This guide explains how to set up Google My Business. We’ve consolidated these steps into a simple 1-page checklist, which you can download here:
Before You Start Setting Up “Google My Business”
Before proceeding, save yourself some time by gathering the following:
- Your Google account email and password that is associated with your domain
- The official name of your business as it shows in other directories
- The images you would like to use for your Google My Business account, including your logo and others, already geotagged and sized appropriately. View image sizes here.
1. Login to your Google My Business Account
Google may ask you if you would like to receive communications with personalized tips and recommendations to improve your business presence. This is helpful for those not familiar with Google’s business tools or with Adwords accounts.
2. Enter Your Business Address
Your business address must be your official street address and should be identical across your Google My Business account, your website, other directory listings, and your social media pages. When you enter your business address, if Google can’t find it on the map, use the ‘Set marker location’ button to pinpoint your location.
If, rather than having a brick-and-mortar store or office location, you deliver goods and services to your customers, you can register your business as a service business.
Do Not Use a PO Box or Virtual Address
As of this writing, Google no longer allows Google My Business account holders to use PO Boxes — even mail boxes from shipping stores like UPS stores which do have a physical address — as a business address. If you enter a PO Box and submit your registration, Google will not verify your account. You can read Google’s post about Service-Area Businesses here.
If you choose to check the “Hide my address” box, Google will not display your physical address in search results, and you will be asked to declare your delivery area so Google knows the how far from your actual address you serve customers.
If you selected “I deliver goods and services to my customer, declare your Business Delivery Area. You can choose to define a region, city or zipcode, or specify a radius from your address.
3. Name your Business Category
For more information on Google Business categories, please see https://support.google.com/business/answer/7249669
4. Add your business phone number and website
After you enter your business phone and website URL (optional but recommended), choose Continue or Next to verify your connection to the business.
Next, Google will contact you to verify that you are the authorized owner of this Google My Business account.
There are several ways Google can verify your business. You can have them call you, text you with a verification code that you will input during the set-up process, or mail you a post card. Post card mailings are typically sent in one or two weeks, and text verification requests happen almost immediately. Once you enter your verification code, you’ll see a confirmation message like this:
Once you are verified, you can begin adding photos, replying to reviews, creating a mini website, and optimizing your Google My Business Account. If you wish to log out and complete the rest of the steps later, no problem.
5. Add Photos to Your Google By Business Account
We recommend that at least one of your images is geo-tagged since this will confirm to Google that the images you have in your account correlate with the business address used when setting up your Google My Business account. If your images were taken with a smartphone, chances are they are already geo-tagged. If not, here is a website that can help you: https://www.geoimgr.com/ All you need to do is upload the images you would like geo-tagged, enter the address of your business to get the coordinates, request meta-indexing, download the new file, check it for geotags by inspecting the GPS Data tab in Photoshop (File Info > GPS Data), and upload it to Google My Business.
If this is beginning to sound complicated, we’d be happy to help you out set up your Google My Business Account for you.
What Are the Required Image Sizes for Google My Business?
Profile image – 250 x 250 pixels (minimum 120 x 120; maximum 5200 x 5300)
Cover photo – 1080 x 608 pixels (minimum 480 x 270; maximum 2120 x 1192)
Other images -minimum width 497; maximum is 2048 x 2048
Overall size: shoot for between 10KB and 5MB
Read more about image sizes for Google My Business.
6. Create your first post
Create your first post by adding an image and a short article about your business or industry. Add a button with a link back to your main business website.
7. Create and publish your website
Optimize your new Google website with carefully selected keywords. Add images, a headline, body text, and a button with a link back to your main website.
8. Encourage Your Customers to Submit Reviews
Email your customers with links that allow them to submit reviews. Concerned about managing your online reputation? Clear Lake Marketing has a tool that allows you to publish only favorable reviews.
Over time, your stellar average review rating will help you attract even more customers.
9. Check for Citation Consistency
There are many services that can help make sure your local citations are consistent within all local directories. This is very important for your local SEO. If you don’t have time to do your own directory clean-up, let us know – Clear Lake Marketing offers a “Get Found Locally” package that will do this and more!
Download in Checklist format
Want to file away a simple checklist of these steps for future reference? Just enter your name and business email address and we’ll send you our PDF checklist!
Attend a Local Marketing Class
If you’d like to step-through setting up your Google My Business page in a class environment, be sure to attend our Fall 2018 marketing classes available to local Marin County residents.