Most experienced SEO professionals leverage a location-based strategy to attain successful digital marketing. And to achieve this success, they start by creating a Google My Business (GMB) listing.
In this guide, we will share to you the basics of Google My Business and help you create your GMB listing and make sure that it’s finished properly.
This will also help you optimize all the tool’s possible facets to leverage it well for your business on Google and other third-party tools that make use of Google Maps API in generating location information for the users.
Getting Started with Google My Business (GMB)
There are basic things that you should know about Google My Business, especially if you and your business are new to the concept of digital marketing. This is to help you understand it better and its value to your business.
Google My Business is a free tool from Google that makes the greatest impact for brands that are looking for local exposure. The tool lets business owners manage their business’s online presence across the search engine and the growing portfolio of its utilities.
Google My Business listing will not replace the website of your business but instead compliments it through the public identity it has given to your business and including it to the business listing on Google. All the information about your business that you have provided will appear on Google Search and Google Maps.
Previously, the best way you could manage the information about your business is through Google+ Pages Dashboard and Google Places for Business. At present, it is done through the universal platform of Google, Google My Business.
In addition, there is a strong chance that your business is already included on Google My Business listing if your business has been in operation for a while now, or you have previously used some Google tools that have complemented your business.
Business Listing on Google My Business: A Must Have for Your Business
To emphasize the need for new and already established businesses for GMB Listing. Here are some of Google’s features that will show you the value of GMB listing.
Google’s Local Search
Google’s Local Search will generate a list of nearby businesses with all the significant information about them, like the business hours, category, address and review. And this pertinent information is needed by potential customers or clients to find the particular business they are looking for. (Screenshot below)
Google’s Knowledge Graph
Another one is Google’s Knowledge Graph, which uses Google My Business to verify information from its database to generate details about the business and other related entities that are relevant to specific searches.
A Google Map location is then generated once a new listing is created. And this location synchronizes with the traditional ‘Google Search’ for it to be searched and accessed easily. And the majority of the organic searches are from Google at around 90 % market share of the worldwide search engine.
Creating a Listing for Your Business on GMB
Before you create your Google My Business listing, you will have to do a Google search first to check if your business is not yet on the GMB listing. And again, if your business has been in operation for several years, so there’s a strong chance that it has been on GBM listing.
If your business is already on GMB listing, then you should claim it. Once you have successfully claimed it, you can now manage the information about your business.
If no results found in your Google search, you can proceed with creating your Google My Business listing by following these steps.
- Go to Google My Business page for creating GMB listings. Then enter your business name and address, which are both important to make sure that your business does have a listing that you should claim.
It will notify you if your business has been on the list. It will also notify you if someone has previously claimed your business listing. For situations like this, you can browse through Google My Business for the steps to follow on how you can request ownership of the GMB listing.
2. Fill out the fields for the other important details about your business. Make sure that everything you enter is grammatically correct and accurate, also mind the capitalization of your business name, street name and other information you have entered.
There are lots of categories that you can choose for your business. Make sure to select the best category that your business belongs.
3. The last part of the form asks you how your business operations if it delivers goods or services your customer or client’s location.
This is important for those businesses that do not operate in their physical office, but instead to the place or office of their customers or clients. Examples of these kinds of businesses are pest control, cleaning services, construction companies and other businesses that provide home services.
Business Service Area Details: How to Add or Edit
To add or edit the service area business details, you will have to sign in to Google My Business then make sure you are in the Card View. If locations are shown as a list, you can switch it to card view by clicking the cards view icon on the upper-right side of your locations. Afterwards, follow these steps to proceed:
- Choose the location that you’d like to manage after that click the Manage Location.
- Select and click Info from the menu.
- Then click the Address section.
- A popup window will appear, click Yes.
- Enter your business service area information. You can set the service area by the postal codes, cities or any other areas that your business serves.
- If you want the complete address of your business to appear and that your business receives customers on your posted business hours to appear on Google, check the option box, for ‘I serve customers at my business address’.
- Then lastly, click Apply to save the changes that you have made.
Validating Your Listing on Google My Business
You are still to confirm your listing after submitting your business info and your business service area if there are any. This is vital for your business listing’s performance and visibility.
The easiest way that you can verify your listing is through the mail. Google knows your address as you have provided it in your business info, and they will send you the mail through that address.
Verifying your listings will help Google in getting rid those fake listings that can possibly point users in the wrong direction and ruin the usefulness of Google Search and Google Maps and other Google Tools.
It is important for you to know that Google will not display your business or the changes you have made with your business info until it is verified. And you should know that you can’t access any analytical information or business insights or even reviews of your business if you have not yet verified your listing.
The verification process usually takes less than a week to complete. You will receive from Google a verification postcard that contains the verification code. You need to enter the verification code in order for your business listing to be authenticated and make it live.
Publish Your Google My Business Listing
The most important thing you should get the maximum advantage for your business location is to make use of all the resources provided by Google My Business in its listing details. Here are some important tips for you to optimize your listing.
You Have To Add The Complete Business Data for Your Listing
Local search will always favor the most relevant result. And the business with the accurate and detailed information will help to make the search easier.
You should make sure that your listing will effectively connect with your prospective clients or customers and communicates to them your business address, the goods or services your business offers to them, and how can they avail the things your business is offering. You should not let your potential clients or customers assume or guess those things by themselves.
Include more Keywords
Google uses different indicators to help search results, just like a traditional SEO website. The inclusions of important keywords and other search phrases in your business listing are a great help for your business to be easily found when searched.
Your business is even easier to find since your business official website is included in your GMB listing.
Keep Your Business Hours Accurate
You should add your business hours in your GMB listing as this is significant for your business’ presence. Additionally, it is important to update them if there are changes in your business hours.
Google made it even better for you as you can customize your business hours during holidays and on other special events. You should keep your business hour as accurate as possible; it makes your clients or customers happy.
Add Some Photos
Businesses that add photos on their business listing have received 42% more direction requests to their business via Google Maps and 35% received more visitors in their websites than those businesses that don’t add photos; this is according to Google.
Photos have greatly helped businesses more than expected by marketers and even business owners.
Manage Customer Reviews and Respond to Them
To show that the business values its customers and their opinion about the product, there should be an interaction between with the customer and the business.
Positive reviews by customers will make potential customers to have a favorable perspective on the business they are researching. Constructive reviews can also increase the visibility of your business in the search results.
To encourage your customers to give reviews or feedback, you should create a link where they can click and write their reviews or feedback.
More On Adding Photos In Your Listing
No other photos that have more impact and get more attention on your business listing than your profile photo. This is the most important photo your business listing should have.
The profile photo of your business should not necessarily be the logo of the business. Instead, it must be a photo that describes the business, what the business is all about, what goods or services the business offers, and it should appeal to the potential clients of customers.
Here are other types of photos that you should add on your GMB listing.
- Logo – the use of the logo is recommended by Google for customers to identify your business. The logo must be a square sized image.
- Cover Photo – it is the large photo that is featured on top of the brand’s own Google+ page. The aspect ratio for a cover photo is 16:9. Cover photos should emphasize the personality of the brand.
- Additional Photos – there are varying kinds of photos that are used to highlight your business features that may affect the customers buying decisions. These kinds of photos differ and depend on what type of business you have.
These photos may include the goods or services to your business or the design of your business offices, or even your staff working or having a transaction your customers. Other general photos can also be added if it summarizes your business and the things the business offers to its customers.
And here are Google’s practices in uploading photos on your business listing that you should follow.
- Format: PNG or JPG
- Size: 10KB up to 5MB
- Quality: There should be no modification on the photo or excessive and unnecessary use of filters. The photo should be well lit and in focus.
- Minimum Resolution: 720px by 720px (tall X wide)
Insights: Monitoring of Your Business Listing on GMB
Google has made incredible steps for Google My Business listings with the available analytical data. And now it is called Insights. Google is offering businesses a different approach in understanding how customers interact with the listings, including the following.
How do customers find your business listing?
Insights show you how your customers found you, is it in a Direct Search or Discovery Search.
- Direct search means that customers search you through your business name or even address.
- Discover search means that customers search for the product or service your business offers or category then your business listing appeared in the result.
Bulk Insights reports are in these following labels.
- Direct Searches
- Discovery Searches
- Total Searches.
Which Google Platforms The Customers Found You
This shows what Google platform customers found you, on Google Maps or Google Search.
Aside from Listing on Maps and Listing on Search, you can also see the number of views your business listing has received through each of your products when in the selected timeframe. Views are the same as Impressions on any other analytical platforms, according to Google.
For you to see how many people have found you through your product, place your mouse cursor over the proper section of the graph within the day which you are interested in.
Bulk Insights Reports’ label.
- Maps’ views
- Search Views
- Total Views
This shows what the customer did after they found you.
Total Actions is the total of all the types of action the customers did on your listing. Here are the following types of actions
- visit your Website
- Call you
- Request Direction
- View your photos’
Available labels in the reporting section.
- Website Actions
- Phone Call Actions
- Direction Actions
- Total Actions
A part of Insights that shows where are the customers who are asking for your business’ location using a map.
The location of your business is shown on the map. The most common spots near your business are also shown when people ask for direction to your business. The total number of direction requests is even broken down into the neighborhood or city.
This shows how often customers have called your business through GMB listing.
Total is the total number of phone calls within the selected time frame. You can also you the trend of phone calls during the day of the week or just the time of the day through the graph. The graph lets marketers know when customers will most likely to call you after seeing your GMB listing.
GMB also lets you know how often the photos of your business have been viewed with the Photo Quantity and Photo Views. You can even compare the photo data of your business with other businesses’ photo data through the lines on the graph.
Insights Reporting labels:
- Customer Photo Views
- Total Customer Photos
- Owner Photo Views
- Total Owner Photos
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