If you run a company, creating a Google My Business account can help a great deal with your local SEO (search engine optimisation).
This means that when members of your target audience undertake a Google search looking for local businesses within your particular service area, you’ll appear in a good position within the search results if your GMB listing is well-optimized.
It also means that your company will appear on Google Maps and will be able to attract relevant traffic from the local area instead of users from further afield who are much less likely to require your products or services.
It’s extremely important to have a strong and well-optimized business profile online. After all, the internet is the most commonly-used source of information about local businesses for 97% of the population.
Google is now used by around 80% of internet users, so having a high-quality profile on this platform can be very valuable.
So how do you create a Google My Business Listing and make sure it performs well?
Creating your Google My Business Listing
If your business doesn’t already have a Google account, you’ll need to create one first.
- Once you’ve logged into your new account, head to Google My Business.
- You should see a blue button labelled “Manage Now” or “Start Now” on the top right-hand corner of the screen. Click this.
- You’ll then be prompted to enter your business’s name. You can then select from a list of existing businesses if yours is already on Google (make sure it’s the correct one). This will allow you to claim the business as your own.
- If your business does not appear, either choose “Create a business with this name” beneath where you’ve typed, or scroll down and click “Add your business to Google”.
- Make sure you’ve entered your business’s name with correct spelling and grammar.
- Enter your business address in full.
- Here, you can choose your business category. It’s important to be specific about your company’s service area here.
- Add as much detail about your company as you can, including its phone number and website.
- You can now choose how to verify your business. This can be done by:
- (If you select this, you’ll be sent a card containing your verification code. Remember, you need to ensure it is sent to the address of the business you wish to register. This should arrive within 14 days. Once it’s with you, log into Google My Business, select “Verify Location” from the menu and click “Verify Now” to enter the code).
- (You can choose to immediately receive an automated message on a business landline or a text message on a mobile phone containing the verification code).
- (Once you’ve clicked “Verify Now”, you’ll receive an email. Be sure to check your junk folder if it hasn’t arrived in your inbox soon after. The email will contain a button labelled “Verify Now”. Click this to verify your business, or enter the code from the email into your GMB verification screen).
- Instant verification. (You can only do this if you’ve already verified your website with the Google Search Console).
- Bulk verification. (If you manage more than 10 business locations, you may be able to verify them all at the same time.
Postcard verification is available for all businesses. You may not see the option for some of the others, which means your business is not eligible to use them.
Optimizing your Google My Business Listing
You have the option to create additional elements on your GMB listing at any time, and it’s a great idea to include as much information as possible.
Of course, you need to ensure that details of your company’s physical location, phone number, web address, email address and opening hours are always up to date so that people can easily find and contact you.
However, to help your listing climb through the search result rankings, you should also try to include:
- A cover photo, profile photo and additional relevant, high quality images and videos (try to include one showing the outside of your premises to help people recognise it).
- A detailed but concise description of your products and services (people often read these and nothing more, so think of it as a condensed version of your website based information).
- Information about upcoming events (remember to stay up to date with these, as outdated information may put customers off or suggest that you’ve closed down).
- Positive reviews and star ratings from customers (this helps to build trust by showing the quality of what you do and the customer satisfaction you’ve achieved).
Others can help you to keep your listing performing well by clicking “suggest an edit”. Never ignore these interactions – they can help you to better understand how to improve your profile.
Creating a Google My Business listing, optimizing it and keeping it up to date is the best way to ensure you appear correctly on Google Maps and perform well in Google search results.
Get started now by heading over to Google My Business.