Google My Business, or GMB, is a tool available at no cost that will allow you to manage your business’s appearance on Google Maps and Search. You can include the name of your company, where you are located, along with your hours of operation. You are also able to monitor and reply to customers leaving reviews of your business. Google My Business will enable you to post photos and discover how and where people are searching for your brand.

If your business is just starting out using local SEO, Google My Business is an excellent place to focus your efforts. Studies show when a person searches for service or product near them, they are ready to make a purchase. For this reason, you want your business to show up when a person searches Google, and you want the information they find to be current and as optimized as possible.

Use this guide to learn how to create a Google My Business account that will become a strong tool for your business marketing strategy.

1. Create Your Google My Business Listing
Your first step is to log onto Google My Business account. Use the one you want to be connected to your business. If you do not have a Google account, you will have to set one up.
The second step is to go to google.com/business and click on “Start Now” in the top right-hand corner.
Step three is where you enter your business name.
Step four is where you put in your business address.
Step five is choosing your delivery area. If you deliver to your customer’s location, rather than having them pick up at your place of business, you will check the box, “I deliver services and goods to my customers.” If your business is worked out of your home, you don’t want that publicly shown, so check, “Hide my address- Only show region.”
Step six is choosing your business category. Try to match your selection as close to your business type as possible. This step tells Google what kind of customers should see your listing.
Step seven will put your business phone number or website address on the listing.
Step eight allows you to choose a verification option. If you are not ready to verify yet, click on “try a different method” or “later.”

2. Verifying Your Business on Google
There are a number of choices for verifying your Google My Business. The choices include:
Instant verification
Bulk verification
Postcard
Phone
Email
Verification will help ensure the accuracy of the information you’ve given across Google. When your business has been verified, it is twice as likely to be considered by reputable buyers. This process also protects you from someone who attempts to pose as a representative of your business. You won’t be able to edit your business’s information on Google until you’ve completed the verification process.

3. Optimize your Google My Business Listing
Once you have completed the verification process, you are ready to finish out your profile.
By going to the Google My Business dashboard, you will click the listing you would like to work on and choose a section to complete or update. Put as much media or information in this section as you can. You should include:
Your business profile
Where you serve
Your hours of operation
Any attributes you offer, such as wheelchair accessible
The year you started operations
Your public phone number
Your website URL
You want the information in this section right the first time. While edits can be made, you don’t want to encourage people to make random changes. It is also suggested you check your Google My Business dashboard from time to time to ensure the details are correct.

4. Google My Business App
Google My Business App is available in both Android and iOS forms. This app will allow you to update your business hours, contact information, and description. You can also add pictures and statuses and view your search insights. You cannot delete your business through the app, or change any settings. You also cannot assign ownership to another user.
Optimizing your business website is important to maintain an online presence. Google My Business will help people find your business and discover where you are located. Creating this listing is well worth the effort, whether you are a local, regional, or national company.

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