Google My Business: a Step-by-Step Guide to Local SEO

You’ve launched your business website and set up your social profiles. Heather Hulbert explains why Google My Business is the natural next step. 

So you’ve decided to launch your own business. You’ve got yourself a logo, you’ve polished your website, got your social media profiles sorted and you’re ready to launch. Fabulous! But what’s next? How does good old Google know your business exists? Without search engine ranking you’ll be hard pushed to get found on the Internet these days, amongst the millions of other businesses and websites out there. This is where SEO (search engine optimisation) and Google My Business comes in – your business’s best friend!

In June 2014 Google launched its new service, Google My Business. Its aim? To help drive more traffic to local businesses. It also tells Google all about you, your business, where you’re located for Google Maps, and what services you provide, so it can help direct the relevant traffic to your website when users search for products or services. You can also post photos, latest offers, and keep customers up to date with your latest COVID-19 protocols, ensuring your business is up to date.

And the best part of all this? It’s completely FREE! If you’ve got a business with a website, and you haven’t got a Google My Business profile, you’re missing a massive trick! Let me walk you through the setup process for creating your new profile, so you can start requesting reviews and generating more leads for your business.

Let’s start at the beginning…

If you have a Google Account, sign in, or create a new one for free. I’d recommend using your business email address to sign up with, rather than a personal email address.

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Search for your business name – if there’s lready a listing on Google, you can claim it as your business, or alternatively you can create a new listing.  Make sure you don’t create duplicate listings for your business – this will negatively impact your SEO as Google will be more likely to disregard the content as duplicate content and penalise you.

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Choose a business category that fits most with your line of work. Note, there may not be an exact match in the list of categories available so pick the one closest to your business.  Then, click Next.

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Enter your business’ address and click Next. You may have to choose your exact location on the map with a marker here. If you don’t have a permanent physical location, you can opt to choose the service areas you work within instead. Then, click Next.

Choose how your business will display on Google Maps.

  • If you serve customers at your business address:
    • Enter your business address, then click Next.

If you also serve customers in your local area or via an online shop you’ll have the option to list your service areas as well.

  • If you don’t serve customers at your business address:
    • Enter your business address.
    • At the bottom, click I deliver goods and services to my customers and then Next.
    • List your service areas, then click Next.

Add your business phone number and website (if you have one). When you’re done, click Finish.

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Now you need to select a verification option to prove you own the business you are listing. Check all the details are correct first, before you request verification!

  • To verify now, find the red banner at the top and click Verify now.
    • To verify later, click Verify later and then Later.
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How long before it starts showing on Google search results?

It usually takes 3-4 days for your new listing to appear in search results. When you opt to verify your address, it will send a postcard with a unique code to your business’ registered address and this can take a few days to arrive in the post.

Once you receive your verification code, simply log in and enter the unique code to get verified. Google now knows you’re a genuine business with a location, giving it more credibility in search rankings.

What’s next?

So now you have a Google my Business listing, what’s next?  Now you can expand on your listing and complete it with extra key information about your products and services:

  • List your opening times
  • Add photos
  • Request reviews
  • Add all your individual services
  • Add special offers
  • Add your COVID-19 policy updates
  • Update service availability
  • and more!

So what are you waiting for? Get your business on Google!

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Google My Business - Heather Hulbert Designs - A Guide to Local SEO

About the Author

Heather Hulbert

Heather Hulbert

Director, Heather Hulbert Designs

Heather Hulbert Designs provides modern, fresh, user-friendly WordPress websites designs – getting your business online, one pixel at a time.

Photo by henry perks on Unsplash

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