Google My Business in 2022: Beginner’s Guide
Written by: Hrishikesh Pardeshi, Founder at Flexiple, buildd & Remote Tools.
Last updated: Jan 19, 2023
Whether you run a small local store in your neighborhood or a large-scale business, one of the services you cannot afford to overlook or work without is Google My Business (GMB). This is because at least 80% of consumers compare local businesses online before deciding on which one to engage. Without a google presence, your business loses out on the opportunity to attract new clients.
Getting listed on GMB is one of the best ways to ensure your business is visible on Google, and it also helps to drive up SEO success. With a GMB listing, you get more visibility on Google Maps and Google Search. GMB makes it possible for interested clients to contact your business directly, see what other customers say about it, and find their way to your offline store.
Here is everything you need to know about getting your business on GMB.
What is Google My Business?
Google my business or GMB is a free tool availed by Google for businesses. It is ideal for small, medium, and large businesses looking to manage their google business listing better. With a GMB account, your business gets listed on google services such as Google Plus, Google Maps, Google Search, and Knowledge Graph.
The main idea behind having a google my business portfolio is to make it easy for potential clients to find your local business and get all the information they need in one place. Having a GMB account verifies your business, making it easier for potential clients to trust you.
Why is it So Helpful?
Control Your Online Business Information
With a GMB account, you have complete control of the information available online about your business. Therefore, you can control what customers see to make it as attractive as possible. You can always edit your profile to include new information like additional available services or any other information you want to share with your clients.
Some of the information you can add to your google my account profile includes:
• Business name, address, and phone number
• Link to business website
• Working hours and holidays
• Business category
• Google Map pin on the business location
• Social media profile links
• Business photos and 30-second videos
• Call to action links
• Additional details like Wi-Fi facility, outdoor seating, child-friendliness, and more.
Get Discovered in Your Local Area
One of the best benefits of using Google My Business is improving your discoverability in your local area. Whenever a local resident searches for your kind of services online, your business will be listed as an option for them.
Google also adds businesses to Google Maps, making it easier for customers to find and compare businesses based on distance and location. Clicking on a business will give the user access to the business profile, relevant information, and images, which helps compare their options. You can learn more about improving your ranks in your target area from the local SEO ultimate guide.
Build Trust Through Reviews
Reviews are an important element of business social proof. Having a reviews section makes it easier for online users to learn more about your services, build trust, and give your business credibility.
Google offers a combined star rating option and space where clients can leave written reviews on their experience with your business. This information helps potential clients decide on the best businesses to visit and the best products.
How to Setup a GMB Account
Step 1: Sign in to Google Business Profile Manager
If you do not have a google account, you will need to create one. You can create a google account by using your Google mail account details. Once you are logged into the account, you are automatically logged into a google business profile manager.
Step 2: Add your business
Enter your business name in the google business profile manager. If your business name is not available from the drop-down menu, you can click on ‘add your business to google’ to add. Select the relevant category and click on the Next button.
Step 3: Enter your location
If you own a physical store where clients can come, you should add the location when prompted on the platform. Add your business address and position the map pin to add the location on the map. If you do not have a physical store, google allows you to specify the region you are based in and the areas you serve. You can select the areas from the drop-down menu then click on next.
Step 4: Fill in your contact information
It is critical that you add your business contact details to your profile. Enter as much contact information as possible to ensure clients can find you in different ways. You can include your business phone number and website addresses or your most preferred method of communication.
Step 5: Verify your business
You have to add your physical address to verify your business, not a postal address. This information is not visible on your google business profile and is not visible to the public. Google only uses it to verify your account. Once you have entered your physical address, click on next.
On the next page, you are offered different options to verify your account. If you have a physical business location, google sends postcards by mail to the address to verify, while service-area businesses with no physical location can verify using an email address.
The verification process includes entering a five-digit code on the postcard or email to verify. Once entered, click on verify business to complete the process.
You will be notified on the screen whether you have been verified. Click on next to complete the process.
Step 6: Customize your profile
With a verified google my business account, you can now customize your profile with additional information relevant to your business. This includes photos, business description, contact details, and business hours.
Clicking on next after entering additional information will take you to the business profile manager dashboard. This is where you do all your business profile management, view insights, create google ads, and manage messages and reviews.
Optimizing your Google My Business profile
The Google algorithm determines how local businesses rank on their search engine based on three key factors:
• Relevance: does your Google My Business listing match a search?
• Distance: How far is your business location from the person searching?
• Prominence: How well-known is your business? This is determined by reviews numbers, links, SEO, and review score.
Ensuring all elements of your profile are complete, adding images and videos, and verifying your location are the first three ways to maximize your business score on these three factors. Other ways include:
Adding keywords to your profile
Using the right keywords on your business profile can boost relevance. Google Trends or the Keyword planner can be excellent places to start your research for the most relevant keywords in your niche. Incorporating these keywords naturally on your business description can boost your ranking on search engines.
Reply to questions and reviews
Even though you already allow reviews and questions on your profile, you need to go a step further and address the reviews and questions. This shows customer interest and business engagement, which further boosts your ranking. Businesses that take time to respond to reviews come off as 1.7% (76%) more trustworthy. Ensure you answer all reviews, even the negative ones, to show credibility. Responding to reviews and questions also humanizes your business and demonstrates professionalism.
Ensure your business information is always up to date
Every time details about your business change, the changes should also reflect your GMB profile. Whether it is a change in your business hours or a one-off off day, always ensure you update your profile well in advance. This is yet another way of boosting business trust and credibility.
The bottom line
The best way for any local business to be found online is by having a Google My Business profile. Following the steps highlighted in this article will ensure your business is listed in one of the largest local business databases in the world. Having a GMB account is the first step towards a higher ranking and a higher bottom line.