Google My Business (GMB) is the most important platform for businesses that want to rank for a certain location. If you own a local business and you don’t have a verified Google My Business account, you are missing a lot of business benefits that might have come your way online.
This blog covers everything about Google My Business. You can learn the benefits, the ways to claim your GMB account, verifying a GMB account, and the best tips for optimizing your verified Google My Business presence.
ENGAGING WITH CUSTOMERS
- Google My Business helps you get your business to stand out on Google Search and Maps! You can use pictures, contact info, and more to showcase your business when people search online.
- Google My Business, you’ll be able to easily manage your business listings online and on our mobile app, even when you have multiple locations.
- You can use Google My Business features to connect with your customers by responding to their reviews or to enhance your ads (if you use Google AdWords).
- To make your listing stand out, you can add photos. You also have the option to add posts that will be visible across Maps and Search.
- With Google My Business, you connect with your current customers and attract new ones.
- You can respond to user reviews with Google My Business. You can thank them for a great review, or ask for concerns to make their experience even better.
- With Google My Business, customers can ask questions or send messages directly through the listing and you can respond to them without having to leave the page.
- You can get calls and direction requests from customers who see your Google My Business listing.
- You can use the insight feature in Google My Business to track how customers interact with your business.
- Inside the search report, you can view driving direction requests.
- You can easily connect Google My Business account to AdWords Express and create ads to advertise.
CLAIMING YOUR BUSINESS
- Set up a listing on Google My Business in three steps.
- Once the listing has been verified, you can add more detailed information that customers want to see, such as website, store hours, and photos. The more information you provide, the more customers can learn about — and interact with — your business!
- How to claim an existing listing?
- What if someone else has claimed your business?
- If you have fewer than 10 locations, you’ll have to enter them individually. Businesses with 10 or more eligible locations can add, verify, and manage them in bulk.
- You may be able to verify your business via phone, email, or postcard (which can take up to two weeks to do).
- There are three levels of user permissions in Google My Business, Owner, Manager, or Communication Manager.
a. Sign up or log in to Google My Business. As you enter your business information, the system will suggest possible matches. Select your business and confirm that you’re authorized to manage it.
b. Locate your business listing in Maps, and click Claim this business.
c. You’ll have a chance to edit incomplete or wrong information, once you have verified that you are the owner of the business.
a. If someone in your organization has already claimed the business, it’s possible to add more users to that account.
b. If you don’t recognize the account that verified the listing, you will have to request ownership and follow the directions to claim your business.
GET YOUR LISTING VERIFIED
- Verification gives you the keys to your listing, allowing you to manage and edit information so that customers will always stay up-to-date.
- The average well-maintained Google My Business listing gets five times more views than listings that haven’t been claimed by their owners.
- There are three ways to verify a business on Google
- The postcard should arrive at listed business addresses within a few days to two weeks (depending on location). During this time, you should avoid editing business information to prevent delays in the verification process.
- Other forms of verification
- How bulk verification works?
a. Through the mail (with unique verification code)
b. By phone or email (Select business listings may be able to verify over the phone, email, or even instantly through Google Search Console)
c. All at once (may be available for businesses with a large number of locations)
a. Create and upload a spreadsheet with all locations and fill out the verification request form. The verification request form contains detailed information about the business.
b. It may take up to a week for the request to be processed. To prevent potential delays, ensure that:
i. The spreadsheet includes 10 or more locations from the same business and all the locations that he manages.
ii. The account is free of errors and meets quality guidelines.
iii. Follows up on any requests for more information, or corrections and optimizations on his account.
OPTIMIZE YOUR LISTING
- The first thing you want to do is check your listing to make sure the information is up to date.
- Sometimes your edits could be flagged as pending or unaccepted if Google thinks they are inaccurate. If that happens, you just have to go in, review, and update the information.
- Listing is often the first impression customers have of your business, so you want to make sure you get their attention.
- The more photos you add, the more your business will stand out online! This might help to increase your ranking in search. With an improved ranking, your listing is more likely to show up ahead of other listings.
- Customer reviews aren’t just a great way to get feedback. You can use them to stand out from competitors and show customers what you have to offer. You can also use them to engage with your customers.
- If you receive a positive review, please do respond with at least a Thank You message.
- Responding to negative reviews is a great way to address the concerns of an upset customer and show potential customers that you appreciate the feedback.
- You should also remind your customers to leave reviews and share the link with them so they can do so quickly and easily.
- With insights, you can track different kinds of actions, including
a. how our customers searched for,
b. how many calls received,
c. the number of requests for directions,
d. how many customers visited the website, and
e. how many clicked on photos
f. which days the photos were viewed the most, which will help you decide when you want to post new photos each week.
TOOLS TO ENGAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS
1. With Google My Business website builder, you can have her website up and running in a few minutes.
2. You can personalize your website by choosing from many different templates
3. You can choose a unique domain name and point it to your new website.
4. With Posts, you can make timely announcements about new products and promotions or upcoming events
5. Posts last for seven days
6. Post insights help you track views and customer engagement to develop even more effective posts in the future
7. Messaging with customers is a Google My Business feature that is currently available in select countries
MANAGING LISTINGS IN BULK
1. Reasons behind disapproval
a. Locations not open – Locations that are under construction or have not yet opened to the public are not eligible to add information in Google My Business.
b. Incorrect business name – It’s just a matter of matching what’s written on the sign outside your door — making sure the business name reflects the same capitalization as it does in real life.
c. Multiple locations in one – Multiple locations at the same physical location are not permitted.
2. What information you need to upload:
a. Store Code – is a unique ID that you’ll assign to each of the locations so changes are applied accurately in their account
b. Business Name – The name that will appear on Google (spelling, spacing, and capitalization must match)
c. Business Location – make sure you don’t have any typos and the information is complete
d. Phone and Website – Use a local phone number instead of a call center number, and make sure to use direct phone numbers and URLs, rather than redirects
e. Categories – Choose a category that best represents your client’s business as the primary category. You’ll want to make this category consistent across all locations. You can also add up to nine additional categories if needed.
3. Use Google My Business application programming interface (API) to write applications that manage a Google My Business account and location data.
4. You can also use their Google My Business Locations to power location extensions in AdWords
5. Location extensions help people find your locations by showing your ads with your address, a map to your location, or the distance to your business. To make it happen, you’ll just need to link your client’s Google My Business account with their AdWords account
a. Linking a personal account enables locations in all business accounts to be used in AdWords.
b. Linking a single business account will only use locations from that account.
In this blog, we tried to include everything about Google My Business. However, if you feel something is missing or if you have any kind of queries related to your Google My Business account, feel free to share your queries in comments or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more such relevant tips to promote your business online.