Have you ever wondered if you need a Google My Business listing? Do you need Google My Business help? If so, then this article is for you.
Some articles will tell you, “Yes,” in answer to this question, but that is not always the case. In fact, certain businesses are prohibited to have a Google My Business (GMB) listing.
But before we get into that, let’s first answer the question:
Well, have you ever noticed that whenever you Google a specific business, it will show up to the right of the page?
It will have the name of a business, photos, hours of operation, reviews, phone number, and location, for starters. Some businesses go into much more detail, which we will discuss later in this article.
Probably to sum it up in the easiest terms to understand, most local businesses need a GMB listing, and most “internet” businesses do not.
Google My Business help was designed to assist people to find local businesses that have an actual physical location, get the directions to that business, and find the hours of operation.
Brick and mortar businesses that people visit are one of the main types that need a GMB listing. In other words, if customers walk into your business, you probably need one. If you want your customers to find you, that is!
What about businesses that send qualified experts to a customer’s home? Do they need a GMB listing?
The answer is yes because they have a physical location. In other words, a business that may send computer technicians, electricians, plumbers, etc. out to a customer's home would qualify.
Service area businesses and individual practitioners are two other types that can see an increase in potential clients or customers from having a GMB listing. An example of a service area business would be a pizza delivery service.
But you may be wondering, what qualifies as an individual practitioner? It would be any expert that has a physical place of business, but meets their customers, clients, or patients in other locations. For example, doctors, attorneys, real estate agents, builders, etc would qualify.
Now that we know who does need a GMB listing, who does not or should not have one?
As mentioned, any online business that does not have a physical location where they meet with their customers, clients, or patients would not need a GMB listing. Examples of this would be online digital stores or eCommerce stores.
Also, specific types of “meet-ups” would not need a GMB listing. To clarify, these are groups of people who meet up at locations that they do not own.
You may be noticing a common theme by now.
Basically, if you do not have a physical location where you have face-to-face interactions with your clients, customers, or patients, then you should not have a GMB listing.
You may be wondering, "What if my place of business is renting from a different owner?" In these instances, the answer would be “Yes.”
You would need a GMB listing because you do have a physical location and you do meet face-to-face with clients or customers.
Important to note: the business hours must be correct on a GMB listing. This is key for having your business listed and ranked.
Now that you know who does and does not need a GMB listing, let’s talk about the advantages of having one and some of the best ways for you to get Google My Business help. (Assuming that your business needs one.)
The most obvious advantage is that a GMB listing positions you as a reputable business that can be trusted. Showing up on the right-hand side of Google, complete with the name of your business, address, phone number, a map with directions, and reviews gives your business a definite credibility appeal.
In fact, according to the official Google My Business help page, your business has double the chance of being considered reputable by consumers if it shows up in this hot Google “real estate.”
Let’s face it. If Google trusts you, then you are probably worth doing business with!
Imagine the impact if your business name is showcasing four-and-a-half stars beside it!
As you could probably guess, Google will take this information and use it to help your business in a variety of ways. Much like having a website with good search engine rankings will get your business noticed.
One way that you can get Google My Business help is by choosing the top 3 businesses that rank for specific keywords and listing them below the Google Map. This is called the Google Local 3 Pack.
If your business gets thrown in there, that is one more way that your business can get noticed, which can get you more customers.
A good example of this would be if someone were to get online and Google local shoe stores in your city. The top three will appear directly under this map.
If your business is one of the top three, you can imagine how much more traffic this will drive through your doors.
It is so much better that they find your business and not your competition, don't you think? That is why learning the techniques in this article are critical to what is best for your business.
You may or may not know this, but more and more people are using Google “voice” searches. You may be using them yourself.
Did you know that if you use Google Voice to inquire about a business, that those with a GMB listing will be at the top of the list?
Do you remember doing this lately? Have you ever gone to Google Voice and said the name of a business, pressed the directions, and let your GPS lead you straight to that business?
And if a potential customer is trying to find out how to locate your business, using Google Maps will take them straight to you.
If they understand how to use Google Maps on their phone GPS, then they will get turn-by-turn directions right up to your front door!
Can you see how this would not be possible without a GMB listing? Can you see how you can get Google My Business help?
Google Insights is also available to anyone with a GMB listing. Pairing this with Google Analytics can give you an extreme advantage of knowing where your customers are coming from and how they found you.
This is critical information to making sure that no advertising dollars are wasted.
The first thing you need to do is go to the official Google website. You need to have a Google account, of course. Then you would go to this official Google sign-up site and sign in.
If you need Google My Business help, first, check to see if your business is already there and if so, be sure to “claim this listing.” If not there, log in and begin to answer the questions on the dashboard.
Fill out your business information by going to “Info.” Make sure you fill in your business name, location, and phone number with the same information in all places. This is sometimes commonly referred to as NAP.
Be sure to check the box that says, “I deliver goods and services to my customer,” if this applies to your business.
Also, you will be asked to categorize your business under a primary category. Choose the one that best describes your business. You can also add some secondary categories if you would like.
A great example of this would be a car dealership. Your primary category would be car sales, but secondary (and other important categories) would be service work, parts, and bodywork.
In that case, you would want to add those secondary categories so that the right people can find your business.
You will need to list the hours of operation that your business is open. Do not exaggerate this! If Google finds out, they may penalize you for it, so it pays to stay honest.
Also, be sure to answer any and all reviews that you get from customers, clients, or patients. Take the time to answer the positive comments. Answering comments will boost your rankings based on response time.
Any negative comments may be best settled off of your GMB listing.
According to Bright Listing, 86% of your potential customers read reviews on your GMB listing.
Another way to get Google My Business help is to be sure to put lots of photos on your GMB listing. They stay on there for about a week, so you will need to keep adding photos on a regular basis.
You can classify your photos into categories. For example, you can separate them by external and internal photos.
Putting photos on your GMB listing is worth doing because this makes a tremendous difference in rankings and the effectiveness of your listing.
According to the official Google site, businesses that add photos have 42% more requests for directions and 35% more clicks to the website.
Make sure you use real photos and not stock images. If Google detects stock images, it will remove them. Another great photography tip is to tag your photos.
You can also add videos under the image section. If you have any great videos, be sure to include them. Customers love videos!
You can also write article posts on your GMB listing. Like photos, they will stay there for about a week. It will help your site rank higher, so you may want to fit this into your business plan.
Professional copywriters will not only help get your articles seen but help to persuade your prospects to buy!
You would want to write a post any time you have a sale or special event coming up. This could raise your business revenue during holiday seasons or big sales.
If your business uses a scheduling system to book appointments, you can link straight to your calendar if you like.
Under the “messaging” section, be sure to put a cell phone or tracking phone number. This way, if a customer tries to contact you (or someone you assign to take calls), they can reach you right away.
Make sure that you create a customer "welcome message" here because that is what your prospects will see if they do message you.
One more great tip—your GMB listing will have an FAQ section. A good idea is for you to put the questions (and answers) that you WANT your prospects to see.
Important to note: anyone can put questions and answers on there. Make sure you stay on top of that or someone could post something that could hurt your business.
As another way to get Google My Business help for more leads, you may want to go to this website and check the best places you want your business listed. You never know who this could reach or how it could increase your business.
Once you get your site up to 100%, you will need to verify your business. There are a variety of ways to do this but the most common one is with a postcard.
And then finally, optimize your site by putting effective keywords in your articles that will attract the right prospects and persuade them to come to your place of business.
But most important of all, get into the habit of asking your customers for reviews.
Don't forget to email them the link to your review page and make sure that you assign someone to respond to them. This will affect the outcome of your results more than anything else.
"Don't optimize for conversions, optimize for revenue."—Neil Patel, digital marketing entrepreneur
Good luck using your Google My Business listing to drive more prospects into your place of business! And don't forget to let Google My Business help you.
Do you need a copywriter to help persuade your prospects to come to your business, instead of your competition? Let us know! We are here to help drive traffic to YOUR business.
Your customers want your help and we know how to convey that to them.
"Stop selling. Start helping."—Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker
Debbie Landry resides on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With a background in sales and business, she has a BS in psychology. She has several marketing certifications in copywriting, freelancing, masterminds, course creation, consulting, life coaching, Facebook advertising, funnel building, and more. Her focus is on the big picture of copywriting and content marketing, as well as personal growth and development.Hire Deborah