When people search for you online, a Google My Business account allows you to appear in search results. It’s free, making it a cost-effective marketing tool for both small and large enterprises.
This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to set up your account and provide advice on how to get the most out of it.
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How to Create a Google My Business Account
Are you unsure whether you require a Google My Business account? Here are some reasons why you might want to think about getting one.
Make yourself visible
Search is now a digital process. Your clients and prospects are online, even if you have a traditional brick and mortar store. And that’s usually where they’ll start looking for your organization, products, or services.
Google is the ultimate search referrer, whether you’re seeking for foot traffic or web traffic. When someone searches for your firm on Google Search or Google Maps, they will find it if you have a Google My Business account. If they do, your listing will show searches where and how to visit your shop, regardless of whether you have a website or a physical location.
Your local SEO will also benefit from a Google My Business account. As a result, if someone searches for you, you will appear on page one, rather than page two or worse.
A Google business account assures that you obtain top results even if you already have a website. Accounts also provide you access to analytics, which you can use to fine-tune your paid and organic ad campaigns.
Customers should be kept informed.
Don’t keep your customers in the dark regarding crucial information about your company. Alternatively, you might leave them to Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other third-party review sites over which you have no control. Make sure that when someone searches for your company, they get accurate information from the source.
Contact information, business hours, and other critical details are all included in your Google My Business listing. You can utilize updates to announce that your services have been expanded, temporarily closed, or fully reopened (an especially useful feature during emergency situations like COVID-19). Because Google business accounts have strong local SEO, the information you share will rank higher than that of other websites.
Misinformation can result in negative customer experiences and possibilities being missed. Consider how disappointed a customer would be if they went to your store only to find it closed. Maybe you’re available, but a potential customer went with a competition since they weren’t sure.
Customers can be kept informed via a Google My Business account.
Increase consumer trust
Your company’s legitimacy is enhanced by a Google My Business profile. Do you require proof? Customers are 70% more likely to visit a company that has a Google My Business listing.
According to another study, firms with complete Google listings are twice as likely to acquire client trust.
When it comes to purchasing decisions, trust is crucial. The more assured a customer is, the more inclined they are to purchase. People are 38 percent more likely to visit your store and 29 percent more likely to buy something after hearing about it via Google.
Google My Business reviews also aid in the development of trust. According to a study conducted by Think With Google, 88 percent of consumers trust internet evaluations just as much as personal recommendations.
How to get Google My Business up and running
Create your Google My Business profile by following these steps.
Step 1: Go to Google My Business and sign in.
To sign in, go to www.google.com/business. You have the option of using an existing Google account or creating a new one. You can skip to the next step if you’ve already signed in.
Make sure to use your company’s email domain when signing up.
Step 2: get your business on google.
Enter the name of your company. Click Add your business to Google if it does not display in the drop-down option. Then, for your business, choose the proper category.
Step 3: enter your physical location or service area.
Select Yes if you have a physical location that clients can visit. After that, fill up your address. You may also be requested to place a marker on a map to indicate the location. You can specify your service area if your company does not have a physical location where people can visit but provides a service or delivery.
Step 4: provide your contact details
Customers will be able to contact you if you include your business phone number and website URL. You can add a Facebook page instead of a website if you have one.
A Google website is included for free with your Google My Business account also.
Step 5: Complete and Edit your Business profile
Check Yes, if you want to be notified of new posts and updates. Then click Finish to complete the process. After that, you’ll be asked to confirm your company’s legitimacy.
How to get your business verified on Google
Here’s how to validate your Google company now that your account is set up. For the most part, Google verification entails sending a postcard.
Step 1: Log in to your Google My Business account.
Step 2: Now click the Verify button.
Make sure you select the correct Google My Business account if you have more than one.
Step 3: Select a method of verification.
The default verification method is Postcard by Mail. If additional channels, such as phone or email, are available for your business, use the one you prefer. Fill in the blanks with the relevant information. After you’ve double-checked that you’ve entered everything correctly, submit the form.
The postcard can take anything from a few days to two weeks to arrive. Sign in and select Verify location from the menu when you receive your postcard. The five-digit verification code from your postcard should be entered here.
It may take a few weeks for your Google business listing to appear. While you wait, you can manage your Google My Business account by downloading the Google My Business app.
How to claim your company on Google
Do you need to claim a Google business profile that already exists? There are three possibilities:
Option 1: Create a Google My Business account or log in. Look for your company and pick it. Then go through the processes to make sure you’re the rightful owner.
Option 2: Go to Maps and find your company listing, then click Manage this listing.
Option 3: Use Google Search to find the business listing and then click Own this business?
Don’t be alarmed if some details are incorrect. Once you’ve confirmed that you’re the owner, you may make changes.
If the business has already been claimed by someone else, but you work for the same company, request that they add you as a user. Follow the steps to regain your businesses if you don’t identify the owner.
How to make changes to your Google My business listing
Do you need to make changes to your Google My Business profile? Here’s how to do it:
- Log in to your Google My Business account.
- Open the business you want to change.
- Click Info from the left-hand menu.
- To make changes, click the pencil symbol. To delete a section, simply click the X. Click Apply when you’re finished.
How to use Google My Business to add numerous locations
A location group is a collection of business listings that is administered as a whole by a company or user group. Sorting your locations into groups makes it easier to manage and organize many places. You can make modifications to many listings at the same time and share access to them.
Is it possible to turn off Google reviews for your company?
No. You won’t be able to disable Google reviews for your listing. It wouldn’t be in your best interests to do so anyhow, because reviews demonstrate to clients that your company is reputable.
You can, however, flag and report reviews that aren’t acceptable.
It’s critical to manage reviews, but it can be challenging if you manage many locations and Google My Business accounts. You can manage and respond to all reviews using Hootsuite‘s streamlined interface.
How can I temporarily close a business or a location on google?
Mark your business as temporarily closed if you need to close for the season or temporarily. This keeps customers informed while not impacting your local search ranking.
How to indicate that your company is temporarily closed:
There are eight strategies to improve your Google My Business profile.
These Google suggestions will help you enhance your business.
1. Complete your whole profile.
Give Google as much information as possible about your company. Why? It allows Google to better match your business to client searches. To put it another way, it raises your search engine rating.
“Local results prefer the most relevant results for each search,” according to Google, and businesses with thorough and accurate information are simpler to match with the proper queries.
That means you’ll need to fill out contact information, a category, attributes, and other information. If at all possible, utilize the correct terms.
Three elements are used by Google to determine local ranking:
- Relevance: refers to how well your listing corresponds to a search query.
- Distance: The distance between you and the search or searcher.
- Prominence: refers to how well-known a company is (based on several other factors)
Relevance can be improved by using the proper keywords. Don’t know where to begin? Take a look at Google Trends.
If you own a vintage clothes store, for example, look for “vintage clothing” in your area. For keyword ideas, look at similar topics and terms that people are using.
2. With photographs, you can stand out.
Assist folks in understanding what your company is all about.
You’ll be able to upload a logo and cover photo to your Google My Business profile, just like you would on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest. People will have a harder time recognizing your brand online if you don’t include these graphics.
Don’t stop there, though. Additional photographs can be used to promote your location, products, or handiwork. Post images of your food, menus, and dining room if you own a restaurant. Make sure they’re appealing, professional, and not low-resolution. According to Google, companies with photographs get 42 percent more directions queries and 35 percent more hits to their websites.
Hire a professional photographer if you can. It makes a significant difference. It also pays for itself in the long run. Airbnb listings with professional photography earn 40 percent more money, receive 24 percent more reservations, and charge a 26 percent higher nightly rate.
To upload images to your Google My Business profile, follow these steps:
- Log in to your Google My Business account.
- Select the place you want to administer and open it.
- From the menu, select Photos.
- Select the type of photo you want to use.
- Choose a photo you’ve already uploaded or upload one from your computer.
3. Send out announcements, updates, and special deals.
Your Google My Business profile should always have correct and up-to-date information, such as your address, hours, and contact information. If this information changes, make sure to update it.
You can also use postings to keep your customers up to know on updates, new items, special deals, and events. These articles may keep your profile fresh, promote sales, and stimulate visitors to your physical or digital storefront, depending on your goal.
How to write a Google post:
- Open Google My Business and log in to the location you want to manage.
- Select Posts from the left-hand menu.
- From the list of options, select the type of post you want to make.
- Fill in the blanks with the necessary information. Copy should be concise and provide all important information. Avoid overuse of punctuation (!!!!!) and commercial terminology.
- To double-check formatting and spelling, go to Preview. Click the back arrow if you need to make a change.
- Click Publish when you’re finished.
If the type of post you’ve chosen allows for the inclusion of rich media, take advantage of it. People are more engaged with posts that include photographs, videos, or GIFs, according to Google.
4. Include unique characteristics and qualities.
Depending on the category you select, Google business accounts have additional capabilities.
Here’s an overview of available category-specific features:
- Hotels can display class ratings as well as a list of amenities.
- Menus, popular dishes, and a link for online ordering and bookings can all be uploaded by restaurants and bars.
- Service-oriented firms can include a service menu and a booking button on their website.
- Product catalogs can be added by small and medium-sized businesses.
If you believe your company qualifies for one of these features but don’t see it, you may have selected the incorrect category. For your business, you have the option of selecting up to ten categories.
You may also add factual qualities to your profile to provide further information with your consumers. If you own or operate a store or restaurant, you might wish to mention that it is wheelchair accessible, has free Wi-Fi, or has outdoor seating. You can even mention if your company is run by a woman.
To add or edit attributes, follow these steps:
- Click Info from your account dashboard.
- Select Edit when you find Add Attributes. Search for the attribute you’d like to add, or read through all of your company’s possibilities.
- Apply the changes.
5. Encourage your consumers to submit feedback.
People have a higher level of trust in other people than they do in businesses. A positive review can be the determining factor that convinces potential customers to choose you. Your Google ranking will also improve as a result of the reviews.
The greatest moment to request a review is after you’ve given a fantastic service. Consider passing along a card or e-receipt that requests a review, whether in person or online. Google provides a free marketing package to businesses that includes stickers, social media posts, and downloadable posters.
You can also design a custom shortlink to make it easier to leave a review. g.page/[yourcustomname] will be the URL.
To get a personalized URL for your Google My Business account, follow these steps:
- Click Info and then Add short name from the dashboard.
- Fill desired short name. It has a maximum length of 32 characters. If the name you desire is already taken, you may need to come up with alternatives.
- Apply the changes.
Your short name will appear on your business profile once it is complete.
6. Respond to reviews to build trust.
Responding to reviews shows existing and potential clients that you respect their input. Businesses who respond to reviews are 1.7 times more trusted than those that don’t, according to a Google and Ipsos Connect survey.
Positive interactions increase customer loyalty. Always react in your brand language and maintain a respectful and professional demeanor. This holds true for both positive and negative evaluations. Don’t dismiss them. Turn things around by hearing and responding to the issues that have been raised.
Always be truthful, and when it’s appropriate, apologize. If the situation is delicate, request that they send you a private message.
Also, make sure to respond to queries. A consumer inquiry left on your Google My Business profile can be answered by anybody. Make every effort to be the first to react. Show people that your company is active and trustworthy, and you’ll avoid the propagation of false information.
7. Let WNY Web Development Manage Your Google My Business Account
Managing your Google My Business account yourself can be difficult. Especially when Google changes the way they do things and don’t update their tutorials to match their current material.
We promote corporate updates, respond to reviews, and keep track of what people are saying about your firm all from our end. This not only saves you time, but it also makes sense for the growth of your company.
It may be worthwhile to allow the professionals to create your Google profile. List your services so it will stand out to searchers. After all, running a successful website is time consuming as you probably know.
8. With analytics, you can fine-tune your paid and organic reach.
Another benefit of having a Google My Business profile is that it gives you access to data. These findings aren’t limited to Google Analytics.
Keep track of how many people look for you on the internet, phone your business, ask for directions, look at your images, and so on. Knowing which keywords, photographs, and actions are the most popular can help you tweak your profile—and even impact the social media material you create.
Google Ads can benefit from Google My Business analytics as well. You can utilize local extensions in your advertising if you have a Google Business account. These add-ons display adverts with clickable location information. Increase engagement and lower cost per click by combining this feature with insights.
Making the most of Google My Business is critical for any business on social media, but it is especially crucial for small enterprises. Learn more about how to use social media effectively for your small business.