Google My Business Explained
June 23rd, 2021 | Local SEO
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is the tool to advertise your company on Google Maps and in more search results. GMB allows customers to find your business quickly in person and online. It’s the profile (also known as your listing) that often appears if a customer is searching for your business. Appearing on the most popular search engine more often sounds great, but now let me tell you what’s required on your end.
How to set up your Google My Business listing?
Requirements: Gmail and an address that receives mail that isn’t a P.O. box. That’s it!
Step 1: Visit https://www.google.com/business/
Step 2: Since you’re setting up your GMB for the first time, you’ll type your business name and walk through the prompts.
Step 3: Decide on your business name. It should obviously be consistent with your business, but also what’s on your website. The more consistency you have throughout the thread of your marketing, the easier it will be for Google’s algorithm to direct users to your business.
Step 4: Choose your industry. Make sure it aligns with your most popular service if you have multiple services. You can add more later.
Step 5: Don’t worry, if you’re a business who doesn’t want it’s location out there because it’s a personal home, you can hide it by saying no.
Step 6: Make sure your address is accurate, because you’ll be receiving a postcard in 4 to 6 steps. (Logistics joke. Nailed it.)
Step 7: Perhaps you’re a plumber and can’t fix a toilet through Zoom. Sorry, Plumbers, you’re the real MVPlumbers. You will need to mark yes if working outside your business establishment applies to you.
Step 8: Occasionally, someone from your business or even someone unknown to you might have created your business profile. Double check this isn’t your situation.
Step 9: Choosing your service area is very important, but don’t overstep your reach. If you only serve customers in a 25-mile radius, there’s no real point in going outside your realistic boundaries. It can even hurt your reputation and SEO efforts in the long run.
Step 10: Anyone else meet their fitness goal for the day with all these steps? I digress. You better have your website URL and phone number handy. The tracking data is amazing and it’s easy to see how valuable the tool is with this step. If you don’t have a website, please oh please, don’t think the free website Google provides will be enough for your business.
Step 11: The answer is no. Just kidding. You can do what you want.
Step 12: Not done, yet. You will now be sent a postcard in 3 to 5 days. You can verify by phone, but Google can be quite difficult to get hold of nowadays. You will now have your account and can start to manage your listing before you receive the verification code. You will enter it in at your home page of your new GMB listing.
How to manage your Google My Business listing?
Start with the Info Tab to verify the following:
- Service Areas
- Hours, Special Hours, Scary Hours
- Add Phone
- Attributes, Health & Safety, Service Options
- Brief Description
- Opening Date
- Photos (Yes, you should add them)
Insights: This is where you can really track customer behavior and tailor your online presence to fit their needs. Google Analytics and other tracking tools have without a doubt more capabilities for tracking, but Insights is a streamlined version of analytics, particularly for your GMB listing. However, do not use it as your primary tracking tool.
- How customers search for your business
- Where customers view your business on Google
- Customer Actions (My favorite)
- Directions Request
- Phone Calls
- Photo Views
Reviews: The 3 Rs of Google Reviews. Somebody get me a trademark on this slogan, pronto!
- Read: All press is good press! More importantly, you will want to keep a close eye on your Google Review rating because it can affect your SEO! Not only that, but research shows that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
- Respond: A common useful tactic is to respond to your customers reviews. It helps the buyer post purchase step of the cycle, builds trust with other readers, and can clear up any confusion between you and the customer leaving the review.
- React: You will have to deal with a bunch of internet crazies with the reviews, I’m sure, but you can also gleam some important insights on your business. Is a particular employee standing out for good or bad reasons? What was the customer’s favorite part of the purchase?
Most importantly, what can be improved? Paying attention to your customer feedback and adjusting to their needs can pay huge dividends.
How do you gain more Google Reviews?
- Share your link on your website, social media profiles, newsletters and anything else where you’re sharing content with your customers.
- Remind customers when you see them in person. Put up posters, on your receipts/invoices, scream it from the rooftop!
- DO NOT offer your customers money or other financial incentives for Google reviews. Google will remove them, and you will be subject to the Federal Trade Commission exorbitant fees.
Who should manage your GMB Listing?
This is a bit of a two part answer. The first thing to understand is what roles receive what permissions or capabilities for GMB listings. Second, you’ll want to consider which individuals to manage it with what permissions.
The three user roles you can select are Owner, Manager and Site Manager. As someone who manages many different small business accounts, my recommendation is to make the owner whoever is going to use the account most.
As you can see in the above graphic, the owner has simply more control than everyone else. Especially if you want to add multiple locations, which we’ll discuss in a later blog post. Contact us if you can’t wait!
Owner Role: The owner role is typically whoever setup the account and received the postcard. You can change this later if you need someone else to fully manage the account. There’s nothing wrong with keeping the owner role within the business, especially because it might be linked to an important business email.
Having said that, whomever controls your account will not have permissions to complete all the capabilities.
Manager Role: This role is best for anyone who is going to be making simple updates to your GMB listing. Things like hour changes, posting new photos, links and even responding to customers reviews is good for this role.
Site Manager: This role is similar to the manager role, but won’t be able to manage linked data like Google Ads or use messaging. It’s a very limited option, which might fit your purposes.
First Call Web offers Google My Business services as part of all our web packages. To fully optimize your GMB listing, you need to ensure your website, social media profiles, and other local citations all have consistent information. It can be a real time drainer and we like to give small businesses their time back to focus on their bigger concerns.
Please reach out to us with any questions about Google My Business or any other Marketing needs. We would be happy to hear from you.