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How to Set Up and Optimize a Google My Business Account

How to Set Up and Optimize a Google My Business Account

We can not stress enough the important of local search. Studies show that one in two people who conduct a local search visit the store that day.  The easiest way to show up on local searches is to have your business registered and verified with Google My Business.  In this post, we will show you not only how to register for Google My Business, but the best way to optimize your listing to set you up for the best possible conversions.  

Google My Business is for Everyone

We know what you’re thinking: my business is not a “walk-in” business, and we work with people who are local and at a distance. Even if this is the case, having your business show up in local search can increase local opportunities; more business is more business no matter where they are from.

In addition to allow your business to show up in local search results, Google My Business gives you analytics regarding how people found you, where they are coming from, how many people clicked through to your website, called your business, etc.   Google My Business allows you to see the exact originate of your community referrals, direct you to the next best target areas, and provide comparisons of your results to other local businesses. Besides the useful, local connection, Google My Business will provide more insights about your business to analyze and adjust as you continue to grow.  More analytics is never a bad thing.

Create a Google My Business Listing

Step 1:  Log into the Google Account you want associated with your business. If you don’t have one, now is the time to create a Google account.  

Step 2: Go to google.com/business and select “start now” in the top right hand corner.  

Step 3: Enter your business name.

Step 4: Enter Your business address.

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Step 5:  Check the box if your business delivers goods to your customer’s location of choice.  This does not mean that you are business that meets up with your customers at their offices; it is literally referring to delivering of goods.  

Secondly, check the “hide my address” box only if you want to keep your address secret, which may be a good option if you are running your business out of your house.

Step 6: Choose the appropriate business category.  You want this to be a exact as possible, so choose the category based on which type of customers should be seeing your business listing.  

Step 7: Add your business phone number or website.

Step 8: Choose a verification option*.  

*The options ( postcard, phone, email) are self-explanatory.  Obviously, the postcard choice will take the longest, so if you want to get your Google My Business up and running quickly, then phone or email will garner a quicker result. The options for Instant verification and Bulk Verification require a bit more explanation:

Instant Verification: Only available to certain business categories, instant verification requires that you’ve already verified your business with Google Search console.  Be make sure you are signed into the same account, and then you will be instantly verified.

Bulk Verification: An option for businesses that have ten or more locations does not mean that you are a service or agency that helps multiple businesses in.  If your locations qualify, this great option speeds up the process of simultaneous locations verification instead of verifying them one by one.  

Now that you are registered and verified, it is time to optimize your Google My Business page!

Optimize Your Google My Business Page

Optimizing your page includes adding appropriate information, photos, videos and all your creativity to make your listing stand out from the competition.  Here are a few tips to make your business description vibrant and enticing:

  • Company Information
    • When adding in your information, you’ll want to be as detailed as possible. List a description of your business that entices others to find out more, while at the same time being clear about your services.  
      • Do you do something unique that no one else does?
      • Have you won awards or accolades?  
      • Do you pride yourself on a quick turnaround time?  Whatever it is that makes your business unique and marketable, say those things.  

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  • Photos
    • Adding appropriate and beautiful photos to your listing can increase clicks to your website by 35%!
      • Make sure your photos are well-lit and up-to-date with current conditions.
      • Photos should be a good representation of your business’ work.  This is not the place to highlight your company culture. Save that for Instagram.
      • Your Cover Photo is the most important as it shows up front and center for your listing.  
      • Your Profile photo is what will be displayed as you interact with reviews or upload more content.
  • Videos
    • Videos are not essential, but they can make your listing stand outshine the competition.  
      • Videos should be no more than 30 seconds in length
      • And 720p resolution or higher
  • Maintaining Reviews
    • Replying to your reviews (both good and bad) is essential to represent your customer service.
    • If someone leaves you a good review, thank them and convey to them how much you value them as a customer or client.
    • If you are given a poor review, ignoring your critic’s thoughts is the worst thing you can do.  Instead, promptly reply, expressing your empathy for their particular complain. Inform your critic of your work to ameliorate the situation, and/or to notify the management because of this review.  Other users will appreciate your authenticity and ability to take under advisement situations as they arise.

Keep abreast of your business news on your Google My Business page by posting relevant photos, keeping up with reviews and changing your details as needed.  Because people are searching in real time for your business, you’ll want to make sure that it’s up to date. Prospective customers will see that you are thriving and welcoming new business.  

Randy TaylorHow to Set Up and Optimize a Google My Business Account