What is Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool created by Google that helps companies and brands to manage how their local business appears across both Google Maps and Google Search. Google My Business helps you to maintain your local search results. Local search results are those which are tailored to particular geographic locations and help users to find businesses that are nearby.
What Can Google My Business do?
Maintain accurate information about a business online
-Tell Google about the company’s opening hours, website, phone number, and location (this can be in the form of either a street address, service area or a place marker).
Allows a business to interact with their customers
-Post photos of the business, their products and services and even the team!
-Collect and respond to customer reviews.
Google My Business IS ESSENTIAL if you want to appear in maps and in the local pack listings which are returned for local queries.
Is Google My Business Right for My Business?
Google My Business is specifically made for businesses that make in-person contact with customers during specific opening hours.
In order for Google to determine that a business is eligible they must make in-person contact with customers during their stated business hours.
- Businesses that are either closed and under construction, or haven’t yet opened to the public
- Rental or for sale properties such as vacation homes, display homes or vacant apartments (real estate sales or leasing offices however can be verified)
- Businesses that operate solely online – such as an online clothing boutique
Service Area Businesses
If you do not have a physical business location, but instead travel to visit your customers at their location during specific business hours you can set up your client’s Google My Business account as a service area business.
This would be the case if, for example you are a home renovation consultant, where whilst you have an office or location which you work out of, you didn’t serve your customers out of this location, and didn’t want customers to go to this location. Instead the you may serve potential clients at your home.
You would still give Google your exact location, however you would instead choose to set the listing up as a service area business with the kilometre radius of which you operate. This will hide your exact address, but still allows Google to show your listing for the relevant searches and users.
How to Set Up a Google My Business Listing
Most importantly: ensure you have the correct Business Name, Phone Number and Address before you begin.
- Go to the Google My Business platform.
- You’ll see a map of Australia with a form at the top left. Enter your business name in the first field.
- As you type, suggestions for possible matches will appear. If you see your business appear, select it
from the suggestions.
- Complete the rest of the fields with your business information, then click Continue. (You may see a potential matching business suggested to you. If this is your business, click it. If it’s NOT your business, click ‘Keep the information I entered’).
- You’ll see the option to confirm that you’re authorised to manage the business. Check the ‘yes’ box, then click Continue.
How to Verify a Google My Business Listing
- For most verifications this will mean requesting and receiving a postcard from Google that contains a verification code.
- The verification postcard will be sent to your business address (these codes expire within 30 days so don’t delay).
- Go Back into the Google My Business platform and choose the verify my listing option, you will be prompted to enter the verification code, do so.
- Click verify, now you’re verified!
How to Optimise a Google My Business Listing
Contact Details: Ensure all contact details are correct. It is critical that all listings of your business use the same address, and that it is accurate.
Opening Hours: Ensure opening hours are correct (are there any special opening hours, such as Saturday Mornings?). This is important as otherwise you may be fielding unsolicited calls at 2am when you’re not open (you never know!).
IMPORTANT! When adding public holidays, closed hours or altering hours always check the public holidays relevant to the location of the listing.
Get The Website Right: Ensure the correct website is listed.
Add a Category or Two: Add the relevant service categories for your business. For some businesses this will be easy such as ‘Florist’, for others it may be a bit trickier.
Pretty as a Picture: Are there images? There are a range of pictures that are great to upload including;
- The Business Owner/s
- Key Staff
- The inside and the outside of the location. This is particularly important.
- 2-3 photos of Services being carried out; this can either be the staff serving actual customers, or for example, if your client was a Pest Control company this could perhaps be photos of a termite inspection being carried out.
- 2-3 photos of your business doing what you do best. If you are a Japanese Restaurant, for example, you could post images of beautifully presented dishes, and of the chefs working their magic in the kitchen. At the end of the day a Google My Business profile is a way for you to showcase what you do and how you do it, and WHY potential customers should choose YOU over other local businesses in the area.
360 Degrees: We highly recommend that you have a Be Media approved Google Photographer come in to photograph the business, creating a 360 degree virtual tour of your business. Reach out to us for contact details, we’re happy to share!
Include the payment methods that are accepted: It is reassuring for potential customers to know what they can expect when they are engaging with a business.
Reviews: Check the reviews: are there any? are they good or bad? Say thank you for the positive reviews!
If there are none, start asking happy customers to review your business when they’ve enjoyed their experience.
Note: you cannot offer compensation for positive reviews from customers. See Google’s Photo and Review Guidelines here.
Positive reviews are viewed favourable by Google, but more importantly they are reviewed favourably by people! The more positive reviews you have, the more likely people are to want to do business with you. But If they’re terrible you should still respond in a timely fashion. We recommend a polite message acknowledging their concern and asking them to contact you direct on a phone number to discuss.
A negative review can be a positive thing as it is an opportunity to not only fix a fractured relationship with a previous customer, but also shows to potential customers that the business has integrity and is willing to fix their mistakes, after all everyone makes mistakes!
Instructions on How to Give an Agency Ownership of a Google My Business Listing
- Sign in to Google My Business.
- If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage.
- Click Users from the menu.
- In the top right corner, click the “Invite new managers” icon.
- Enter the name or email address of the user you’d like to add.
- Select the user’s role by choosing Owner, Manager, or Communications manager.
- Click Invite. Invitees will have the option to accept the invitation and immediately become listing owners or managers.
This window displays all active owners and managers, as well as people who have been invited to become owners or managers. You can cancel pending invitations by clicking the X in the row with the invitation you want to remove.
- Open the Google My Business app.
- Tap the three dash menu icon in the top-left corner.
- Tap Manage users.
- Tap the plus icon + in the top-right corner.
- Enter the name or email address of the person you want to add as an owner or manager, then tap the plus icon + to the right of their name.
- Select their role by tapping Owner, Manager, or Communications manager in the menu that appears.
This page displays all the active users, as well as people who have been invited to become owners or managers. You can cancel pending invitations by tapping the three dot menu icon next to the invitation you want to remove, then tapping Remove.
You can also change a the role of a user by tapping the three dot menu icon next to their name and tapping Edit role. Select their new role by tapping it in the menu that appears.
When an invitation is accepted, the owners of the listing will be notified via email. All users in the account can view the names and email addresses of the owners and managers of the listing.
How to Request Ownership of a Google My Business Listing
Sometimes clients are unsure who has set up their Google My Business Listing previously, or aren’t able to give access using the above process (or maybe have forgotten the password to the Google account it was set up in). In these instances, if you are an authorised representative of the business you can Request Ownership or Manager Access of the listing see Google’s Ownership Guidelines Here.
- Request ownership: manager level access.
- Select I am an agency who represents the business.
- Who you are.
- Who the company is (Company Name).
- Fill out the box to let the owner of the listing know why you are requesting access. If it is potentially an old web developer or digital marketing agency you will need to convey that you now run the digital marketing and have the client’s permission to request the ownership of the account, or alternatively if you are requesting ownership to the client directly because the client is unable to give you access for whatever reason you would again explain who you are, and all they need to do is follow Google’s instructions.
- Enter in your phone number as the contact number of the agency for Google to call.
- Google will either call you or send an email to the account of which you have set the listing up in within 7 days. Follow the steps that Google provides.
- Google will likely ask if they can call the client to verify your ownership request.
- If the client confirms you can have ownership of the listing Google will update this for you, and the listing should be available to you within a few days.