Google My Business (GMB): How to Make the Most of It In 2020
Google My Business (GMB) has gone from a simple tool for tracking your online reviews to an entire suite that lets you manage how you appear to your searchers and offer them a way to directly engage with your products and/or services.
In a way, GMB is the portal that brick and mortar businesses have been looking for. From local service providers to small business owners, everyone can benefit from it.
The best thing about it, is obviously it’s geo-location service. So, when someone is in a specific area and searches for “electrician near me” or “electrician + location” on Google, they will get the best-rated businesses in the area in an instant as the first choice. Instead of websites which leave them scrolling and scrolling until they can find the right service provider, Google My Business (GMB) simplifies things by using the power of the people and reviews and presenting this well in the search results.
If you are new to the concept of GMB, here is a quick guide on creating and verifying your listing.
How to Create (And Verify) A New Google My Business Listing In 2020
- Step 1: Log in to your Google account (visit www.google.com/business) and click the manage now button.
- Step 2: Find your Google Maps listing (if it exists) and see if it’s correct.
- Step 3: Set up your business name and choose your business category.
- Step 4: Add your business location.
- Step 5: (Optional) Set a delivery/service area where you are operating in.
- Step 6: Set your contact details.
- Step 7: Toggle your email notifications.
- Step 8: Finalize your listing by clicking ‘Finish’.
To verify your GMB listing, you can log in to your GMB dashboard and select the right user when clicking in. For the majority of businesses, a postcard is the only way to verify your business.
Select businesses can also verify by phone or email. Check the “More Options” and see if these options are available in your location.
How to Optimize a Google My Business (GMB) Listing
Now that we are all on the same page, let’s talk about optimizing your GMB listing. To do that, you should focus on these three things:
- Show images that appeal to your ideal customers (something you’d like to see when searching for the right business).
- Highlight the most relevant information to your ideal customers (phone, working hours, location, etc.).
- Actively respond to and manage all of your reviews.
If you are interested in getting to the next level, you can use business posts to keep customers up-to-date on the menus and offers, get a Booking button, add your product catalogue and handle messages via your phone. All of these are advanced options and fresh improvements designed recently.
Essentially, the best listings on Google My Business (GMB) are the businesses which have clear information, visible working hours and location and all the information users would want to know before visiting or hiring them.
Managing Your GMB Listing
Once you create, verify and optimize your GMB listing, it’s time to hear the best practices. Google My Business has evolved a lot over the years which means that managing it is not a piece of cake anymore.
Users know this too and are expecting the very best from the businesses they are searching for. For instance, they want to see a nice logo, an engaging cover image, a descriptive line which summarizes the business and many other details.
Managing your GMB listing also means responding to reviews in a professional way. In the long run, this is what creates value and builds authority for you as a brand. Even if there are negative reviews, take the time to think about what is written and (instead of confronting the users) suggest other options or do everything to not leave the public thinking nonsense about your business.
One thing that we fully recommend and stand behind is the Book Appointment button (via the Booking feature) which is the perfect option for businesses that work with reservations or have busy schedules. Alternatively, you can offer something more to your customers by attaching a catalogue, adding your future events, updates and even products to GMB.
Google My Business (GMB) is one of the best free tools for businesses on the market right now. It lets you manage your online presence across a variety of search engines which is why it is of paramount importance to local companies that want to show up in Google Maps and search results pages.