Introduced in 2014 as Google Places, Google My Business is a free-to-use marketing tool that lets you handle how your business listing appears on Google Search and Google Maps after you verify it. You will be able to highlight all the necessary details about your company, including opening/closing hours, contact details, comprehensive business description, photographs, and links to your website.
If you’re just starting out with local SEO optimization, your Google My Business listing is a perfect place to concentrate your early efforts. After all, whenever people look for a product or service near them, they’re generally very close to making a purchase—one in two people who do a local search (for example, “car repair near me”) go to a shop that day itself. So it’s crucial that your company information that appears as people search for Google is as reliable, accurate, and streamlined as possible.
Consistent and accurate Google my business listings and citations are critical criteria that Google uses to classify the websites that feature in the Google Local 3-Pack. The Local 3-Pack applies to a group of three local businesses listed at the top of Google’s SERPs, below the paid ads.
Thus, in this article, we are going to help you get started with your Google my business listing, verify, and optimize it.
How to create a Google My Business listing
- Log in to the Google Account that you want to connect to your business listing (or create a Google Account if you don’t already have one).
- Go to google.com/business and click on “Start now” in the top right-hand corner.
- Fill in your Business name.
- Enter the location of your business. If you don’t have a physical store or work from home and don’t want your address to be publicly shown, you can check the option of ‘Hide my address (it’s not a store)’. If you’re going to the locations of your clients to deliver goods, instead of requiring them to come to your store, check the “I deliver goods and services to my customers” box.
- Next, select your delivery area. You can choose your service city, region, or Pincode. If you deliver within a certain area from your business location, you can select the range in miles.
- Now, you have to choose your business category. There will be a list of categories available from which you can select. If you can’t find your exact category, try to choose the closest and the most accurate one possible. This will affect the type of customers that will be coming across your listing.
- Add your business phone number or website link.
- Finally, choose a verification option. If you’re not ready to verify your business yet, click “Try a different method” and choose “Later.”
How to verify your Google my business listing
There are quite a few ways in which you can verify your Google my business listing. But before that, you should know how to add a business to Google. Below are the ways you can verify Google listings:
- By Postcard
- Through Phone
- By Email
- Instant verification
- Bulk verification
1. Verify your Google my business listing through a postcard
- When you’re already logged in to your Google account, the verification step will open automatically. If you’re not logged in, sign in to your Google my business account and select the business that you want to verify. Enter your business address correctly, and you can also add a contact name (the postcard will be addressed to that name). This is completely optional though.
- After adding the address, click on ‘Mail’. The postcard containing your verification code should arrive at your address between five to twelve days, depending upon the location. Be sure you don’t change your company name, address, or category (or ask for a new code) until it arrives, because it might slow the procedure.
- Once you’ve received the postcard, login to your Google my business account to verify. If you own more than one Google my business listing, select the one that you wish to verify. If you only own one, click on the button saying ‘Verify now’.
- In the code field visible, enter the five-digit verification code received in the postcard and hit ‘Submit’. Your business listing will be verified now.
- If your postcard doesn’t arrive or you misplace it, you can request a new code by logging in to Google My Business and pressing the “Request another code” blue banner at the top of the page.
2. Verify your Google my business listing through phone
- Google lets certain organizations verify their location through a phone call. If you are eligible, you will see the “Verify by phone” option when you begin the verification process.
- When you’re already logged in to your Google account, the verification step will open automatically. If you’re not logged in, sign in to your Google my business account and select the business that you want to verify.
- Double-check your contact number and then select the option saying “Verify by phone”.
- You’ll get a verification code in a text message. Enter that code to verify your Google my business listing.
3. Verify your Google my business listing through Email
- Google lets certain organizations verify their location through email. If you are eligible, you will see the “Verify by email” option when you begin the verification process.
- The verification step will open automatically when you’re already logged in to your Google account. If you’re not logged in, sign in to your Google my business account and select the business that you want to verify.
- Ensure that your email address is correct, and then hit the ‘Verify by email’ button.
- Now go to your inbox, open the email received from Google My Business, and press the verification button in your email to verify your listing.
4. Verify your Google my business listing through Instant verification
- Suppose you have already verified your business with Google Search Console (a free service that helps you to monitor your website’s search output and health). In that case, you can verify your email address immediately.
- Sign in to your Google my business account with the same account you used to verify your business with Google Search Console. Some business types are not available for instant verification, so if you do not get a notification stating you to verify the listing, you will need to use another verification process.
5. Verify your Google my business listing through Bulk verification
- You may be eligible for bulk verification if you run more than 10 locations for the same business—and you are not a service business or an organization handling several business locations.
- Sign in to your Google my business account and select a location you wish to verify. Click on the ‘Get verified’ button shown next to the name.
- Click on the option saying ‘Chain’.
- Complete the verification form with the business name (as well as the parent organization, if applicable), the country or countries in which you function, all the contact names (i.e. someone else using the Google My Business account), the contact number, the business manager’s email address (someone who can verify that you are a representative of that business) and the email address of your Google Account Manager.
Read More: How to Delete Google Business Account?
Optimize your Google my business listing after you verify it
- Once you’ve verified your business listing, it’s time to optimize your profile. Go to the dashboard of your Google My Business, choose the business listing you’d like to work on, pick “Info,” and then pick the section you want to optimize or update.
- Include as much detail and media as you can, like a company profile picture, the place you serve, your working hours, amenities (e.g. “wheelchair accessible,” or “free wifi”), the day and year you started operating, and a public phone number and website address.
- Keep in mind that anyone can suggest an edit for your business listing. Thus, get everything right at the first time so that you don’t attract random people to make changes. Also, visit your Google my business listing periodically to make sure every detail is right and up to date.
- You can modify your company profile at any time by logging in to your GMB dashboard, clicking on “Info,” tapping on the pencil next to the area you want to update, making a modification, and then selecting “Apply.”
- Add photos and videos: According to Google, businesses having photographs see 35 percent more visits on their listing and 42 percent more searches for directions on Google Maps. first of all, be sure to add a business cover photo. It shows up and front on your profile. Secondly, add a profile photo. You can keep your company’s logo or office picture as the profile photo. In addition to your profile and cover pictures, you should also upload additional photos and videos related to your products or services to make your list more comprehensive and interactive.
Automate your GMB listing
By now, you might have understood how important it is to manage and maintain your GMB listing with live streaming. Google my business has another feature known as ‘Posts’. These posts have an expiry of 7 days. It is crucial to use this to raise your optimization efforts and generate more leads with Google my business account.
Want to give a news update? Want to share a discount coupon or offer with your viewers? Wish to disclose details of an upcoming event? Whatever you want to tell your audience, publish a post to do so. Along with an image or video, you can add up to 1500 characters as the caption content. When you continuously post on your profile, your visibility in the search results increases immensely.
If you find it troublesome to create and publish weekly posts, you can create many of them and schedule them using a Google my business post scheduler. RecurPost is a social media scheduling tool that will help you schedule posts to your Google business listing. It offers a lot of other features too. To check it out free for 14-days, click here. Know more on how to get verified on Instagram using the best available steps.
Amaiya Rathi is a content writer at RecurPost. She helps RecurPost communicate with their readers in their own language. Whether it is the web copy, social media posts or blogs, Amaiya has worked on all aspects of copywriting.