What Is Google My Business? [Guide]

With more consumers relying on the Internet and Google to find what they need, Google My Business has become an essential tool for companies looking to grow. What is Google My Business, though, and why should your business use it?

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Get your answer, plus a walkthrough on how to create a Google My Business account, in this quick Google My Business guide. Keep reading to get started or contact us online to have our team build and optimize your Google My Business account for you!

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What is Google My Business?

For starters, you want to know what Google My Business is before you decide to invest your time into trying it. As the name implies, Google My Business allows you to create a listing for your business on Google.

When a consumer researches your business on Google — or even searches for terms related to your business — you want to ensure they have all the information they need to visit, make a purchase, or contact your company.

The definition of Google My Business

How do you accomplish that, though? With Google My Business.

With Google My Business, not only can you create a listing for your business on Google, but you can also manage your company’s appearance on one of the world’s most popular search engines. Those features, as well as freedoms, offer your business a lot of perks.

That’s why Google My Business makes it easy to:

  • Encourage and interact with reviewers
  • Provide crucial information about your business, like your hours, phone number, and more
  • Make it easy for your clients to get directions to your location
  • Promote company events and news
  • Add photos of your business

For users, as well as companies, Google My Business is an invaluable resource.

Is Google My Business free?

Yes! Your company can sign-up for Google My Business, as well as claim and manage your listings for free. You can even access and update your listing on-the-go with the free Google My Business mobile app for Android and iOS devices.

If anyone should contact your business about your Google My Business listing expiring or requiring payment, they are most likely a spammer. Any changes to Google My Business will come directly from Google and the Google My Business site.

Why is Google My Business important?

Google My Business is a crucial tool. It helps your business interact with your target audience, as well as provides helpful information to current and potential customers. Skip on Google My Business, and you miss out on potential sales, exposure, and revenue for your company.

Why else should you use Google My Business? A few of the most compelling reasons include:

1. Google My Business is free

Nothing beats a free resource, which is why Google My Business is an essential platform for any company. Whether you’re a fresh startup or an established franchise, it doesn’t cost anything to create a Google My Business profile.

Unlike other platforms, Google My Business does not operate on a freemium business model. Google My Business comes with zero tiers or limitations, which means you have access to the same tools as your competitor.

That’s why partnering with a digital marketing agency offers a tremendous advantage in competitive industries. They can help optimize your Google My Business profile for search, which can maximize your rankings in search results. It can also earn your company more exposure from your target audience.

With zero costs, Google My Business is accessible to any business. You won’t have to invest anything into this tool. Plus, you can sign-up today — no waiting period — and start enjoying the benefits of Google My Business.

2. Google My Business generates leads

In the past few years, searches with the phrase, “near me,” have increased by more than 500 percent. Meaning, people are looking for businesses near them, whether it’s a restaurant, movie theater, furniture store, or appliance center.

an example of a Google My Business listing

When people search, they also go to Google. For local searches, Google almost always displays Google My Business profiles, which is why it’s so critical to create and maintain a profile. Without a profile, it’s easy for users to find, visit, and shop with another business.

Make Google My Business a part of your digital marketing strategy and you can start earning new leads, as well as generating additional sales. The high conversion rate of local searches — 80 percent — confirms the immense benefit of Google My Business.

If you want to see an increase in your leads and revenue, however, it’s critical that you optimize and nurture your profile. Add your latest hours, respond to your reviews, and ensure your address and phone number are up-to-date.

3. Google My Business helps your ranking in search results

On an extensive site like Google, you want to ensure that your business doesn't get lost in a long list of search results. When you're more visible on Google, you have a higher chance of getting noticed by people researching products or services in your industry.

Google wants to provide users with the best online and offline experience, which is why it tries to deliver the most relevant search results. Meaning, if you’re a restaurant that serves Italian food, your Google My Business profile wouldn’t appear for someone looking for Mexican restaurants in the area.

If you want to maximize your ranking in search results, which can lead to more clicks on your Google My Business profile, as well as more visits and calls to your company, then you need to optimize and maintain your profile.

Why? Google favors Google My Business profiles with more information and more user engagement. With a complete picture of your business, like your hours, location, and services, Google can ensure it’s relevant to a search and rank it as such.

How to set up Google My Business

Now that you know what Google My Business is, are you ready to create your profile?

Follow these four quick steps for creating and managing your Google My Business account:

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1. Sign up for an account

The first step for creating a Google My Business account

Start your Google My Business profile by claiming your business on Google. If your company has a Google My Business profile but doesn’t own it, you can claim it via Google. For brand-new companies, you can sign-up and create your profile.

2. Enter your business information

The second step for creating a Google My Business listing

After you sign-up or log into your Google My Business account, add your company’s vital information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Hours
  • Industry

You can also add pictures of your store, which can entice users to visit. For example, if you’re a restaurant, you can include photos of your most popular dishes. Or, if you’re a window tinting company, you can upload pictures from your portfolio.

All this information helps your clients connect with your business.

3. Verify your account

The second step for creating a Google My Business listing

Verifying your account is another crucial step when signing up for Google My Business. Once you review all your information and ensure that everything is accurate, you’re ready to verify yourself as the owner of your business.

You can verify your business by email, mail, phone, or Google Search Console. For fast verification, use Google Search Console — though this option only works if you’ve previously confirmed your business in Google Search Console.

If you opt to verify your business via mail, email, or phone, Google will send a verification code. Once you receive the verification code, enter it in Google My Business. If you opt to verify your business via mail, a postcard with a verification code should arrive in 14 days.

4. Make routine updates

While you may have claimed and created your Google My Business account, it’s critical for your team or digital marketing agency to continue to optimize it. Should anything about your company change, like your hours, locations, or specialties, update your account immediately.

Review management is another part of maintaining your Google My Business profile. A dedicated team member should check-in daily, responding to user questions and reviews. By interacting with commenters, your company can help existing customers and future ones.

FAQs about Google My Business

Do you have additional questions about Google My Business? Browse our FAQ:

Who can use Google My Business?

Any company can use Google My Business, even if they don’t operate a storefront. Examples include:

  • Retail store
  • Plumber
  • Manufacturing facility
  • Restaurant
  • Ecommerce store
  • Car dealership
  • Utility provider
  • And more

Even if your company doesn’t maintain a physical address, Google allows (and recommends) that you create a Google My Business listing because it can help the people searching for your business, your products, and your services, find you.

How can I access my Google My Business account?

You can access your Google My Business account and profile via an Internet browser or the Google My Business mobile app with your Google Account credentials. There are some differences between the browser and the app experience.

The app, for example, doesn’t support removing your Google My Business listing or transferring its ownership to another user. It does, however, allow you to view and see your followers, which you can’t do outside the mobile app.

How do I use Google My Business?

You can get started using Google My Business with the following steps:

  • Log in to the Google Account that you want to manage your Google My Business profile
  • Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and click “Manage Now”
  • Create or find and claim your Google My Business profile
  • Verify your business and Google My Business profile
  • Update your Google My Business profile with your name, address, phone number, and more
  • Encourage your clients or customers to share their experience via reviews
  • Optimize your profile with posts, product or services listings, photos, and more

For the best results using Google My Business, make a routine of updating your profile. It’ll help your company provide users with the latest updates fast but also make it easier for them to find and visit (or use) your business.

Where do Google My Business listings appear?

A Google My Business listing appears in:

  • Google Search
  • Google Maps

These two locations provide your company with a prime location in search results on Google and Google Maps. It also allows you to offer users information about your business fast, whether it’s your operating hours, products, or upcoming events.

What is the difference between Google My Business, Google Listings, and Google Places for Business?

Nothing! The following platforms are now a part of Google My Business:

  • Google Listings
  • Google Places for Businesses
  • Google Business Profile
  • Google+ Business Pages

Your company doesn’t need to manage four or five different accounts or profiles. Google My Business now encompasses all these platforms (including the now-defunct Google+ Business Pages) to make your life easier.

Can you have more than one Google My Business listing?

If your company operates in more than one area, like a car dealership or a food chain, then you can create more than one Google My Business listing. You can’t, however, create multiple listings for a single location with the intention of spamming search results on Google Maps or Google Search.

In some cases, a business may create more than one listing for a single location. A car dealership, for instance, may build a Google My Business listing for services, another for sales, and one for parts, to make it easier for users to visit their location and contact their team.

For organizations with 10 or more locations, Google allows for bulk location management.

Optimize your Google My Business listing

No matter your company’s size or industry, you'll benefit from creating a Google My Business page. With this resource, you have the option to maximize your visibility on Google, increase your leads, and drive more traffic to your physical storefront.

Need help verifying or optimizing Google My Business? Our award-winning team of digital marketing specialists can help. With more than 20 years of experience, plus more than $1 billion driven in revenue for our clients, we are the trusted partner for companies worldwide.

Call us at 888-601-5359 to learn more or contact us online today!