Updated: Dec 16, 2020
Google provides a convenient, complementary tool that allows business owners to manage how their business appears on Google Search and Maps through Google My Business, also known as Google Business Listing.
Google Business Listings allow users to add important information about their company including their business name, location, hours and more. This Google feature also allows individuals to monitor and reply to customer reviews, add photos of their business, learn where and how people are searching for their business, and so much more.
If you’re just beginning to get familiarized with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google My Business is a great place to focus your early efforts as it will only benefit your business and the way it is promoted through Google.
You’re fairly close to a purchase every time that you search for a product or service “near you” through Google. 1 in every 2 people who conduct a local search end up visiting a store that same day, and essentially, we all want our business to be the store that gets a visit.
When a user performs a Google search for your business, it is paramount that the information about they view is as accurate, complete, and as optimized as possible.
NB Media Solutions is here to navigate you through the ultimate Google Business Listing guide to create, verify, and optimize your business so that your company’s web listing brings in as much clientele possible.
Create a Google Business Listing
Creating a Google My Business is a fairly
simple process, so let’s walk through it:
Step 1: Create a new Google account if you don’t already have one or log into the Google account that you want associated with your business profile.
Step 2: Go to google.com/business and select the top right-hand corner button, “Start now”.
Google My Business will ask you the name of your business and its location so you’ll:
Step 3: Enter the name of your business.
Step 4: Enter your business address:
If you deliver your product/service to your customers, then Google My Business will give you the option to select, “I deliver goods and services to my customers”. Also, if you work out of your home or another address that you don’t want publicly shown, Google gives you the option to “Hide my address”.
If you deliver goods and services to your customers, the next step of the Google My Business process requires you to select a delivery range distance or area/city/location where you deliver to.
Step 5: Choose your business category. Keep the category as accurate and related to your business as possible. You’re essentially telling Google which type of customers should see your business listing. The categories are pre-populated so choose the most relevant choice for your business. If a category is tough to choose, snoop on your competitors and see what they are listed under!
Step 6: Add your business phone or website.
Step 7: Choose a verification option. If you’re not quite ready to verify your business, you can select “Try a different method”, which will give you a “Later” option.
Verify Google My Business Listing
There are various ways that one can verify their Google Business Listing:
· By postcard
· By phone
· By email
· Instant Verification
· Bulk Verification
If you haven’t already logged into your Google My Business account, sign in now and choose the business that you’d like to verify. If you’re already logged in and are following us through these steps, you’ll already be at the verification step at this point.
Google will walk you through each step of verifying your Google Business Listing, regardless of which option that you choose to verify through.
Optimize Google Business Listing
Now that you’ve verified your business, it’s time to optimize your profile so that potential customers can gain insight and access more information about your business.
Go to the Google My Business dashboard on the left-hand side of your screen, choose which listing you’d like to work on (if you have more than one), select “Info”, and then choose a section to fill out or update.
Keep in mind that adding as much information and media as possible will benefit your customers and potentially bring in more business.
If you’re unsure what information to add to your Google Business Listing, a great start is to add: a business profile photo, a business description, the area(s) that you serve, your business hours, business attributes (free wifi, wheelchair accessible etc.), day and year of your business' establishment, a public phone number, and most importantly a website URL address.
The public has the option to “suggest an edit” on your Google My Business listing, so it’s paramount to get all of your information right the first time, as well as periodically log into your Google Business Listing account to review that all the details are still accurate when time has passed.
The cool thing about Google My Business is that nothing is set in stone. You can edit your Google Business Listing profile at any time simply by logging into your account, going to your dashboard and selecting “Info”, clicking the pencil icon on the field that you’d like to edit, making the change, and finally selecting “Apply”. The additions and/or deletions will show up on your Google Business Listing after editing so if your company’s information changes at any random point in time, you can still make the changes without penalizations.
Google My Business Photos
According to Google’s research, businesses with photos acquire 35% more clicks to their website and a 42% increase in requests for driving directions through Google Maps.
Just a helpful tip, 720x720 JPG or PNG files are best when choosing adequate photos for your Google My Business listing.
Unsure of how many or which photos of your business to add?
The cover photo is the prominent photo that will show up front and center on your business listing when your company is searched for through Google.
Adding a descriptive cover photo that shows and explains your business is most important because customers want to see what product or service they are getting or walking into.
Your profile photo is used to show your identity when you post a photo or reply to a comment/review. Usually, users will make their Google My Business profile photo with their company logo or another icon that represents them.
In addition to your cover and profile photos, you should add others to make your Google Business Listing more informative and engaging. Add photos that truly explain your business and everything that it entails because customers want to see what your business is like before they visit you or make a purchase from you.
A picture of your product(s), management team, employees, food/drink(s), interior/exterior view of your business, and common areas of your business are great ideas to add to the "Photos" section of your Google My Business listing.
Google Business Listing Videos
You can add videos to your Google Business Listing as long as they are:
· 30 seconds or shorter
· 100 MB or smaller
· 720p resolution or higher
Videos are a great way to add some variety and make your Google My Business listing stand out among others in your business category. If you don’t have any videos and/or don’t plan on sharing any videos through your listing, don’t fret. Unlike photos, videos aren’t a huge requirement on a Google Business Listing.
Google My Business Reviews
A great way to encourage future customers to leave positive reviews is to respond to current ones.
Not only does an appreciative response from you show that the original reviewer that you’re thankful for their support, it also makes that positive review stand out on your listing plus influences others to leave their own reviews.
Responding to negative reviews is also beneficial because it shows that you’re taking their unhappy review seriously and professionally. TIP: Tread lightly and think before responding to negative reviews on any platform online. This response will become part of your businesses profile online.
There is always room for improvement. Good or bad, customer/client reviews are beneficial to business owners as it gives them firsthand insight on what changes and improvements should or shouldn’t be made to their business. When addressing a review, always make sure that you mention the user’s name as it is more personable, and politely take responsibility for their good/bad experience with your company. Don’t forget to thank the reviewer at the end.
Finalized Google Business Listing
Now that we’ve extensively walked you through the process of successfully creating a Google My Business listing, you should be confident that your listing is as optimized as possible! Reap all the benefits of your Google Business Listing by remembering to check in on your dashboard occasionally to ensure that all of your company information remains accurate, and that your clients are all fully satisfied with your business. Promote yourself to the world through the complementary tools of Google My Business.
Don't have a Google Business Listing? CLICK HERE