If you are ready to list and verify your website on Google My Business (GMB), you doubtless already are fully aware of the many ways that it can help you to grow your business. Now, you need to be guided on how to get it all done.
How to list your business on GMB
Before all else, be sure that you are qualified to be listed on GMB. You are NOT qualified if:
- Your business is still being formed, and is not yet open to the public.
- You want to list your personal properties for sale or rent, such as model homes, vacation homes, or vacant apartments. However, if you own a sales or leasing office, you can be listed.
- You are conducting your business at a location that you don’t own, and which you don’t have the authority to represent.
Well established businesses are already listed in GMB’s directory. If that is the case, simply claim it. If you are a startup, you will have to list yourself by going to https://www.google.com/business/ and clicking the “Start Now” button, which is the green button on the right upper corner, and also the green button on the left bottom of the image below.
— Google My Business (@GoogleMyBiz) February 28, 2017
After you have clicked the Start Now button, you will see a form. Fill up all the information on the form. NOTE: The more specific you are, and the more accurate your information is, the better. You want your business listing to be correctly classified and displayed online. The information includes your business name, country/region, street address, suburb, city, postal code, province, and business category. Write everything, especially your business name, address, and phone number, VERY THOUGHTFULLY. Consistency matters a lot, and the way it appears here should be how you would want your information to look across the web. Even small details matter. For example, will you abbreviate “St.”, or will you fully spell “Street”?
Near the bottom of the form, as indicated in the image below, you will be asked to choose from a preset list of Categories. This is very important, because what you choose is how Google will classify your business, and this will determine the kind of search query it will display your listing for.
— Jack Jostes (@JackJostes) February 28, 2017
Included, too in the Categories selection are keywords for each industry. Simply type your keyword. If Google produces a match, then choose the best one. Later on, you will be able to add more categories.
At the bottom of this same image below, you will see in blue letters the words, “important information”. The statement on the form is, “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location.” If you clicked “Yes”, that would mean that you are in the service business.
- As a service business, your next step is to enter your service area information, either based on zip codes or cities that you serve; or on a specific area around your location.
- If you are not a service business, then check “No” beside the same statement. This will ensure that your complete address appears on Google. You should also include your work hours. Finally, click “Apply”.
After you have done all of the above, your business should appear on Google Maps. If it still isn’t there, simply add it in for free. If it is there, make sure your information is correct (your business name, address, and contact number[s]). Also check if your pin in maps is exactly where it is located. If it is not, you can drag the marker to your precise location.
If you have ten or more locations, you can upload all the locations in bulk. To learn how to do this, go to https://support.google.com/business/topic/4596653?hl=en&ref_topic=4539578.
- If you are a brand, (eg. a musician, or group that reaches out to fans and customers), you can opt for Brand Pages. These pages won’t include addresses required for Google Maps.
Other things you can do:
- Add images and YouTube videos about your business. Google will love this, especially because it owns YouTube. As a reward, your site will get more visibility.
- For more help, check out the GMB guidelines at https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?visit_id=0-636192827973838725-300299446&rd=1
— Digital Bulbs (@DigitalBulbs) February 23, 2017
How to verify your business on GMB
At this point, Google will verify your stated business location. This may take 1-2 weeks, by which time GMB will either call you, or send you a letter. You will be given 30 days to verify your information. Take this final opportunity to double check your data so that you can be 100 percent sure that your data is exactly how you want your information to appear online. However, don’t take too long to verify your information. Work on it once you receive the letter or phone call, and verify it as soon as you can — and as soon as you are completely sure.
Once your business is verified you will get a lot of new features on the dashboard, such as:
- Information on how people discovered your Google business.
- Feedback from customers.
- The ability to respond to customer reviews.
- Start an Adwords Express campaign and monitor its performance.