Google My Business

Google My Business Resources for Business Owners

Here at Local SEO Drop The Strap we offer SEO Services to business owners. We help customers find you on their phones, laptops, and mobile devices. Local Search starts with a Google My Business account.

Local search is happening all around you and it is happening on Google.

If there is one place online to make sure your business information is correct, it is Google My Business(GMB).

Who is Google My business for?

The 5 business types that use Google My Business per Google.

  • Storefront location
  • Service Area Business
  • Hybrid Business
  • Individual practitioners
  • Departments or businesses within another business

A Storefront location is a business with a physical location. This is a business that invites customers to stop by during their hours of operation. Think restaurants, retail stores, and auto repair shops.

A Service Area Business services customers at their private area. The address of the business is not listed in your GMB profile, but the service area radiates out from this location. You can use a residential address to verify with Google, but you can’t list it as a virtual office unless it is staffed during hours of operation.

A Hybrid Business has a physical location and a service area. Your local pizzeria is a great example. If there is seating at the store and they deliver from the store, they are a hybrid.

Individual practitioners are public facing professionals like a doctor, lawyer, or real estate agent. In some cases you can have a GMB listing for you and for the location you work out of. You can find more clarification at the link below this section.

Departments or businesses within another business can have their own listing. Think of colleges in a University. A food stand in a larger building. This solves the problem of different contact information and different hours of operation for some areas of a larger group.

If you don’t fall under one of these 5 business types, don’t freak out. GMB is continuing to expand it’s functionality. This means you will be on there soon enough.

For a more detailed explanation See: Who can use Google My Business


Get Started on Google My Business

Now that you know GMB if right for your business, what is the first step?

(1) Gather your business information

Name

The real-world name of your business. This is what people see on your building or on your stationary. Consider what people that know you would type into Google to find you. Keep it as short and concise as possible. Adding words that people don’t use to refer to you can have a negative impact on people’s ability to find you. For multiple location brands, all locations must have the same name unless it consistently varies from location to location.

Address

The physical address of your business or the central location of your service area. You must populate this field even if you are a service business that will not display your store address. It must be a read address as Google will be sending you a post card to verify. P.O. Boxes are NOT allowed. There are rare cases when Google will allow just a pin drop to verify your business, but I’ll save that deep dive for those that need it.

Phone number

Google wants a phone number that connects to this location. Use a local number and not a 800 number.

Website

Business listings with a website get 25-35% more clicks than listings without one. – Google

The website you provide should link to the individual store location page on your website. The link should not redirect to refer to other businesses. If you don’t have the time or budget for a website, you are in luck. GMB has a one page website creator(Drop The Strap is now creating a how to guide for setting up your GMB webpage). All you have to do is upload a photo and fill out a few additional fields of information to have a mobile responsive webpage designed by Google for Small businesses. This free webpage might be all you need, but should be considered a temporary fix till you have a website of your own.

Business Hours

40% of people searching for local information are looking for business hours. – Google

Provide your daily hours of operation. You want to make these hours consistent with what is listed on your website and on other platforms like FaceBook, Yelp, and Yahoo! Listings. GMB provides special hours where you can list business hours impacted by holidays or special events at your business. This is important to monitor, as your holiday hours will be visible and effecting your search ranking in Google Maps.

Categories

Google wants you to pick the category that most identifies your business. A searchable list can be found here. Be aware, not all categories return a Google 3 pack in the search results. It might be worth your time to search your primary category and see if a map is at the top of the results.

URLs

Depending on your category, you might get additional URLs. For example restaurants get menu links and some businesses get links to make an appointment. Populate these URLs with appropriate links if you have them. Also keep an eye on these as other users might contribute URLs that are not under your control.


Get Verified

There are multiple ways to get verified. If you can get a postcard sent to your address, do it. It will only take a couple weeks at most and is by far the easiest method to verify your business.

If the post card doesn’t work here are other options to get verified.


Beyond the Basics

You are now set up with a Google My Business account. Depending on your location, you might be in the 3 pack and dominating the local search for your product or service.

The difficulty of local search is largely based on the activity ofyour competition. If you are the only bike shop in town and you took the time to verify your GMB account, there is a good chance you are the top result for “bike shop {your city}”.

Do not worry, for the business owners that are not the only provider in that area, Local SEO Drop The Strap is here to help you get the most out of this Google My Business Account.

You are beyond the basics and the following topics are best shown via video.

We need to talk about photos, post, messaging, website and the big one Reviews.

So lets take the conversation over to the Drop The Strap YouTube Channel and show you the GMB dashboard.


Some Google My Business Links:
Google My Business Twitter Account
Google My Business Facebook Page