- Claiming Your Google My Business Listing
- How do you “add” or “claim” my Google My Business profile?
- Do you need a physical address for your business to get a GMB profile?
- How can you create a Google My Business listing when you share a building with other companies?
- If I have an online business and work from home, what should my address be for my GMB listing?
- GMB Profile Information
- Updating & Publishing GMB Content
- Google My Business Reviews
Vivial’s Digital Experts Answer Questions You Asked During Our Google My Business Masterclass: How to Find, Promote & Engage with New Customers
Google My Business (GMB) is a necessity for businesses that want to be found in local searches. In our recent Masterclass, we discussed the importance of developing a comprehensive Google My Business strategy and how to leverage your listing to not only find new customers and promote your business to them but also engage with them and close the sale.
In combination with the webinar, viewers received access to our GMB Strategy Planning Kit that includes access to our Google My Business Audit, which compares your listing with industry benchmarks for 18 key factors that impact visibility in local search.
Run your Free Google My Business Audit now!
Throughout the live webinar, we received a plethora of great Google My Business questions from local business owners looking to improve their GMB listing. While we tried to answer as many of them as possible during the live session, we weren’t able to get to them all. Therefore, we have put together a quick recap of the questions asked and provided answers for those that attended and anyone else looking to optimize their Google My Business profile.
Claiming Your Google My Business Listing
How do you “add” or “claim” my Google My Business profile?
To create your GMB listing, you must use or create a Google Account and log into Google My Business. It will prompt you to enter the address for your businesses. If your business doesn’t have a physical location, you can list the area instead.
You will then select whether you want it to appear on Google Maps, select the business categories, and enter a phone number or website. Lastly, you will select a verification option that will allow Google to verify your authority to claim and manage the listing.
Do you need a physical address for your business to get a GMB profile?
If you have a service-area business, you do not need to have a physical address listed on the account. However, when you go to verify your listing, it will require you to enter a mailing address that will be hidden from the public. Note that Post Office boxes are not eligible.
Keep in mind that to qualify for a Google My Business listing, your business must make in-person contact with customers during hours stated on your profile. Therefore, online businesses do not qualify.
In most cases, a building that hosts multiple businesses has a suite or floor number that can be used to differentiate your business according to Google’s address guidelines. If you are an individual practitioner or department within a business, you may create your own listing if:
- They operate in a public-facing role. Support staff should not create their own listings.
- They can be contacted directly at the verified location during stated hours.
Learn how to set up a GMB listing for an individual practitioner here.
If I have an online business and work from home, what should my address be for my GMB listing?
Unfortunately, if your business is strictly online, and you do not meet with customers in-person, then you do not qualify for a Google My Business listing, according to Google’s Guidelines.
If your business does meet the criteria of a service area business, then you would put your home address, which would be hidden from the public and only used to verify your listing.
GMB Profile Information
Where do you change your category?
To update your business categories in your GMB listing, you should first log into your Google My Business account and then use the left-hand navigation to select the ‘Info’ tab. At the top of the page, you will find the categories currently listed under your business name. Click the pencil icon to edit the categories.
How can you make sure you are listing the most accurate categories for your business?
When choosing your business categories, the primary should represent your company at the highest level. For example, if you are a General Contractor that does plumbing and electrical work, your primary category would be ‘General Contractor.’
Then you can add additional categories to let customers know about the specific services you provide – ‘Plumber’ and ‘Electrician.’
How do I prevent other companies from editing my Google My Business listing?
Claim your listing! One of the key reasons every business should claim their listing is so they can secure their listing and ensure the information is always accurate.
Updating & Publishing GMB Content
How often should we be publishing on GMB?
While you don’t need to be publishing content to your Google My Business page as often as you do for social platforms like Facebook, you must stay consistent. We recommend posting a minimum of once a month, but there isn’t a need to post more than once every seven days. Keep in mind that updates are typically only featured for seven days and will then be seen as old content.
While they will not cause harm, hashtags are not used by Google in the same way as social platforms. Therefore, we recommend skipping them.
Where do we post the videos in the photo section?
Yes, you can add videos within the ‘Photos’ tab in your Google My Business manager. Another option is to upload a video when posting an update under the ‘Posts’ tab.
Where do I add Q&A on my GMB listing?
Make sure you log into the Google account tied to your GMB listing, then navigate to your listing through either Google Search or by clicking ‘View on Search’ under Your Business on the Google section on your dashboard. Once you are viewing your listing, you will see an “Ask a Question” button that is under the Questions & Answers section.
Google My Business Reviews
Is there an automated texting feature within GMB to help generate reviews?
Unfortunately, automated text messaging is not a built-in feature of GMB. However, there are a variety of products/services—like Vivial’s Marketing Platform—that can send and/or automate text messages to your customers. And to top that off, Google has made it easy by providing you a direct link to the Share a Review form for your listing. Find it by going on the Home dashboard within your Google My Business manager.
It is understandable to reply to negative reviews, but why do you need to respond to 5-star ones as well?
If a company gets a lot of reviews each day, it may be next to impossible to reply to all of them. However, for most SMBs, that isn’t the case. Responding to all reviews, even the good ones, shows your customers and potential future customers that you are monitoring and appreciate the feedback.
When responding to a review, can you ask a question back regarding their opinion on a product?
If you ask a customer for their opinion within a review, you need to be prepared to accept whatever their opinion is – the good and the bad. Once a customer puts it out there, you are unable to remove any unfavorable comments or negative feedback. Therefore, we typically recommend taking these conversations offline in a private message or phone call.
If you have any additional questions about Google My Business—or are looking for help with any of your digital marketing and want to make sure your local business is found online—contact our digital experts today!