Updated: Nov 27, 2019
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.
Setting up a Google My Business account is valuable for your business, whether you are a local business or online only. It’s common for those who use Google My Business to just enter their business name and address and call it a day, but this approach is a massive waste of the tool’s potential. Here are some key practices to ensure you are getting the most out of Google My Business.
How To Use Google My Business
The first step is to set up your page and verify your ownership. You can start filling in the details before it is verified, but it won’t show on Google search or maps until your verification is complete. Verification usually involves a postcard with a verification code mailed to your address. Sometimes other verification options are available, such as via phone or text message.
Visit https://www.google.com/business to start. Next, fill in all the relevant fields for your business and complete as much information as possible. Make sure you add your business details consistently across Google My Business and other online directories, using a consistent business name, address and phone number format as this is beneficial for your Local SEO. For this reason, you also want to make your address the same address that you use on your website. For example, if you website says “11 Wallaby Street” don’t use “11 Wallaby St” in your Google My Business. Similarly, if your website says “Unit 1, 24 Kangaroo Road”, don’t use “1/24 Kangaroo Road” in GMB. Make sure the addresses match exactly.
It is possible to hide your address on Google My Business If you work from home. Click here to find out how to set up Google My Business with a hidden address.
When adding your business name to Google, ensure that you don’t add additional keywords to your business name, this is against Google’s terms of service and also can get your business listing suspended if a competitor suspends your listing.
When selecting your category, choose it with care. Have a look at the categories other businesses similar to yours have chosen by checking them out in the Google Maps section. This way you can select the category that relates to your business the most. When setting up you can only choose a single primary category, but you can add up to 5.
When listing your services, you can list out all the main product or service pages on your website. Use 'Sections' to divide up the main products and services and then add items underneath. This information is fairly prominent on a mobile phone (it’s called Menu on a mobile device) and you can present most of your product & service information here without anyone having to click through to your website.
This is a section where you can add your products, if relevant. Similar to the Services section, you can categorise products into collections. You also have the opportunity to add product images and prices. (This section is still in beta mode as at August 2019, so you may not see it as an option). This shows up prominently in your Google My Business listing on a mobile device when someone searches for your business name so if you have an e-commerce website and sell products I would get on this quick!
Add your business description and include some keywords that you trying to rank for in there if it makes sense to do so. I would recommend you add as much information into this section as possible and make use of all available space.
This section is a great opportunity to add business photos and even videos to your listing. You can upload your business logo and a cover picture. The cover pic needs to be 1080 x 608 and your logo should be 250 x 250. You can add as many photos as you wish and can put them into categories such as ‘At Work’, ‘Team’ and ‘Identity’ if you wish. Again these are clearly visible on a mobile device when someone is searching for your business. If you have already added photos to your listing then I would recommend you review them and makes sure they are all on brand and representing your current business.
Profile Short Name
You can add a short name to your profile, which makes you easier to find by customers. I would recommend that you choose something that clearly represents your business. Once you have set this up you can navigate back to the home page and Google will provide you with a nice little link that you can copy and paste and to easily request reviews. If you want to see what this looks like, click here
Other Business Information
From this point you should complete any other field you can, such as Trading Hours, Opening Date (adds credibility) Appointment and Menu URLs that may be relevant to your business. You want to make all your details as accessible as possible for both Google and Google users.
Google My Business Posts
A common tool in Google My Business that people don’t utilise is Google Posts. These appear on the front page of Google when your business is searched for and are really prominent on the front page of Google when someone searches for your business. This gives your business valuable exposure, so it’s important you don’t forget this step. Posts are only live for a short time, so make sure you keep adding new ones to make the most of this feature.
Posts can take the form of Updates, Events, Offers and Products.
From here your Google My Business is up and running. All that’s left to do is keep the information updated and submit your website to online directories to further increase your chances of being featured in a local search or snippet. If you want some ideas on which local directories to use click here
Karen Dauncey has over 16 years of experience as a digital marketing consultant. She specialises in helping businesses get found online primarily through Google using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Google Ads. As the director and founder of Blue Cherry Online Marketing, Karen has optimised over 500 websites, managed millions of dollars worth of spend on Google Ads.
She is currently an advisor for the Business Station delivering workshops and advisory via the ASBAS program and is running a number of SEO Workshops throughout Perth. She is in the process of writing two online courses to help business owners get found online using Google Ads and SEO.
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