Check out our Essential Guide to Google My Business in 2021. If you haven’t created your GMB listing yet, stop what you’re doing and get it done now. It’s FREE and so valuable to your business.

What is Google My Business?

 

Google My Business is more than simply a business listing or a backlink to your website. It’s a FREE and simple tool for businesses which allows you to easily connect with your customers and clients across Google Search and Google Maps.

 

When your customers search for you, you want to be visible! See our Google My Business listing (highlighted in red) on the right-hand side of Google’s Search results:

Google-My-Business-result of Whizz.ie

How Much Is It?

 

It doesn’t cost anything… It’s FREE!

Benefits

 

  • It helps customers find your business
  • You control the narrative! Once you’re verified, it allows you to control the story you tell your customers about your business
  • Your customers can leave valuable reviews.  These reviews can then be set up to automatically feed through to your website or you can share them on your social channels. Sharing your reviews is a subtle form of social proof which in turn helps future customers decide whether to use your services / products in the future.
  • You can edit your business information by adding a link to your website, updating your opening hours, contact details
  • Update editorial content i.e. business description, photos, videos
  • Add features that allow customers interact with your business i.e. BOOK NOW, ORDER NOW
  • You can add special offers or highlight events by using Google Posts
  • Performance: You get access to valuable analytics of your listing (they call this Google Insights). Google Insights displays easy-to-understand graphics i.e. how many people search for your listing, how many phoned your business, how many viewed your photos compared to other businesses like yours, how customers search for your business i.e.
Benefits It helps customers find your business You control the narrative! Once you’re verified, it allows you to control the story you tell your customers about your business Your customers can leave valuable reviews.  These reviews can then be set up to automatically feed through to your website or you can share them on your social channels. Sharing your reviews is a subtle form of social proof which in turn helps future customers decide whether to use your services / products in the future. You can edit your business information by adding a link to your website, updating your opening hours, contact details Update editorial content i.e. business description, photos, videos Add features that allow customers interact with your business i.e. BOOK NOW, ORDER NOW You can add special offers or highlight events by using Google Posts Performance: You get access to valuable analytics of your listing (they call this Google Insights). Google Insights displays easy-to-understand graphics i.e. how many people search for your listing, how many phoned your business, how many viewed your photos compared to other businesses like yours, how customers search for your business i.e.

Why You Need It

 

‘If you don’t do it, someone else probably will…’

Whether you like it or not, your business can and probably will get listed on Google. Anyone can enter your business name and register it with Google.

Don’t leave it for someone else to control what is put online about your business. Claim your listing yourself and control the narrative. Remember: if you don’t do it, someone else probably will!

Did you know: One in two people who conduct a local search visit a store that day. 

Think about your own buying behaviour… if you search for a product or service close to you, you’re usually about to make a purchase.

By taking the time to ensure your Google My Business listing not only exists; but is accurate, complete and optimised; you increase the chances of that buyer finding you.

In terms of Local SEO, Google My Business is one of the first things to do in the early days.

How to Create your Listing

 

*IMPORTANT: DO THIS ON A LAPTOP OR DESKTOP 

  1. Login or Create a Google Account

If you already have a gmail address or a Google account, sign in to it.

Note: Make sure you are signed into the Google Account that you want associated with your Google My Business listing.

If you don’t have an existing Google account (i.e. a gmail address), create one by clicking the link below:

SIGN UP TO GOOGLE OR LOGIN TO YOUR EXISTING ACCOUNT 

  1. Google My Business
  • Once you’re signed in to your Google Account, then click on the following link: 

GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

  • Select “Sign In” in the top right-hand corner. 
  1. Find and manage your business

If you haven’t set up a listing in the past, it is going to ask you to enter the name of your business on the following page:

How-to-get-your-business-on-Google-My-Business-by-Whizz.ie
  1. Enter your business name

Type your business name in the search field as follows (in our case we entered ‘Sample Company for Whizz.ie’):

Enter-new-business-name-on-Google-My-Business-by-Whizz.ie

5.  If your business DOES NOT appear in the drop-down above, it means it has never been created before. Click the first result with the grey text stating: “Create a business with this name”

If your business DOES appear in the drop-down, it means there is already an existing listing for you – and now it’s time you claim ownership of it. To do so, click on the existing listing, as you will see in the 2nd option below:

Enter-your-business-name-on-Google-My-Business-by-Whizz.ie

Side note: If you discover there is already a listing for your company, here are some of the most common reasons of why that happened. 

  • In our experience, it turns out that some business owners themselves were the ones who created the listing, but they set it up so long ago, they simply forgot it existed. If this happens, you will want to update the content on your listing to ensure its accuracy.
  • More often that not, the listing was created by an ex-staff member who is no longer with the business and now no business owner or existing staff members have access to it. In this case, you immediately want to rectify this. No ex-staff members should have access to company information.
  • Occasionally, it may have been created by some random person (don’t be surprised at that – it can happen sometimes). In this case, you need to claim your listing yourself. Why let a stranger control your online story. 

 

Regardless of how your listing was created (by you or someone else), you NEED access to it as it’s your business after all.

6. Click ‘Next’:

  1. Categorise your Listing

Begin typing the category that suits you (can be changed later, and can be added to). At the moment you are only setting one category, but when it’s verified, you will be able to set a primary category and multiple subcategories.

Make sure you select something relevant to you if you want to show up in Google’s results page when potential customers are searching for a product or service you offer.

Sidenote: You must select a category from the drop-down, you can’t just type a name and hit Next. 

Tip: If no relevant category appears as you type, then try typing a different type of description i.e. in the case below, I initially typed ‘digital marketing’ but there is no category for that. So try different variations until you get close i.e.

Choose-your-category-name-on-Google-My-Business-by-Whizz.ie
  1. Do you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?

Enter whatever is relevant to you.

  • If you have a physical store or shop then answer YES and proceed to STEP 8a;
  • If not, hit NO and proceed to STEP 9:
Do-you-want-add-location-on-Google-My-Business-by-Whizz.ie

8.a. If you answered YES i.e. you want your location listed, then enter your address and hit ‘Next’:

What's-the-address-you-want-listed-on-Google-My-Business-by-Whizz.ie

8.b. Do you also serve customers outside this location?

Enter whatever is relevant to you.

  • If YES, then proceed to STEP 9.
  • If NO, then proceed to STEP 10.
Do-you-serve-customers-outside-this-location-on-Google-My-Business-by-Whizz.ie

9. [You are at this step because you selected YES to the question at Step 8.b. If you don’t serve customers at your location, skip this step and go straight to Step 10.]

Where do you serve your customers?

Enter whatever is relevant to you. 

Sidenote: Remember, the service area that you type must exist in the drop-down list otherwise your entry won’t save i.e. start typing the location.

If your location appears, then select it and hit ‘Next’

If your location does not appear in the drop-down, then try being less specific or more specific. Adapt as you go so that whatever you enter is matched in the drop-down. Once you have a relevant match, then hit ‘next’: 

Where-do-you-serve-your-customers-on-Google-My-Business-by-Whizz.ie

10. What contact details do you want to show to customers?

Enter whatever is relevant to you.

What-contact-details-do-you-want-to-show-customers-on-Google-My-Business-by-Whizz.ie

11. Finish and manage this listing 

Select Finish to complete this step, but don’t get too excited – you’re not really finished yet 😉

Once you hit Finish, Google has to verify that you are who you claim to be. Using the contact details that you entered, they will either:

  • Send you a verification code via text;
  • Contact you via phone and as soon as you answer your verification code will be announced, so be sure to have a pen handy;
  • Most of the time, they will send you a postcard with the verification code, which can take up to 20 working days to arrive. 
Finish-and-manage-your-listing-on-Google-My-Business-by-Whizz.ie

12. Verification ProcessDO NOT SKIP THIS STEP

Once you get your verification code via whatever method, you must:

  • Sign back into google.com/business
  • Click Verify Location from the menu or the Verify Now button if it’s available
  • Then enter the verification code.

 

Once that’s done, all Google My Business features are unlocked for your use…

You would not believe how many people simply don’t do this step. So many times, it turns out the postcard arrived but the Business Owner did nothing with it! Don’t be that person…

13. Once your listing has been created and verified, then it’s time to optimise it and enhance it. 

There are so many great online guides available to help you do that.

We are busy preparing our own version of How to Optimise Your Google My Business Listing, so be sure to sign up to our Newsletters to be alerted when we release it and our other Top Tips and Tricks.

In the meantime, we hope this guide helped you create your GMB listing in the first place!

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Go raibh maith agat [Thank You]

Thank you for taking the time to read The Essential Guide to Google My Business. We hope you found it useful and that it was a handy reference guide to help you get your business listed properly on Google. 

If you enjoyed reading it, we would really appreciate if you would share it with your friends and give us a shout out on your Social Channels – our handle is @whizzireland. 

Best of luck with improving your online presence, and I hope we can serve you again in the future.  

Best regards,

Colma. 

Managing Director, Whizz.ie