How To Improve Your Search Presence:
Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is a free tool for businesses to get their business online with hours, store information, phone number, address, website, and more.
The ability to appear on Google Maps is a giant step into the digital world and allows all businesses to be found online by potential visitors.
What Is Google My Business?
Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve heard of Google; the powerhouse search engine that essentially runs the internet.
Google Maps is a navigation program owned by said powerhouse that helps identify locations and other important information for businesses. Google My Business is a hybrid product that exists in search results pages (SERPs) and Google Maps, so wherever someone is searching for your business, you will be found.
In order to utilize the Google My Business (GMB) listing to the fullest, you must be working with a verified listing of your business. Let’s start there.
New Listing Quick Start
1. Make sure you have a GMB Login.
Start here: https://business.google.com/
2. You will need to identify the name and address of your business.
3. You can claim your business if it already exists on Google, or start fresh with your new business.
4. Answer the questions about your business. These usually include business type, service area, brand, and category.
5. Be sure to include your business website and phone number to ensure customers will be able to contact you.
6. Verify your business to access all the features of GMB.
You may have the option to receive an email, phone call, or a postcard. Whatever means you choose, you will get a 5-digit code that you will need to enter to verify that your business exists.
How To Update Business Hours
If you have a brick-and-mortar business, having accurate business hours is absolutely essential. The customers walking into your store need to know if you’re open.
1. Select “Info” on the left-hand menu.
2. Click the pencil icon to add or change your business hours.
3. If you have separate hours for specific services or specials, you can adit the “More hours” section to include these as well.
If you know your business will be closed during regular business hours, such as on a statutory holiday, it is important to update this under the “Special Hours” category. Simply select the date and whether you’re open (put the hours in) or closed.
Fill In Your Business Information
This is where the good stuff starts. GMB is an opportunity for your business to stand out from competitors online. On the homepage of your listings menu, look for the “Add description” option, or on the left menu of your GMB locations menu, select “Info” and scroll to the description section. Add a quick description of your business. Keep it short (up to 750 characters), sweet, and personalized to your business. It’s not a good idea to be spammy – don’t focus on promos or sales. Give us a dose of what you’re all about. Make sure your spelling and grammar are on point as well because this helps improve your reputation!
Add Images & Videos
Once your business is verified, you can add photos and videos of your business to help customers properly identify your building or your products. Go to the “Photos’ section of the left-hand menu. Select the blue “+” button in the top right and choose the photos you want to upload. It’s best to use high-quality photos with dimensions of at least 720 x 720 pixels or larger, no larger than 5MB. To improve your business page’s personality and allow customers to recognize you, you can choose a profile and cover photo as well. Once the photos are uploaded, you can designate them as Exterior, Interior, Team photos, and more.
Keep in mind, anyone can add photos of your business to your listing. It’s important to keep an eye on these uploaded images (Google will send users notifications when photos are uploaded) so that if there is a photo that is not meant for your business, you can report it for Google to review and potentially remove.
How To Add Users
If you have a team or agency helping you with your GMB, it will be necessary to add users to your listing.
1. In the left-hand menu, select “Users” at the bottom.
2. A block will pop up that shows people who currently have access. Select the blue “Add Users” button in the top right and type in their email.
3. There are 3 levels of access you can provide to your team. You will be prompted to select the role when you type in the email of your users. Some agencies will also have a code, instead of email, which will also be accepted when you enter it.
Owner: This is the highest level admin access you can share. Users with Owner access will be able to do everything, including adding/removing users, changing business information, and more. There can only be one Primary Owner and you can transfer ownership if needed.
Manager: This mid-level access allows the user to do almost everything that an Owner can do except manage users and remove the Business Profile.
Site Manager: This is the lowest level access. The site manager has many of the capabilities of a Manager, however, it is limited.
Your Google Listing Is Almost Ready!
Most of these changes can be made before you are Verified but it is important to note that these changes will not be visible to consumers until your listing is verified. When you receive your code, there will be a prompt to enter your verification code.
You will also need to regularly check in with GMB to check reviews, updates, and keep your listing up to date.
That’s All, Folks!
Stay tuned for more information on Google My Business Listings including Google Posts and maintaining your online reputation by responding to reviews.