attention to you.
These posts will help your local SEO strategy generate more organic clicks. You can add CTA buttons to your posts to get users to take action.
Here’s How Posts Can Help Improve Your Local SEO Strategy :
Generate organic clicks on the CTA buttons to improve the ranking of the pages.
Increase traffic to other content on your website (e.g. blog entries)
Link a post to a survey form and collect user information.
6. Receive customer ratings
Your customers are the lifeblood of your company. So make sure you value their comments and feedback ratings by responding to them in a timely manner.
Google My Business makes it easy for customers to add reviews about your business to your profile and for potential customers to read them.
Get your GMB listing noticed by getting (hopefully positive) reviews
Why should you care to get reviews for your Google My Business listing?
Well, for starters, 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.
Results of a local consumer study
In addition to highlighting the trust and confidence that customers have in your brand, Google reviews have a direct impact on search rankings.
Google My Business reviews are a way to get more customers by posting more information about your products or services.
Just be sure to respond to negative reviews.
It may seem counter-intuitive (or you just want to brush bad reviews under the rug), but taking the time to respond to bad reviews can actually be more effective than ignoring them. It shows that you care about your audience and care about the quality of your business.
And that’s never a bad thing!
How do I get help from the Google My Business Support Team?
You can either search the GMB Knowledge Base for a request or ask the volunteers and users for help.
If you’d like to report fake listings or fraudulent information, you can file a complaint with GMB using the official deal complaint form.
You can also flag “inappropriate” in the case of fake customer reviews in order to ensure reliable and honest customer service.
Google My Business FAQs
This section answers some of the most frequently asked questions from GMB users:
What is the purpose of Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool that businesses can use to organize their online presence. This presence not only helps find your website, but it also helps find your business through Google Maps.
Once you’ve completed the verification process for your business, you can add opening times, upload photos, and request customer reviews. You can interact with your buyers online and ultimately expand your presence and improve your business activities.
How do I use Google My Business? How do I get my business on Google?
To get started, you first need to create an account on GMB. Go to www.google.com/business and fill in the information. Upload your address, choose the type of business you have and tick the services you provide to your customers.
Get verified by postcard, phone or email and watch your brand go live.
Does Google My Business cost money?
No, Google My Business is completely free for everyone. Just like anyone can add their business to Google Maps, you can create an account with GMB and put your business online. You can also have multiple entries under the same account on Google without incurring any costs.
What is Store Code in Google My Business?
The store code is a number that can only be seen by the person who runs the store. The code doesn’t mean much other than that it allows Google to differentiate your business and clearly identify your location. Google also uses these codes to display inventory information to potential customers.
How can I stop Google from calling my company?
Google typically calls companies listed on GMB for verification. Most of the time, these calls are automated recordings. They may want to confirm the hours of operation, ask about your services and your messages (if available).
To avoid getting calls from Google, you can report calls and file a complaint. You can also block their number or report it.
How can I access my Google Business page?
All you have to do is go to the Google My Business page . As soon as you are there, you log in with your access data and Google will forward you.
How do I hide my address on Google My Business?
To hide your address, sign in to your Google My Business account. Click on the “Info” tab and search for the address area. Click the little pencil in the corner to edit your address. To delete the information, click “Delete Address,” then click “Apply” when the dialog box appears. Make sure to save your changes when you exit the page.
When it comes to building an online presence, generating leads, and getting noticed, having a Google My Business profile is just as important as other practices.
Not only does this give your brand a more professional look, but it also allows you to manage what you want your customers to see and list your business on another Google property for free.
I hope you get the most out of this read and it helps you grow your business because Growing Your Business Is Our Business.
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