Setting Up Your Google My Business Profile.
Step 1: Go To Your Google My Business Dashboard
1. Go to the GMB Dashboard or go to Google and type in “google my business.” It will be the first result you see.
2. If you’re not already signed into Gmail, it will ask you to sign in. Be sure you are signed into the Gmail account you want to be associated with your business listing.
3. If you haven’t set up a listing in the past, you will be asked to enter the name of your business. If someone has already listed your business on Google (which isn’t uncommon) then you should see your listing appear.
4. If your business doesn’t appear, click the result that has the text under your business name that says: Create a business with this name
Otherwise, if your business does pop up, click on it.
Then click next.
Step 2: Enter the Address of Your Business
Before completing this step it is worth making sure you have the correct format for your business address. Approximately 20% of addresses entered online contain errors – spelling mistakes, wrong address numbers, incorrect postal or zip codes. Melissa’s Global Address Verification service can verify addresses for 240+ countries and territories. So check yours out here. This is what the verification looks like.
Once you are happy your address is in the correct format then enter your address as below.
Storefront vs. Service Area vs Hybrid Business
A Storefront Business.
This is where the customer goes to your business premises, such as a shop or restaurant. In this case, leave the “I deliver goods and services to my customers” checkbox blank.
Service Area Business
This is where the business goes to the client. If you’re a Service Area Business, such as a painter and decorator that goes to your customers homes, then check the “I deliver goods and services to my customers” checkbox.
You’ll see another box appear giving you the option to hide your address. If you don’t want your address displayed (for example, if you used your personal address as your business address), then go ahead and check this box.
This is a combination of a Storefront and Service Area Business. This type of business has a store, office, shop or location that is staffed, and customers come to your location, but you also travel to them. Examples would be a locksmith with a shop, a pizza shop that delivers, a florist with a shop that delivers. check the “I deliver goods and services to my customers” checkbox and do not hide your address.
Examples of Storefront Businesses
– grocery stores
– gas stations
– doctor’s offices
– mechanic’s shops
– restaurants (that don’t deliver)
Examples of Service Area Businesses (SABs)
– general contractors
Step 3. Set The Location Marker For Storefront Businesses.
Drag the Map Marker to Your Actual Location.
If you’re a storefront business you’ll need to set your business location on a map. You may have to drag the marker to the exact location on the map that your business exists. Simply place your marker where it should go on the map and then press the “Next” button again.
Step 4. Setting Your Service Area
You can set your service area based on the state, county, neighborhood or district, and zip-code.
– Storefront businesses have no limiting factors when it comes to the areas covered and can show in any area as long as they are relevant to that area.
– For Service Area Businesses, specifying specific service areas can add relevance and can help with ranking in the specific areas listed. However specific service areas are a limiting factor in that you probably will not rank in areas that you have not specified. You can add up to 20 service areas, so you may have to be selective in choosing your service areas.
Step 5: Choosing Your Categories
Getting this step right is crucial if you want to show up in Google’s results page when potential customers are searching for a product or service that you offer. When you set your “categories” in your GMB listing you’ll be able to set both a top level or primary category and secondary categories. You can add up to 10 categories in total but only one primary category.
How to Choose the Best Google My Business Category
If you’re unsure of what top level category is the right for your business, you can search for the type of business you run in Google and see what categories your competitors’ have selected (particularly the top three ranking businesses). If you see a trend among them then you can probably assume that’s the category you should choose.
There are over 3000 Google My Business categories as of 2020 (3942 to be exact). Most seem to be fairly useless.
In the example above we can see that most construction businesses in the Murray area have themselves categorized as some type of contractor but feel free to be specific if you primarily provide one type of service.
The categories that are available are set by Google themselves and vary by country language. You can find a full, up to date list of available categories by country and language on this website, which you may find helpful.
Advanced Technique For Finding Secondary Categories.
1. Select your search term
2. Do a Google Search to find the 3 Pack for your search term
3. Write Down the 3 Primary Categories Being Used
4. Use the most frequent used Primary Category as your’s
5. Click into the Local Finder
6. Copy and Paste the #1 Listing into Google Maps Search Bar
7. Right Click on the Blue Part of Listing and View Page Source
8. CTRL + F and Type in the Primary Category
9. Scroll Down to See a List of All Used Categories
10. Sort Through Categories and Category Hierarchies
11. Copy Secondary Categories into Workbook
12. Repeat for other Competitors and Keywords
13. Use this List to Select up to 4 Secondary Categories
Step 6: Set What Contact Details to Show Your Customers
Adding this information to your Google My Business listing is optional but It is highly recommended.
Adding your website has the obvious benefit of potentially driving a customer to your site where you can more easily convert them to a lead. This can either be your GMB website or your business website.
Listing your phone number gives customers a direct way to reach you. You can add more than one phone number here but make sure your primary number is a local number.
Tip: You’ll get a little bump in your local ranking from Google each time a visitor visits your website, gets directions, calls you, texts you, etc. from a local search.
NOTE: If you don’t have a website you can select the “I don’t need a website” option or the “Get a free website based on your info” option. If you want to learn more about getting a free Google My Business website check out Chapter 8.
Be sure that everywhere you list your website on the web (in a Google My Business listing, Yelp, Yellow Pages, local Chambers of Commerce pages, and so on) that you use the exact same URL structure for your website. In other words, if your website is http://websitename.com don’t list it anywhere as http://www.websitename.com. If you don’t have www in front of your name, don’t list it that way anywhere (and vice-versa).
Also be sure that if you use the same “http” or “https” structure in front of your name on all listings depending on which one you have. Note: today, you should always have an https website as Google distrusts plain http websites. A https website will require you to have what’s known as a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate installed.
Once you’ve filled out that information, press the “Next” button once again!
Add Your Phone Number
If possible you should use a local phone number as your primary phone number. You can add other phone numbers such as toll free numbers, tracking phone number or mobile numbers as additional numbers.
Step 7: Adding Services
Not all business have this feature. Businesses in health & beauty, and service businesses, such as plumbers and florists, now have the ability to add services, other businesses may have this feature in the future.
The following business types have a services section:
– pest control
– jewelry stores
– marketing agencies
– construction equipment suppliers
– insurance agencies
and these do not:
– auto dealers
– clothing stores
– educational supplies stores
This listing will no doubt change with time.
Google will suggest services for your type of business, e.g. home builder.
By clicking the right arrow you will have the opportunity to add service details.
You have 300 characters to add a Service Description. Doing this will probably help your business rank in Google for more search terms. Do not “keyword stuff” but describe your services fully and accurately. This will help searchers find your business.
If Google does not offer a relevant service you can add custom services complete with descriptions.
Step 8: Add Your Opening Hours
Take care that when you add your business open hours that they are accurate. Later when you start to promote your GMB listing using Citations etc. you need to ensure your open hours are the same as on your GMB listing. Consistency is key.
You can add hours for specific services or specials under More hours e.g. happy or Senior Hours
Your Can also Add Special Hours, such as holidays when you may be closed or any other day when your opening hours may be different to a regular week.
Step 9: Business Description.
Under Info you can add a short description of your business, up to 750 characters.
Again this helps with relevance and as such will help with your ranking.
Step 10: Photos
The photos you use should illustrate your services , premises and locations, and the town or neighborhoods that you serve.
When adding GMB photos, keep in mind what searchers are wanting to know about your business.
What does the outside of your building look like?
Are you difficult to find? Photos of the outside can help people find your business.
What does the inside look like?
What about your products or services?
Within your GMB listing, you can specify what images are from the inside or outside as well as photos of your team, photos of your work, and even specify photos of food and drink for restaurants. Include several for each category that you can.
Format: JPG or PNG.
Size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB.
Minimum resolution: 720 x 720 pixels.
Quality: The photo should be in focus and well lit, and have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters. In other words, the image should represent reality.
Sizes for each image type:
Profile image – 250 x 250 pixels (minimum 120 x 120; maximum 5200 x 5300)
Cover photo – 1080 x 608 pixels (minimum 480 x 270; maximum 2120 x 1192)
Shared images – 497 x 373 pixels (minimum width 497; maximum 2048 x 2048)
They can consist of three types:
1. Real Photos that you or your photographer have taken of your business premises (inside and out), staff, products and locations.
2. Common Photos. These are photos down loaded from Google that have the correct usage rights. For example lets say you are a pest control company. Go to Google, search “pest control”, select Images, then go to Tools, then Usage Righs and either “Labelled for reuse” or “Labelled for reuse with modification”. You only need a couple Common Photos, do not change the image name or size m before uploading. These are Google’s photos and so when you upload them to your GMB Google recognises them as being relevant to your business or location.
3. Stock Photos from sites like Shutterstock and istockphotos. These can be used if required. Never use more than three.
1. Use high quality photos. Firstly don’t worry that your photo is too large, you are using Google’s servers to store your photos for your GMB
2. If possible, get a professional or photo expert to take the shots required. When a prospective customer is looking at your GMB the quality of the photos is an important deciding factor.
3. Rename the images using the search terms/queries or keywords that you want to be found for. For example for a pest control company based in Findlay, Ohio the search terms might be
pest control Findlay
flea infestation findlay
how to get rid of bed bugs
pest control phone number Findlay
4. Geo tag your images if. Google strips off geotagging for your GMB listing if you upload photos manually. You can use and app if you wish. Nevertheless it is worth your while to spend the short time it takes to geotag as you can use the photos 1. on your main website location pages, 2. on your citations and social profiles, 3. uploading to Amazon Buckets, 4. upload to Google Drive and 5. Google Photos
As you can see in the image below you can use images and videos on your GMB listing in a variety of ways i.e. Overview, which includes your Logo and Cover images, By Owner, By Customer, 360, Video, Interior, Exterior and At Work.