5 Ways How to Use Google My Business to Grow Your Business

Google My Business Recent Updates You Can Use Now

Special Update –  Google My Business – Some functions of Google My Business are not working or taking much longer with the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are making changings to your hours or adding posts it may take longer to show up. Reviews are also taking longer to show up on GMB today.

Today Google My Business is easier than ever to use, and you don’t need to have a physical address anymore.  Before 2018 you had to have a location-based business to use Google My Business.

Therefore, your business would show up on the map with the famous pin.  If you were a home-based business, you could not have a listing there. ☹

No more! If you are a home-based business like myself, you now CAN have your own Google my business page without the address showing. ?

 

Recently, I learned this from Reginald Chan who handles SEO for me as he recommended it for local SEO. I started to use it over a month ago to increase my local presence online.

Therefore,  today I’m going to show you how to use Google My Business to grow your  business! (And it’s all FREE to use.)

If you are a home-based business like myself, you now CAN have your own Google my business page without the address showing. #Google #seo Click To Tweet

Setting Up Your Google My Business Account

When you have had a business for a few years, your listing is there waiting to be claimed, if you haven’t already. (It could be a brick and mortar business or an online biz.)

If not, there will be nothing listed in your Google search, then you can go here to claim your page →   you can start to claim your business here.

How to create Google My Business

Once you do fill out all the information. Next, after doing that you will need to VERIFY your Google listing. Google will call you with a code or text you a CODE. Finally, once you input the code in you are all SET and READY to GO!

Or, they ask to send you a postcard via the postal service. This happened to me after I thought mine was verified. I was on my GoogleMyBusiness mobile app and saw it. It can take up to 2 weeks to receive it. (Hint!)

It may take up to 3 days for your account to be verified by Google with a checkmark in your listing. What if you find a duplicate listing? You can try to delete it before claiming a new one. You can find more instructions via Google here.

Next, after doing that you will need to VERIFY your Google listing. Google will call you with a code or text you a CODE. #google Click To Tweet

How to Fill Out Your Info Completely to Optimize

Fill out the hours that you are open or operate your business. I filled out mine to reflect 8 a.m.-6 p.m. so people can call or email during those peak times of my business.

Others may put open 24 hours for their digital business. I prefer not getting calls all hours of the evening, though I oftentimes answer them from clients.

Notice how the phone number is mobile ready below. It’s a push of a button for clients to call you 🙂

My Google My Business Online

 

Oftentimes, Google will send you emails around the holidays to see if your hours are different and they provide a link so you can quickly change them. A great way to remind you of changing your hours around the holidays.

Categories are important to choose when you are filling out your information for Google My Business pages. Be sure to pick the ones you want to be known and make sense.

Furthermore, your business description is another area to fill out completely with keywords in mind.

Categories are important to choose when you are filling out your information for Google My Business pages. #GMB Click To Tweet

The 5 Ways to Use Your Google My Business

1. Share Your Events on Google My Business

If you are having a special sale, an open house, a workshop, etc. do post it on your Google My Business page so people will see that and have a link where they can register if necessary. Foremost, make the event posts 100-300 words in length with keywords of course.

Price reductions and special sales can be used in these event posts for realtors and businesses alike.

There is an appointment setting available right on the Google My Business. Make it easy for your clients!

google my business products

2. Show Pictures and Video of Your Business

People love seeing behind the scenes images of what’s happening at your company. Oftentimes, I tell clients people LOVE doing business with people and not logos or corporations.

In particular, be sure to use JPEG or PNG images for you business. If you do a video it has to be within 30 seconds for Google My Business pages.

Here is a Size Guide for images on Google My Business:

  • Profile photo. Your profile photo will help your customers recognize your company on Google. The correct size is 250×250 pixels for your Google My Business profile photo. Additionally, there is a spot to add a caption under your profile photo.
  • Cover Photo. Showcase your page’s personality. By adding a cover photo, it automatically sets it as your listing’s preferred photo. This action doesn’t guarantee it populates as the first image for your business, but it does tell Google you prefer to display this photo. 1080×608 (pixels) is the size you can use for your cover photo.
  • Additional Photos. Add different photos to spotlight features of your business that customers consider when making purchasing decisions. 720×540 pixels is recommended for your additional photos. Similarly this size image is also used when you write up your Google My Business posts. (Posts with images do better!)
  • Special Photos. 360-degree photos are also available if you have the capability to use them. Of course, they would look great on your Google My Business Page.

Make sure your videos meet the following requirements:

  • Duration: Up to 30 seconds long
  • File size: Up to 100 MB
  • Resolution: 720p or higher

Again, having video will enhance your listing and your ability to get more views. I’ll be working on one myself soon. Besides, with 30 second max how hard can it be, right?

If you do a video it has to be within 30 seconds for Google My Business pages. #seotip Click To Tweet

3. Share Your Products

Another great feature with Google My Business is to show your products within the business page. As you can see above, I’ve added my eBook on learning how to tweet available on Amazon.

If you have a retail store this a great place to show off your best products and products that you want to move!

If you have a retail store this a great place to show off your best products and products that you want to move! #Google Click To Tweet

4. How to Write Your Blog Posts on Google My Business

In fact, Google gives you another place to link your blog posts to! Therefore, I choose blog posts that are relevant to my clients to showcase on my business page. Be sure your photos for your blog posts are 720×540 pixels.

You can write a short descriptoin of your original blog post with an image and link back to your original blog post.

This is also the same area you would create your event, special offer or product offerings. Very easy to do! See the excample below of how you can get started.

how to write your post for Google My Business

Once again, Google will remind you if your post is getting old via an email. (A week there is OLD!)  I love getting these emails from Google, so I don’t have to think when the last time I posted something to my Google My Business page.

You can also download their app for Google My Business and use it on your mobile device.

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You can also download their app for Google My Business and use it on your mobile device. #tech Click To Tweet

5. Generate Reviews and Testimonials from Clients

Recommendations are great on Google My Business for new visitors to see. I’m working on getting some reviews from current and past clients there. As some would say, you can’t be shy in asking for reviews! If you need tips for emailing clients you can check out this guide here. (Something I will be doing myself!)

Not only does Google show their recommendations, but your Facebook reviews show up there too! ?

google my business reviews

gmb reviews

Bonus Tips for Google My Business

With a Google My Business account you can also get a FREE website via Google. They claim it only takes 15 minutes.  Of course you know how I feel about free websites and not having your own self-hosted home. 

You may get a postcard in the mail from Google giving you FREE adwords with any purchase of the same value. For example, recently I received one for $150 if I spent $150 in adwords. If you try to do these adwords yourself be sure to use some negative keywords. (If you need help I know someone who is Google adword certified for you!)

Finally, use appropriate keywords in your Google My Business listing. If you are unsure use a tool like Ubersuggest by the brilliant Neil Patel.

If you want more tips on SEO for your business check out this latest post with a simple SEO checklist!

Special Note for Real Estate Agents Using Google My Business

Many real estate agents claim or try to claim their offices as a Google My Business location. Only the broker/owner is allowed to do this. They now have to approve or disapprove any requests that come in.

But with the home-based business option available real estate agents can have their own Google My Business page without an address! (Or, use a PO Box in your local area of course). Realtors may also use the company address but not with the company name in the first area with their own name.

Special Note for Real Estate Agents Using Google My Business #realestatemarketing Click To Tweet

Getting Verified on GMB is Easy

Once your Google My Business account is verified you will have the blue checkmark next to your logo.

Make sure your business information on GMB is accurate and that only you, the business owner or manager, has access to it by verifying your business.

Most local businesses verify by mail.  Some businesses, like service area businesses, have other verification options, like verification by email, phone, or Search Console. Who wants to wait on the mail today, right?

Before starting the verification process, create or claim a Google My Business listing. You may see one or several verification types depending on the kind of business listing you manage.

getting veriifed on GMB
The New $50 Per Month Upgrade

In July 2020, Google is offering an upgrade to businesses that use Google ads.

I’d love to hear from you if you have upgraded on Google My Business with their newest update.

Your Turn

Did you know how to use Google My Business for your business?

Of course, I’d love to know more in the comments below if you set your business up with Google My Business. If you have I’d love to know if it has brought you more business too.

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Lisa loves helping others to thrive online through Social Media, Blogging, and SEO. What good is knowledge if you cannot share it with others? She has 30+ years of experience in marketing/advertising with 9 years of experience in content marketing, social media, blogging, and SEO. Check out her latest eBook "How to Tweet and Thrive on Twitter" now on Amazon.

  • Thanks, Lisa for sharing this blog post online. I really loved the way you have organized and explained the above points. I’m sure the above tips can easily help to get more recognition online. Not just recognition but it also helps to create authority and build trust. I will definitely be sharing this blog post with my friends. Expecting more such posts in the future… 🙂

    • Hi Abhishek, welcome to Inspire To Thrive. Thank you. Yes, I sure hope it helps others along the way. I’m so glad they changed it for home based businesses now. Thanks for coming by and have a great day.

  • Hello Lisa,

    Awesome post. Google Business now powering hundreds of small business to nurture and grow. It helps businesses to grow and build their business online. This also helps to rank better locally when people search about business in their locality. Great Post.

    Regards,
    Vishwajeet

    • Thank you Vishwajeet. It sure is a great way to give your business an edge online. Gave you signed up as well for your Google My Business?

  • Lisa: I am glad to hear that you now could use Google My Business as a home business owner. Do you know if this is working on an international scale?

    Btw: What is a “negative” keyword? 😉

    • Hi Martin, I believe it is 🙂 and here’s a great explanation of a negative keyword: When selecting negative keywords for search campaigns, look for search terms that are similar to your keywords, but might cater to customers searching for a different product. For example, let’s say you’re an optometrist who sells eyeglasses. In this case, you may want to add negative keywords for search terms like “wine glasses” and “drinking glasses.”
      I used to manage a nursing scrub website and I had to use negative keywords for things like soap scrubs and other meanings of the words scrubs and uniforms. I hope that clarified it for you 🙂 Thanks for coming by here Martin and have a great weekend.

  • Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for telling us about this. I started creating an account last year. The only downside GMB is that it doesn’t take P.O. Box addresses. I added my address but I’m nervous about it so I haven’t completed my listing…it’s just sitting there.

    But I noticed on your listing it just shows the city and state you’re in. Does that mean our address won’t show or is there a feature to turn that off?

    I do love that we can share our products and videos about our business..that is definitely a plus. Still, the address thing is in the back of my mind.

    Thanks Lisa – this is great stuff to hold on to!

    Cori

    • Hi Cori, I’d go back and delete your address. I didn’t add mine – You have an option not to show it for a home based business. That’s what got me so excited to use it! It’s great for the products and events. If you have a special offer, etc. you can use the event feature. I was thinking of a special for February for one week and using an event to do it with. Maybe a free one-hour consult type of offer.
      Thanks for coming by Cori and I hope you are able to get yours up with no address – let me know how you make out with it 🙂 Have a great day.

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