Is setting up a Google My Business page a valuable use of your time as a business owner?
Why do I need a Google My Business page?
Google is the new Yellow Pages, you need to create this page to control the way the public views your business.
Does it cost anything?
Google My Business is completely free!
How long does it take to set up and is it something I need to be posting on regularly?
It takes 5 days for Google to send you the address verification postcard and about 20 minutes to set up before and after receiving the post card. It is a great idea to post on GMB regularly but is not completely necessary depending on your business.
How do I go about setting up a Google My Business page?
Let me explain…
Step 1: Is to login to Google.
Go to Google.com/Business and you will see this screen
Click “sign in” at the top right and log in to the email address you want your Google My Business to be associated with. (You can add admins and other users later) (You will need a Gmail account, if not you will need to make one)
Enter your business’s name where prompted
If your business already has a Google My Business listing, it's name will auto populate as you begin to type. If there is no existing listing, then type out the EXACT name you want. Be specific with capital letters and punctuation.
Step 2: Filling Out the Initial Form.
Pro Tip: Keep every letter down to the comma the same in all locations on the internet. This let’s Google know you are trustworthy and will help you rank.
Select your category
If your category is not listed choose the closest fit.
Add your services and if you have a physical location customers visit you at.
Next, if you’re a local business, choose the locations you serve. You may choose towns, counties, states, and countries.
If you are a national brand or global brand then you should probably not create a Google My Business page.
You can also skip entering locations you serve.
Next, enter the business’ phone number and website.
Now you can enter your address and get ready to receive your verification postcard.
If you checked off “no” to having a location people can visit don’t fret! This address is a way to prove you’re a real person with a real business and stop scammers in their tracks.
After entering the information to receive the postcard you now can access your GMB Dashboard.
Step 3: Using the GMB Dashboard.
At this point, while you may have access to the dashboard, your functionality is limited. Any changes you make will be put “under review”. This will usually last until you have received your post card from Google and have entered your verification code.
The Wait is Over
So, it’s been the 5 days, you have received and verified your account. Now lets complete your account.
To edit your info, click “info” on the left. On this screen (see below) you can click the pen icon to edit each field.
Fill out your name how you want it to appear to Google Users.
Avoid changing your address at all costs.
Service areas, as you can see above, accept towns, counties, and states.
Fill in your hours, special hours and the phone number you want your customers to reach you at.
Next, we create a handle. Similar to other social platforms you want to keep this simple and easy to read. You can use Google’s suggested handle (usually preferred) or create your own. This will allow you to share your GMB easier with customers when asking for reviews.
Underneath that enter your website.
Appointment links can be pointed to your booking page or even your “contact us” page.
We will dive into the products section in more detail later in this article.
In the Services section enter the services your business provides. These services aren’t keywords per se, but your keywords are a great start. It can’t hurt!
Under Highlights, if you are a veteran or women-lead business you can add these attributes here.
Finally, add a bio, your date established, and some relevant pictures.
The bare minimum for photos should be a logo, the outside of your business, and the inside of your business.
Step 3: Advanced Features.
By now you are familiar with the GMB layout we can start exploring into the more advanced features.
A great tool that you can use across the internet is “Queries Used to Find Your Business”.
Use this data to develop keywords for your SEO, blogs, and alt tags! You may also find a keyword that has nothing to do with your business is causing you to appear. You can now address this issue by creating a negative keyword in your PPC campaign or even address it in a blog post.
You can also see how customers have found your GMB (see below)
Direct – Someone searches for your specific business. This type of discovery usually comes when someone types in your business’s name into Google.
Discovery – You want this portion of your pie graph to be the largest, especially if you are doing SEO. This is where people can find your business without prior knowledge of your existence.
Branded – This is traffic directed towards your GMB listing that is coming from an external source like a Facebook post. If you are trying to build an organic following you should spend time making this portion larger.
You want to fill everything out if possible. Add some of your products to the product section with a picture, a price, and description, and a call to action (located at the bottom).
Even if you’re a service-based business you can still upload these as “products”
Include keywords into the product descriptions and even the names of areas you serve i.e. state or county.
The goal of GMB is to take up as much space as possible. The goal is to fill in every field you can, post a ton of images, updates, and request reviews from your customers. These days, reviews on GMB are extremely influential in your local SEO rankings and can be the determining factor that gets your business the call INSTEAD of your competitor.
One last pro tip: As we mentioned throughout this article, keeping your info consistent across the web is invaluable when trying to convince Google that you are the authority in this space. Visit Moz and type in your business’ name & address and they will show you where any inconsistencies lie. You can then opt into their service which lets you monitor and edit your business info on all major directories in the United States. (You also only need to subscribe to this service for a year, no need to continue paying annually once everything is in order.
If you want a custom GMB plan or want to learn more about Mad Mango Marketing SEO feel free to contact us or text us directly at 203-988-4375.