Google My Business (GMB) is one of the easiest and most effective digital tactics for a local business. Not only does claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing ensure potential customers find you when they search online, but it also enables you to create the best first impression possible by controlling what they see.
Setting up a GMB page is relatively simple and straightforward. It’s free to set up, and taking the time to optimize your company’s page can help you appear in local search results for queries specific to your products or services. Unfortunately, many local businesses just claim their GMB listing and forget about it.
6 Simple Steps to Set Up Your Google My Business Page
If you want to maximize your local search strategy, then your GMB page is critical. Here are six simple steps to set up your Google My Business page to help more potential customers find you:
Step 1: Create an account, and claim your business.
The first step is to connect Google My Business to a Google account. If your organization uses G-suite to manage your email and calendar, all you have to do is connect your account. If not, you can also create an account.
Once you create an account, go to google.com/business. Select that blue “Manage now” button. This will allow you to start the process of claiming your business or location.
Step 2: Fill in the basic information about your business.
The next step is to fill out all the basic information about your business. This includes things like your business name, the category of your business, location, business hours, and so forth.
It’s important to do a little research before you upload this content to ensure it’s optimized for search. For example, your business field is an important field that will impact the search terms your business appears on. While you can change this later, it’s better to research this information beforehand.
Once you’ve filled out all the basic information, now it’s time to wait.
Step 3: Verify your business.
To provide users with the most accurate information possible, verifying your business is a step Google takes very seriously. There are different ways to verify your business on Google. Your options for verifying will depend on the nature of your business, so some options may not be available.
- Postcard—To verify your business listing by mail, Google will ask you to enter your business address in Google My Business. Then Google will send you a postcard containing your verification code.
- E-mail—Not all businesses can verify their listing by email, but if it gives you that option, make sure you can access the email address shown in the verification screen.
- Phone—If your business is eligible to receive a verification code by phone, you’ll see the “verify by phone” option when you request verification. If you don’t see it, verify your listing by mail instead.
- Instant Verification—If you’ve already verified your company’s website with Google Search Console, you may be able to verify your listing instantly.
- Bulk Verification (10+ locations)—If you manage 10 or more locations of the same business, your business listings may be eligible for bulk verification.
If you’re having trouble with any of these options, you can visit this Google support page for more detailed instructions.
Step 4: Optimize your Google My Business page for search.
After you’ve verified your business, it’s time to fill out the rest of your profile. In this step, it’s important to remember that good content is important to your Google My Business page.
Make sure your business page tells visitors what differentiates your business AND uses keywords that will optimize your description for search. Whenever you’re writing your business description, we always encourage clients to…
- Use important keywords early in the paragraph
- Emphasize what makes your business stand out from competitors
- Explain why people should visit your business
If you’re concerned about what can and can’t be included, be sure to check out Google’s business description guidelines.
Step 5: Add photos and posts to showcase offerings and promotions.
Google My Business pages also allow you to visually showcase your business before customers visit. Two recent additions include the option to add 360º photos and virtual video tours. Be aware that customers can also upload their own photos and videos. Google advises businesses to upload several different types of images:
- Photos of the exterior of your business—This will help people know what to look for when visiting you for the first time. They can be taken at different times of the day and from common angles.
- Photos from the interior of your business—This can include common areas your business may have, such as the reception area, meeting rooms, or team members working together.
- Photos of your team or products—If you’re a professional services business, adding photos of your team can help create human connections. If you are a retail store or product-based business, you can upload product photos for the most popular products you sell.
Step 6: Start managing Google reviews.
Customer reviews can be the most stressful aspect of managing your Google My Business page. That’s why having a strategy to manage them as you get started is important. Here are a few keys to making customer reviews an effective part of your Google My Business page:
- Ask your best clients and customers for reviews. Your customers should be your biggest advocates. You can create a custom URL for customers to write reviews at any time.
- Develop a process for managing reviews. Keeping up with reviews is essential. The secret of success in responding to all reviews promptly is primarily dependent on your ability to make it a regular task on your to-do list.
- Proactively determine how you will manage negative reviews. Google reminds business owners that negative reviews are not always a result of bad business practices. It’s important to determine how you will handle any negative reviews BEFORE they show up.
Optimize Your Local SEO Efforts with SEO Silo
Taking these six simple steps to set up your Google My Business profile is just the start of your local marketing journey.
If you’re looking for innovative ways to attract new customers in your area, local search should be a cornerstone of your marketing strategy. Our team at The SEO Silo can guide you to discover how to maximize your digital footprint and help more people find your business. Contact us today!