How to Set Up Google My Business?
Establishing a Google My Business account is probably the most crucial part of your local SEO strategy. By doing this, your business’ presence will grow online and people will find you a lot easier.
The main benefits of Google My Business are:
- Showing up on Google map searches
- Appearing in Google’s local 3-pack
- It’s free to use
- You can receive reviews from people
Now that we know how vital setting up a Google My Business account is, let’s dive in the steps you need to take to get it right the first time.
1. Set up a basic Google account
If you don’t already have a Google account, you’ll need to set one up to access the tool. If you do have a Google account, you can skip this step.
2. Head to google.com/business
Then click ‘Manage Now’.
3. Fill in your business name
Google will autocomplete anything so it’ll easily find any other businesses with the same name. This is to make sure there is no duplication. If you’re a branch, you can just add a new listing to an already existing business account.
4. Enter the category your business is in
Completing this step allows Google to know what industry your business is in, so your business listing appears on SERPs (Search Engine Result Page) when potential prospects search for certain industry terms. This category will also show on your GMB account. You’ll be able to edit this later once you’ve set up a profile.
Some categories come with additional features that are specific to that industry. For example, hotel listings will have the option to add amenities and class ratings to the listing. Service listings can have a booking button added. Google constantly reviews these features, so you need to stay up-to-date with new additions that can help your business stand out.
Pro Tip: Select if possible, a secondary category. Your business will have higher chances to appear for not only two categories, but also niche-specific search terms.
5. Would you like to add a physical location?
This step is to offer a location for the customer to physically visit your offices or shops, which will show under your listing. For most service listings, where a physical location isn’t needed, you can answer ‘no’ and then just add a region where your business is situated. As for hotels, restaurants and other businesses that can’t operate without a physical location, it’s obligatory to answer ‘yes’.
6. Enter your business’ address and pinpoint it on map
Whichever option you choose, you need to fill in the address fields Google offers you. After, Google will show a local map of the area your business is in for you to pinpoint the exact location.
7. Do you offer your services outside your location?
Again you’re faced with two options: ‘yes’ or ‘no’. This is to add information about how far you would travel to deliver your services.
8. Add contact details and website
This step isn’t compulsory to fill out; however, it’s the most important bit of the process. Without this information, prospects will have to search for your contact information. Most people won’t and will just choose the next listing with available contact information.
Pro Tip: Make sure your contact details are the same across all business listings. If not, many people won’t trust your business because you’re not consistent.
9. Would you like more information?
Most people will say ‘no’, but having this information sent to you can be quite helpful. You will receive any new updates (such as features you can add to your listing) and other recommendations Google suggests.
10. Finish and verification
Click ‘Finish’ and complete the verification process. You have a few options to verify your business:
- Receive a postcard to the address registered
- Phone or email verification – this option will appear only to businesses that don’t have a physical location
- Verify later
Pro Tip: Optimise your listing with the following to make the most of your GMB profile:
- Add working hours
- Add photos and videos
- Write your business description
- Create GMB posts that show any offers and promotions your business is doing
- Add menus and products
- Request reviews
- Answer questions customers ask