How to Use Google My Business to Grow Your Small Business

Google My Business Recent Updates You Can Use Now

Today Google My Business is easier than ever to use, and you don’t need to have a physical address anymore. In the past, you had to have a location-based business to use Google My Business or Google Business Profile, (the new name!)

As a result of this change, you will now be able to edit your profiles right in the SERP – Search Engine Results Page while logged into your Google account.

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 me, you now CAN have your own Google my business page without the address shown.

How to Use Google My Business for SEO

 

A while back, I learned this from Reginald Chan who does some SEO for me, as he recommended it for local SEO. I started to use it a few years 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 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 Use Google My Business Profile - Getting Started

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 to 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 it 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 🙂

How to Use Google My Business for Your Biz

 

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.

However, 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. If you want to be seen as a local business be sure to add in the areas. 

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

New Health and Safety Attributes Available

Recently Google introduced these new attributes for health standards due to Covid-19.

If you have a brick-and-mortar business you may want to let people know they need to wear a mask or ask for a temperature check upon arrival. Some businesses require an appointment before entering. These are the things you can now have on your GMB profile.

Black-Owned Business

Another attribute is if your business is a black-owned business. Searches with terms like “black-owned bookstores,” “black-owned restaurants,” and “black-owned business near me” have soared due to racial inequality being highlighted in the past year.

Do note, this attribute shows up in the shopping search.

Restaurants Now May Feature:

  • Curbside Pickup
  • Dine-In
  • or No Contact Delivery.

Online Service Attributes:

  • Online Appointments
  • Classes Online
  • Online Appointment and
  • Care Right Online.

How to Use Google My Business to Set Appointments

Hence, having these attributes chosen on your Google My Business will help clients make better decisions before calling or coming into your business.

Adding Other Users for Your Google Business Profile

You can have other people manage your pages for you now. Here at Inspire To Thrive, we do manage pages for small businesses.

There are 3 types of roles for Business Profiles: Owners, managers, and site managers. When owners add users, they share management of a profile with multiple people but can use different passwords.

Google Groups can’t be added as managers or owners of profiles.

How to Use Google My Business with Different Users

An account manager can:

  • Add, edit, and delete locations in the account.
  • Transfer ownership of locations to a different business group/business account.

Whereas an account owner can:

  • Add and remove business group/business account managers.
  • Delete business group/business account.
  • Transfer business group/business account ownership.
  • Create, manage, and publish posts.

See the complete chart below:

Capability Owner Manager Site manager
Add and remove users checkmark    
Remove Business Profiles checkmark    
Edit all URLs checkmark checkmark  
Accept all Google updates checkmark checkmark  
Opt-in or out of Bookings checkmark checkmark  
Update certain location settings

 

  • Edit the name, category, or website on
    a location
  • Close a location
  • Create location groups
checkmark checkmark  
Manage Business Profile directly on Search and Maps checkmark checkmark  
Manage Google Ads account links checkmark checkmark  
Use Messaging checkmark checkmark  
Add custom labels to make it easy to find
particular groups of locations
checkmark checkmark  
Edit attributes checkmark checkmark checkmark
Food delivery link edit checkmark checkmark checkmark

Edit some main business info, like hours and
address

checkmark checkmark checkmark
Edit phone number checkmark checkmark  
Edit services checkmark checkmark  
Create, manage, and publish posts checkmark checkmark checkmark
Add, delete, and edit cover photos and additional photos checkmark checkmark checkmark
Delete, add and edit logos checkmark checkmark  
Add, delete, and edit product checkmark checkmark checkmark
Respond to reviews checkmark checkmark checkmark
Download insights checkmark checkmark checkmark
Respond to Q&A checkmark checkmark  

Still not sure? Check out the GMB support page for further information.

How to Other Users for Your GMB Pages. #GMB Click To Tweet

The 5 Ways to Use Your Google My Business

1. Share Your Events

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 Google My Business. Make it easy for your clients!

How to Use 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 your business. If you do a video it has to be within 30 seconds for Google My Business pages.

Next, beware that GMB recently received its maximum video upload size.  The old limit was 100MB. The new limit is 75MB.

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 75 MB
  • Resolution: 720p or higher

How to use Google My Business Profile Photos

Again, having a 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?

3. Share Your Products

Another great feature with Google My Business is to show your products on 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 is a great place to show off your best products and products that you want to move to!

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 description 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 example below of how you can get started.

how to write your post for Google Business Profiles

Once again, Google will remind you if your post is getting old via 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.

Subscribe today

 

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! ?

How to Use Google My Business Reviews

How to Use Google Business Profile 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

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, have 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.

How to Use Google My Business Verification
The New $50 Per Month Upgrade

Back in July 2020, Google offered an upgrade to businesses that use Google ads. From time to time, they offer different packages for their users.

You Can Monitor Results on GMB

Consequently, there is some data you can see in your account. For example, you can see how many people called you from Google My Business or visited your website. You can also see how many people view photos, videos, or products.

It’s right in the dashboard for your Google My Business. You can even access it on your mobile device to make it really easy!

Your Turn

Finally, I’d love to hear from you if you have upgraded to Google My Business. Did you know how to use Google My Business for your small 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.

FAQ’s About Google My Business and Google Business Profiles
What is Google My Business’s new name?

Google Business Profile is the new name. 

Do you need a physical address for a Google Business Profile?

No, you do not need a physical address for Google My Business.

Are Google My Business Profiles Free to Use?

Yes, they are free to use.

How can you claim your Google My Business Profile?

You can have them text you a code while setting it up, call your business line or send you a card in the mail with a code to verify. Once verified you will have a checkmark.

What type of info do you need to fill out your Google My Business page?

For example, your company name, telephone number, address if a physical location, your hours, and categories of your business.

What are some attributes for your Google My Business Profiles?

Some more recent attributes are related to covid if you require people to wear a mask to enter, etc. For example, others are women-led businesses or black-owner businesses.

Can you add users to help with your Google Business Profile?

Yes, you can now add others to help you with your profile. 

What is the size photo for a Google My Business (blog) post?

The best size is a 720×540 pixel size for your post photos.

What is the size photo for your cover photo?

Cover photos should be 1080×608 pixel size.

What is the size photo for your profile picture?

Profile photos should be 250×250 pixel size.

Can you use videos on Google My Business pages?

Yes, you may use video and they will help your SEO.

How do you get reviews for your Google My Business pages?

In fact, there is a link on your profile that you can share via email or social media.

If you need help managing your Google Business Profile, contact me today!  
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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 10 years of experience in content marketing, social media, blogging, and SEO. You can purchase her eBook about Twitter on Amazon, or take her Instagram class on Udemy.

  • Hello Lisa,

    Awesome and very helpful post. I have recently listed my Astrology business on Google business and waiting for the verification code. I will definitely implement your tips to improve my business. Thanks for sharing the awesome post.

    Regards,
    Vishwajeet Kumar

    • Hi Vishwajeet, what is your Astrology business? I have not seen it yet, sounds interesting. Do give Google My Business time to work for you- it’s like a blog, it takes time but once it works it will help your business grow. Thanks for your input and for coming by. Make it a great day and congratulatiosn on your new business Vishwajeet!

    • Hi Lehigh HVAC, thanks for your input on this post about GMB, and welcome to Inspire To Thrive. I’d love to know how long you have been using Google My Business?

  • Hi Lisa,

    Thank You for sharing this information about GMB. I have been meaning to add my business to the platform and your article really made the whole process look easier. You literally answered every question that was popping into my mind. Kudos for doing the research and putting up such an informative article. You really know how to help a reader, looking forward to reading more posts from you. Keep these informational blogs coming, your readers will thank you.

    • Hi John, I’m so glad I was able to help you with your Google My Business. You can also update everything on your mobile device as well now. Thank you for your compliments and I hope you do well with it for your business. Have a great day! Don’t hesitate to ask a question about it as you are doing it if something comes up 🙂

  • Thanks Lisa!
    You have inspired me! I went and added my blog. Just waiting for the mail to verify. They didn’t give the option for phone verification. Much smoother than I have experienced with such things in the past.

    • Hi Eric, I’m so glad this helped you as well! Many people long forgot about Google My Business as they assumed they still needed a physical address. It has changed quite a bit over the years. I’m sure it will continue to in the future as well. Stay tuned. Thanks for letting us know and have a wonderful day Eric. 🙂

  • Hi Lisa,
    I had no idea how to do this until you wrote this post. I went along with it step by step so they are sending me a postcard in the mail. Probably because I didn’t want to put my phone number there. I get too many calls and didn’t want to publish that one.
    I have to thank you because this was one of the things I wanted to do and I’ve completed it because of you.
    Thanks bunches,
    -Donna

    • I’m so glad to hear that Donna 🙂 Made my day. Google My Business has changed a bit over the years and I just updated this post with their latest updates and such. Just like all the social networks and SEO – things are changing at a rapid pace Donna. I’m glad you were able to do it! You are most welcome 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your day.

  • Hey Lisa.

    Great read my friend.

    All of these are great actionable strategies that you can start using today. The Sniply is pure genius, didn’t even think about doing that.

    The great attention to detail with the images and guides is a big help, hell of an article.

    Certainly looking forward to reading more of your work, glad I was able to find you.

    Best wishes

    Shivanshu

    • Hi Shivanshu, welcome to Inspire To Thrive. Thank you. I love using Sniply for many things. Thanks for coming by and have a great new day and week ahead.

  • 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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