Google My Business (GMB) is a valuable method for promoting your business online. It’s free and will help your website’s position in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). It also shows potential customers that you’re a legitimate business.
Who is this article for?
Originally, GMB was designed to benefit brick-and-mortar business, because of its integration with Google Maps, but any business – even those without a physical location will benefit from a well set-up and maintained profile.
If you type your company name into google, you’ll see an automatically created profile about your company on the right hand site of the results page. Google creates this using information it finds online, but it’s very sparse and isn’t guaranteed to be correct or current.
It’s important that you verify your business and fill out the profile fully to take advantage of the benefits it offers.
How to verify your business on Google My Business
Standard verification methods
You can verify your business by Phone or SMS, Email, Video Recording, Live Video Call or by Postcard. You should choose your preferred method of verification.
If you choose to verify by postcard, you’ll receive a card in the post in around 5 days. There’s instructions and a code on the card which you can use to verify your business – or you can pass this to us, if you’d like for us to handle the set-up.
Instant verification methods
If you have already verified your website with Google Search Console, you may get verified immediately, which means you can start making changes to your profile straightaway.
Completing your Business Profile
There is an app which allows easy management of your GMB profiles. However, Google has announced that the management of GMB profiles will be migrated into the Google Maps app in the near future, so we’d recommend updating within Google Maps.
Follow the on-screen prompts. You’ll be asked for the following:
- Your Business Name
- Choose the category that fits your business best
- Do you want to add a location customers can visit?
- What’s the address?
- Do you also serve customers outside this location?
- Add the areas you serve (optional)
- Contact phone number
- Current website URL
You’ll choose your verification method as this point.
- Add your services (choose from a list or add your own)
- Add your business hours
- Add messaging? (free, direct messaging between you and potential customers. Only set this up if you’re able to monitor and reply to messages promptly within business hours!)
- Add business description. (The choice of keywords you use in this description will help your search ranking, so write carefully).
- Add photos for your work (Make sure to use good quality photos – not stock photos. Photos of the interior and exterior of your location, your team and your products or services are great ways to convince customers to get in touch).
Once completed, you’ll arrive at your GMB dashboard. This is all you need to do for now, while you wait for your business to be verified.
Optimising your Profile
If you want to get the most out of your profile (and why wouldn’t you?) there’s a number of other things you can add using the dashboard.
- Attributes: Specify things like ‘woman-led’, ‘black-owned’, ‘appointments required’ and more.
- Logo: Upload your company logo
- Cover photo
- Video: add a video
- Create a post: (Regular posts will improve your customer’s opinion of your business)
- Additional business categories: (or sub-categories).
- Special opening hours: (ie bank holidays)
- Opening date
- Social media profile links
Getting your customers to provide a review for your company is always a good idea. Asking them to provide a review using Google My Business is even better because you’ll get the kudos of reviews on your business profile.
We’d recommend putting a link to leave a review for you anywhere that is suitable. That could include: email signatures, invoices, receipts, documents.
You should also ask them in person, if possible because people are more likely to leave a review immediately after using your company – whereas, a few days or weeks later, they are far less likely to bother.
Get a review link
Scroll down the page on your profile as it appears in search. You’ll find a button labelled ‘Get more reviews‘. Click this to generate a link which will direct people straight to adding a review for your business.
You can choose to create a link for Email, WhatsApp or Facebook. Why not create one for each and give people the choice?