Guide for Google My Business

If you’re planning to build your local SEO, then Google My Business is a must. 

Google My Business (GMB) is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organisations to manage their online presence on Google, including Search and Maps. Through this, you can connect with customers effectively and update any important information – this includes business name, location, contact details (phone number, website and email), opening hours, replying to customer reviews, photos and more.

When people search for a product or service nearby, they’re usually about to make a purchase – in fact, 50% of people who conduct a local online search such as “computer repair store near me” and visit a store that same day! By using GMB, you can ensure that your business info is publicly available, completed, reliable and optimised – a great way to convert leads into sales!

Now, you’re probably wondering: how do I create my Google My Business account, gain ownership rights and verify its public listing online? Well, it’s simple – just follow this brief step-by-step Guide for Google My Business and you’ll get it up and running ASAP. 

Create a Google My Business Profile 

  1. Sign up for a free Google Account for your business (or log in if you already have one)
  2. Go to https://www.google.com.au/business/sign-up/index.html – select ‘Continue’ to make your GMB account 
  3. Enter your business name 
  4. Choose the category that best fits your business – this should be as accurate as possible, since it determines which kinds of customers will see your business listing!
  5. Add your business address / location – e.g. for store / office 
    • If you serve customers at your business address:
      • Enter your business address.
      • Click Next. If you also serve customers outside your business address, you’ll have the option to list your service areas 
    • If you don’t serve customers at your business address:
      • Enter your business address.
      • Click the checkbox at the bottom – ‘I deliver goods and services to my customers’ and then select Next.
      • List your service areas, then click Next.
  6. Add your business phone number and website URL 
  7. Select a verification option. It’s recommended that you review your information before you request verification.
    • To verify now, find the red banner at the top and click ‘Verify Now’.
    • To verify later, click Verify Later > Later.

For more information about how to properly review your business information, visit Google My Business Help Centre here. 

How to Verify Your Business on Google 

To make sure your business info is accurate across Google – verification is needed. Verification protects you from anybody who might try to pose as a representative of your business. 

In order to edit your business information on Google, you’ll have to first verify your business. 

There are actually several ways to verify your business, especially through postcard, phone, email, instant verification and bulk verification. If you are interested in learning more about any of these options, it can be worth checking out this Google article

For GMB verification, many businesses use the Postcard Verification method from Google, where you can become verified through mail. Here’s how: 

If you sign up for Google My Business and continue directly to verification: 

  1. At the top of the page, click Mail 
    1. Do not click Verify later.
  2. Enter the name of the person the verification postcard should be mailed to, or you can leave it blank. Google can automatically send it your listed business address 
  3. Click Send postcard.

If you sign up for Google My Business but didn’t start the verification process:

  1. Sign in to google.com/business
  2. In your Google My Business dashboard, click Verify now on the top-right corner.
  3. At the top of the page, click Mail. 
    1. Do not click Verify later.
  4. Enter the name of the person the verification postcard should be mailed to, or you can leave it blank. Google can automatically send it your listed business address 
  5. Click Send postcard.

Most postcards arrive within 14 days – once you receive it, the postcard includes a unique verification code that you must enter into your Google My Business account to confirm that your business is located at the listed address. Follow these steps below: 

  1. Sign in to google.com/business
  2. Verify your business in either of the following ways:
    1. Under “Verification needed,” Click Verify now. Or…
    2. In the left menu, click Verify location. 
  3. Follow the instructions to enter the verification code from your postcard.

Congrats! You’re now verified on Google – this means you are ready to edit your business information, respond to reviews, and add photos of your business store or product images! It might still take a few weeks for your business information to display across Google. 

Once your info is live, you can check out your Business Profile, search for your business name (or location) in Google Search or Maps, and view your results. It’s also important to note that search results for other people may be different due to Google local ranking factors. We’ll cover this below so you can fully optimise your GMB listing!

How to Optimise Your Google My Business Listing 

Once you’re done with the entire verification process, you should try to optimise your listing as much as possible so that your Google ranking can improve. 

There are many ways you can optimise your GMB Listing. Here’s how: 

  • Regularly update your business info – Go to your Google My Business dashboard, click on the listing you’d like to work on, and choose a section to update. This will ensure that your customers know what’s going on with your business and can get quickly updated with the most relevant changes, while giving your GMB listing more visibility. 
  • Providing complete and accurate info – Google Local results favor the most relevant results for each search. Businesses with complete, regularly-updated and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches. Make sure you enter important info, including your business’s profile photo, hours, location, phone number, website URL, category, attributes (E.g. ‘Free wifi’ or ‘wheelchair accessible’), etc. 
    • On Google, any random person can “suggest an edit” to your listing so you should make sure all your info is correct! 
  • Add photos – According to Google, businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website and 42% higher requests for driving directions in Google Maps. 
    • For basic guidelines, added photos are recommended to be at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels high and they should be either JPG or PNG files. You should limit the image file size from 10KB to 5MB 
    • There are many kinds of photos you can use – the cover photo (first picture on your listing), profile photo (what appears when you upload new photos, videos, or review replies – it’s typically your business logo) 
    • You can also upload additional business photos (depicting angles / shots of the physical store or product offerings). Customers can view different photos that highlight features of your business and shape their purchasing decisions. This will make your GMB listing much more informative, professional and engaging – find out more how to add photos!
  • Add videos – For better engagement to make you stand out from competitors, you can also upload videos to your Google My Business profile. Videos must be: 30 seconds or shorter, up to 75MB  and 720p resolution or higher. While these are not essential, they can truly make a difference to your listing! 
  • Replying to customer reviews – Encouraging people to leave positive online reviews underneath your Google business listing is a valuable way to attract new customers through a cost-effective word-of-mouth marketing. Even more importantly, you should always reply to these reviews, showing appreciation to both existing and potential customers that you are thankful for their support and value their business. 
    • For negative reviews, you should take them seriously and strive to appease their lingering concerns by offering to do better next time.  Make sure that you remain courteous, professional and empathetic – attacking them will only damage your business image, especially since your replies and posts are made public. 
  • Download the Google My Business App – Google My Business is also available in app form for both iOS and Android. You can use the app to: update your business hours, location, contact information, and description, post statuses and photos, and even view search Insights – some data includes views, searches, and user actions (from both organic search results or Google Ads). 
    • However, you can’t delete your business listing, change its settings or transfer ownership of the listing to another user. 

Need Help to Boost Your Business’s Google Ranking?

Did you know that 67% of all clicks go to the top five listings in search results? With so many businesses competing for the top search results on Google, it can be hard to position your business in the most visible spotlight online.

At OMDIGI Group, we can help attract more attention to your business with our dynamic range of specialised digital marketing services. To improve your Google ranking and increase brand exposure, we provide SEO strategies such as keyword research, link building and website development. We can also increase traffic to your business website through our Paid Search (PPC) services. Don’t wait – contact us and catapult your search ranking NOW!