Google has kind of become a father figure on the internet. They have got solutions for all our problems. What started as a search engine has now become a multi-faceted, dynamic organization. Today Google has its own set of tools and services such as Google Ads, Google Places, Google My Business, Google Analytics, Google AdSense and a lot more.

All of these tools are very useful and beneficial for businesses and for those who want to advertise their own content or products and services. They give you just the boost you need.

Google My Business (GMB) is one such great free tool that helps you in managing how your business would appear on Google Search and Maps. It includes quite a few factors such as the name of your business, location, what are the operational hours, keeping a track of customer reviews and replying to them. Also helps you in adding images, knowing how and where are people searching for you and a lot more.

Setting up a Google My Business account for your local business is a great thing to do for your business. It really helps with your local SEO.

A lot of the times when people look for businesses that are near them, there is a very high chance that they will definitely be making a purchase. Therefore it is very important that the information about your business showing up on Google searches should be as optimized, comprehensive and accurate as possible.

Steps on how to set up a Google My Business listing:

Below mentioned is a step by step guide consisting of 7 steps that you follow to create an account on Google My Business, verify the business on it and make the listing as strong as possible.
Let’s see what they are:

Start with creating a Google account and put basic information

The first step is very simple. You can either log in with a Google account that you would like to be associated with your business or just create a new one. Click on the “Manage Now” button on the top-right corner after going to google.com/business.
You can add the name of your business and the location. You also need to fill in a phone number and website.

Select the business categories

There are quite a few categories and sub-categories on Google My Business and you need to choose carefully. The categories tell the users what your business is about and what it does, especially for those who might be searching for something similar.
Categories also play an important role when it comes to keyword ranking on Google searches. They also influence your rank on Google maps.

Verifying your listing

After submitting all the business information, you will also need to verify the listing. Verification is very essential to determine how visible your business is and how well it is performing. In fact, Google does not display any businesses until they are verified.
You can verify your GMB listing in various ways. These could be by the means of phone, email, postcard, instant or even bulk verification. Although email is the simplest way to do it. Google sends a verification code and with the help of it, you can verify your business and soon it goes live. This usually takes a little less than a week.

Put up images

Images really help create a good impression and speak a lot about your business. Your listings are an ideal way to show pictures related to your business. It has been observed that business listings that contain photos receive a much higher percentage of requests and click-throughs than the ones which don’t have images.
With the help of relevant images, you can attract a lot of new customers. To make your business listing more engaging and informative, you need to add at least 6 images of both the exterior and interior.

Always remember to optimize your listing

As we clearly know, optimization is key. There needs to be as much information as possible about your business on the listing. The customer shouldn’t be left in a state where they are confused and keep guessing what to do. A listing is a great opportunity to connect and communicate with a customer and you should make the best out of it. Potential customers get to know about your business, what it is like, what you do, how can they benefit from what you’re offering etc.
You can include essential keywords and phrases to your listing to get better SEO rankings

Make it a point to respond to reviews

There are a lot of benefits to putting up a listing on Google My Business. Apart from just communicating with potential customers you also ask and encourage them to leave feedbacks and reviews. Make it a point to respond or reply to their reviews. You need to acknowledge both the positive and negative ones.
Taking both positive and negative reviews in your stride and responding to them creates a really good d image about your business online. It shows that you are grateful to your customer and value their opinion.

Keep logging in frequently

Like anything else, your Google My Business listing also needs constant management. You need to keep maintaining and updating it with all the changes. Whether it is change in hours, uploading new images, a shift in location etc. You have to periodically keep logging in and checking your dashboard to make sure it’s correct and updated.

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