Setting Up Your Google My Business Page
Getting started with your new business online is exciting. One of the first things you should do is get started setting up your Google My Business page. This Google My Business Guide will go over every page of the ways you can optimize this local page.
Google Local Map Pack Accounts For Over 80% OF Your New Business!
Start setting up your Google My Business page at business.google.com.
Sign up for a profile with Google under a Gmail email address. Once you have set up your new local map pack page, you will send yourself a postcard with its verification code to your business address. This is one of the most important first steps you will take for your business. Don’t get too excited and begin sending them out to every address you can get mail at, duplicate pages can be hard to master. That’s when you set up more than one GMB for your business in the same city.
This step can be the most frustrating of all for companies in high-risk or highly competitive industries. When your postcard arrives, if your page does get immediately suspended this is completely normal. Once you receive your postcard, simply enter the verification code into your business to claim it as your own. While many industries do not face this issue, some popular ones that do face suspension often include:
- DUI Attorneys
- Casinos or Gambling
- Adult Industries
- Massage Parlors
- Cosmetic Surgery
- Personal Injury Attorneys
- Credit Repair
When sending yourself a postcard for pin verification it’s important to show your address to the public only if your business has an actual store at its location. Many companies are mobile service only. This is fine too but needs to be set up a little differently. When you put in your address, make certain to select that you deliver services or goods to your clients only. Otherwise, Google may check to see if there is a business location actually at your physical address.
Mobile Google My Business pages require that you do not show your business address to the public as well as showing what zip codes you serve as a business that goes out to a customer. Mixing these up means more downtime as you have to verify your business in different ways before it will be out of suspension. Downtime currently under the pandemic can last anywhere from a week to a few months even if you are taking all of the necessary steps outlined in the Google My Business guide.
Getting out of suspension requires that you fill out the form that is located here.
You will be required to answer many questions as they relate to your local map pack page on Google. Here is an example of one we filled out.
Next, you’ll have to fill out the below form to request reactivation and click submit. After that, you’ll wait for a Google representative to reach out to discuss what it is they need to verify before your page is live on Google Maps. Be aware that although this is the correct process, you may have to go through these steps more than once before you get your page active. Sometimes you may also have to call Google and speak to customer support to get a page out of suspension. While our Google My Business guide is great at covering everything you can do with a local page, you’ll also need to do some things in verification that are just unique to our particular business.
When your page is live you’ll want to make sure you fill out all of the sections below. When you put as much relevant information as possible in setting up your Google My Business Page you will get more business for the lifetime of your business.
Optimizing Your Google My Business Page
Make certain to accurately fill out your business name as you would like it to appear anywhere it is found online. This is important because your business will rank better for popular and valuable keywords based on the accuracy of your business everywhere it appears online.
Another option that may be a little more tricky is adding keywords within your business name field. Doing so will raise both your risk of suspension as well as your ranking and overall traffic. Safer is the better option, in our opinion. Still, occasionally we will start putting keywords the client wants to rank for in the business name field, especially if they have multiple pages already. The one we’re doing this to is not the primary page.
We have had some great success in industries that are not extremely high risk for local SEO adding both local and superlative keyword phrases. For example, a business with “best” in its business name would be more likely to attract customers looking for a higher quality product or service and not the cheapest option around.
This would look as such:
You are allowed to write up to a 750 characters business description for your Google My Business Page. While we don’t always use all 750 characters we do use most of them. It’s important to utilize keywords that you want your business to rank for as well as locations you’d like to primarily show up in.
As covered in the section to the left, you will want to show your business address to the public only if it is an actual store that customers can visit in person.
Mobile service companies that only go out to their customers need to select a service radius so that they can show where they are willing to travel to.
Temporary offices or post office boxes are some unique attempts we’ve seen for people looking for new pages and thus more business. These do not often work and there are better ways of going about saturating a marketplace that we could help you with.
Here is an example of a business address for a mobile service company without a physical location:
Local phone numbers and area codes are best as they represent what people are familiar with. Most people are less trusting of a business with an out-of-area phone number or toll-free option on their local page.
Hours of Operation
Your hours of operation need to show up accurately and change on holidays or days you are not open during normal business hours. Even if you don’t get much work in the later hours, posting your hours 24/7 will net you more business as you grow since more established businesses may be closed late at night. That being said you also don’t want to get any bad reviews for saying your open but not answering when a search user reaches out to you to do business with you.
Catagories on your page will show search engines and users what your web page is most relevant about. You can also set up more than one catagory and this is extrememly common. However, only your primary catagory is the one that will show up in search results.
You’ll want to post optimized photos of your business, logos, and of your staff working with customers. This means clear and crisp photos with additional information placed in the meta description of the photo. Check out our guide on geotagging photos to see how to improve the image SEO of your media content as well.
It’s also important to mention that you can only modify the properties of a photo like this on a windows based computer.
Even short videos of you doing services out at your client’s home or business can help immensely. Remember, you’re trying to look as active and engaged as possible. This also is a way to show what your business is like inside if you are a brick-and-mortar location. Don’t be afraid to post the same video you post on your page in other places on the web as well. This will help with your total digital marketing strategy.
Place all of the different services you provide in your service menu. This can also be done to outline your product offerings. Some examples of popular locksmith services, as an example, include:
- Commercial Locksmith
- Residential Locksmith
- Duplicate Key Service
- Safe Locksmith
- Auto Keys
- Auto Keys with Transponders
By being as descriptive as possible you are constantly showing search engines how much more relevant your company is over other competitors in your area.
Q & A Section
You can pre populate your own questions and answers section so that potential clients can have a resource to the questions you get the most often.
Welcome Offer & Posts
You will want to post a welcome offer when you first open your business online. Something like 10% off for mentioning you found us on Google is an easy choice.
Continue on to post as often as you can. Interesting news and humor are some options to consider as well as promotions or discounts.
Direct messaging can be a great option to offer customers a quick way to get in touch. Just click enable from inside your page and you’re good to go.
Following Up With Insights
Once your page has been active for a little while, you’ll be able to view insights about how your company is performing in Google search. Phone calls, visits to your website and the actual keywords people found you for will be listed here. This is especially useful as you try to add more digital marketing because this is a graph that will show the impact or lack thereof of different efforts you try over the years.
Keeping track of your monthly performance reports will allow you to double down on what’s working best for you.
We consistently use this data as a core component on local search engine optimization services. This, in combination with call tracking and Google Analytics, compromises the foundation of being able to track a good digital marketing campaign.
Should you decide to also set up Google Analytics you will be able to identify what web traffic you get that is relevant to your Google My Business page.
We hope you enjoyed our short Google My Business guide and hope you’ll post any questions in the comments section below.