How To Set Up Google My Business
LEARN HOW TO SET UP GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
Are you making the most of your Google My Business listing?
Google My Business or GMB for short, is a free Google product and important for Local SEO. In fact it’s the number ONE free marketing tool your business can use. You can set up a GMB account for your business even if you don’t have a website (although it’s best if you have a website to link to). GMB is also where any Google reviews for your business will appear. GMB is a “must have” tool for your business. If you’re wondering how to set up Google My Business, we’ll go through the steps to maximize GMB for your business.
It’s very important when you’re setting up Google My Business that your listing is 100% accurate and complete. Here are the step to follow to set up your GMB listing.
CLAIM YOUR GMB LISTING
Go to Google’s My Business site and make sure you’re logged in (or follow the prompts to sign up for an account). Search for your business name. You should see a map and your business should be shown. Click on View All at the bottom of the 3 businesses. Look for your business in the list. If you don’t see it, go to the bottom of the list and click on ADD A MISSING PLACE.
Follow the instructions on the screen to claim your listing. Make sure you use your correct business address because Google will send you a postcard via U.S. Postal Service as a method to verify that you are a legit business. You won’t be able to do much with your listing until you receive the verification post card. Once you receive the verification post card, sign in to GMB and enter your verification code to complete the GMB verification process.
Congrats, you’re official in the eyes of Google My Business!
NAP (Name, Address, Phone)
It’s critical for your NAP to be 100% accurate and uniform. If your business address is for example:
John’s Cool Business
125 N Main St
Anywhere, IA 52950
…then make sure you enter it that way everywhere. The version below is different from the one above and not uniform.
John’s Cool Business
125 North Main Street
Anywhere, IA 52950-9812
See the difference there? The second one has the street spelled out versus the first one where it is abbreviated. To GMB, these are two different places.
Choose the correct category for your business. Look at some of your competitors and see what category they are using. Get it right the first time as going back later and editing it can delay your listing and throw off the process.
Bonus tip: This is a perfect opportunity to learn from your competition. Use the same categories your competitors use. A great tool to help you “spy” on the competition is GMB Crush. This Chrome extension is easy to use and will tell you how the “other guy” has set up their GMB listing.
COMPLETE YOUR BUSINESS PROFILE 100%
We like doing this in sections. On the first day (after you’ve been verified) add in all of your company information. The next day you can add images to your profile. Don’t use stock photos. Use photos of your business. Almost every phone made these days has a decent camera. Use it and get some pics of your building, staff, products, and whatever else shows off your business. Now take a break and wait a day or two to complete the rest of your profile.
DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING
It’s critical that you have your Business Location section filled out correctly. If you have a brick and mortar location where you do business, you’ll need your complete address entered. If you don’t have a physical location but instead do work on your customer’s location/sites, use service areas. If you are using service areas and cover a good size territory, consider using county names rather than cities.
Go ahead and set up the free website GMB offers. Just make sure you link your GMB listing to your main website, not the GMB website.
Once your GMB listing is verified and published you should be posting to it regularly. Google likes to see regular activity and you should create posts and add photos to your account at least weekly. (three days a week – even better and 5 days a week exceptional).
REVIEWS OF YOUR BUSINESS
When someone takes the time to give your business a review on Google, their review will show up on your GMB page. It’s important to respond to every review in a timely manner. Try not to use a canned response like “Thanks for your review”. Make it personal and sincere.
Be prepared… you will eventually get unfavorable reviews. Maybe even some that are fraudulent and intended to sabotage you. How do you handle those? Reply to them all and choose your words carefully. Don’t write an angry response. Instead go with something like this: “I’m very sorry to learn you had a less than perfect experience with us. (take the issue offline by asking the person to call you). Please call me at (phone number). I’d love to discuss how I might make this up to you.” If you know for sure the negative review is fake, report it to GMB.
That’s the summary version of how to set up Google My Business. Take advantage of GMB and it can help drive more traffic to your business.
A word of caution when trying to learn how to set up Google My Business. At some point you’re sure to run across some individuals who will claim to have some magical power that allows them to control GMB. They may tell you about how they can get you verified right away for a cost. Be very careful of people making these claims. If something seems too good to be true, well you know the rest. Just be sensible and use caution in dealing people who make these claims.
If you have any questions or need help getting your GMB account set up, get in touch with Team 218 Web Services and we’ll be glad to help. You can reach us at (319) 333-0815 or by using our Contact Form.