Setting up your Google My Business profile is a requisite for local SEO. Take care of your business with the following in-depth guide.
Most businesses today are moving their local marketing efforts online by which the days of phone books are coming to an end.
With online directories such as Google My Business, it is even easier to find your business.
You can reach potential customers that used to look you up in the prehistoric Yellow Pages.
In this article, you will know what can be harvested by having an optimized Google My Business listing. A step by step in-depth guide on how to get your business listed on Google.
If you are looking to boost your local presence first-rate or seeing to create a listing for your business, this article is well worth your time.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a business listing provided by Google that allows the output of your company information in different variety of results.
Google My Business (which formerly known as Google Places and Google Local) is a business listing on Google, similar to other business listing directories such as Justdial in India and Yelp.
The key difference between Google business profiles and other directories is that your Google business listing is incredibly detailed.
Information from Google business profile will be output by Google in far-reaching places with high online visibility.
These places include Google Knowledge Graph, Google Local Park, and Google Maps.
Google My Business is a foundation for local SEO, so it is necessary to highlight how crucial it is to have your listing data up to date and accurate.
Research suggests that 50% of consumers visit a storefront or business the day of performing a local search, such as ‘saloons near me’.
Also, 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect business names online or erratic contact details.
So, it is highly recommended that you keep your Name, Address, and Phone number consistent across all your listings elsewhere, and not just on GMB.
You have lots of ways to monitor and improve Google My Business performance. But first, you need to start to set up your basic profile, free of the bells and whistles that will come later.
Why You Need a Google My Business Listing?
A staggering 46% of all searches have local intent, as reported by Google.
Many businesses fail to take advantage of this free-to-use Google My Business platform.
And you do not have to be one of them.
How is Google My Business beneficial for your business?
Below are the 7 benefits that you can avail by listing your business in GMB.
1. Appear in Google Maps Searches
Next to online reviews, proximity to their location is the second most important factor considered by the consumers when searching for a local product or service.
Consumers use Google Maps to locate businesses nearby, while most especially those on a smartphone turn to a quick Google search for the product or service.
Whether searching for laundry service or a popular spot to fulfill their cravings for the Indian biryani, Google Maps quickly populates with dozens of red markers.
Each indicating a local business meeting the search criteria.
Your store location will start to pop up for local searches as well. The only thing you need to do is to create a Google My Business listing and complete the verification steps.
One of the great benefits is that it allows users to instantly see how close they are to your location, which increases the probability of paying you a visit.
2. Be seen in Google’s Local 3-Pack
Do you remember searching for local service in the past and seeing the top 7 listings at the front?
Once the inclusive top 7-pack has now become the limited 3-pack.
Businesses around the world try many different SEO tricks to boost their local rankings to get included in this limited club.
Most businesses don’t know but by just creating a free Google My Business listing you can remarkably increase your odds of making it onto this list.
Want to know the best part about being in the local 3-pack? You get to show up BEFORE organic results.
Yes, this is true. The #1 place which SEO experts day and night are struggling for can be acquired by you.
You get a whopping 700% boost in clicks over businesses that don’t show up in Google’s local 3-pack.
3. Increase Traffic and Sales
Maintaining an increase in quality website traffic and keeping a steady supply of foot traffic to their doors is a challenge for local businesses.
You cannot wholly avoid the ups and downs throughout the year, but having a Google My Business listing can indeed boost your numbers across the board.
In research, Google once found a business with a listing gets 70% more attraction over the one shown in the search results.
Location builds trust and when people trust you they are more likely to make a purchase.
4: Get Trusted by Customers
One of the biggest hurdles faced by modern customers is building enough trust to confidently make a purchase.
Being a business owner, it is your responsibility to build that trust. As said “location builds trust” therefore help your potential customers see that you have an actual working location.
The fact is people trust Google and brands that show up organically on Google are considered 2x times more reputable.
So, whenever your business listing shows up on a local search, people are more likely to trust you.
Google has created a trustworthy environment that users rely on. For every brand to appear in a local search it has to go through multiple verification steps.
5: Rank Higher in Results
When Google likes your business, it will rank you higher in its Search and Maps results.
You can achieve that spot by supplying quality with consistency and accuracy.
Google tends to like you more when it has more information about you to tell its consumers and the best way to feed Google this information is your Google My Business profile.
6. Increase Engagement
Google My Business profiles provide a generous amount of opportunities for user engagement.
Every potential customer that finds your GMB listing can access your website and when it searches on a smartphone they can call you in just one click.
Google My Business provides you to add options for your customers like pre-booking an appointment and reserve a seat before a restaurant visit.
7. Stand Out from Competitors
To engage with your business your Google My Business profile has an ample amount of essential information that can be seen by your customers.
Further, users get a display of a brief description to quickly identify if your service or product is what they are looking for.
A good description is that which includes relevant keywords and illustrate something exclusive and authentic that helps you show your value.
When a consumer initially scans through the search results this small snippet of content, which is the description of your service can allow you to stand out from your competitors.
With regular algorithm updates, Google search results are getting more vigorous. Thus the benefits afforded by local businesses from Google My Business are only growing.
How to Setup Google My Business Effectively ?
If you own a business and still have not listed your business in Google My Business, then set up one today, and here is how you can do so.
1. Head to Google My Business web page
Open your browser and open Google My Business web page. Click on Manage Now and Sign in to your Google account.
2. Enter your business name
Google will show you a autocomplete suggestion when you have business common to another in your service area.
This helps you avoid accidental duplication and allows you to check if your business listing already exists.
3. Choose your business category
This is an important field it will not only influence the search terms you appear in Google for, but also will appear within your Google My Business profile.
4. Enter the address of the business location
Add a business location if you want to have face-to-face interactions with your customer.
5. Choose a service area (optional)
Optionally you can specify the areas you serve, with this Google surfaces your business for searches in those areas, even without a physical address.
You can set your service area based on the cities, postal codes, or other areas that you serve. You can have up to 20 service areas.
6. Enter contact details
It is not compulsory yet strongly recommended to have a contact phone number if you want to take advantage of Google My Business functionalities like call tracking.
Make sure to make changes to all other business listings when you update your Google business listing.
Google will provide you a website crafted with the help of the information you provided in your business listing.
7. Finish and Manage your listing
Click Finish to complete the listing process and start managing your Google business.
8. Add business hours
Let your customers know what time you are open and close, giving them vantage for your business hours.
9. Add business description
Enter a brief description of your business. Let people know what you offer and what sets you apart from other businesses.
Tell them your history, or anything else that is helpful for customers to know.
Represent your business as it is consistently represented and recognized in the real world across signage, stationery, and branding.
Make sure your address and/or service area is accurate and precise.
10. Add photos for your customers
You can add photos of the storefront, products, and services to provide more information about your business.
It is also a good idea to add an exterior photo so people can recognize your business when they visit.
DO NOT USE any copyrighted image or upload image from some other business listing you don’t own.
How to Verify a Google My Business Listing
There are several ways by which you can verify your Google My Business listing:
- By postcard
- By phone
- By email
- Instant verification
Verification by Postcard
- Step 1: Sign in to your Google My Business account, and choose the business you want to verify.
- Step 2: Check if your business address is correct. Optionally you can add a contact name for the addressee.
- Step 3: Click on “Mail.” The postcard should reach you within 14 days but shipping times vary. Do not edit your business name, address, or category (or request a new code) before you receive a postcard, as it will only delay the process.
- Step 4: Once you receive the postcard, log in to Google My Business. If you have listed more than one business location, select the location you want to verify. Select “Verify now.”
- Step 5: Enter the five-digit verification code in the code field written on your postcard. Click “Submit.”
If you lose your postcard or your postcard never shows up, you can request a new code by clicking the “Request another code” blue banner at the top of the screen.
Verification by Phone
Google can verify location by phone for some businesses but you have to eligible for that. When you start the verification process you will see the “Verify by phone” option.
- Step 1: Sign in to your account and choose the business you want to verify.
- Step 2: Confirm your phone number, then choose “Verify by phone.”
- Step 3: Type in the verification code from the text you receive on your phone.
Verification by email
You can verify your listing through email and for that you need to be eligible by Google.
If eligible you will see the “Verify by email” option in your verification panel.
- Step 1: Sign in to your account and choose the business you want to verify
- Step 2: Check your email address before hitting the “Verify by email.” button.
- Step 3: Open the email you receive from Google My Business, and click the verification button in the email.
You might be able to instantly verify your business listing only if you have already verified your business with Google Search Console.
All you have to do is just sign in with the same account you used to verify your business with Google Search Console.
Google is changing ways how consumers find and engage with local businesses.
If you want to continue reaching your audience and attract customers with your free Business Profile, make sure to follow the above steps.
The process has different parts and pieces, but it does not have to be so complicated with detailed guides like this.
Get started now by creating, claiming, and verifying through Google My Business today so that you can get the most out of this incredible and free tool.