- Why you absolutely need a GMB account
- How to set up a GMB account: 6 Simple steps
- How to link your Google Business Profile with your GMB account
- How to optimize your GMB account
- Things that impact your GMB profile ranking
- How to contact Google Support
If your brand doesn’t have a Google My Business listing, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity to market your company on the web. Google My Business (GMB) is a powerful free tool which can help you improve your search engine ranking on Google, build trust with your audience, and market your product offering. This simple tutorial will teach you how to set up and maximize your GMB account.
1. Why you absolutely need a GMB account
A GMB account contains basic information about your company (physical address, phone number, operating hours, photos, reviews, etc.). Your GMB account can be displayed on Google in different ways:
- info card to the right of search results;
- pin in Google maps;
- Local Pack section on top of organic search results.
This is how you can leverage your GMB account:
- Put your business out there. More than 80% of users search for local businesses on the web. With your GMB account, you can give your potential clients all the pertinent information about your business, e.g. what your store looks like, when it opens and closes, whether or not you have a website, etc. For example, you can inform your audience that you’ve suspended certain services, or that your staff are trained to serve clients with disabilities.
- Boost trust and loyalty. Providing accurate and up-to-date information is a great way to forge excellent customer relationships and show off your advantages. A robust GMB profile increases your chances of attracting clients. The research says that customers are 70% more likely to trust businesses with a GMB listing.
- Increase your Google ranking. Being listed on GMB is a surefire way to get your company higher in Google search results – especially when it comes to location-based search queries, e.g. “vet clinic New York”, “vegetarian café Madrid”, etc. GMB account is the key factor influencing your search ranking on Google. With a GMB listing, your business will appear on top of organic search results. There is no better way to catch the eye of your potential customers!
2. How to set up a GMB account: 6 Simple steps
To get your business on Google My Business, you first need to log into your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you can create one in no time and then proceed with this guide.
Step 1. Go to Google My Business and click “Start now”. Enter your company name.
Step 2. Select the category which sums up your business in the most accurate way.
Step 3. If you have a store, cafe, clinic, car wash, etc., add its physical address. If you serve customers outside your business address (pizza delivery, dog walking, window cleaning, etc.), check the box “I deliver goods and services to my customers” and select your delivery area.
Step 4. Add your contact information (phone numbers, website URL, social media pages).
Step 5. Tell your customers about your business. Talk about who you are, what you are selling, what you want to achieve, when you’re open, etc. Use the keywords to help your potential clients find you on Google.
Step 6. Choose the suitable way to verify your GMB account:
- by regular mail (may take from several days to several weeks);
- by phone;
- by email.
You’ll receive a message with a verification code. Log into your GMB account, click “Verify now”, and enter the code.
3. How to link your Google Business Profile with your GMB account
If you have a Business Profile on Google, it might be a good idea to link it with your GMB account. There are as many as 3 ways to do that:
- Log into your Google profile, search for your company, and confirm that you’re the owner.
- Search for your business on Google Maps and then click Manage profile > Join GMB.
- Search for your Business profile and then check the “I am the owner” box to verify your profile.
4. How to optimize your GMB account
To make the most of your GMB listing, you need to build it with relevant content and promote it.
Fill out your company information
Provide detailed information about your business. It’s a great way to enhance trust with your target audience and improve your search ranking. Read on to find out more!
What information you choose to share depends on what you business is doing. For example, if you’re running a hotel, showing off comfortable rooms with modern conveniences is a safe bet. Restaurants can capitalize on the Book Now button. If you have a retail business, focus on your product catalogue. Also, add additional information which can make your business look more attractive for your clients, e.g. free Wi-Fi, contactless payment, facilities for kids, etc.
Add photos and videos
Adding engaging graphic content to your page is one good way to customize your GMB profile and make it stick with your audience.
1. Profile picture and cover image. As a profile picture, use your company logo. This will help your potential clients identify and memorize your brand. As for the cover image, it can feature your flagship product, photos of your office or restaurant, etc.
Don’t have a logo yet? We know how to get one! Go to ZenBusiness, enter your company name, and get a nice-looking logo in seconds!
2. Other images. Share the photos of your office, store, employees, etc. If your products have a strong visual appeal, don’t miss the opportunity to showcase those too. GMB accounts with compelling photos drive 42% more requests for direction on Google Maps and 35% more click-throughs to your website.
3. Videos (maximum 30 seconds). Show your audience the road to your office/store, take them behind the scenes of your production process, introduce your employees, etc.
Important: Make sure your photos are high-quality. If you don’t have a good camera or you doubt your photo shooting skills, find a professional photographer to do the job.
Update your profile
Have your operating hours changed? Do you have a new product to show off? Are you planning an event? Use the Posts on Google feature to add this and other information to your GMB profile. Don’t forget to use the keywords to help users find you.
- Updating your GMB profile is a great way to build loyalty among your audience. The research shows that upon seeing an inaccurate or outdated local business information, 80% of customers lose trust in the company, while 68% of consumers stop using its services altogether.
- Keeping your GMB page relevant is another way to spark your customers’ interest and boost sales. Tell your audience about an upcoming promotion, new exciting product, free consultation, etc. You can even go a step further and add an eye-catching CTA button, e.g. “Learn more”, “Buy”, “Book now”, etc.
Interact with your clients
It’s crucial to show to your customers that you appreciate them and their support. Be sure to communicate with your audience and encourage their engagement.
- Reply to users’ questions and suggestions. Be patient and polite when dealing with negative reviews. If the fault lies with you, give your apologies and offer a discount or other perk to an unhappy customer.
- Encourage your clients to leave testimonials on your GMB page. It’s a great way to grow your customer base and build authority. The research shows that 88% of consumers trust online reviews no less than personal recommendations.
Important: Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, reviews and Q&As on local businesses have been temporarily disabled.
Companies with a GMB listing can track a variety of insightful stats and metrics regarding their account. For example, you can see what keywords customers use to search for your business, how many users draw routes to your store on Google Maps, call your office, view your photos, click the links in your profile, etc. Armed with this information, you can tweak your GMB profile to improve your outreach.
5. Things that impact your GMB profile ranking
Information contained in your GMB profile must correspond to users’ search queries. The more company information you provide, the higher are the chances that your target audience will find you online.
The closer your office or store is to the user, the higher in search results you’ll rank.
This tip is valid for optimizing both your GMB profile and official website. When building your SEO campaign, find out what keywords your competitors are using to appear on Local Pack and use the same ones.
Your company’s online popularity is determined by how much information you provide about your business (website, blog, external links, etc.), how many customer reviews you have, what your Google rating is, how you interact with your users, etc.
Keep your company information consistent across different online platforms, including your GMB profile, official website, Yelp, Tripadvisor, etc. This is another factor that impacts your Google ranking.
6. How to contact Google Support
For any questions, contact Google support by clicking here. This is what you need to do step by step:
- describe your problem (maximum 100 characters);
- select the category and click “Next”;
- read the available information regarding your issue;
- if you haven’t found the answer to your question, click “Next”. Fill out the feedback form and submit it to Google.
Note that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, support by phone and on social media is temporarily unavailable.
Google My Business is a potent online promotion tool which can be particularly beneficial for local businesses. It’s an effective and low-maintenance way to tap into the promotion potential of the world’s biggest search engine. Take a few minutes to set up your GMB account and put your business out there! Also, be sure to publish regular updates, communicate with your customers, and monitor your profile performance.