Last week’s article discussed reasons to include Google My Business (GMB) in your marketing. Today, we’ll continue the discussion with how to get started with GMB. If you haven’t read last week’s post, click here to read it now.
Don’t have a business listing on GMB yet? Well, it’s time to get started. Here is an outline of all the necessary steps you need to take to set up your business listing.
#1 Log in to your Google Account
Go to Google.com/business and click the “Manage now” button. Next, you’ll be asked to log in to your Google account. You can use the same login credentials you use for Gmail or any other Google products.
In case you currently don’t have a Google account, you need to set up one before you can take advantage of Google My Business. Creating an account on Google is easy and straightforward to do; follow these instructions.
Next, login to your account, and Google will start creating your first listing.
#2 Check for your Google Maps Listing
While you may not have created your official business listing, a patient may have made a profile for you. So, before you start a listing, do the following:
- Type your exact business name and location to check if your business already exists on Google Maps.
- If you find a listing, choose it and continue.
- If you don’t find a listing, click the “Add your business to Google” link at the bottom of the page.
Please Note: if you want to claim ownership of your listing that was user-generated, don’t search for your business within Google Maps, and don’t click the “Suggest an edit” option.
If you do, you tap into Google Maps’ for user-generated content about the business. While you can suggest edits, you will not have ownership over your profile. It means you will not be able to answer questions or messages or set specific cover images.
#3 Set Your Business Name
This step is straight forward. Type in the exact name of your business and click “Next.” Depending on the size of your city, you may want to include the city, district, or even a street name.
#4 Choose Your Business Category
Once the name of your business is set, Google wants to know how to categorize it. Choosing the correct category will help people find your practice online.
Start typing into the “Business category” field, and a drop-down menu will display. Think about what search terms your ideal patients/customers are likely to use when searching for your practice. Choose the option that best describes your business and click “Next.”
#5 Add Your Business Location
Chances are you have a physical location for your practice and need to add the address to your listing. Start by selecting “Yes” and click the “Next” button to add your address information to your listing.
Once you’ve entered your information, click on “Next,” and Google will return a list of potential businesses that might be your listing. Answer the “Is this your listing?” questions and click “Next” to continue.
Google will confirm your location by dropping a pin on the map. If the dropped pin is correct, click “Next” to confirm your location and move on.
#6 Set Your Delivery/Service Area (Optional)
For example, if you have a house call practice with a set service area, or if you offer some delivery service, you can include it here.
First, select “Yes, I also serve them outside my location” and then click “Next.” From here, you can search and select the areas of your city served by your practice. When done, click the “Next” button to save your entry and continue.
#7 Set Your Contact Details
In this step, you specify your contact information. Enter the phone number and website URL for your business and click “Next” to continue.
#8 Toggle Email Notifications
If you would like to receive communications with personalized tips and recommendations to improve your business’s presence on Google, turn of email notifications. If you don’t care to get suggestions, leave it turned off.
By turning on email notifications, you will get notified when customers leave reviews or photos on your listing so that you can respond promptly. You’ll also receive reminders and suggestions from Google to help you keep your listing up-to-date.
#9 Finalize Your Listing
Click “Finish” to save your business profile and data.
Before Google gives you full access to your listing, there is one final step you must complete, verify your listing.
Google gives you a list of options to verify your business. If you select “Email” to confirm your listing, you’ll get an email with a “Verify” button.
Once you click the “Verify” button, you now have access to your business listing on GMB.
Congratulations; your business is now on Google My Business!
Google offers GMB free of charge. The service is easy to set up and use, even for the most tech-challenged users. Setup your GMB listing by following these simple steps:
- Log in to Your Google Account
- Find Your Google Maps Listing if It Exists
- Set Your Business Name
- Choose Your Business Category
- Add Your Business Location
- Set Your Delivery/Service Area (Optional)
- Set Your Contact Details
- Toggle Email Notifications
- Finalize Your Listing
- Verify Your Listing
Anyone can set up their listing, and there is no reason not to create one for your business.
When you do add your business to Google My Business, you gain exposure and increase your chances of being found online. Additionally, you’ll make it easier for patients to communicate with you and share their experiences with your business.
We’ love to know what you think about GMB… leave your comment below. If you’re a current user of Google My Business, what’s been your experience?
By Johanna Hofmann, MBA, MAc., EAMP; regular contributor to the NPBusiness blog and author of “Smart Business Planning for Clinicians.”