Getting Started with Google My Business
If you use Google when searching for stores, restaurants and services near you, you’ve likely used Google My Business (GMB) and not even known it. As a customer, GMB allows you to search for and find businesses and services near you. As a business owner, utilizing your GMB page by filling out your business information, uploading recent pictures and requesting recommendations from customers helps you stand out from your competition when potential customers are searching for businesses in your industry because they are more likely to visit businesses when they know what to expect. That is why it is crucial for all businesses to claim and optimize their GMB pages — but you don’t have to do this alone! Keep reading and we’ll walk you through how to make GMB work for you.
Claiming your page
First things first, you’ll want to do a quick search to see if your business already has a GMB page. An employee, a customer or even Google itself could have all created a page for your business, and you don’t want to create a duplicate. If you do find that your business already has a GMB page, you’ll want to take over management by clicking “Request Access” and following the steps that Google provides.
Creating your page
If no GMB page exists for your business, you can create one in just a few easy steps. Visit this getting started page and click “Manage Now.” You’ll be prompted to fill in information about your business, including its name, location and contact info. Make sure you fill this in completely so customers know where they can find you and how they can contact you. GMB will then prompt you to verify your account.
Optimize your page
Congratulations — you have now claimed or created your GMB page! By visiting the GMB dashboard and clicking “Info” you can continue to add information about your business to increase views. Customers are 50 percent more likely to contact you or purchase from your business if you have complete GMB page, so be sure not to skip this step!
Three easy additions to your page that can increase your views are images, reviews and relevant keywords.
Adding images to your GMB page alone can increase visits to your website by at least 35 percent. If you are stuck on what photos to use, some great options include:
- Your company logo
- The inside of your store or office
- The exterior of your building
- A representation of the products you sell or services you provide
- Your team, if you own a business in the service industry
The more images you can post to represent your business, the better. Best practice is to only use high-quality photos (at least 720 pixels x 720 pixels).
Don’t underestimate the power of reviews! In fact, almost 90 percent of shoppers look at reviews when making a purchasing decision. Google looks favorably at reviews, too; the more reviews you have, the higher Google will rank your listing.
Getting reviews is as simple as asking your advocates and customers. You can start by:
- Including a “Review my Business” link in your e-signature.
- Posting a link to your review page on social media.
- For retail businesses: Including signage at the counter to remind customers to leave reviews and encouraging your employees to ask as well.
- For businesses in the service industry, such as dentists or hairstylists: Using automated texts to remind your customers to leave a review after their appointment.
If you have a complete GMB page, but you aren’t using relevant keywords in your listing, you are missing out on an opportunity for customers to find your business.
Ensure that customers can find your business when they do a Google search by starting with keyword research. This will help you find the terms that your customers are using when they search for businesses like yours. We recommend using Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find relevant keywords.
Once you have a list of keywords, you can incorporate those into your GMB page. Make sure not to overdo the keywords — you want to use them naturally where applicable.
By following the steps above, you’ll not only claim, create and optimize your GMB page, but you can increase calls, traffic and purchases just by enhancing the way customers find you. For more tips, give us a call. We’ll walk you through additional ways you can optimize your page and reach potential customers.