Welcome back to our Beginner’s Guide blog series, where we help you understand basic marketing concepts and terms.
Today we’ll tackle Google My Business!
In one of our recent blog posts (Your Beginners Guide To Local SEO), we touched on the topic of Google My Business (GMB) for local SEO improvement but now, we’re going to go over the entire scope of just GMB, so buckle up!
In this guide, you’ll find all the information you’ll need to start, update, and maintain your Google My Business profile!
STEP ONE – Set Up Your Business Profile
The first step is to create a Gmail account if you don’t have one.
You can create a new business Gmail account or use a different email as you can share or transfer your ownership/admin access anytime after setup.
This process takes less than 5 minutes and easy to do!
After you have this step, you’re ready for the fun stuff!
STEP TWO – Create and Setup Your GMB Profile
Once you have your gmail account set up, you’ll want to have it verified. Being verified will allow people to see your business on Google Maps.
This assists with your Local SEO because when people make a search related to your business, you will be one of the options.
Here’s a quick example of why being verified is so important:
A mother is taking her kids to get a haircut, so she googles “hair salon near me”.
This will bring up all of the verified hair salons in her area within a given distance.
She will then be able to choose her best option based on distance, reviews, and wait-times. If you owned a salon in the area but it wasn’t verified, she wouldn’t have even seen you in her list of options.
– How Do You Get Verified On Google My Business? (It’s Pretty Easy!)
This is the easiest way to get verified (note: it takes a bit of time):
- Go into your GMB account and look for the spot where it says “verify now”
- You will then have an option to verify by postcard—click this, then double check your own address so it shows up to the correct spot.
- Now simply wait! The postcard usually arrives within a couple of weeks.
- Take the code off the back of the postcard and then enter it into your Google My Business account. After this, you’re ready to go.
Now you can begin to optimize it by filling out all the different sections and features.
We suggest you fill out every option available for your industry.
Google likes valid and readily available information to present to its visitors.
If your profile is 100% complete, there’s a good chance Google will highlight it over your competitors who are not fully optimized.
Going the extra mile here can pay off in this situation.
STEP THREE – Complete the Info Section
Open your GMB profile and go to the Info Section found on the left-hand side of the page.
In this tab, you’ll find some of the most critical areas that need your attention.
- Business Category
- Business Address & Hours ( * Special Hours included)
- Telephone Numbers
- Website & Appointment Links
- Products & Services
- Business Attributes
- Business Description
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of these points! (we’ll go ahead and skip ii and iii as those are very straightforward).
– Business Categories
Your Primary Business Category is highly important, so you should be picking one that is as closely related to your own business as possible. The more closely related your business is to the category, the less competition there will be.
- Take this quick example: If you’re a Greek restaurant, don’t just choose “restaurant” as your primary category. Instead, be more specific, and select “Greek restaurant” so you’ll only be competing with other Greek restaurants instead of being lumped in with different types of eateries.
– Website & Appointment Links (Link Them To Your GMB Page)
Make sure your website link is showing correctly on your profile.
If a visitor stumbles across your business on maps (also called Google Local Map Pack) or the Search Engine Results page, it’s best to get them to your website as soon as possible.
The same goes for the appointment link feature; make sure the link is correct, so your visitors can schedule an appointment with your business.
An appointment link can be as simple as a link to your contact form on your website or booking software (like we do at Flinnwest).
OR you can use booking software, such as these:
- Calendly – Free booking software for any type of business.
- Jane App – Paid booking software for doctors + practitioners
- Fieldwire – Free booking software for construction companies
- Mindbody – Paid booking software for fitness, yoga, wellness companies.
- Clio – Paid booking software for Legal Practices
– Set Up Your Pages Products and Services For Success
This section is a space for your company to show your products or services.
Products: Here is where you can display your company’s products: the category, price range, description, and a link to the product page.
You do not have to list every single product you sell, but add your bestsellers and make sure you use a high-quality picture of the product.
Services: Let visitors to this page know what services your business offers!
Having an extensive service offering for your customers can prevent them from shopping around, as they’ll already have everything they need.
As mentioned before, many businesses fail to complete their entire Google My Business profile, so once this is done, you’ll be that much closer to attracting new customers!
– Setting Your Page’s Business Attributes
The attributes are another way to let people know more about your business and its services.
You can let your customers know about what type of payments are accepted, different language options, dining options, highlights, and more.
You can also let visitors know what health and safety procedures you have in place for Covid-19, such as masks, social distancing, and cleaning protocols. If you’re not open, you can let them know about online/virtual appointments.
If your business has something unique or different to offer, find the appropriate attribute to get more eyes on your business!
– Your Page’s Business Description
Fill this section out with lots of information and detail about your business.
When someone googles your business name, it’s one of the first things they’ll see. If it’s left empty or with insufficient copy, visitors may consider someone else.
STEP FOUR – Important Extra Features For Your GMB Page
- Posts: While having your Google My Business profile set up in all areas is fantastic, you can go one step further by making posts.
These posts are similar to a Facebook or Instagram post, but they only last for seven days.
You can use them to let visitors know about deals, events, or COVID-19 updates.
- Posts are a quick and easy way to publish a small piece of content with some tips or information and help bring more visitors to your website.
2. Photos: Go ahead and share some photos! These photos have no expiration date, and you can show people the interior and exterior of your office, your staff, or anything else you’d like to share.
3. Insights: If you have some traffic coming to your website, this dashboard will be handy. Here are just a few of its perks:
- It will show you the number of visitors finding you from Google Maps or the results page.
- It will give you the number of visitors who do a branded search versus the visitors who find you through a category or related search tool.
- You can see the number of individuals who visit your site and call your business.
- It will show you the number of views you receive on your photos.
Check back to the Flinnwest Solutions Business Blog for more information and tips on business, marketing, branding, and more!
We hope you’ve found this blog helpful!