How To Add Your Listing To Google My Business
What Is “Google My Business”?
Google My Business is a mix between a phone book listing, a highway map, and a social media profile. It allows you to let local people know when you’re open, what your contact information is (phone, address, website), where you are on the map, a description of your business and services, along with images and social posts.
It’s a great way to get found online for your local customers. Plus, in certain sets of search results it ranks above the organic search results!
Google My Business [GMB] Listing On Search
A Google My Business listing can appear in search results.
On a desktop, it will typically appear on the right-hand side of your screen if it is the far-and-away #1 result for a local search, giving it a prominent position even against Google Ads and Google organic search results.
On a desktop, if there are multiple GMBs which may fulfill a search, they may appear as a “3-pack” of Map search results nested within the organic results, usually at the top or very near the top of the organic search results, and just below the Google Ads.
On a mobile device, the Google My Business listing will appear much like the second desktop option, as a 3-pack, 2-pack, or 1-pack in the search results column.
GMB Listing On Maps
Your Google My Business listing also appears on Google Maps for local businesses.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, you’ll receive a map pin, and typically a better chance of ranking higher in the left-hand column of Google Maps results
If you have a service area business (i.e. plumber, work-from-home situation, etc.) and people don’t visit your home/warehouse at all, you won’t appear on the Map itself as a map pin, but you’ll still be listed in the left-hand column of Google Maps results, sometimes with a zip-code outline or circle representing your service area.
Optimizing Google My Business Listing
Just adding your business to Google My Business isn’t enough - you also need to optimize it with the most accurate and complete information possible to get the best rankings and attract clients.
NAP - Name, Address, Phone (& Hours & Website)
Getting your NAP right is the most basic step. Your Google My Business listing name should exactly match your legal business name, but doesn’t need to include business structure elements such as “LLC” or “, Inc.”, etc. Your address, phone, hours, and website should be exact so no one gets lost or confused.
If you run a service-area-business (SAB), say an electrician or tree service, and don’t want people to come to your location, you still need to provide your address. You can later choose to hide it, and provide the service area you work within.
Whether you want your address visible (brick-and-mortar) or you want it hidden (service-area-business), adding a service area is an easy way to help Google understand what areas you operate in. You can select up to 20 areas
Depending on the size of your service area, we usually recommend using Zip Codes or Counties to denote your service area, not Cities or States. Cities can be too small and leave out rural areas, while States are too large, and generally won’t matter since GMBs are focused on local search results.
Adding beautiful photos is very important, but don’t use stock photos.
Make sure you have at least 1 good version of your logo, perhaps a screenshot of your website so people know they’re going to the right place, photos of you or your team at work - in the field or in the office - along with logos of your service partners, Chambers or other clubs you are a member of, etc.
You are allowed to write a description of up to 750 characters for your Google My Business listing. Make sure you properly explain who you are, what your business is, where you’re located and what areas you serve, as well as what services you offer and why people should work with you.
Google My Business is a perfect place to ask people to leave reviews, as it can help you rank better for local searches.
You’ll want to make sure you get reviews regularly, reply to those reviews, and use keywords for your business in your reply.
The Question & Answer section of a Google My Business listing is highly-viewed. You can ask questions there yourself and answer them yourself, similar to an FAQ on a website. But also be sure to keep an eye out for new questions, as people will want a fairly speedy answer.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Google allows companies to indicate whether they are open for walk-ins or appointments are needed, whether staff or clients are required to wear masks, and more. There are also options to select if your company is woman-led, black-owned, and more depending on your industry.
How do I add a business to Google?
At its most basic, head to business.google.com, click “Manage Now”, sign in with a Google account (or create one) and follow Google’s directions.
How do I access my Google My Business listing?
Head to business.google.com
Is a Google My Business listing free?
Yes. Any brick-and-mortar or service-area business can get a free Google My Business listing. The only cost is your time, or anything you pay to a contractor like Cohlab Digital Marketing to claim or optimize your listing.
Why do I need a Google My Business listing?
A Google My Business listing is one of the best ways to drive organic searches to your website from your local area. Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket - make sure you have other avenues such as paid ads, social media, local advertising, etc. But Google My Business and getting on Google Maps are key to making sure local people know you’re in business.
How do I verify my Google My Business listing?
In most cases, you will have to request a postcard from Google My Business. It will take about 5 business days to arrive after you request it. That postcard will have a 5-digit code on it which you’ll have to login and enter into your Google My Business account. From there, it may take up to 3 days for Google My Business to review and approve your listing.
How long until my Google My Business listing shows up on Google?
Again, once your Google business listing is verified, it can take up to 3 days for Google My Business to review and approve it. From there, it all depends on how well your business ranks for certain searches.
Is Google My Business the same as Google+?
Essentially, yes. A few different Google products have been folded into Google My Business and no longer exist, such as: Google Places For Business, Google Listings, and Google+ Business Pages.
How do I verify a Google My Business listing I can’t get a postcard to?
This is an interesting case, and requires some work on the phone with Google My Business’ customer service, along with extra photos. Here is a video we made on how to verify a Google My Business listing you can’t get a postcard to:
How do I delete a Google My Business listing?
A Google My Business listing can never fully be deleted unless Google My Business chooses to do so! But, here are some tips in a video we created on how to get it as hidden as possible: