Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to control how your business appears in Google searches and maps. Among the information you can manage are your business name, location, and operating hours. Additionally, you can handle customer reviews and add photos. Moreover, through Google My Business, you can see how and where your business is being searched.
If you’re new to local SEO efforts, Google My Business is one of the most important areas to focus on. When people are looking for a product or service near them, they often prefer to shop from the closest location. About one in two people conducts searches like “phone repair shops near me” when they are searching for something.
Due to its importance in local SEO, you need to enhance your Google presence. All information about your business on Google should be accurate and complete while also being optimized for search.
If you want to create a Google My Business account, verify your business, and ensure a strong listing, you can follow the steps below:
- Create an account and register your business.
- Verify your business listing.
- Optimize your listing.
- Download the Google My Business app.
Google My Business is entirely free to use. The only requirement is that you must have in-person interactions with your customers. If you are entirely an online business, you cannot use Google My Business.
Creating a Google My Business Listing Step
- 1: Sign in to the Google account that you want to be associated with your business. If you don’t have a Google account, you should create one.
- Step 2: After creating an account, go to business.google.com and click on the “Get Started” button.
- Step 3: You need to enter your business name.
- Step 4: Enter your business address.
- Step 5: If your business delivers goods or services to customers rather than having customers come to you, you should select the option “I deliver goods and services to my customers.” Additionally, if you don’t want your address to be publicly visible and prefer to show only the region, you should select the “Hide my address (it’s not a store)” option. Finally, you need to select your delivery area.
- Step 6: You should choose the category that best fits your business.
- Step 7: Enter your business’s phone number or website address. Step 8: Select a verification method. If you’re not ready to verify it yet, you can do this later.
Verifying Your Business Listing on Google There are multiple ways to verify your Google My Business listing.
Verification by mail Verification by phone Verification by email Instant verification Bulk verification
Verification by Mail
- Step 1: Sign in to your Google My Business account and follow the verification option.
- Step 2: Make sure your business address is correct. Alternatively, you can provide a different mailing address to receive the mail.
- Step 3: Click on the “Mail” option. The mail will be delivered to you within about five days. During this time, do not change your business name, address, or category.
- Step 4: After receiving the mail, log in to your Google My Business page. You should select the location you want to verify and then click on “Verify Now.”
- Step 5: Enter the five-digit verification code that you received by mail.
If you haven’t received the mail at all, you can request a new one. To do this, go to your Google My Business page and click on the “Request another code” option.
Verification by Phone Google allows businesses to verify via phone. If you are among the businesses that can verify by phone, you can choose this option during the verification process.
Step 1: Sign in to your Google My Business account and select the business you want to verify.
Step 2: Make sure your phone number is correct and then click on the “Verify by phone” option.
Step 3: Enter the verification code sent to your phone via text message.
Verification by Email Google offers email verification for some businesses. If your business qualifies, you can initiate the verification process by selecting the email verification option.
Step 1: Sign in to your Google My Business account and choose the business you want to verify.
Step 2: Make sure your email address is correct and click on the “Verify by email” option.
Step 3: Simply click on the verification button in the email you receive.
Instant Verification If you have already verified your business through Google Search Console, you may have the option to instantly verify your email address.
Step 1: Sign in to your Google My Business account using the same account you use for Google Search Console. Instant verification will be successful after you sign in. However, please note that not all businesses are eligible for instant verification, so you may need to consider a different verification method.
Bulk Verification If you have more than 10 locations for the same business, you can perform bulk verification. To do this, follow these steps:
Step 1: Sign in to your Google My Business account and start the verification process.
Step 2: Click on the chain icon.
Step 3: Fill out the form that appears, including your business name, country or countries, all contact names, and the email address associated with your Google account.
Step 4: After filling out the form, submit it. Google will review the form and the businesses listed in it, which may take some time. Be patient during this process.
Optimizing Your Google My Business Listing Once your business is verified, you can start filling out your new profile. Go to the Google My Business control panel, select the listing you want to work on, and click on “Info” to begin filling out or updating your listing.
Here, you should provide as much information and media as possible. You should create a business profile, select the area you serve, enter your business hours, and highlight the amenities you offer. You can also include your public phone number and website address.
Keep in mind that anyone can suggest edits to your listing, so it’s crucial to ensure everything is complete and accurate from the beginning. Regularly check your Google My Business page to review all details and ensure everything is correct.
You can make changes to your business profile at any time by logging into Google My Business, clicking on “Info,” and making the necessary edits. Updating your listing will be sufficient for implementing any required changes.
Google My Business Photos According to Google, businesses with visible photos receive approximately 35% more clicks and generate about 42% more requests for directions.
Here are some guidelines for the photos you use: They should have a width and height of 720 pixels, be in JPG or PNG format, and it’s a good practice to follow these suggestions if you’re unsure how many photos to add:
Cover Photo The cover photo on Google My Business is the most important because it’s the first image people will see. To make your listing look its best, carefully choose it from your best images.
Profile Photo The profile photo appears with every new photo or video post and responses to reviews. Remember to choose a photo that represents your brand well. Besides the profile and cover photos, you have the opportunity to add different types of photos:
Exterior Photos: These showcase your business from different angles. Google recommends using at least three photos, taken at various times of the day. Interior Photos: These focus on the decor and atmosphere of your business. Google suggests a minimum of three photos. You can use interior photos to provide potential customers with information about the inside of your establishment. Product Photos: These allow you to showcase the products and services you offer. Google recommends using at least one photo for each product or service you provide. Team Photos: You can include photos of your staff members serving customers. Google suggests a minimum of three photos featuring your team members interacting with happy customers. Food and Beverage Photos: These display the food and drink options you offer. Google recommends using at least three high-quality photos for this category. Consider professional photography for these images. Common Areas: These photos show areas where customers spend time. Google recommends at least one photo for this category. Rooms: If applicable, you can include photos of different room options. Google recommends using at least three photos to showcase your available spaces. Team: You can include photos of your management team or employees. Google suggests a minimum of three team photos. Google My Business Videos You can also add videos to your Google My Business listing. Here are the video specifications:
Videos should be 30 seconds or shorter. File size should be no more than 100 MB. Video quality should be 720p or higher. Videos can help make your profile stand out from competitors in your industry. However, they may not be as essential as photos, so you can choose to add them or not based on your preferences.
Google My Business Reviews If you want to have more customers, your business needs more positive reviews. You should respond to all reviews about your business. Thank those who leave positive reviews, as this can encourage others to leave reviews.
If your business receives negative reviews, take them seriously and respond to them. Take responsibility for rectifying the customer’s negative experience. Avoid responding to negative reviews with negativity.
Google My Business App The Google My Business app is available for both iOS and Android platforms, allowing you to download and use it. However, please note that you cannot delete your business listing, change settings, or transfer ownership through the app. You can use the app to:
Change your business hours, location, contact details, and description. Share updates and photos. Review search insights.Leave a reply