What Is Google My Business (GMB)?

Google is always coming up with new ways to optimise user experiences and provide them with solutions for their needs and problems. As a result, Google My Business was formed. 

Google My Business is a free resource made for business owners. It gives business owners more control over how people find them on Google.

It also gives them the capability to provide potential customers with details such as working hours, address, phone number and photos. Like social media platforms, you can even add posts for new products, events, offers and other announcements to it.

Business owners can manage their online presence by creating a new profile or claiming their business if it’s already on GMB.

The reason your business may already be on Google My Business is that Google sometimes gets your information from other directories, users who contribute to Google or maybe even your website and creates one for you.

By managing your own Google My Business you can update the information the way you want, work on local SEO so you show higher on Google Maps and you can reply to user reviews.

Furthermore, Google My Business offers a free website which I don’t really recommend. You can only build a one-page website with it which isn’t very good for SEO purposes. We will talk more about that later on.

Do I Need A Google My Business Account?

The short answer is yes.

How many times have you searched for businesses on Google and read the reviews on Google Map which shows on the left of your screen? You wanted to see what people were saying about the business first and where it was located before even visiting their website.

You want to be in control of the information shown on Google Maps. And to do so you need to have a GMB account.

With your GMB Account, you can work on ranking your business on Google Maps so your business becomes more visible.

By doing so, you will create instant credibility with your potential customers. It is widely assumed that the higher the website is, the better the services and products are (which might not be the case but that’s the way it is).

GMB will also provide you with insights on your visitors that will help you know your customers better and target them according to your data.

Who Can Create A Google My Business Account?

– Brick and Mortar Businesses

As a brick and mortar business, you will have a physical location and someone needs to be at the physical location during your office hours.

That means customers can find your exact location on maps and visit you in-store on your office hours. Many businesses fall into this category; Car Washes, Hair Salons, Cafes, Restaurants, Dry Cleaners, Plant Nurseries and so on.

If you have multiple locations, you will need to create a different account for each location with its own unique address and phone number.

– Service Area Businesses

Service area businesses or mobile businesses can also create a GMB account. They can choose to hide their address if they won’t be on-site at all business hour times or if there is someone present, they can add their address.

These businesses include Plumbers, locksmiths, Cleaners, Handymen, Tutors, Removalists, etc.

GMB allows you to add in your service areas if you are mobile and need to travel to the customer. It is also good for places like restaurants or flower shops who do delivery.

If you have multiple offices you will need to create a separate GMB account for each on with their own unique address and phone number.

– Practitioners and offices

Practitioners like doctors, physiotherapists and psychologists can create a separate GMB account from their practices name if they want.

You will need to have a separate phone number for each practitioner. As a title in GMB, write only the practitioners name not the name of the practice.

– Home-based Businesses

If your business is home-based, for example, freelancers and online shops, you can create a GMB account and hide your address.

Creating A Google My Business Account Walkthrough

To do this you need to head on over to Google My Business. Click on Manage Now at the top right or the Manage Now at the bottom left. Google updates this page often so the picture might have changed by the time you’re reading this (written on 6/Oct/2019). But the steps will hopefully be similar.

Business Name & Location

By looking at the picture, you can see what you need to fill out.

First, you will be asked if you have a location customers can visit. If you say no it will not ask you for an address until the end where you will have to add an address so you can get the verifying code. This address will be hidden from your visitors.

If you have a physical location and choose yes, keep in mind that you Name, Address and the Phone number (NAP) you write here should be the exact NAP that you’re using on your social media accounts and your website and different directories (more on that later).

This will help with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation which means how easily people can find you).

Sometimes people spell out the address differently. For example, they write Street on their website and St. in Google My Business. Try to keep it as similar as possible.

Business Category

Choose the category that best fits your business. This will be your Primary Category. You will be able to add more categories later on when your account has been created. Here you can find a list of categories to choose from.

Contact Details & Website Info

In this step, it asks if you have a website. You can add it later if you don’t have one. Google will also offer you a free website. 

This is a great option if you’ve just started and don’t have a big budget or if you have pages already set up on social media and aren’t ready to invest in a website yet or if you have no time to learn how to use the drag and drop builders to build a site of your own. 

GMB is super easy to setup. Later on, when you go into your Google My Business dashboard and fill out the info like your services and hours and such, Google will automatically add it to your website which is pretty cool.

Furthermore, Google my Business has an app that you can download which you can use on your phone and tablet.

* Notes About GMB Websites

Everything free comes with a price. Consequently, you are very limited in customization when creating a Google My Business website.

Google gives you a template and you have to work around that template. These templates don’t have a “share on social media” button either and people can’t easily share them. 

In addition, this template is only one page and won’t be very useful for SEO purposes. That means if someone searches for your industry, your website might come up on the 10th page of google results. You can read more by reading “Are One Page Website Good or Bad?”.

If you’re building your own website and want an affordable option which doesn’t require learning to code, I recommend using a WordPress website builder (this is an affiliate link. This means if you buy through this link I will make a commission at no extra cost to you).

I always advise building your websites on WordPress which is the best CMS (Content Management System) in the world and is the most SEO friendly.

If you don’t want to go through the learning curve that comes with acquiring a new skill, then you can hire someone to do it for you. At Sydneysider Web Design we offer different website design packages that fit most budgets.

Verify Your Account

Sometimes Google gives you the option to verify the business with phone or text. If it does, take it. You get verified so much faster and you don’t need to deal with letters getting lost in the mail.

After your verification, or verify later selection, it’ll take you to the dashboard.

You can click here to learn more about “5 Super Simple Strategies To Optimise Your Google My Business & Improve Your Local SEO Like A Boss”.

If you need help creating your GMB account or are looking for SEO professionals to rank your website, please get in touch. At Sydneysider Web Design, we design beautiful websites and work on SEO to rank them.

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