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Everywhere I seem to look lately, Google My Business Listings are falling flat. There are so many simple to use tools that will benefit your location-based business in multiple ways being underutilized.

So, why aren’t more businesses utilizing it the way they should?

I have no idea, but if it is for lack of understanding- that’s what I am going to approach here.

Jump to:

Why Use Google My Business?
How Do I Create My Google Business Listing?
What Are Some Best Practices For Using Google My Business?
What Is A Good Overall Google My Business Strategy?

 

A picture of a phone with the Google My Business app installed.

Get the app for Android: Play Store | Get the app for Apple: App Store

Why Use Google My Business?

Google My Business offers any business with a location-based service, whether storefront or service area, the ability to engage with customers directly in that area.

Some other benefits include:

  • Google Maps Placement in Search
  • Google Voice Responses
  • Brand Building
  • Communication
  • Lead Generation

This free and easy to use service provided by Google contains all of the tools necessary for a local business to be found, communicate, and stay in touch with local customers.

A well utilized Google My Business listing can bring you up to the top of search results, including those provided over Google Voice Search.

“Hey, Google. I want a hamburger”

A screenshot of a user asking Google voice for a hamburger and the following reply.

*Wendy’s was closest, but the other entries are far better optimized.

How Do I Create My Google Business Listing?

The most detail on this is a Google search away. But, I will provide a base overview here just so you can get a feel for what the process looks like. Whether doing this on desktop or mobile device – it just takes a few minutes to get going.

You will need to have an active Google account to get started with this or any Google service.

If you do not have one, you can perform that process here.

On The App

Open the app and sign in to your Google account that you want to use to manage the listing.

Follow all prompts for inputting info (Google does a good job of explaining what each step is during the process).

*Verify your business listing.

From Desktop/Tablet

On your computer, sign in to Google My Business.

Sign in to your Google Account.

Follow all prompts (Google does a good job of explaining what each step is during the process).

*Verify your business listing.

Some Notes

Verifying Your Business Listing

The longest wait will be for you to receive your business address verification card. Until that code is input, your listing will not be active. There are some stories of these getting lost or taking an extremely long time. Of the several times I have done this, only once was there an issue. I simply requested another verification card and it showed up right away.

Location type: Address or Service Area

This is basically what Google describes it to be, but there are 3 general rules of thumb.

  1. You are a store/office that only does business at that store/office. You will input a specific address for business.
  2. You are a service where no one visits your home/office location. You are a service area only. You will choose the cities/towns that you specifically serve within your area.
  3. You have a store/office where customers visit, which also serves an area by delivering goods/services. You can be both in this case.

Directly from Google:

If you serve customers at your business address but also have a service area, enter both your address and service area.

What Are Some Best Practices For Using Google My Business?

Get the app.

Why? Because firstly, the best practice is to post updates, answer reviews, add new photos, and even answer customers via text message (your listing to your app) as often and as fast as humanly possible. Secondly, you can do all of this in realtime with the app anywhere you are.

Fill out all of your info in great detail. Use every character space allotted, pick your categories specifically, add more service lines to hone in all of the facets of what you do, add images, do interior images, and do the virtual tour.

Answer every review! Positive or negative – as soon as possible. When negative, use your head. Don’t be a dick – even if the reviewer deserves it. As far as you’re concerned, the entire world is judging you by exactly what you say. Figure it out, do the right thing, and do it like an audience is watching you do it live. Because they are. If something is so awful, apologize, explain what went wrong that day, send that person flowers! Whatever it takes – but act like this single bit of upsetting news you received via this negative review is the most hurtful thing that can happen to you. Be humble – but be correct in your actions.

Keep up with the photos. Even if it feels mundane. Give new angles of the same thing, that’s fine.

Even if you hate the idea, add yourself a video. In whatever relevant way you can figure out.

For every question you have on how to do this best, Google and YouTube are your friends. Use them. Take the time. It’s worth it.

What Is A Good Overall Google My Business Strategy?

This will be a bullet point strategy list as everything described above shows the importance of each act.

So, how would my strategy go? Let’s dive in.

  • Start with a verified and complete listing.
  • I’d add at least 20 images right off. Then I’d add 2-3 more a week, at minimum.
  • I’d post updates as often as I do on social media. If that’s 2-3 times a day for you, then that’s what it is. If that’s 2-3 a week for you, then that. You can mirror what you post, just have an image ready for your Google My Business update. If you post less than 2-3 a week on social…. c’mon.. are you even serious? Anyway…
  • If you have offers to post, use that function. A sale, a deal, or BOGO, whatever it is – post it.
  • Turn on the messenger function with the listing and the app. Use it. Be quick to reply.
  • Reply to every review as fast as they come in.
  • Ask for reviews as you can (and as often as you can).
  • Do you have products? Add them to the listing. There is a product function there for you to use. This can be tedious at first, but after the initial setup, your only job is to keep up. There are people who can explain this better than me – I have a video explaining this posted below by one such individual.
  • Lastly, do all of this every day – check-in every day! And do this for the next 3 years before expecting anything in return. Yes. Your job is to build a brand, you can’t try something once and expect to take over your area as a result. What you can do is be a staple of your type of business in your area by simply starting today. Your competition isn’t. Get at it!

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