How to Use Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free online tool that helps to manage your online presence and get found by more people.
It also helps to improve Google search and maps results for your business, strengthen your local SEO and substantiate trust with the people interested in what you do.
If you’re not on Google My Business yet, follow this guide to help you get started.
How to set up Google My Business
Setting up a Google My Business listing is super easy and can be completed in just a few steps.
- Head to Google My Business and click manage now, then sign in with the Google Account you would like connected to your business profile. If you don’t already have a Google Account, you’ll need to create on first.
- Your business might already be on GMB. Enter your business name to search for it. If you can’t find it, click ‘Add your business to Google’ and enter your business name. If you’re adding your business name, you’ll also need to add your business category (e.g Marketing Agency).
- Next, decide whether you want to add a physical business location for your customers to visit.
If you work from home or offer deliveries rather than in-store purchases, you can choose to keep your address private. If you select this option, you will also be asked to add a delivery area.
Otherwise, follow the prompts to add your address. This will show up in Google Maps and search results when customers are trying to find you.
- The next step is to add the contact details your customers need to contact you, including your phone number and web address.
Tip: If you don’t have a website, you can create a free one using Google My Business!
- To unlock all Google My Business features, you’ll need to verify your business. To do this, Google offers a range of options, including through your email address, postcard, phone or instant verification.
Choose the most appropriate verification method for your business and follow the prompts to get verified. If you opt for postcard, keep in mind that it may take up to 14 days to arrive.
Essential information to include on your account
Once you’ve got the bones of your account sorted, it’s time to start fleshing it out.
To do this, click ‘Info’ on the left side of your GMB dashboard and start filling in as much information as you can about your business. This can include things like operating hours, products or services, links to book an appointment with you and a short blurb about who you are.
Data collected by Google demonstrates that businesses with photos receive 42% more direction requests and 35% more website clicks.
Imagery adds validity to your business and helps you to highlight different parts of what you do. They also help to humanise your brand and show your customers the people behind the work.
Once your business profile is set up, you should continue adding to your profile as your business grows and changes.
Research has shown that businesses with more images on GMB (100+) get more calls, more direction requests and more website clicks, so it definitely pays to build your image library as much as possible.
To start with, aim to add a cover photo, a profile photo and at least 10 other images, then build your library as you go.
Images can include products, your physical location, completed projects and staff.
News or blog posts
Another way to build your GMB profile is to post regular news or blogs. These can link directly to blogs on your website or can be created on the fly and include a call button for users to contact you directly.
So, what should you post to GMB?
Businesses post a whole range of different content to Google My Business, from how-to’s, special offers, events and updates to general news and information impacting your industry.
In general, aim to post between once a week and once per day. Many businesses who take the time to create daily posts see greatly improved Google rankings and leads or enquiries from potential customers, so it’s often worth the time it takes.
Google My Business reviews
Consumers rarely make a purchase decision without first consulting online reviews, with the average consumer reading 10 before feeling they can trust a business.
Purchase likelihood also jumps 270% when a company has 5 reviews compared with a business who has none.
But how do you get more reviews to your page? By responding to the ones already there.
Whether good or bad, responding to reviews lets your audience know that you pay attention to their opinions and are therefore more likely to leave their own.
It also offers a great opportunity to thank your customers for their positive review and to offer a resolution for those who might be less satisfied.
Keeping your GMB listing up to date
As with your website and social media accounts, keeping your GMB profile up to date is critical. It lets people know that your business is active and ensures that you’re always offering correct information.
While it might seem like just another thing you need to tick off the list, it’ll be well worth it in the long run.
If you’re strapped for time, aim to dedicate even just an hour every couple of weeks to adding photos, posting news and updating any other information that might have changed. This will keep your customers up to date and help you to optimise your GMB presence.