Google My Business has become an essential tool for local businesses looking to improve their online visibility and attract new customers. By optimizing your presence on this free platform, you can have a significant impact on local SEO and customer interaction. In this article, we’ll guide you through the key steps to creating and optimizing a Google My Business account so that your business can make the most of this opportunity.
Understanding how to create a Google My Business account
What is Google My Business and why is it important?
Google My Business is a free tool that enables businesses to manage their online presence on Google, particularly in Google search and Google Maps. It’s important because it helps companies to be more visible to potential customers, to provide a means of communicating directly with them, and to add value to their products and services thanks to the reviews that are a key feature of the platform.
What are the advantages of using Google My Business?
The advantages of using Google My Business include :
- Improved online visibility
- Management of contact information and opening hours
- Customer interaction through reviews and Q&A
- Presentation of products and services
- Access to statistics to analyze your company’s performance on Google
Why create a Google My Business account?
Google My Business offers a number of advantages for local businesses. First and foremost, it improves the visibility of your establishment in search results and on Google Maps. In fact, by creating your profile, you increase your chances of appearing in local searches carried out by Internet users close to your geographical area.
What’s more, Google My Business makes it easy to interact with your potential customers, providing them with all the important information they need, such as address, phone number, opening hours and reviews left by other customers. This transparency strengthens your e-reputation and trust in your establishment.
Finally, thanks to its integrated analysis tools, Google My Business gives you a better understanding of the profile of Internet users who access your business listing, enabling you to adapt your marketing strategy accordingly.
Altosor Communication ‘s digital agency can advise you on the most relevant social networks for your business and your customers, and can create and manage your various professional accounts. See our Community management rates.
How do you create your Google My Business listing?
Create your Gmail account
The first step, of course, is to create a Gmail account. To do this, type www.google.com in your browser’s address bar. You will be taken to the following home page:
- Click on Login
- Click on “Create an account
Altosor tip: if you already have a personal Gmail account, Google will probably display it by default. In this case, choose “Use another account” then “Create an account”.
- Click on “To manage my company”.
- Enter your first name (required) and surname (optional)
- Enter your date of birth and gender (you can select “Not specified” and then Next).
- Enter your Gmail username.
Altosor tip: for simplicity, we recommend entering the name of your company or store. If the name is already in use, Google will suggest alternatives.
- Choose your password and confirm it in the box below.
- Enter a recovery email address (your personal email address, for example). This will allow you to retrieve your account if you forget your password.
- You can also enter your phone number for recovery purposes or click ignore.
- Choose your personalization settings and congratulations, your google account is created!
Altosor tip: if you had selected “to manage my company”, once you’ve seen your account information and clicked Next Google will automatically direct you to the configuration of your company file. In this case, go directly to step 2.
Step 1 – Sign in to your Google Account
If you have a personal or corporate Gmail account already created to access Google Analytics or Google Ads, for example, log in to your account to create your profile.
- Go to the home page of the Google.com search engine
- At the top right of the page, check if you’ve been automatically connected to your account, or click on “Connect” and enter your Google account email address and password.
- Click on the “Google Application” button just to the left of your account logo. A menu appears.
- Scroll to the bottom of the menu and click on “Other google products and applications”.
- A new step opens, scroll down and click on “For companies”. Different logos will appear.
- Click on “Site cards”.
Step 2 – Creating your Establishments file
Previously, only stores or companies with a physical address could create an Establishment file, but this is no longer the case. Whether your business is entirely online, whether you offer home services or receive the public in your establishment, you’ll be able to create your listing with ease.
- In the top right-hand corner, click on Manage and follow the various steps to create your establishment file.
- Fill in your company details, such as :
- Company name
- Type of activity (choose the type(s) of activity that best correspond to your company). If you choose “Online service”, you will be asked to enter your site’s URL on the next page. However, if your site is in the process of being created, you can skip this step.
- Company category. At this stage, Google forces you to choose a pre-filled activity, trying to find the one that best matches your business.
- Telephone number and/or e-mail address
- Website (optional)
- Address (if applicable).
Altosor tip: to ignore, click “Next”.
- Service area (for deliveries, visits and services to homes and businesses without a physical address)
- Telephone number and website that will appear on your listing so that your customers can contact you directly (optional).
Altosor tip: even if this information is optional, we recommend that you provide it, not only so that customers can contact you more easily, but also to monitor the performance of your listing (number of clicks, number of calls, etc.).
- On the next page, click on the “Continue” button
Step 3 – Validating your file
Before you can take full advantage of the features offered by Google My Business, you need to validate your establishment. This crucial step enables Google to ensure that the information provided is reliable and relevant. If you haven’t already done so, Google will ask you for a contact postal address, which will not appear on your listing, but which can be used to send you mail. Once you’ve entered this address, Google will ask you to validate your entry by SMS with a code. You can also make a video.
Altosor tip: You can also decide to validate your form later if you prefer to finish filling it in first.
Optimize your Google listing
Initial information to be provided
Once your account has been validated, it’s time to optimize your establishment’s profile. You have access to numerous possibilities (add logo and photos, description, opening hours, services and/or products offered…). Like Facebook or LinkedIn, you can also post news, promotions and events. In short, the possibilities are numerous, and optimizing your listing is very important for natural referencing. Simply complete the information requested step by step.
How do I configure the account so that it is visible to customers?
To make your Google My Business account visible to customers and provide Internet users with complete and up-to-date information, make sure you fill in all the required information:
- Opening hours
You can easily display your opening days and hours. For a website, check every day and choose 24h24 as time slot.
Altosor tip: Are you closed between noon and 2pm? Enter a time slot between 09:00 and 12:00 then click on “Add times” to save your afternoon opening times.
You can choose whether or not to receive messages from your customers or prospects. We encourage you to accept them.
You can write an attractive description of your company. We advise you to work hard on this 750-word text, so that it highlights you, your special features and your vocation…
- Add photos and logo
Here too, choose photos that show off your products and services to best advantage.
You can add more over time.
What sections of the form need to be managed on a daily basis?
There are several sections of your file that you need to manage or keep an eye on on a daily basis:
- New product or service updates
- Customer reviews, which you must respond to in a friendly manner, whether positive or negative.
- Messages sent by customers
- Photos and videos
- Publications and offers with regular updates.
Altosor tip: Don’t forget to specify whether or not your store is open on public holidays.
Optimize your account and make your facility card work for you
What are the best ways to manage your Google listing?
When you log in to your Gmal account and to your establishment file, you’ll access the various elements you can customize. Here are a few best practices for improving the SEO and visibility of your business listing in Google searches:
- Create as many products as you like with an image, product name, category, price, description and url to your website, if applicable. Creating these cards will enable your products to appear in the search engine’s shopping tab.
- Add services, especially if the main category doesn’t quite match your activity.
- Update your company information regularly
- Publish regular content (news, offers, events and updates) that is relevant and engaging for your customers
- Add high-quality images to showcase your company, products or services
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews
- Respond quickly and professionally to customer opinions and questions
- Analyze the statistics provided by Google My Business to improve your marketing strategy
By following these tips, you’ll be able to optimize your Google My Business listing, boosting your company’s visibility and online presence to attract more customers.
Managing and responding to customer feedback and interaction
On Google, customer reviews play a crucial role in your establishment’s online reputation, and can influence consumer choice. The best possible rating is 5 stars. Regularly monitor the reviews left on your listing and take the time to respond to them, whether positive or negative. Good review management shows your customers that you care about their experience and are ready to constantly improve your service.
Tracking and analyzing Google My Business performance
Google My Business provides you with tools to track the evolution of visibility and interactions on your business listing. Information available includes the number of views, clicks on the “Call” button or route requests to your establishment. This valuable data will enable you to fine-tune your marketing strategy according to the behavior of your potential customers.
In short, if you want to improve your online visibility and interact with your customers, Google My Business is a powerful Internet tool for your company’s local visibility. By following these key steps to create and optimize your account, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the benefits offered by this free platform. So don’t wait any longer, put these tips into practice today to give your business a boost! Do you need help or are you short of time? Entrust the creation and management of your Google My business listing to our digital agency