Your Google My Business account is sort of a hybrid directory listing and social media profile, and is important for your company’s Google search presence. It also serves as a dashboard of sorts for your business for many of the Google products including Google Reviews and Google Maps.
After you’ve setup and verified your new Google My Business account, you have to fully complete your Google My Business listing, including optimizing what you’re doing for search purposes.
How to Properly Complete your Google My Business Listing
There are several parts to your new Google My Business listing. You’ll be asked to enter information about your business as well as photos. You can begin publishing Google Posts and posting videos to your profile. You’ll receive insights on your Google My Business activity including data like the number of people who called you from your Google My Business listing. You can see and respond to Google Reviews from this dashboard as well.
Adding Photos to your Google My Business Listing
First, you’ll want to add some photos to your listing. Just like any other social media profile, you’ll want to upload a Profile photo and a Cover photo to your Google My Business account. To add a new Profile photo or Cover photo, either hover over and click on the photo you want to change, or click on Photos in the left sidebar.
When accessing your photos from the left sidebar menu, you’ll see the album categories of Overview, Video, Interior, Exterior, At Work, Team, and Identity. Once I started adding photos, additional album categories of By Owner, By Customer, and 360 were added.
Your Profile and Cover photos will reside under the Identity tab. Interior and Exterior photo albums are beneficial for brick and mortar businesses that what to show off their space and style. At Work is a wonderful section meant for more candid or “behind the scenes” type photos of you and your employees making the magic happen (which can also lead customers to develop a deeper relationship with your brand). Team would be the area to upload and share photos of the people who work for you.
Anything you or a manager of your account upload to any album would appear in the By Owner album, and the By Customer album would be photos others upload of your business. Any 360 degree photos will show up in the 360 album. What I often see in the 360 album are the photos taken by the Google cars that drive across the country, working to create Google Maps.
Publishing a Post to your Google My Business Listing
The Post tab is where you can visit to publish a 1,500 word maximum Post to promote your business (150-300 words is considered optimal, however.). Your Post may be about an event, special offer, product, or “what’s new”/regular post, and will appear on your Google My Business listing as well as your Map listing. Each Post can contain one or more images or videos, and are removed from the default view after 7 days. You get to select a call to action for each post, and do have the option to connect a call to action to a link on your website (or elsewhere). You can access Post Insights, also. Learn more about Posts here.
The Info tab is where you can decide to show the hours you are open each day, and what days of the week you are closed. You are required to enter specific hours of the day in order to show that day as being “open” however.
Google My Business Insights
Because you are just now creating your Google My Business account, you won’t have any data to see (yet) in the Insights tab. But once your listing has been completed and starts to get some activity on Google, data will begin to populate in this area. The type of information gleaned from the Insights area is data like:
- How customers search for your business
- Where customers view your business on Google (Search or Maps)
- Customer actions taken on your listing (call, directions, visit your website)
- The number of times your business’ photos have been viewed (vs. views competitors are receiving)
- The number of photos you have on your listing (vs. competitors)
- Keyword search phrases used that led people to your listing
Messaging is a feature you can choose to opt into using your cell phone number. This is essentially a chat feature, and provides a way for potential customers and customers to reach you by SMS/text.
As we continue moving down the left sidebar of your Google My Business listing, you’ll see that you can create a Google website, add additional users to your Google My Business account (similar to how you can have multiple Facebook Admins), connect and access your Google AdWords account, manage your location information and even add additional locations for your business.
Add an Additional User to your Google My Business Account
To add an additional user to your Google My Business listing, click on Users in the left sidebar, and then click on the + icon in the upper right corner. You can invite others by typing their name or email. If they already have a gmail account or Google profile themselves, they’ll auto-populate in the list.
You can select between Owner, Manager, and Communications Manager. You can have multiple Owners and will remain as the Primary Owner. Each role has different privileges. You can read more about them here.
Under Settings, you can opt to turn on or off different features of your Google My Business listing.
If you need to edit any of the primary information on your account, click on the blue Edit button located on the right side of your Google My Business listing home page.
This is also where you go to access links to view your listing in search results and on maps.
Note: As you work through completing each section of your Google My Business listing, you’ll see the notations that some changes (like photos) can take up to 3 days to be published and viewable, so don’t get immediately concerned if new content is showing up after saving.
Adding Holiday Hours to your Google My Business Listing
When you initially complete your Google My Business listing, you entered your regular operating hours. For national holidays, you can set holiday hours as part of your listing. That way if someone is trying to find out if you close early on, for example, New Year’s Eve, these special holiday hours will be reflected in search.
Start by visiting the Info tab of your Google My Business listing. Underneath the regular hours area, there’s a holiday hours section. Click on the pencil icon to edit/set them.
Once you click the “Confirm Hours” link, Google will present you with the normal operating hours for that day of the week. Click on one or both times to adjust if you open late or close early.
To mark your business closed on that day, click to Confirm Hours and then the toggle switch to Off.
Once your holiday hours are set, click to apply. Google will initially mark them as pending.
Adding Services to your Google My Business Listing
Accessed from your Info tab or directly from the Services tab further down in the left sidebar of your admin panel, Google My Business allows you to add services that you provide to your customers. This is a wonderful feature for service-based businesses, and while not as robust as the Products tab, it’s still valuable.
You can attach services by Google My Business category. Meaning, you have a primary category for your business and can have a couple additional business categories.
You have 80 characters to describe each service you are adding. Make sure to click “apply” before navigating away from the page.
After adding a new service name, you can add a description and price as well. You have a maximum of 300 characters for your description and can choose between: No price, Free, Fixed, and From.
Temporarily Closing your Business Location
Due to Covid-19, Google My Business added a way to mark a business as temporarily closed. This is a different option than permanently closing a business that has gone out of business.
To access this feature, visit your Info tab, then look on the right side of your screen, under the Close this Business on Google section.
To keep your new Google My Business account current and fresh, continue to post photos, videos and Posts to your Google My Business listing. Monitor your Insights to see how people are finding you and what information they seek out most. Respond to any Google Reviews you receive. And make sure to update your listing if any of your business or contact info changes.