Stay in Touch
Subscribe to our newletter for advice, articles and discounts on services
Brad Barbeau, Founder of 21CM Digital Marketing, guides you through the process of creating your Google My Business Account, setting it up, and optimizing it.
Hello and welcome to this session on How to Set Up and Optimize your Google My Business account.
First, some statistics that show how important having a well-designed GMB listing is.
One in two people who conduct a local search (think “watch repair near me”) visit a store that day.
“Near me” or “close by” searches grew by more than 900% over two years.
97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else.
You need to be intentional and passionate about building your presence in the virtual world. Instead of Street Presence, we have to create Online Presence, and that takes planning, effort, and time. A great Google My Business listing can help.
We’re all familiar with using social media, websites and email as online tools. But GMB has become a foundational platform for brands, stores, and businesses to establish their presence online. Google My Business can help you to get found, create awareness, reinforce your brand, and ensure a steady flow of traffic to your business, whether to your physical location or to your website.
Google My Business is a free platform for improving your online presence and managing the information Google shows about you.
GMB is a powerful tool to get found, get known, and get sales.
Google My Business is the way to control the information about you that appears on Google searches and Google Maps. With it you can monitor your local listing, improve your customer review, and publish photos to attract people to your business.
This is what Google My Business shows about your business when someone searches:
This is what GMB shows about your business in a Google search.
This is what GMB shows about your business on Google Maps.
This is what your search listing looks like if you don’t have Google My Business.
So don’t be nothing – set up your GMB account. I’m going to show you how.
To set up a Google My Business account, you have to have a location and you have to have a Google Account. We recommend having a Google Workspace account that uses your business url, but just a Google email address is enough.
Let’s go through the setup process and see the features and capabilities of GMB. We’ll show you how to set up your account, verify your business, optimize your listing, and manage your listing online or through the GMB app to keep it fresh and alive.
To set up your account, go to google.com/business and sign in with your Google account.
Google will require you to verify your business – making sure that it’s yours and that you have the right address. There are several ways to verify your business, but most businesses do it by having Google send a postcard to your business with a code that you will enter into your account. Phone, email, and Instant verification are only available to some businesses; bulk is for multiple locations.
While your business is being verified…
Your Google My Business listing dashboard is going to look like this.
Start by adding all of the information about your business – the name you want to show on your listing, the type of business that you are, hours, all the relevant information that’s on this page.
Now you can begin to add posts. You’re used to posts from social media; these are pretty similar: an image, some text, a Call to Action.
Google lets you add different types of posts. And you can review your posts by category. And you can review your posts by category.
Once you’re active, you may get customer reviews. (We’ll show you how to prompt your customers to leave reviews below.) Be sure that you respond to your reviews – both good and bad – thank the good and say you’re sorry to the bad!
If people click on your listing to place a call to your business, Google will remember those calls. So make sure you turn on call history. Once history is turned on, you can go back in and see what numbers called you, and call them back.
Businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website and 42% more requests for driving directions in Google Maps.
Add photos. Be sure to choose a good cover photo to show on your listing, and upload your logo. Then you can add photos of products, people, and other engaging images that connect people visually to your business.
Add your products into your GMB listing so people know what you’re offering! If you’re a services business, you can add those, too.
You can create a simple website from within GMB. This is not one of the strengths of GMB. We recommend setting up your own custom-designed website. If you need one, reach out to us. We’d be more than happy to help you design and manage your site.
You can add other users to help you manage your listing content. Here’s a best practice pro-tip: never give anyone else your signon information. If you want to give someone, like a professional agency, access to your GMB account, add them as a user. Then, if you don’t want them to have access any more, you can just delete them.
There are some other useful links on your GMB dashboard page. Explore and learn about them.
Available for both iOS and Android. You can use the app to:
You cannot use the app to:
Share your business profile. Get a shareable link on the Google My Business Home dashboard page. You can send people a link to your listing through social media or email. Go to the Home dashboard on GMB and scroll down the page until you see the share your business profile link. You can put that link in social media, in emails, wherever you want to put a CTA to send them to your profile.
Give customers a link to leave a review. Use it often!
Then, monitor how your listing is doing. How many people are seeing it? How are they getting to it? Google provides you good data to help improve your listing and your business.
Find out how people are finding your listing – are they searching for your business name, or through search for a category, product or service related to you, or by searching a brand related to your business. What actions are your customers taking and on what days of the week?
We hope you found this blog useful. We’d love to hear comments, use the links below to reach out to us.
If you have questions, we’d love to hear from you. We offer all aspects of digital marketing: branding and strategy; websites, SEO, social media management and digital advertising, email campaigns. You can reach out to me, Brad Barbeau, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at 21cmdigitalmarketing.com.