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How To Create Your Google My Business Listing

How to Create Your Google My Business Listing

 Google Map Business Information Image

 

WHAT IS GOOGLE MY BUSINESS?

First, I think it’s important that we understand what Google My Business is.

Google My Business, is pretty much an umbrella term for its entire suite of business tools that you get to use all for free.  It gives you the power to manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. With GMB you get access to

 

Image of Google My Business Connecting to Other Google Features

  • Webmaster Tools
  • Analytics
  • AdWords
  • Google Drive, Docs, and a whole lot more.

 

These tools allow you to control things like how your business name, location, and hours appear; You can monitor and reply to customer reviews; add photos; learn where and how people are searching for you by exploring insights. With this knowledge, you can customize your marketing to each individual persona and that’s only the beginning.

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

For now… GMB is completely free to use. The only requirement for using it is that you must have some face-to-face interaction with your customers — in other words, your business can’t be a 100% online business.

Image Stating "GMB is Free" paired with Google Icons

 

WHY SHOULD I USE GOOGLE MY BUSINESS?

  1. Google is the number 1 search engine in the world According to the latest netmarketshare report (January 2018).
  2. 74.52% of searches were powered by Google
  3. Google is also dominating the mobile/tablet search engine market share with 93%

Currently, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average. That’s over 3.5 billion searches per day. 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide, as listed by Internet Live Stats. So, why wouldn’t you place your business information on the strongest engine to date?

Bar Graph Displaying How Many People Use Each Search Engine

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re just starting to think about local SEO, your Google My Business listing is arguably the best place to start.

When people start to search for a service like yours, chances are they will search google.  And keep in mind, before they call you, they’re gonna do research.

Image of Woman Google Searching

 

 

What will they find?

So, it’s important that the information about your business is as accurate, complete, and as optimized as possible.

When you have a GMB listing you’re able to show up prominently in search, the sidebar on the maps, with reviews etc.  and not to mention it just makes you look a lot more credible.

Infographic Showing People's Likeliness to Buy a Product After Searching on Their Phone or Computer

When people search for a product or service “near them”, they’re usually really close to making a purchase – Studies show that 1 in 2 people who conduct a local search visit a store that same day.

GETTING STARTED

So, now that you have a pretty good understanding of GMB and its benefits. Let’s dive in.

WHAT TYPE OF BUSINESS IS ELIGIBLE?

Most businesses are eligible for Google My Business listings but there are a few exceptions.

Working Man with a Green Check Mark

 

  • In order to qualify for a Google My Business listing, a business must make in-person contact with customers during stated hours.
  • If a business is located in a residential area or does not meet with clients at their place of business, they should add a service area to hide their address.
  • Exceptions: ATMs, video-rental kiosks, and express mail drop boxes are permitted. If you add these locations, you must include contact info for customers to get help.

 

WHAT TYPES OF BUSINESSES ARE NOT ELIGIBLE?

Here are a few examples of ineligible businesses:

Business with a "No" Symbol

 

  • Online-only businesses
  • Businesses that aren’t open yet
  • Rental or for-sale properties
  • Businesses that use a PO box as the mailing addresses

 

 

GOOGLE YOURSELF

The 1st thing you want to do is see if and how your business shows up on Google.

Google Search of "Your Business Name"

 

The Reason we do a search first is because Google will generally rely on User Generated Content.

You want to make sure that no one has created a profile for you. Many times, just like with Facebook, you’ll find that a profile or account has been created for you that you or your agency will have to claim. So, you’ll just have to verify whether or not this has happened before you move forward.

During your search, you will be on the lookout for 1 of 3 things.

1. Pay close attention to the right side of the screen. If it’s totally blank this means that your business does not have Google My Business account

 

2. If there is an account which was created by you or anyone in the past, you will see the following and there are steps that you will have to take to claim it. You will look for the “Do you own this business” message on the right side.

 

3. If you do have an account and your business is claimed, you will see the following. Just be sure and continue to optimize.
Example of Google My Business Active Account

 

CREATE ACCOUNT

Now that you have done the initial research and verified whether or not you have a profile already, you’re ready to create your account.

There are a couple of different ways you can get to where you need to be. Just head on over to gybo.com/business or google.com/business/

The first thing you’ll notice is the BIG GREEN “manage now” button. If you don’t have an account, both “Sign in” and “Manage Now” will take you to the same place.

Screen Shot of google.com/business "Sign in" and "Manage Now" Page

If you don’t already have a company Gmail account here’s where you’ll begin. Google will pretty much walk you through the steps of creating a Google account. I always recommend our clients to create a general email account that can be managed by an authorized manager because it in itself can be a full-time job.

I won’t take you through all of those steps right now.

Once you’re done with creating a general Google account we can move on to creating your Google “My Business” account.

So, when you are navigated back here. They will ask you your business name and the street address of the business.

 

Screen Shot of "What's Your Business Name?"               Screen Shot of Page "Where is your business located"

It is very important that you use the exact information on your profile that you use on your website. One thing that Google is really concerned about is your NAP’s integrity.

The NAP is NAME, ADDRESS, and PHONE NUMBER. This has to read the exact same way EVERYWHERE to get the most SEO benefit.

Here Google asks if you deliver goods to your customer. You will only fill this section out if you are not a storefront and you don’t want people to come to your location. Like if you’re a photographer or courier and you drive to the client.


Screen Shot of Expanded "Where are you located?" page

You also have the option to Hide your location if you operate out of the house and you don’t want your personal address published for the world to see.

 

Then it will ask you what kind of business you’re in. You’ll notice that as you start to type it will self-populate the default categories, so you’ll want to get as close as can on that. It will have to be something that they already have defined.

Screen Shot of Page "What kind of business you're in?"

Here’s where you’ll add your phone number and web address. Then click next.

Screen Shot Of "How to get in contact with customers"
Then it’s going to prompt you to finish up. Then click next.
Screen Shot of page "Finish and verify this business"
Then one last step, which is very important. You have to verify your account, and this is a sort of multi-step process. They are going to want to Mail you a postcard so, just fill in your contact name and click mail.
Screen Shot of Page to Verify Your Account

 

VERIFY ACCOUNT

And in about 2 weeks you will get a postcard in the mail. It could be sooner, but when you get it you’ll just follow the instructions and type the verification code on the postcard.

Misc. Stock Image

 

YOU ARE VERIFIED

And then you’re all set

Verification Image

 

Obviously, getting set up is just the very basics of Google my Business.  Anyone can do it if you can find the time to sit down and work through the steps.

However, if you don’t have the time or patience to set it all up yourself, you can always contact our digital agency to help you go beyond the basics to ensure that you stay at the top of your game and take advantage of every possible new business opportunity.

To find out how we can help you get the most out of search engine optimization, contact us here at Big Hit Creative.

Big Hit Creative

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