What is a google my business listing and why do you need to set one up?
From all local home service businesses one of the best ways to gain organic traffic in Google Search for your business is with a Google My Business (GMB) profile. This will help potential customers find you and is central to a digital marketing strategy for small business owners. Setting up your business page is an easy process if you follow the steps in this guide.
Google My Business is critical to help with local SEO. You may have heard the term SEO before or just heard the idea of "ranking on google" or "local search results." In simple terms it means that your website shows up at the top of the google page when someone searches for service near them. A common example of this is someone searching "Landscaper near me," "Painter near me," "Cleaner near me," and so on.
The Google My Business page allows you to list general information about your business such as your service area, phone number, customer reviews and more. Customers will often review the general information on your profile and then click on the associated website to learn more. Having a website will help to differentiate you from other pros that have a Google My Business listing without a website. The reason for this is that Google My Business listings have helpful information for customers to review, but do not have the full information that is conveyed on a professional business website.
How to set up your Google My Business
- Set up a Google Account if you don't have one.
- It is free to set up a Google Account
- Go to the Google My Business Page at https://www.google.com/business/
- Once there, press the "Manage Now" button to get started
- This will allow you to set up your google my business account and your GMB listing
- Start to fill out the from
- Enter your business name: as you enter in the business name you will see the Google autocomplete function suggest the business name for you. This helps to see if your listing already exists and to simply set up a new Google My Business profile to an existing business if you've just opened a new location. If the auto suggested names are competitive businesses you can still create your listing and ignore them.
- Select the business category that fits your business fit
- Selecting an accurate business category is critical for your SEO and search presence as google will know to show your profile for searches associated with the category described. Not only will this affect your search results but it will also show on your business profile page.
- You can update this category later, but it will require re-verfication which can take up more time and be a complex process. You can see the list of some of the home services categories that you can select from at the end of this article.
- Enter the your business address: You can select yes if you have a physical store, storefront or showroom. If you do not have a location that customers visit and you go to your customers for services select "no." By selecting no you will be able to specify the service-area business on the following tab. If you list the physical address it will start to show up on google maps when related keywords are searched for.
- Select the service area(s) that you do work in
- Selecting your service area will help google to only show your profile in the associated areas so that you don't get outreach from customers in areas that you don't service. You have two options for identifying your service area. You can select a distance around your address entered or you can add in the towns/cities that you serve (note, you can enter multiple locations).
- Add a contact phone number and link your business website URL
- You are not required to list this information but it is highly recommended. A phone number will allow customers to reach out to you for inquires and to book your services. A business website will help customers select your business to learn more about as compared to the other companies that may show up from google in your search results. If you do not have a website, the ProPhone team is offering to create Free draft websites through their ProSite service. Not only will listing your website help with building trust with customers that find your Google My Business Listing, but will also help with your websites natural SEO.
- Google does offer a free site builder but the website is generated on a google subdomain vs. a domain specific to your business and the layout is very simplistic.
- If you are wondering if you truly need a website it is important to know that there is evidence that more than 50% of customers will visit a local business website after reading positive reviews.
- If you do not have a separate business phone for your business it is worth looking into options for a virtual phone line so that you can have some work life separation.
- Finally you will need to verify your Google My Business listing through 3 options in the verification process. The available options will show in the menu.
- Postcard verification of your business listing: As the most commonly selected option, Google will mail a postcard to the address specified in your business listing with your verification code. Once you receive the postcard it will have a code unique to your GMB account to verify it. The postcard generally will reach you within 5 business days.
- Phone verification of your business listing: This option will only show for some businesses. You will know if you are eligible if the option to "Verify by phone" shows upon on the verification screen. You will received an automated text message with your code that you then need to enter into your GMB profile listing.
- Email verification of your business listing: This option will only show for some businesses. Like the phone verification, you will know if this is an option if it shows on the verification page. If so, you will receive an email with your required code to verify your account. Make sure that the email you enter is correct such that you can access it.
Now that you have completed the basic Google My Business page set up you can do more to improve your profile (once the listing is verified)! You can access these options from the GMB dashboard on desktop or mobile for iOS or Android devices.
What else it critical to do:
- Ask for and manage customer reviews: customer reviews help in several ways. First they will help you stand out from competitor businesses by building brand trust . Additionally, reviews can help you stand out if you run google ads or customers on social media look for more insights about your business. Often times reviews can help to help searchers understand why they should select your business vs. competition
What else is important to do:
- Add photos to your listing (videos are great if you have them): When you are taking photos it helps to take shots of your logo, equipment, team members, and the work itself. Before and after shots of the work can be really help for customers to see the value in your services. Often pros will not include photos of themselves or their team, but this is critical in building trust with your customers online.
- Write a compelling business description: Here is an example you can modify: [Insert business name] is [insert town name] most trusted [insert service type] business for the past years. We are a customer-first company and you are always a priority. Our team is professional, trained, and ready to take care of all your needs. Contact us to learn more!
What else is helpful but not as critical to do:
- Add to the Google My Business Q&As: some common FAQs include - (1) do you offer free quotes? (2) what is the best way to contact you for a quote? (3) How long have you been in business and what is your experience?
- Specify your business hours
Example Service Categories For Labelling Your Google My Business Listing
- Cabinet maker
- Car wash
- Cleaning service
- Commercial printer
- Construction company
- General contractor
- House builder
- House cleaning service
- Interior designer
- Pest control service
- Property management company
- Roofing contractor