How to Create and Optimize a Google My Business Listing For Your Business

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free business listing provided by Google. It enables you to get listed on Google Search and Google Maps and manage the information about your business that is shown on search results. It helps customers find your business when they search online on Google.

If you are a local business, having an optimized Google My Business profile is an important step to improve your local search or SEO (search engine optimization) rankings on Google. It is a free method of digital marketing for a local business with a lot of online visibility. It enables local customers to find your business when they search online for products and services in their area.

A Google My Business listing is considered to be the most important ranking factor for a business to rank in the local pack. The local pack is the listing of businesses featured at the top of the Google organic search rankings for a relevant search.

How Important is Local SEO?

Here are some statistics that show the importance of local search or SEO from Google and HubSpot.

  • 4 in 5 customers use search engines to find local information. (Source: Think with Google)
  • 72% of customers that did a local search visited a store within 5 miles (source: HubSpot marketing statistics)
  • 18% of local searches made on smartphones led to a purchase within a day, whereas only 7% of non-local searches led to a sale. (Source: Think with Google)

Create a Google My Business Listing For Your Business

Creating a Google My Business Profile for your business is not difficult. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Go to https://www.google.com/business/
2. Sign in with your google account or set one up
3. Enter your Business name and address

google my business- name of business

4. You can choose if you want your business location to be listed on Google Maps

  • If you serve customers at your business address,
    • enter your business address
  • If you don’t serve customers at your business address, for example, if you are a service area business,
    • enter your business address
    • choose “I deliver goods and services to my customers”
    • list your service areas

google my business service areas

5. Select your business category.
This is an important step. Make sure you select the right category for your business. You can select up to 10 categories for your business and 1 primary category which is given the most importance by Google. Select all the categories that apply to your business.

google my business category

6. Enter your phone number and website URL

google my business contact details

Request Verification by Google for your Google My Business Profile

Your business will need to be verified by Google before your business profile will be shown on Google Search or Google Maps.

Most businesses have to verify by mail. Service-area businesses can also verify by phone. Email or through Search Console.

google my business - verify business

1. To verify by mail. Click Finish.
2. Verify that your business address is correct or make changes.
3. Click “Send postcard”
4. Google will send a postcard to your business address with a verification code, usually in 14 days.

google my business - mailing address to verify

Enter Your Google Verification Code to Verify Your Google My Business Profile

Once you get your postcard from Google in the mail, you must enter the verification code into your Google My Business profile to complete verification.

1. Sign in to your Google My Business Profile
2. Click “Verify Now”
3. In the “Code” field, enter the verification code from your postcard
4. Click “Submit”
5. Your verification is complete.
6. After your verification code is entered, your business listing is eligible to be shown on Google Search and Google Maps.

Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Once your Google My Business listing is shown on Google, you need to further optimize your profile and keep it updated.

Why You Should Optimize Your Google My Business Profile

  • Your Google My Business listing will be shown on Google Search and Maps when people search for businesses near them.
  • An optimized Google My Business profile qualifies your business to be shown in the local pack of 3 businesses shown above the organic search or SEO listings, right below the paid search or Pay Per Click ads.
  • Adding lots of photos and keeping your business information updated provides your customers with the latest information about your business and operating hours when they search online for your business.

The Google My Business Dashboard

When you log into your Google My Business Profile, you will see a dashboard where you can manage and update your business information:

google my business dashboard

Steps to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Here are the steps to optimize your Google My Business listing,

  1. Review and update your business information and make any changes.
  2. Verify your business location and address.
  3. Post your business hours, including special hours for holidays and weekends.
  4. Enter a complete business description. Use important keywords relevant to your business in your description.
  5. Enter your services.
  6. Add plenty of pictures to your business listing. This includes a cover photo, logo, pictures of your team, pictures of your store, and products and services.
  7. You can add a video to your listing as well.
  8. Your customers can post reviews on your google my business listing. Positive reviews improve trust and customer confidence.
  9. You should regularly respond to customer reviews.
  10. Add Posts regularly with information on special events; offers, products or links to new blog posts on your website.
  11. Turn on messaging so that customers can directly message you from your listing.
  12. Google My Business has a Q and A feature. Customers can ask you questions from your listing. Respond regularly to customer questions.
  13. Download the Google My Business app. You will need to use the Google My Business app to view and respond to customer messages.
  14. Check Insights regularly for valuable information on how customers search for your business. This includes information on search queries used and the actions customers take to visit your website, call or message you.

Use the New Features in Google My Business to Fully Optimize Your Profile

Google has added several new features to Google My Business in 2019, and updated several earlier features. You should use these new features to fully optimize your Google My Business listing.

To read more about the new Google My Business features, go to our blog post: Google My Business New Features to Reach More Customers

Conclusion

A complete and well-optimized Google My Business Profile is essential for every business. It enables your business to be shown on Google Search and Google Maps when customers search online for products or services that you offer.

With a Google My Business profile, you can post your business information; post photos and special events; receive and respond to customer reviews; get messages from customers and track how customers find you on Google.

A Google My Business Profile is important for local SEO. It helps to improve your local SEO or search rankings so that local customers can find you when they search online on Google. Get started today!

Need Help With Digital Marketing?

Gold Mango Design LLC. helps small and medium businesses build a strong online brand and increase leads with digital marketing services. Our digital marketing services include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google Ads PPC (Pay per Click) Marketing & Management, Mobile Friendly Web Design & Web Development, Digital Marketing consulting and more. We are located in Plano, TX right outside Dallas. Contact us at https://goldmangodesign.com

References

• Google, Google My Business
• Google, Verify your local business listing on Google

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1. Gold Mango Design, Google My Business New Features to Reach More Customers
2. Gold Mango Design, What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization and Why is it Important?
3. Gold Mango Design, 10 Local SEO Tips to Boost Local Search Rankings
4. Gold Mango Design, 11 Reasons Why You Need SEO

All screenshots taken by author.