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  • Writer's pictureJustin Silverman

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Google My Business Listing

create google my business listing

Introduction


Create a Google My Business listing is essential for any small business aiming to improve local SEO and increase online visibility. Setting up a Google My Business profile can make your business easier to find online and attract more customers. Follow these straightforward steps:


  1. Sign in to Google Business Profile

  2. Add your business information

  3. Select your business type

  4. Enter your location or service areas

  5. Add contact information

  6. Verify your business

  7. Optimize your profile


By setting up your Google My Business listing, you are not only ensuring that customers can find you easily through Google Search and Maps but also enhancing your credibility through reviews and other interactions.


I’m Justin Silverman, and I’ve turned Merchynt from a side project into a thriving business helping small enterprises excel with tools like Google Business Profile. Let me guide you through this step-by-step process to ensure your business stands out online.


 Steps to Create a Google My Business Listing - create google my business listing infographic pillar-5-steps

Why Create a Google My Business Listing?

Creating a Google My Business (GMB) listing is crucial for any business aiming to thrive in today's digital landscape. Here’s why:


Increase Your Visibility

When people search for businesses like yours on Google, having a Google Business Profile can make all the difference. Your business will appear in local search results, including the "local pack" or "map pack," which shows up at the top of search results.


According to a survey by Bright Local, businesses using GMB see an average of 1,009 searches per month. It's not just about being seen—it's about being seen first.


Boost Your Local SEO

Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about optimizing your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. Google My Business is a powerful tool for this. When you create a Google My Business listing, you provide Google with detailed information about your business, which helps you rank higher in local search results.


For example, mobile searches with phrases like "near me" have increased by over 200% in recent years. If your GMB profile is well-optimized, your business is more likely to appear in these searches.


Engage with Customers

Customer interaction is a key benefit of Google My Business. You can respond to reviews, post updates, and engage directly with your customers. According to Google, 98% of users read online reviews for local businesses. Engaging with these reviews, both positive and negative, can help build trust and credibility.


Enhance Local Search Performance

Google My Business significantly boosts your performance in local search results. When users search for local services or products, Google often displays a map with local businesses, known as the "local pack." Having a well-maintained GMB listing increases your chances of appearing in this prime real estate.

local search results - create google my business listing

Real-Time Updates and Posts


GMB allows you to post real-time updates about your business. Whether you’re running a special promotion, hosting an event, or changing your hours, you can keep your customers informed. These updates can drive excitement and sales.


Collect and Display Reviews

Reviews are crucial for building customer trust. A mix of positive and negative reviews is actually more trustworthy. Responding to reviews shows that you care about customer feedback, which can enhance your reputation.


Share Detailed Business Information

With GMB, you can share essential details like your business hours, contact information, services, and more. This makes it easy for potential customers to find all the information they need in one place.


By creating a Google My Business listing, you’re not just boosting your visibility and SEO but also enhancing your ability to interact with customers and perform well in local searches. This is a must-have tool for any business looking to succeed online.


How to Create Your Google My Business Listing

Creating a Google My Business (GMB) listing is straightforward. Follow these steps to ensure your business gets the visibility it deserves.


Step 1: Sign Up and Log In

First, you need a Google Account. If you don’t have one, create one. It’s best to use a business email rather than a personal one.


Next, go to business.google.com. Click on Manage Now to start the process.


Step 2: Enter Your Business Information

Business Name: Enter your business name exactly as it appears on your storefront or official documents. Avoid adding keywords or extra characters here.


Address: If you have a physical location, enter your address. If you don’t, you can choose to hide your address and specify a service area instead.


Category: Choose the category that best describes your business. This helps Google match your business with relevant searches. You can add more categories later if needed.


Step 3: Verify Your Business

Google needs to verify that you’re the rightful owner of the business. There are several ways to do this:

  • Postcard: Google will mail a postcard with a verification code to your business address. This usually takes about a week.

  • Phone: Some businesses can verify instantly by receiving a code via phone.

  • Email: In certain cases, you can verify via email.


Choose the method that works best for you and follow the instructions. Once verified, your business will be live on Google.


Step 4: Optimize Your Listing

Photos: Add high-quality photos of your business. Include a profile photo (usually your logo), a cover photo, and additional images like the interior, exterior, and products.


Business Hours: Make sure your business hours are accurate. Update them for holidays or special events.


Description: Write a clear and concise business description. Focus on what makes your business unique and include relevant keywords naturally.


Step 5: Manage and Update Your Listing

Posts: Share updates, offers, and events directly on your GMB listing. This keeps your customers informed and engaged.


Reviews: Encourage happy customers to leave reviews. Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, to show that you value customer feedback.


Events: If you’re hosting any events, add them to your listing. This can attract more visitors and increase engagement.


Offers: Promote special offers or discounts. This can drive traffic and convert more leads into customers.


By following these steps, you’ll create a robust Google My Business listing that boosts your visibility and helps you connect with more customers. Next, we’ll explore the key features of GMB and how to make the most of them.


Key Features of Google My Business


Photos and Visual Content

Adding photos to your Google My Business listing is crucial. According to Google, businesses with photos receive more requests for directions and more clicks to their websites. Start with a logo and cover image to establish your brand identity.


Next, create a gallery of high-quality images showcasing your business. Include pictures of your storefront, interior, products, and even happy customers. If photography isn't your strong suit, consider hiring a professional or running a photo contest for your customers.


Pro Tip: Ensure your photos meet Google’s guidelines:

  • File size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB

  • Profile photo: 250 x 250 px

  • Cover photo: 1080 x 608 px

  • Business photos: 720 x 720 px

  • Format: JPG or PNG


Customer Reviews and Interaction


Customer reviews are a powerful tool for building trust and credibility. According to Ipsos, customer reviews are the most trusted source of information when evaluating a product or business. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews by sharing your review link in emails or on social media.


Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, shows that you care about customer feedback. For positive reviews, thank the customer for their support. For negative reviews, address the issue honestly and offer a solution if possible.


Pro Tip: You can report inappropriate or malicious reviews and have them removed from your profile.


Real-Time Updates and Posts

Keeping your Google My Business profile updated with real-time posts is essential for engaging with your audience. You can share offers, news, and events directly to Google Search and Maps. This keeps your customers informed and can drive more traffic to your business.


Types of posts you can create:

  • Offers: Share promotional sales or discounts. Include a title, start and end date, and a photo or video.

  • What’s New: General updates about your business. Can include a photo or video, description, and an action button.

  • Events: Promote upcoming events. Requires a title, start and end dates, and a time. Can include a description, photo or video, and an action button.


Pro Tip: Posts last for seven days, so update them regularly. Keep them short and sweet, with crucial information at the beginning.


By leveraging these key features, you can make your Google My Business listing more attractive and engaging for potential customers. Next, we'll explore the benefits of a well-managed Google My Business listing.


Benefits of a Well-Managed Google My Business Listing


Increase in Local Search Visibility

Having a well-managed Google My Business (GMB) listing is like having a digital storefront that’s always open. When people search for businesses like yours on Google Search or Google Maps, your listing can appear at the top of the results. This increased visibility can be a game-changer for local businesses.


According to Bright Local, the average business with a GMB listing sees about 1,009 searches each month. Of these, 85% come from "Discovery" searches, where users find your business by searching for a category, product, or service. This shows how crucial it is to appear in local search results.


Enhanced Customer Trust and Interaction


Trust is a big deal in business. A well-maintained GMB listing helps build this trust. One of the key elements here is customer reviews. Reviews act as social proof, helping potential customers feel more confident about choosing your business.


Even if you get a mix of positive and negative reviews, don’t worry. Google actually views a range of reviews as more authentic and trustworthy. Responding to reviews, whether positive or negative, shows that you care about your customers' opinions. According to Ipsos research, customer reviews are one of the most trusted sources of information.


Direct Impact on Sales and Inquiries

A well-optimized GMB listing can directly impact your sales and inquiries. Here’s how:

  • Calls: Having your phone number readily available means potential customers can easily call you with questions or to make reservations.


  • Website Visits: Linking your website to your GMB listing can drive more traffic to your site, where customers can learn more about your products or services.


  • Directions: For businesses with a physical location, accurate address information helps customers find you easily. Google Maps will provide turn-by-turn directions, making it convenient for customers to visit.


In fact, Google notes that businesses with photos on their listing receive 42% more requests for driving directions and 35% more clicks to their websites.


By focusing on these aspects, you’re not just improving your online presence; you’re also making it easier for customers to find, trust, and choose your business. Next, we’ll look at tools that can help you optimize your Google My Business listing even further.


Leveraging Tools for Google My Business Optimization


ProfilePro

ProfilePro is an excellent AI SEO tool designed to help you optimize your Google Business Profile effortlessly. This tool is particularly useful for businesses and agencies that manage multiple profiles. Here's how ProfilePro can benefit you:


  1. Automated Optimization: ProfilePro scans your profile and suggests changes to ensure it's complete and up-to-date. This helps your business stand out in local search results.

  2. Automated Responses and Updates: With ProfilePro, you can auto-respond to Google reviews and write updates easily. This keeps your profile active and engaging, which is crucial for improving online visibility.

  3. SEO Optimization: ProfilePro helps optimize your business descriptions for SEO, making it easier for customers to find you. It also includes a powerful keyword tool to maximize local search visibility.

  4. Ease of Management: Managing multiple Google Business Profiles can be time-consuming. ProfilePro simplifies this process, saving you time and effort.

  5. User-Friendly Interface: No prior SEO knowledge is required. ProfilePro is designed for small business owners who want to increase their online visibility without the hassle.


ProfilePro is a free tool, making it an accessible option for businesses looking to improve their local SEO efforts.


Google Business Pro

Google Business Pro is an award-winning optimization service that offers comprehensive solutions for managing your Google Business Profile. This service is ideal for businesses that need professional help to maintain and optimize their listings. Here’s what Google Business Pro offers:


  1. Optimization Service: Google Business Pro provides a detailed analysis of your profile and makes necessary adjustments to improve visibility and engagement.

  2. Award-Winning Support: The service has received accolades for its effectiveness in boosting local SEO and helping businesses get discovered more easily.

  3. Continuous Management: Google Business Pro offers ongoing management of your profile, ensuring it stays current and optimized. This includes regular updates, responding to reviews, and posting news or events.

  4. Tailored Solutions: The service customizes its approach based on your business needs, making sure you get the most out of your Google Business Profile.


By using tools like ProfilePro and services like Google Business Pro, you can significantly enhance your online presence and local search visibility. These tools not only save you time but also ensure your profile is always optimized, helping you attract more customers and grow your business.


Next, we’ll explore the key features of Google My Business that you can leverage to further improve your online presence.


Conclusion

Creating and managing a well-optimized Google My Business (GMB) listing is crucial for improving your local search visibility and attracting more customers. But we understand that as a busy business owner, you might not always have the time to continuously manage and optimize your GMB profile. That's where we come in.


At Merchynt, we specialize in Google Business Profile optimization. Our team is dedicated to helping you maintain an up-to-date and fully optimized profile, ensuring you stay ahead of the competition.


Continuous Management

A GMB listing isn't a "set it and forget it" task. It requires regular updates, frequent reviews, and continuous monitoring to maintain optimal performance. We provide ongoing management services that include updating your business hours, adding new photos, responding to customer reviews, and posting updates. This ensures your profile remains accurate and engaging, which helps in building customer trust and improving your local SEO.


Optimization Services

Our comprehensive optimization services are designed to make sure your GMB listing is always performing at its best. We handle everything from setting up and verifying your profile to optimizing it for local search. We also use advanced tools like ProfilePro and Google Business Pro to ensure your profile is continuously optimized for the best possible results.


By leveraging our expertise and dedicated services, you can focus on running your business while we take care of your online presence. This not only saves you time but also ensures you get the most out of your Google Business Profile.


For more information on how we can help you optimize and manage your GMB listing, visit our GMB Management Services page.


Thank you for reading our guide on creating and optimizing your Google My Business listing. We hope you found it helpful and informative. If you have any questions or need further assistance, our team at Merchynt is always here to help.

Here's to your business's online success!

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