In 2021, Google My Business remains one of the best most essential free tools local business owners can utilise to help generate business. Google has added, deleted, and modified the features over the years.
To get to the top of your local search results, all you need to do is service your local community while concentrating your marketing efforts toward possible clients in your region. Google My Business (GMB) is an important marketing approach for small companies everywhere, especially if you don’t have a lot of time or money to invest in a full digital marketing plan.
Here are the basics of Google My Business which will help you generate business and optimize your marketing strategy.
Basics of Google My Business
Google Maps and Google Search’s local results contain your Google My Business listing. As you can see, the popular local package has quiet competition to land, which reveals only the top three outcomes. Many variables include the number of reviews, the accuracy of citations, other Internet profiles, the Google search engine algorithm and keywords that are shown by companies in this place but are not restricted.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool for the owners of local companies that makes Google Maps and search more accessible. By using a Google My Business page you may not only reach out to more potential consumers, but also understand how people interact with your business, what information they are looking for, and answer questions you most wanted before visiting your web site.
Businesses Qualify for a Google My Business Listing
The basics of any company that has a location OR any company visiting a physical site, such as a client’s home or business, might be qualified for a Google My Business Listing. “The Business must have personal interaction with consumers within its specified time frames to be eligible for a Business Profile on Google.”
Businesses Don’t Qualify for a Google My Business Listing
Companies that have no physical location or do not serve their clients at their sites are not eligible for a listing. For example, e-commerce firms, rental properties and digital companies with a full online presence are exactly examples. Only companies which have a physical location may visit or travel to see consumers where they are can generate Business Profile on Google My Business.
Establishment of My Business without Address
You may build a business as a service area business if your company does not have an office or shop front presence. You can establish a range of the region to which you serve without having a physical location through a business area listing.
Google My Business page
You need a GMB listing for your company. You may not only use Google Maps and search results through the listing but also manage the information shown on your page by claiming and confirming your listing. Anybody may add the company listing to the GMB and you will also have control over the description, hours, address, contact information and more if you have control over the listing.
How GMB Can Help You Succeed
The benefits and significance of Google My Business for local companies are hard to evaluate. If you operate a physical and mortar site or local delivery, it is vital to get local clients to your store even if you also sell online.
Your online submission will not only indicate your position on the map, it also appears above the main search results. It’s all location! People want to locate what they are searching for as quickly as possible before diving in the searches below, and will likely click on a local listing.
You may share fresh photographs, blog entries and more with GMB. This is no new approach to update local consumers about what is going on within your business and to provide them with the information they need to pick from their rivals.
Overall, you should notice an increase in the amount of clicks coming from those who are ready to buy and are seeking for the appropriate service provider or shop if your listing is attractive and has high ratings. People who search locally are more likely to leave their homes and visit a company in person that day to solve their problem or discover the goods that they need.
GETTING STARTED: How to Finding Your Listing & Creating Your Profile
Before you can set up your GMB profile, you’ll need to create a business account or log into your existing Google account. This is the basics of finding your listing in Google my Business account. When you land on the Google homepage, simply click “sign-in” and follow the prompts. Be sure to select the option to create a business account and use your company email for sign-in purposes.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to find your Google My Business listing, if one exists. Even if you didn’t already create a GMB profile, it may already be online and you’ll need to claim ownership of the listing so you can optimize it for SEO purposes.
To find out if a listing already exists for your business, type one of the following combinations into Google:
- Your business name and city
- Your business address
- Your business phone number
If you don’t find anything after trying all of these combinations, then you’ll need to create a new listing. If you find an unclaimed listing, you can just click on the link that says “Own this business?”
In the rare case that the listing is already claimed, you should ask for a transfer from the current owner of the listing. You can formally request a transfer from Google if you’re unable to get the person who has claimed the profile to give it back to you.
Google My Business Page
Your next step is to head to the Google My Business page and fill in your business name, address, phone number, and other essential information, like your business category (an important SEO ranking factor). If you don’t have a storefront but you deliver to customers in your area, you can choose to hide your address and add a delivery area instead.
During the setup process you’ll be prompted to add all of this essential information, so don’t worry about forgetting to add a key piece of data at this stage.
Setting Up Your GMB Profile: Claim & Verify Your Listing
Once you’ve created a profile for your business, it’s time to verify your listing. Google offers you several different options for confirming your listing ownership, so you can choose the one that works best for you. Whether you choose to receive verification by email, postcard, phone, or instant verification (which isn’t always available), you’ll get a code or verification message. It can take up to two weeks to receive this.
When you receive the code or verification, log into your account and enter the code or simply click the link to verify. That’s it!
Now that your GMB account is verified, it’s time to dive in and optimize your listing. Make sure that all the basic information is correct before moving on to other optimization activities. It’s a good idea at this stage to go through your listing and add features and amenities like parking options, payment types, and a sub-category if applicable.
This is the basics of Google My Business Profile. Use this space to share a bit about your business. When did you open? Who do you serve? What sets your business apart from all the others?
Have some fun here and encourage people to find out more about you. Don’t keyword stuff here! Make your business description read like normal, human language. Jamming in keywords here won’t help your rankings.
Add the month and year you opened your business here.
Regular hours: Enter your regular hours first.
More hours: You will also now have an option to add hours for specific services or specials. For example, happy hours, brunch hours, delivery availability hours, etc.
Special hours: This is where you can add any shortened or close dates and times for holidays, special events, or anything else with a date where you know your opening times will be impacted. This section is especially helpful during holidays where searchers will want to know your business’s availability.
This needs to be your primary business number. If you use tracking phone numbers at all, do not include them here. Google uses this information to confirm your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) details, so you always want this number to match all other listings of your business. Also, make sure it’s a local number. If you have an 800 number you prefer people to use, consider getting a local number that gets routed to the 800 number. Even if you are a local company, 800 numbers tend to scare people off. If you have more than one main phone number, up to two can be added.
A short name will help make it easier for customers who are searching for you to find you. From Google, “When you share your short name, customers can enter the name’s URL in the browser’s address bar to go directly to your Business Profile. For example, customers can search for “g.page/[yourcustomname]” in the address bar to find your business.”
This is where you want to add your businesses’ website URL.
If you have more than one location, add the specific location page from your website to this URL space here versus sending everyone to your home page.
We prefer to use a website tracking URL on Google My Business listings. It makes tracking traffic coming from your GMB listing more accurate and easier to find under “campaigns” in your Google Analytics. We always want to see how many times our website link is clicked on in our GMB listing, vs clicked in the organic results. Yes, it’s nitpicky, but it’s what we do!
You can create one here with Google Campaign URL Builder.
While you will still be able to see Local results in your Google Analytics Dashboard, with a tracking URL you will be able to compare specific clicks to your home page from your knowledge panel.
Adding Photos in Google My Business
Adding imges in your profile is one of the basics of Google my business. You can’t only be perfect in your GMB profile – it must also appear good. It can feel a bit difficult to make your listing look aesthetically attractive, but it is actually very straightforward. Photos are vital if visual appeal is to be added and to assist clients understand the experience they may expect in the business.
According to Google, there are a few different photo categories you should be aware of when setting up your listing:
- Cover photo—This is your “first impression” photo. It’s the one that will be displayed first in your listing, and it has a big responsibility. It’s the first glimpse future customers will get inside your establishment, and they’ll be using it to make assumptions about what your business can do for them. Make this one count—it should be a high-quality photo that captures your brand personality.
- Profile Photo—This is almost like your business’s “avatar.” It will appear when you make a post or when you respond to reviews on your listing. For many businesses, a logo is the best option for the profile picture.
- Additional Photos—These photos can expand on the cover photo and provide your customers with more information, inviting them to come and visit your brick-and-mortar location. Make these photos inviting and relevant to what your customers are looking for.
Don’t just leave the same photos up forever by default. Add to them as your business shifts and grows. People want to know what they can expect when they come in today, not what they might have seen a year ago. The photo should be in focus and well lit, and have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters. In other words, the image should represent reality.
Videos in GMB Account
Video is still an incredibly underutilized feature! If you are able to add one or two short fun videos to your page, I guarantee you will have a leg up on most if not all of your competitors! Do videos help with your rankings? Not necessarily. But Google likes it when you use their stuff. And the more interaction your GMB profile receives, the more credit Google will give your business listing.
Make sure your videos meet the following requirements:
Duration: Up to 30 seconds long
File size: Up to 75 MB
Resolution: 720p or higher
Above, you got the basics of Google My Business which is an ever-developing product. The options accessible to your company will be continuously changed and updated. Lastly, your Google My Business account is crucial to log in and monitor often. Google not only suggests changing data from websites such as Yelp and other third-party applications and automatically updates company information, but also allows users to propose changes to your information. Make sure that your information is frequently checked and that it is correct!