Google My Business (GMB) profiles are free business listings that appear in Google Search results and on Google Maps. A GMB listing offers an opportunity to increase your local search rankings and serves as an additional source for local traffic. GMB listings are a crucial element of local SEO and aid in building a robust local presence.
GMB profiles make it easy for searchers to quickly access essential business information such as your: business location, hours, website, phone number, reviews, special offers, posts and more.
Think of GMB listings as free real estate on the internet that can help you get discovered more easily by prospective customers. It’s easy to sign up and verify your GMB profile. Let’s get started.
Creating or Accessing Your Google Account
First, you’ll need to create a Google account if you do not already have one.
Hint: If you have a Gmail account for your business, then you already have and use a Google account. If not, you simply need to create a Google account.
Creating Your Google My Business Listing
Once you’ve set up or confirmed the existence of your Google account, you can begin the creation of your Google My Business listing.
First, sign into Google My Business using your Google account. It’s recommended to sign up with your business email domain for this professional account. Once you’re signed in, click “Next” then you’re ready to get started. Keep in mind that the information you submit to create your GMB profile will populate in the live listing.
1. Type in the name of your business.
2. Pick a business category by typing and selecting from the available options.
3.) Decide how your business location appears on Google Maps and Search.
- If you have a physical business address, select “Yes”. Then enter the address of your business. After submitting your address, you’ll be asked if you serve customers outside your location as well.
- Select “Yes” if you serve customers by visiting or delivering outside of your business location. You may then list the areas you serve and can include as many cities and counties as you like.
- Select “No” if you do not serve customers at your business location.
- If you do not have a business location or do not wish the address to appear on Google Maps and Search, select “No”. Instead, you’ll have the option to list the service area(s) your business services. You may add as many cities and counties as you like.
4.) Enter the phone number and website URL for your business.
- Those who do not already have a website can select the option to create a free, simple templated one through Google My Business, which will populate with the information provided in the GMB profile.
5.) Click “Finish” to create and manage the listing.
Verifying Your Google My Business Listing
After creating a new business profile, Google needs to verify the accuracy of the information submitted before the GMB listing can appear on Google Maps and in Google Search results.
Verification options include: Postcard Verification, Phone Verification, Email Verification, Instant Verification and Bulk Verification
Entirely new GMB profiles have three options for verification: postcard, phone or email. Even then, most businesses are only allowed the Postcard Verification option. Unless you see “Verify by phone” or “Verify by email” at the start of the verification process, you will need to do so by postcard.
Choose a Way to Verify: Postcard by mail
- If not already at the verification step, click “Verify Now”. Do not select “Verify later”.
- Ensure your business address is correct, optionally add a contact name, then click “Mail”.
- Click “Send Postcard”.
- You’ll receive your postcard within 14 days. During that time do not edit any of your submitted information or request a new code before you’ve received the postcard – doing so can delay the verification process.
- Log in to Google My Business, click “Verify Now” or “Verify Location” from the menu. Then enter your unique verification code listed on your postcard.
Your Google My Business listing is now verified, and you are now able to update any information listed, add photos and respond to reviews! Google may take a few weeks to process and display your GMB profile on Search and Google Maps, then your listing will be live.
To get started, use your Google account to sign into Google My Business by clicking here to begin creating your GMB listing.
Rick Hogan, CEO & Co-Founder – Bleevit Interactive
Rick possesses over 20 years of digital marketing experience and started Bleevit Interactive with the primary mission of helping local businesses succeed online. When he is not working he can often be found hiking Great Falls, Virginia with his Labradoodle Lily, or sailing the Chesapeake Bay.
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