GMB is one of the best ways to manage your business reputation on Google. It gives you the ability to control the information that is shown to Google searchers who are either looking for your business specifically or a business in your industry. Among the most important information that searches are looking for includes reviews, contact information, address, and business hours.
You also have the opportunity to add your best images and even make temporary ‘posts’ that are shown on your profile. Even if you don’t have time to make posts or babysit your profile every day, it only takes a few minutes a week/month to get a lot of return on your small time investment. In this post we’re going to quickly cover how to get started with Google MyBusiness.
Claim Your Google MyBusiness Profile
There are two methods for getting control of your profile. The first is to ‘claim’ your profile if there’s already one existing for your business. If you don’t already have a profile it’s easy enough to create one. If you have been in business for a while there is probably an existing profile that has been automatically created by Google for you.
To check for an existing profile all you have to do is search for “your business name”. It will also help to add in the name of the city where your business is located. If you already have a profile you will notice that it appears on the right side of the screen (or the top of the screen if you’re on a mobile device).
If a profile for your business does show up just click on the “Own this business?” text. If one doesn’t show up don’t worry. You can create a profile in just a few minutes. Just go to Google.com/business. The bulk of the process is exactly the same.
After clicking “Own this business” you will be prompted to agree to the terms of service and state that you are authorized to represent the business online.
There won’t be much that you can do with your new profile until you ‘verify’ your business. There are a few simple ways to complete this process. The one that you choose will be based on the type of business that you have. In some cases, you can have Google place an instant robo-call to the public phone number that’s associated with you profile. The robo call will give you a code which you need to write down.
Another method that is available to every profile is the postcard method. This is where Google will physically mail a postcard to your registered business address that contains a verification code. This process usually takes about a week. After receiving your code (either by phone or mail) enter it into your profile to unlock all of the functionality.
Quick Privacy Tip
Many people run their business from home. Others may have a physical location, but not one that they want customers to come to. For example, say you run your own lawn trimming service. You have a garage that has all of your equipment but you do your business online and over the phone. This type of business owner doesn’t want to make their address visible to the public.
To hide your address, navigate to the ‘info’ tab. Then click the ‘address’ section. In the window that appears, select “I deliver goods and services to my customers are their location”. This will not only hide your address on your public profile but you’re also able to enter the service areas where you goods/services are available. Make sure to fill in this information fully because it will help you listing appear to your customers.