How to set up Google My Business: Easy Step-by-Step Instructions
According to Moz’s 2015 Local Search Ranking Factors report, nearly 15% of local SEO can be achieved by verifying and optimising your Google My Business profile. That means by just putting aside a bit of time to claim and optimise yours, you could get the edge on ranking higher than your competitors in Google’s local listings. Higher listings means better visibility…which usually means more business.
Setting up a Google My Business profile is something that can be done by any local business owner with relative ease. Today’s post shows you exactly how to do it, step by step.
How to set up Google My Business
Step 1: The first thing you need to do is make your way over to the Google My Business sign up page. The link will differ slightly depending on what country your local business is based.
United States: https://www.google.com/business/
United Kingdom: https://www.google.co.uk/business/
Once there, click on the blue button that says “Get on Google”. From there you’ll be taken to a screen like this:
Enter your business name and address in the search box. You’re doing this to check if your business is already listed on Google. If it is, you’ll need to claim it and enhance it.
If you do a search and your business doesn’t appear, just click on the field that says “This doesn’t match. Add your business.” (Or an alternative screen will show the field “I’ve correctly entered the name and address. Let me enter the full business details”)
Step 2: With that done, you’ll be taken to a screen where you can enter your business details. One thing to emphasise here: Be as accurate and consistent as possible when entering this information. Your Google my Business listing is your number one citation.
What are citations? Citations are a key part of ranking higher in the Google local snack pack and the Google organic listings. They are basically listings (or mentions) of your name, address, and phone number across the web. They sometimes…but not always…include a link to your website too.
Building consistent and accurate citations in relevant local resources (your Google My Business page, your Facebook Business page, local directory sites, local online association pages) is a key part of doing well in the localised organic listings and the local snack pack.
With that being said, let’s get to filling out those details. The fields are straightforward as you’ll discover.
Some points worth mentioning:
- Don’t use a PO box for an address. Make sure it’s an actual physical address. If you run a service area business and don’t have a separate brick and mortar office, just use your home address.
- For the phone number field use a local phone number if possible. Google prefers local numbers…so it’s likely to get you a bit of local SEO equity if you do. (But bear in mind you will then also need to make sure any citations out there on the world wide web also have a local number rather than mobile. Google wants only one phone number to be used for consistency. And preferably it’s local.
- Enter your business hours. If you run a service area business e.g. a plumber, here’s a handy hack: Put your opening hours 12 am to 12 pm, Monday through Sunday. This will increase the likelihood of your listing appearing in Google Places 24/7 when someone searches for the service you offer. Otherwise it may only appear in the results during the hours specified.
- For the category field, Google asks that you use as few categories as possible to describe your business from the category choices provided. If you can’t find a category to match your business, pick one that most closely represents it. For instance, when we were doing the Google My Business listing for a chimney relining specialist called Chimtech, we couldn’t find anything related to chimneys in the available categories. So we used the category “building restoration service” instead. Up until a couple of years ago you could add your own business category. Unfortunately this is no longer a possibility. You must choose from Google’s own list of predetermined categories.
- Another important part is the tick box for “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location.” This is for service area businesses. If you don’t serve people out of a brick and mortar business…and instead visit customers in their own locations, make sure and tick this box.
With that done, we’re on to step three.
Step 3: Step three is simply confirming that you are authorised to manage the business on Google.
Step 4: This is the verification stage. You simply click on the button to receive your verification code by mail. It should take a week or two to arrive.
Your business won’t actually be verified until you receive the verification code from Google and enter it.
Step 5: With all the above done you are next brought to your Google My Business welcome page. Click through and start editing your Google My Business profile. You can start by pressing the red edit button in the right corner.
Doing this will allow you to add a small description (don’t try stuffing this with keywords, just describe what you do simply and concisely), your opening hours, your website etc. Once you’re done editing click the blue box in the bottom left hand corner.
Step 6: This will take you back to the Google My Business profile page. Next up click on profile picture.
This takes you through to the photo section. By simply clicking on each photo option you can add the different pictures that represent your business. Don’t worry if you haven’t got photos for every available option just now. You can always add them to your business over time.
When you’ve the photos added, click the “home” button in the top left navigation menu. You’ve done all you can now until your verification code arrives in the post from Google.
Once you’ve received your verification code you’ll be able to unlock the review section, and insights. Your Google My Business profile is then fully set up and optimised. To get the most of it, you’ll need to get happy customers to leave Google reviews about their experience with your business. Reviews are known to get higher rankings in the local snack pack. Plus, they help instill customer confidence which leads to sales.
Editor’s note: If you have any questions about setting up your Google My Business listing or would just prefer we set it up for you, get in touch. We set up Google My Business profiles for the small fee of €99. Get in touch here for more info…