January 1, 2024

Google My Business: A Step-by-Step Guide for Local Business Owners in 2024

Local Business Owner setting up their Google Business listing in 2024

In 2024, a well-optimized Google My Business (GMB or also known as Google Business) listing is absolutely crucial for local businesses aiming to enhance their online presence and attract more customers. This comprehensive guide outlines the steps local business owners need to take to set up and optimize their GMB listing effectively.

Step 1: Setting Up Your Google My Business Listing

1.1. Create or Claim Your Listing: If you haven’t already, create a Google My Business listing by visiting the GMB website. If your business is already listed (perhaps by customers or through other data sources), claim it as your own.

1.2. Verification: After claiming or creating your listing, Google may need to verify your business. This is now typically done via a phone call, email or short walkthrough video depending on the available options for your business type.

1.3. Complete Your Business Information: Fill in all the essential details: business name, address, phone number, business hours, and category. Ensure this information is accurate and consistent with other online listings (like your website and social media profiles).

Google Business administration panel for Bowral Web Design Co

Step 2: Optimizing Your Google My Business Listing

2.1. Detailed Description: Write a compelling and detailed description of your business. Include keywords that potential customers might use to find services or products like yours. Use as much of the 750 words available as possible.

2.2. High-Quality Photos and Videos: Upload high-quality images of your business, products, and services. Businesses with photos receive more requests for directions and website visits.

2.3. Regular Posts and Updates: Use the Posts feature to update customers on special offers, events, or any other business news. Regular posts keep your profile active and engaging.

2.4. Manage and Respond to Reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews and respond to them promptly. Positive reviews can improve your business’s visibility and appeal to potential customers.

2.5. Utilize the Q&A Section: Monitor and respond to questions in the Q&A section of your listing. This is an opportunity to engage with customers and provide valuable information.

Step 3: Advanced Optimization Techniques

3.1. Use Google My Business Insights: Utilize GMB Insights to understand how customers are finding your listing (e.g., direct searches, discovery searches) and what actions they are taking.

3.2. Encourage Customer Engagement: Motivate customers to leave reviews, ask questions, or post photos. This engagement can boost your listing’s visibility and attractiveness. We have systems available to help you to automate review requests, follow ups and in responding to reviews across many review platforms, including Google Business.

3.3. Keep Information Up-to-Date: Regularly update your business information, including hours of operation (especially for holidays), contact information, and services offered.

3.4. Leverage Local SEO Strategies: Incorporate local SEO best practices by using local keywords in your business description and posts.

Step 4: Expand Your Local Search Authority

A Google My Business listing is an integral part of a Local Search strategy. Once you have set it up, optimised it and are keeping it up to date regularly, there is much more that can be done.

See our accompanying blog post: 5 Steps to Supercharging Your Local Impact Online in 2024 for next steps in dominating Local Search rankings.

An optimized Google My Business listing is a powerful tool for local businesses. It enhances your online presence, helps you stand out in local searches, and provides an avenue for direct customer engagement. By following these steps to set up and optimize your GMB listing, you can significantly increase your business’s chances of being found by potential customers. Remember, GMB is not a “set it and forget it” tool; regular monitoring and updating are key to maintaining its effectiveness.

And if it’s all too difficult, then we can certainly assist you. Feel free to contact the Bowral Web Design Co team today to discuss where your business currently sits, how your key competitors are looking and the strategy needed to help you to boost rankings and gain greater market share. It is absolutely worth the effort and the investment!