Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should be wasting away. Marketing works all the time, and now is the time to double down on your efforts. Over the course of the pandemic, I’m helping you think like a marketer, offering quick fixes you can take to fuel your marketing fire. Today? Just one part of setting up Google My Business.
Introduction: Google My Business
Though Google My Business (GMB) had been around for a while, it never seemed to work the way Google (or users) wanted—especially during the days of Google+. In short, there was a lot of confusion over Brand Pages and Local Pages, and even more confusion how these worked with Google+ and YouTube. It was a mess.
After Google closed Google+ (R.I.P.), they pivoted their focus to GMB. Luckily, the end of Google+ gave Google time to focus their efforts to create a much more cohesive Google My Business.
For local businesses, this made building out a profile much less confusing. Since then, Google has been able to add features ranging from GMB-hosted websites to posts to product and service pages, things I’ll be discussing in the coming weeks.
The Basics: What is Google My Business?
Google My Business provides a fast and easy way for businesses, products, brands, artists, and organizations to manage their online presence with Google. With your Google My Business account, you can see and connect with your customers, post updates to your Business Profile, and see how customers are interacting with your business on Google.
Show up on Google Search and Google Maps.
Basically, the purpose of Google My Business is to give you a presence when someone searches for your business (on web), and if someone’s looking to find you on Maps.
Additional features include responding to reviews, adding products, services, and posting updates.
Get on the Map: Setting up Google My Business
Okay, so it’s likely that you’ve already done this. That said, maybe you’re just starting out, maybe you’re a B2B company who has never thought much of this (I know of a few). If you haven’t, here’s how to get up and running.
If you want more information on the in-depth process of creating and optimizing a Google My Business Profile, head over to the Local Marketing Institute, look at GMB FAQ, and check out the GMB Marketing Kit.
Wow, I feel like one of those annoying recipe writers who has to put out a life story. Here’s the minimum information you want to put on there:
- Name, Address, Phone
- Category (for a list of GMB Categories, click here)
How to Get Started
Getting started is simple.
Step 1: Go to business.google.com, click sign in.
Sign in with Google Account.
Step 2: Search for your business.
It’s likely that Google has already created your business based on information from other sites. If so, as long as no one has claimed it, claiming is similar to creating.
Step 3: Search for Primary Category
For a list of Google categories, click here. However, it may be easier to simply start typing.
Step 4: Add location (or service area).
You will be asked: “Do you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?”
- If yes, type in your address.
- If no, begin to type in areas you serve.
Note: If you serve customers at your location AND serve them at theirs, you have the option to add service areas after adding address.
Step 5: Add Contact Phone and URL.
At this stage, Google will give you the option to say “I don’t have a website” or “create a website based on information provided.”
Step 6: Click Next, Click Finish, Verify.
At this stage, you need to verify your claim.
You may have the option to verify this by phone (i.e. if this your personal business and your personal phone). Alternatively, if the phone is unreachable, you can always verify by postcard. Just let the individual in charge of the mail know this is coming. Though postcards are going out, this may be slower.
In rare cases, Google may allow email verification, Search Console verification, or video chat—though over the course of doing this a hundred or so times, I’ve never seen it.
Step 7: Complete Your Listing
After choosing your verification method, you will be taken to your dashboard, where Google will show you everything ranging from offers to advice. Look for a section that says “complete your listing.” Most changes will not show up until after the location is verified.
Specifically, add the following:
- Hours of Operation
- Description (up to 750 characters)
- Short Name
- Additional Categories
- Attributes (Veteran-led, Women Led)
Photos and Images
If you want to tell searchers “Look at this photograph,” you’re in luck—you can add the following:
- Identity photos: Logo, Cover Photos
- Location Photos: Photos of the interior and exterior of your business.
- Team Photos: Show off your people.
- Overview Video: Upload an overview video of your business.
Some businesses are given additional options such as reservations.
Use the Time to Build Your Business: Follow us for More
Stay tuned, because I’m going to follow this up with posts, products, and services. Even during this pandemic, we’re working hard. As one of those businesses more than capable of working from home, we have been putting in a ton of work to ensure our clients not only survive the short downturn, but that they’re primed for growth after this short downturn.
If you’re looking to make the most of the massive bounce that’s going to happen after the Coronavirus dip ends, you’re going to want to know us. Click here for a free website analysis and get to know more about us here.