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The Ultimate Guide to Google My Business 

The Ultimate Guide to Google My Business

Your Google My Business listing shows up in the Local Results section of Google Search, as well as in the Google Maps results. There are a variety of factors that go into determining how well your listing is shown in this section., such as the number of reviews, website quality, and the intent of the searchers.

Follow along for some great tips to improve your listing’s rank.

What is Google My Business? 

Google My Business is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online information. This includes their business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, website URL, and more.

Google My Business listings are often the first result that potential customers see when searching for a business. It’s important to make sure that your listing is complete and accurate, so customers can easily find and contact you.

Can you use Google My Business if your business doesn’t have an address? 

Any business that has a physical location or visits a physical location is eligible for a Google My Business listing. To qualify, the business must contact its customers during its stated hours as Google says “In order to qualify for a Business Profile on Google, a business must make in-person contact with customers during its stated hours.”

If your business doesn’t have a storefront or an office, but still provides services within a certain radius, then you can create a service area business listing on Google.

However, websites that do not have a physical location or do not provide services at their locations cannot be included in a listing. Some examples of businesses that do not have a physical location include e-commerce businesses, rental properties, digital businesses, or any online business with a 100% online presence.

Google My Business can only be used for businesses that have a physical location and provide services or products at their physical locations.

How to verify your Google My Business account?

If you are a new user of Google My Business, there are some steps to take to find out if there is a listing for you. To find your business, go to Google Maps and search for your business. If it is not claimed, verify it with an SMS code or a postcard.

If you found your business listing verified, but you don’t have access to it, there are some steps to take.

If the location currently appears to be owned by another account, then you should have the option to request ownership. This will allow Google to contact the account’s current owner.

Duplicate Google My Business Listings

Now, if you found duplicate business listings for your company what should you do?

Sometimes, Google will create a slightly different listing for a certain address or business name. This can create data confusion and affect your rankings.

Unfortunately, it can be very time-consuming and a real headache to get rid of duplicate listings. Follow these steps to get started:

If possible, claim the duplicate. Once Google knows that there are multiple listings in your account, it will notify you:

  • Sign in to Google My Business.
  • Click duplicate locations in your Account Summary.
  • Then click on the location you want to be removed and click ” delete this listing”

And if you can’t claim the duplicate listing all you have to do is to report the listing as a duplicate. The reporting step can take a bit of time to complete. It can also require several attempts to remove the listing.

How to report on Google Maps: 

  • Open Google Maps and search for the location you want to report.
  • Click Suggest and Edit.
  • Then mark the location as “Place is permanently closed or has never existed”
  • Select Duplicate as he reason and click submit.

How to fill in the details? 

Now that you understand all of the basics about Google My Business, it’s time to fill in your business details.

The most important part of your Google My Business listing is your business name, address, and phone number. This information will be used on your Google Maps listing and in search engine results.

Make sure that this information is correct and consistent across all of your online directories. You should also include a website URL, hours of operation, and a description of your business.

We will take a look at some of the most popular options when it comes to creating a business name.

Categories:

Not only will entering a business category help searchers find you, but it will also give them more options when it comes to displaying your business listings. 

How to choose your business categories?

For your main category, pick the one that people will most likely look for. Having that category will help you stand out and attract potential customers.

For the secondary categories, make sure that you only pick the ones that will best describe your business. You should not go overboard with the categories for the secondary market. Also, make sure that you avoid including amenities such as a bar or a restaurant within the main categories. 

A picture showing the category of various shops on GMB

Hours: 

Enter your regular hours first.

You can now also add hours for special occasions and services. For example, happy hours, brunch hours, or delivery availability hours.

You can also add special hours for events or dates that will affect your business’s opening times. This section is especially useful during holiday periods.

Phone Number:

This is the contact information that Google uses to confirm your business details, it is also the primary number that your business uses. PS: make sure it’s a local number.

Website:

This is where you add the business’ website URL. If you have multiple locations, add the specific location page here instead of sending everyone to your home page.

Moreover, a website tracking URL is very helpful on Google My Business listings as it allows you to keep track of how many times your website link is being used and how many times it’s being clicked on in GMB.

While Google Analytics will still show Local results, with a tracking URL, you will also be able to compare clicks to your home page. 

Products:

Not all categories will qualify for product listings, but filling out this section is a great way to promote all of your products, even if you don’t sell online.

To add products on your Google My Business listing: In your web dashboard, go to the Products section and add a new product. Name the product, upload its photo and enter its category, you can also select a price range or a fixed price or add a description. When done, click Save. 

A picture showing how you can add your products i Google My Business

Services: 

Each service will allow you to break down your offerings into various parts. While Google will sometimes suggest some services that are relevant for your business, you will also have the ability to add some of your own.

By adding specific services, you will be able to help your potential customers find information about what you offer.

Keep in mind, many customers search for products or services, and not specific businesses, so don’t ignore adding your products/services.

Attributes: 

Google My Business attributes is a section that shows the various attributes that businesses can add to their listings. Some attributes are very relevant to your business, while others are not. Having numerous relevant attributes will help your customers find the information they need.

Some examples of good attributes to include are wheelchair accessibility for instance if you have a physical location or “cash only” if you don’t accept credit cards.

Other factors such as ownership and leadership are also added to Google My Business. In the last couple of years, Google has also added “Black-owned businesses” as a new attribute.

Messages: 

With the Google My Business Messaging feature, you will be able to reply to any message your receive from your customers through the Google My Business app. 

This feature was previously only available through SMS and third-party apps. Now, it is incorporated into your Google My Business profile. When you enable it, a message box will appear on your page.

Before you activate this feature, make sure that you read the instructions carefully to ensure that you are prepared to respond to all messages. The guidelines for Google My Business Messaging are also very detailed. If you do not follow these, you might be banned from using the feature.

Photos: 

There are three types of photos that you can upload to your Google My Business account.

Your logo should be square in size and should be high-quality. It should also be filed in a size that’s suitable for display on various devices.

Format: JPG or PNG

Size: 10 KB to 5 MB

Cover Photo:

A good cover photo is very important to people who are looking to do business with you. A cover photo is placed in the top spot in your Google My Business listing.

Format: JPG or PNG

Size: 10 KB to 5 MB

Other Images:

When creating a Google My Business listing, try to include photos that are relevant to your business.

You can also include various types of photos within your listing, such as those from inside and outside of the business.

Customers can also add images of their own experience with your business under the “by customer” section of your listing. It’s a good idea to keep track of all the photos that are related to your business and a great way to encourage customers to take pictures during their visit.

Videos: 

Video is still incredibly underutilized. If you are able to add a few short videos to your site, I guarantee that it will help draw more attention from Google and increase your business listing.

Although videos may not help with your business’s rankings, they will certainly help with your profile’s interaction on Google.

Duration: up to 30 seconds long

Size: up to 75 MB

Resolution: 720p or higher 

Other Features: 

Store Code: 

When creating a profile, you may be prompted to enter a store code. These codes are unique and are not viewable to the public. They are required for bulk uploads and are handy if you are managing multiple locations.

A store code is a unique identifier that refers to a specific location. It can be anything from a random number to a name. According to Google: “Any unique identifier can be a store code. A store code can be anything from the name of a place to a random number, as long as it stays the same to refer to that location.”

Questions and Answers: 

The questions and answers section of GMB is like a community where anyone can ask questions.

If an answer gets enough upvotes, it will be considered the primary answer. Also, if more than three upvotes are received, the question will be shown right in your profile.

This feature is part of Google Maps and is not available in the Google My Business dashboard. To use it, all you have to do is go to the Google Maps app and interact with the system: with Google Maps, you can easily ask and answer questions about places and businesses in the world. You can also reach out to business owners through the platform.

In the Google My Business dashboard, you can monitor and respond to new questions.

To answer questions, go to your public profile on the desktop or the Google Maps app on Android. You will need to provide a short and to-the-point answer to avoid getting cut off after 440 characters.

Tip: You can also ask your own questions on Google, which is very encouraged. 

A pcicture showing how questions & answers appear in Google My Business

Google My Business Posts: 

Google My Business Posts is a Google service that lets users add events, sales, and updates to their listings.

Posts are similar to social media posts. They allow users to share anything special they want to share with their friends and followers.

Posts can be used to promote a sale or a blog post, as well as get in touch with potential customers. They can also be used to attract phone calls. You can also include a call to action such as “Book” or “Order Online”. 

Images in a 4:3 ratio will appear in the preview. They can also be edited to make them look better once they’re published.

The first 100 characters of text in the knowledge panel will count. Posts will only last for seven days, so make them most often.

There can be up to 10 posts at once. Only the most recent ones will be shown.

Reviews on Google My Business:

Your reviews are very important to you, and making sure that you respond to them in a timely manner is also important. To respond to new reviews, go to the “Reviews” tab in your dashboard. There, you can thank the customers for leaving reviews, and try to address any concerns they might have.

According to Google My Business, businesses should respond to the reviews that customers leave about them. This shows that they care about their customers and that they are committed to improving their business’ visibility and that they value their customers and the feedback they provide.

How to manage multiple locations? 

Do you manage multiple locations for one business? This section is for you!

If you have multiple locations ( under 10 ), the process will look similar to each location. Just create and verify each location and then claim it from the same account.

To add a new location, go to the main page of your Google account and select “Add Single Business”.

If you have more than 10 locations, you will need to apply the bulk upload process.

However, this process only works if multiple locations are for the same business.

To Sum Up 

Google My Business is constantly evolving. The latest versions of the product are constantly being rolled out. Some of these include Call Logging, Messaging, and Review Management tools.

Not only can you change the information in your Google My Business account, but also, Google has started taking data from other websites and apps to automatically update the information in your Google My Business account.

With Google My Business, you can easily manage all of your company’s operations, including sales, marketing, and finance.

If there are any questions about your account or need assistance making the most of it, feel free to contact us.

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