How to Setup Your Google My Business Listing
As a core element of local search engine optimization, Google My Business (GMB) can help make it easier for consumers in your local service area to find or contact your business. Since about half of consumers will visit a store or business the same day as performing a local search, it is important to ensure that the business information (name, address, and phone number) that shows up when people search on Google is accurate, complete, and as optimized as possible.
As digital marketing experts, we understand how important it is to know how to setup your Google My Business listing properly. That is why we are always willing to take the time to help our clients setup and manage their GMB listings.
Create a Google My Business Listing
To create your own GMB account, follow the steps below:
1. Login or Create a New Account
If you already have a Google Account that you would like to associate with your business, login to the account online. If you do not have a Google Account or if you have an account that you do not want to associate with your business, create a new Google Account. Once you have logged into your Google Account, go to google.com/business/ and select “Start Now” in the top right corner to start your Google My Business listing.
2. Enter the Name
When setting up your GMB listing, you will need to enter the exact name of the business. If the business shares a name with another business in your area, the autocomplete function will suggest business names. This allows you to see if a business listing already exists (preventing duplicate listings) and to add a new profile to an already existing business if a new location has opened.
3. Enter the Address
The location form can be filled out in one of two ways:
- If the business has a physical location that customers can visit, proceed to enter the address, click the box at the bottom of the form, and then click “Next”.
- If the business is a service area business that does not have a physical location for customers to visit (plumbers, electricians, HVAC, etc.), leave the address field blank, click the box at the bottom of the form, and then click the “Hide my address (it’s not a store)” box that appears.
4. Specify the Service Areas
If your business provides goods and services directly to customers, you can specify the areas you serve. Doing so will allow Google to potentially display your business for searches in those areas. When filling out the service area information, make sure to enter one or more regions, cities, or postal codes.
5. Choose the Business Category
Google allows businesses to select multiple categories that describe the business; however, only one primary category can be selected. Choosing the primary business category is one of the most important fields to fill out because it will not only strongly influence the kinds of search terms the business shows up on Google for but it will also appear within the GMB profile. If you are unsure which primary business category best fits your business, do some research and see what your competitors have selected. It is also important to note that you can change the information at a later date if needed.
6. Add a Contact Number and Website URL
In order to take full advantage of GMB functionalities like call tracking, it is important to include your business’ phone number and website URL in the listing. If you do not have a current website, Google will give you the option to create a new “Google Website” based on the information you provided; however, local businesses should have their own unique websites to get the most value out of a Google My Business listing.
7. Fill Out As Many Other Features As Possible
When optimizing your GMB listing, it is important to take advantage of all the features Google My Business has to offer. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Add a high-resolution logo
- Add a high-resolution cover photo
- Provide a business description
- Add photos of your business
- Fill out the correct business hours
- Add an appointment link if applicable
- Fill out the services if applicable
- Add products if applicable
Verify Your Business on Google
Once your Google My Business listing has been created, you will need to verify it. There are several ways that a GMB listing can be verified:
To verify your GMB listing using the postcard verification:
- Login to your GMB account and choose the business you want to verify.
- Double check that the business address is correct. You can also add in the name of the person the postcard will be addressed to.
- Click “Mail”. The postcard will then be sent out and should reach the address provided within five days. In this time, do not edit your business name, address, or category or request a new code, as this could delay the process of receiving the postcard.
- Once the postcard has arrived, log back into Google My Business and select the location you want to verify. If you only have one location, simply select “Verify Now”.
- Enter the five-digit verification code from the postcard into the code field and then click “Submit”.
In the event that the postcard never arrives, or you lose it, you can request a new code by signing into your account and clicking the “Request another code” at the top of the screen.
In some cases, Google may let you verify the business over the phone. If you are eligible for this, there will be a “Verify by phone” option at the beginning of the verification process. To verify the business by phone:
- Login to your Google My Business account and choose the business you want to verify.
- Double check that the phone number is correct and then select “Verify by phone”.
- Enter the verification code from the text you receive.
Similar to verifying by phone, Google might allow you to verify the business’ listing by email. If you are eligible for this option, you will be able to select “Verify by email” at the start of the verification process. To verify your GMB listing through email:
- Login to your Google My Business listing and choose the business you want to verify.
- Make sure that the email address you have entered is correct and then choose “Verify by email”.
- Go to your inbox and open the email from Google My Business. Click on the verification button in the email.
If you have already verified your business with Google Search Console, chances are that you will be able to instantly verify your GMB listing by signing into the same account you used to verify the business with Google Search Console; however, if you do not get a notification asking you to verify the listing (not all categories are eligible for instant verification), you will need to use a different verification method.
Properly setting up a Google My Business listing can make it easier for consumers to find you online. It can also have a significant impact on your local Map Pack rankings. To learn more about how to setup your Google My Business listing, get in touch with the digital marketing experts today.