Are you an established business or a new venture or an Internet-based giant? Google My Business serves the needs of everybody. Google My Business is not just important as a highly recognized business directory owned by Google. But it also turns visitors into your paying customers.
As per Google, “It is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. To help customers find your business, and to tell them your story, you can verify your business and edit your business information.”
This guide contains all the basic and intermediate levels of details related to GMB. You can either utilize it to set up a new GMB Account or optimize your existing Google My Business profile. In the end, I will share a few stats from one of the GMB profiles that I managed.
A Brief History of Google Business Profile
Google launched its online presence management tool, Google My Business in June 2014.
It came with certain options that were already there in Google Maps. But Google repackaged them with more of a business-oriented approach.
Few options that were present back then were:
- You can add phone numbers so that customers can contact easily
- You can add photos, videos of your business, and products to your profile.
- You get a messaging facility where visitors can drop queries
A little more interesting fact is that in 2011 Google launched one program called, “Google Get Your Business Online ”. In that, Google made a webpage for every city and town in the US so as the local business can update the information that comes into Google search related to their business.
In December 2021, Google announced that the name of its local listing platform, Google My Business (GMB), is changing to Google Business Profile.
How to Setup Google My Business Profile?
Paying attention to the SEO for your business along with your GMB profile helps you in the long run. To register in Google My Business is quite a lengthy but easy job. You just need to log in with the Google account that you use for operating your business. What’s next is just filling required details as follows:
Add your proper business name and your business category from the given options. You can also change them at a later stage.
If you have a physical store or an office location then you have to add it otherwise you can skip this step if Google allows.
Then you have to add the areas where you provide your services like locality A, locality B.
You can also add the names of states if you are a nationwide service provider.
Add Contact Details
This is the most important step. Here you have to add a working phone number, and/or a website. The contact will also be used for verification purposes. Google will display these details in the search results once your business gets published properly.
Add a postal address
Before COVID time Google used to send mail via post to verify your business but right now you can move ahead with this step.
Add your services
Here you add whatever services you provide. For example, if you are providing digital marketing services, you can add Content Writing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Optimization, Website Development, Email marketing, etc as your services.
And that’s it.
With this your GMB account setup is successful. It takes a few days to appear in search results. Once it gets accepted by Google, you get the name of your listing into Google Search results.
How to optimize your Google My Business Profile?
Like any other social media profile or website, optimizing your GMB profile is very important. At this moment, every next business is coming online.
So you have to have something unique that keeps you on top of your competitors in the search results.
Here are the few things which have helped me while managing a few GMB profiles which I will share in the latter part of the blog.
Use a proper name
Use a proper, genuine name for your business. Google is strict about any kind of misleading information. The name should not be too short or too descriptive(within 100 characters).
Try to fill out your complete profile
There are lots of entries that are to be filled in Google My Business. If you’ve missed something while creating your profile, it is good to fill in every business-relevant detail.
Add valid products and services
Add all the products and services for your business but prevent any kind of ambiguity in them. Google displays the products into the knowledge panel if the business is verified.
If you add a video to your profile, the customers might invest more time in your business profile. Keep videos short in time and size but engaging at the same time. Add videos of your business, workplace, products, outdoors, to gain more trust.
Ensure NAP consistency
Name, Address, and Phone Number(NAP) should remain consistent across the internet. In case it’s not, it decreases the rating of your business listing and leads to a bad impact in the long run.
Photos are a great savior
Google My Business option to add photos is quite awesome. It uses AI to recognize the kind of photograph like work, indoors, outdoors, office, etc. So it is good to add as many images as you can.
Post on Google My Business channel regularly
Like every other social media feed, GMB also has that option where you can post your latest business updates like offers, discounts, sales, etc. The more visitors listen from your side, the more they get engaged.
Customer reviews are a gold mine
Getting customer reviews is a very old process adopted by businesses a long time ago. Here, Google uses AI to identify the sentiment of the reviews and highlight how your customers are feeling about your business. So if your business has a large number of “genuine, good, detailed, reviews”, it will send a good signal to Google.
Importance of Google My Business Profile
I am sure you have got a lot of information about how to do it and what to do. It’s time to cascade the benefits of GMB for you:
- Increase the visibility and show your business on google to a large audience.
- More easy customer support and engagement.
- Increase number of visitors and product/service sales.
- Helps you establish your business as a trusted brand.
Don’t ever miss the valuable customers to your business through Google My Business. Ensure you post images and videos on regular basis. GMB helps with local SEO results and engages with your customers by getting reviews.
FAQs on Google My Business
If you are a service-based business, Google may provide you the option to complete verification through email, phone number, or via Google Search Console.
Yes. It provides a free website builder tool to help small businesses easily create a good website in an affordable way. Once created, the website update automatically. By default, you get a business.site domain for your business.
To find your Google Business profile, you need to search for your exact business name on Google. If your business has an active business profile that ranks into Google, it will appear into the search results.
At the least – Yes, it helps with local SEO. If you have a verified GMB profile, it also contributes to a better website ranking and more website visits along with a chance of being in a local 3-pack.
If you have a genuine business and you are operating in multiple distinct locations, you can create a Google Business listing for each of your locations. You can further use labels to organize those locations.
This is an updated article. To read the previous version of this article, please visit the Crawl Engine Journal blog.