Whether you are a freelancer, SME or a large enterprise, every business should have Google My Business (GMB) listing.
A listing on Google My Business is free and can give you lots of benefits. You will be able to collect reviews, give your customers valuable information and new customers will be able to find you more easily.
How to get started
When you go to Google My Business website, you can sign up with your business details.
Google will then need to verify your address. You will receive a postcard in the mail with a verification code that you will need enter in your account. It can take several weeks before this card can arrive in the mail (Google is busy..).
Based on experience, it often happens that the card doesn’t arrive. Just keep an eye on it and re-apply for the card if you haven’t received it within a few months. Be patient, eventually, you will get it.
Now here are some tips about how you can get everything out of your listing.
Tip #1: Create the account with a company email address
So you hired a marketing manager to do this kind of stuff for you? They might leave your business and what’s left? An account that no one can access anymore, as you don’t have the login details.
GMB allows you to add different users to each location, so you the marketing manager can still access the account with her/his own details.
If you have multiple locations you can even give location managers access to just the location they’re working in.
Tip #2: Add all of your locations
Which brings us to our next tip: make sure you add all of your locations. This includes your head office and any other locations you might have (like shops).
Adding all of your locations will give you more exposure on Google Search. Business listings can appear on generic search terms, based on the locations users are. So adding more business listings will expand your reach.
Tip #3: Add all of your details
Make sure you add all the details that are relevant to your business.
The more details you add, the more likely Google is to show your listing in the search results.
You can add your business phone number, opening hours, order information, any promotions you might run and much more. Add as much information as you can, including pictures.
Visitors will be able to make suggestions if any details are missing or incorrect. So, make sure that all the details are up-to-date to keep in full control of your listings.
Also, make sure that you interact and periodically post any updates on what is happening in your company. As always, Google will reward businesses that are frequently posting up-to-date content. So this will lead to your listing being shown more often.
Tip #4: Link GMB with your Google Ads account
An absolute must if you are a Google Ads advertiser.
Linking your Google My Business account to your Google Ads account will enable you to use the location extensions.
These ad extensions will give you the ability to show your business address with your Google text ads. This will make local businesses stand out, which potentially will increase the click-through rate (CTR) of your campaigns. This will also have a positive impact on your Quality Score.
By adding the location extensions you will also be able to promote your business on Google search partners, which include Google Maps.
Tip #5: Start collecting reviews
Now, once you have your business listing up and running it’s the perfect time to start collecting reviews.
Reviews have a positive impact on how often Google shows your business listing. It will also help you to stand out versus your competitors.
Once you start collecting reviews you will also have to ability to write a comment, which will give you the opportunity to thank your reviewer
Extra: help, you are getting fake reviews
O shit, you received a negative review and think it might be fake.
Now, the first step would be to investigate if this is really a fake review or just an unhappy customer. First, go to Google’s policy to see if this review is really in violation of the policy.
Then, if the review IS a violation of the policy, you can take further action. There are 2 ways to flag an inappropriate review. The first one is within the search results and the second one is from within the GMB. Make sure you use the second option. It is far more powerful, as it shows Google that you are the person that owns the review.
When you scroll to the reviews in the dashboard there are 3 dots in the top right of the negative review. When you click this you get a menu and you can click ‘Flag as inappropriate’.
Now, you will have to wait. It can take around 3 days for Google to follow up and once you received an email you can respond with additional details of why you believe the review is fake.