Google My Business (GMB) is a powerful marketing resource for any business owner. A free tool created by Google—its purpose is to assist business owners in managing how they appear in Google search results and on Google Maps.
Once the required steps have been completed for the initial listing, a business can then add things like contact information, business hours, photos, services, and much more. So whether you’re just in the process of setting up your business’s Google listing or are looking for tips to bolster your visibility—read on to find out how to make the most of Google My Business.
Why it matters
If you’re a business owner, one of your top priorities is likely getting the word out about the products or services that you offer. An optimized Google business listing allows you to accelerate your online presence by making it easy for searchers (and potential customers) to quickly find things like business hours, where you’re located, and driving directions. Essentially—this is where they find the info they need to visit and ultimately support your business.
How to set up Google My Business
Setting up Google My Business is straightforward and reasonably intuitive. Begin by visiting the Official Website and simply follow the prompts to set your business name, address, location, and so forth. Once you’ve got the basics covered, though, there are a couple of other options that you want to be sure not to miss out on.
Categorize your business
This is an important step, so take a moment to think it over and ensure you pick the most suitable options. You’ll be able to set both primary and secondary categories. Getting this step right is crucial if you want to show up in Google’s results page when potential customers are searching for a product or service you offer.
Set what contact details to show your customers
Adding this information to your Google listing is optional but certainly recommended. Adding your website, for example, has the obvious benefit of potentially driving a customer to your site where you can more easily convert them to a lead (more on that below). Meanwhile, listing your phone number ensures customers have a direct line of communication in case they have an urgent inquiry.
Next, it is time to verify your business. Google may give you a different option to verify your business, but for the vast majority of business owners—you’ll have to wait for a postcard to be mailed to you from Google with a verification code on it. This is likely to take a couple of days, so you can work on optimizing your listing in the meantime.
Tips to optimize
In my opinion, the most important things to include in your Google My Business listing are opening hours, a website, and photos.
Opening Hours: Accurate opening hours are crucial because if a potential customer tries to reach the phone number and can’t get through, they’ll get frustrated. Keep your opening hours up to date!
Website: Your business will seem a lot less credible if it doesn’t have a dedicated website, but it is still listed on Google. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but being able to direct searchers to a website will help them feel that they are dealing with a business they can trust.
Photos: In today’s online world, people react most strongly to visual stimulation. Having some visual support to help portray your business will get users’ attention and help them better understand your brand. It will also increase the likelihood that they will recognize or remember your business in the future.