Launched in 2009 (like Google Places), Google My Business is a free listing service provided by Google. It gives business owners more control over what information appears in search results that are relevant to them. These tips are meant to help you stay visible while maintaining a good e-reputation.
Create or claim a business
Before you can make changes to your Google My Business listing, you must create it (or claim it if it already exists). This step is the most important, as if you do not have access to your file, you will not be able to increase your visibility or respond to the opinions that are left.
To create an entry
If your business is not on the list, you can visit the official Google My Business website to add your business to the list. Follow the instructions and once the file is created you can add all the useful information to it.
To claim a listing
If your Google My Business listing already exists, you can claim it by clicking “Are you the owner of this business?”. Follow the steps provided until you gain editing access to your listing.
2. Add name
The company name is the key information in your Google My Business listing. While it may seem tempting, do not include additional keywords in your business name. In fact, Google sanctions this type of practice (sometimes as far as suspending your file) and offers better referrals to companies that only list their trademark in this field.
3. Add contact information (phone, address, opening hours)
Phone number, address or opening hours are often the most requested information by the users when inquiring about an establishment. To add them to your Google My Business listing, go to the tab Info.
Please note that it is important that the information provided is absolutely identical to that mentioned on your site, as this is one of the data that Google scans to determine your reference.
4. Define the correct category
To tell Google about your business activity service, select a primary category (and secondary categories, if necessary). You need to test the most relevant keywords that define your business to define it. It is very important to choose the most accurate category as possible as it has a huge impact on your SEO.
To define it, you can use tools like SEMrush (to find the keywords with the highest search volume) while paying attention to the competitiveness of your category. You can also see which category your direct competitors have chosen to know which direction they should steer you (or not).
Be careful not to overuse the secondary categories, they should all remain consistent and relevant to your business.
5. List services
Once the main category is defined, you can list all the services offered by your structure. If a service you offer is not yet listed on Google My Business, you can add it as a custom service. This practice helps Google understand your business better, and it’s a great way to add specific keywords naturally without risking being penalized by Google.
6. Write a description
At the bottom of the form, the description aims to highlight your commercial speech, and present your business in an attractive way. Your description should be quite short because Google imposes a maximum limit of 750 characters. No need to try to add a lot of keywords, this part does not affect SEO.
7. Link to the website
It’s important to link your site to your Google My Business listing. In fact, it is beneficial for SEO to have a dedicated website (be careful, do not add a link to Facebook pages, Yellow Pages, etc.) and clearly indicate to Google which official page it corresponds to.
An additional feature also allows you to add the link to your contact form to facilitate appointments or contact requests.
8. Add strategic products
Google My Business allows you to add a few products on a dedicated tab. This feature allows you to highlight your flagship products, to encourage Internet users to visit your site and consult your entire catalog. You can also add clickable buttons Learn more to redirect users to the corresponding product pages.
9. Add recent photos
To make Internet users want to come to your business, it is advisable to add more detailed pictures (of the interior, the exterior, the staff, your products / services, etc.). They make it possible to reassure internet users by humanizing your structure. Google My Business offers several subcategories of images you can add. Choose the pictures you want to show carefully, they should be newer and attractive (remember to update them regularly), but above all not misleading.
Note that Google imposes the following image guidelines:
- PNG or JPG format,
- between 10 KB and 5 MB,
- ideally in 720 × 720 pixels,
- no editing.
You can also add videos to your Google My Business listing if you wish.
10. Define a logo and a cover image
To complete your entire Google My Business profile, be sure to define a company logo and associated cover image. To put them online, go to the tab Picturesand then select the category Identify. The most optimized formats are:
- logo: 250 × 250 pixels,
- cover photo: 1080 × 608 pixels.
11. Use posts
Often slightly used, this feature allows you to create personalized posts to refresh your page. You can use it to communicate about company news, present future events, detail new offers or new services, etc.
To create a post, go to the tab Posts and click on the small logo at the bottom right. Select the category you want: offer, news, event or product. Once the category is selected, fill in the fields and publish your post. It appears on your Google My Business listing.
12. Receive and respond to reviews
Google reviews are one of the criteria that internet users look for most during their searches. It is important for a business to have good Google reviews, accompanied by positive comments. They promote natural referral, but above all, encourage Internet users who discover you to trust you. On Google My Business, the section dedicated to reviews allows users to rate a rating out of 5, as well as add comments to justify the rating (whether positive or negative). All reviews left are publicly visible.
To maximize your chances of getting positive reviews, you can suggest that your happy customers give you a review. Never buy fake reviews to “boost” your page, you risk discrediting yourself, and your Google My Business page may be deleted by Google.
A feature is available to respond to reviews (good and bad). Your answer will appear below that review and will also be visible to all internet users.