For any business to be found on Google Maps you need to have a Google My Business (GMB) Page. This is one of the 4 main accounts you can have with Google for search engine optimization needs. Most commonly recognized as the information box that shows up to the right side of your screen when you search for a business, GMB is one of the best FREE digital marketing tools you can give your business and it helps people within a 5 mile radius find you with ease.
Even though it is free, roughly 56% of local retailers still need to claim their Google My Business listing and are missing out on all the opportunities it could bring. So this month we will be explaining how to set up and verify your Google My Business listing so you can show up in the Map Pack too!
Create a Business Gmail Account
The first step is to create a separate Gmail account for your business. Trust us, you’ll want a gmail just for your business. You’ll tie all your Google products and other citation or directory accounts to this account. It will get spammed. You’ll get overwhelmed if you tie it to your normal email address as well as help you remember what email owns the GMB account. We get calls all the time, “How to get back into my Google Accounts?”or my personal favorite “I do not know who owns my GMB and now I cannot change my phone number !!” It takes time to have Google change the owner of a GMB listing and if someone still monitors the account and decides they don’t like you, you may never get back into your account.
Once you create a business Gmail, make sure you are logged in to it. Google likes to switch accounts back and forth from screen to screen, so make sure you are setting up your GMB listing under the correct account:
Click Sign In in the top right hand corner of the screen. If you are logged in properly, the next screen should ask you, “What’s the name of your business?” Type in your business name, don’t try to be cute or funny, just the name of your business and hit ‘next’.
Setting Your Business Location
The next step is very important as it decides how people can find your business. Google will ask, “Do you want to add a location a customer can visit, like a store or office?” If you do have a location choose ‘Yes’ and fill out your address. If you put ‘No’, Google will then ask you for an area you serve. Please put the largest area here, as you can refine the area later. So if you serve your entire State, put the State here. If you serve just a city and surrounding community I would put the name of the biggest city here. Then hit ‘next’.
Choosing Your Business Category
The next step is Choosing your Business Category. Choose the best category that fits your business services, as you start typing you will see Google only gives you so many options. So make sure you find the best match possible. As you will see in my example below, digital marketing is not a category we can choose, so we had to try again and choose website design. Once you find the perfect fit, hit ‘next’.
Enter Your Contact Information
The next step is your contact information. It is really recommended that you have a website and a phone number you can put here. Even if you do not have a website, put your Facebook page here instead. It helps Google think you are a legitimate business. Then hit ‘next’.
The last step is to hit finish and submit your listing. Google will then ask you to verify your listing, usually with a postcard that will be mailed to the listed address within 5 business days. Once you receive the postcard with the code, you will need to log back on to your new GMB listing and enter the code. There! Now you have set up your Google My Business Page and verified your location. Congratulations!
Do Not Set Up and Forget!
But, do not think you are done with GMB, just because you now show up on the maps doesn’t mean you have closed the deal. Now you need to set up your profile adding your business information; including your hours and what your business is about. Then add images and posts weekly to help get new customers regularly.
Just like a new puppy, Google likes attention and must be maintained otherwise it will get out of your control. The right digital marketing partner can help you maintain as your business grows. Keep your time for what you love and allow professionals to make you look your best.