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Safeguarding Your Data: Security Features of Google Cloud Storage Plans

In today’s digital age, the security of our data has become a paramount concern. As businesses increasingly rely on cloud storage solutions to store and manage their data, it is crucial to choose a provider that offers robust security features. One such provider is Google Cloud Storage. With its comprehensive suite of security measures, Google Cloud Storage plans ensure the safety and integrity of your valuable data. Let’s explore some of the key security features offered by Google Cloud Storage plans.

Data Encryption

Data encryption is a fundamental component of any secure cloud storage solution. With Google Cloud Storage plans, your data is encrypted both at rest and in transit. At rest, data is encrypted using AES-256 encryption, which is considered one of the most secure encryption standards available today. This ensures that even if unauthorized access occurs, your data remains encrypted and unreadable.

During transit, all communication with Google Cloud Storage servers is encrypted using industry-standard SSL/TLS protocols. This means that any data transferred between your devices and Google’s servers is protected from interception or eavesdropping by malicious entities.

Access Controls

Controlling access to your stored data is crucial for maintaining its security. Google Cloud Storage plans offer robust access control mechanisms that allow you to define who can access specific files or buckets within your storage account.

Access controls can be set at different levels – project, bucket, or object – providing granular control over who can read or modify your data. You can assign specific permissions to individual users or groups, ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive information.

Audit Logging

Transparent monitoring and auditing are essential for maintaining the integrity of your stored data and detecting any potential security breaches promptly. Google Cloud Storage provides detailed audit logs that capture important events related to your storage account.

These logs include information such as user activity, API calls made on your behalf, and access attempts. By regularly reviewing these logs, you can identify any suspicious activity and take appropriate action to mitigate potential risks.

The Complete Guide to Google My Business

Table of Contents

Google My Business Icon

How to Navigate this Guide Quickly This is a pretty long guide. If you're here looking for something specific, check out the Table of Contents to make things easier for you.

This step-by-step guide will help you understand Google My Business inside and out so that you can improve your Google Map rankings, communicate with customers, control your online presence, and generate more leads.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool created by Google to help business owners manage how they appear in Google search results and on Google Maps. With it, you can claim your free local business listing on Google and add things like your contact information, business hours, photos, services, and much more.

Related: Google My Business for Lawyers (by Rankings.io)

Why is Google My Business Important?

Because whether you like it or not, your business can and likely will get listed on Google. Anyone can enter your business name and register it with Google. Doing so will make a Google My Business profile for your business begin appearing more prominently in the Google Map results. It also helps trigger your business appearing in the Knowledge Panel as well.

An optimized Google business listing allows you to supply useful business information to searchers such as business hours, where you're located, driving directions, and a lot more to increase your overall online presence.

Would you rather be the person managing your listing rather than some random person?

Business analytics can also be derived from the Insights Pane such as:

  • How customers search for your business
  • What queries they use to find your business
  • How they interact with your listing and a lot more.

These insights are usually easier for small business owners to grasp than the data in Google Analytics.

A profile/listing is the #1 tool that helps balance the visibility between big business and small business.

Graph depicting a pie chart of how people search for business in the GMB Insights pane

How Do I Setup Google My Business and Get My Business Listed on Google?

Note I recommend that you set this up from a desktop or a laptop. It will be much easier.

Just in case you're looking to remove a listing: See this resource to learn how to delete your Google My Business listing .

Step 1: Visit the Official Website

Visit the following page:

https://www.google.com/business/  or go to Google and type in "google my business."

It will be the first result you see.

Click the Manage Now button.

If you're not already signed into a Google account, it will ask you to sign in.

Be sure you are signed into the Google account you want to be associated with your Google business listing. 

Setting the Name of Your Business

Once you get logged in, if you haven't set up a listing in the past, it is going to ask you to enter the name of your business.

Go ahead and type it in.

If someone has already listed you on Google (which isn't uncommon) then you should see your listing appear.

If your business doesn't appear, click the result that has the text under your business name that says:

Create a business with this name

Otherwise, if your business does pop up (like mine does below), go ahead and click on it.

GMB Setup Name of Your Business

Then click  next .

Setting the Address of Your Business

GMBs Location UI

You'll be choosing between a Brick & Mortar or Service Area Business now. See the Brick & Mortar vs. Service Area Business section for more info.

GMB Service Area Business UI as of February 2019

Setting Your Location

How you set your location will vary depending on if you're business operates with a storefront or in a service area. 

Hiding Your Address

If you already have a listing and want to hide your address on Google you can do so from the info settings of your GMB dashboard, we cover how to hide your Google My Business address from Google Maps here.

Setting Your Location as a Brick & Mortar Business

If you're a brick and mortar business you'll need to set your business location on a map. You may have to drag the marker to the exact location on the map where your business exists. Simply place your marker where it should go on the map and then press the "Next" button again.

GMB Where are you located UI

Setting Your Location as a Service Area Business

If you're a business that services an area then you'll need to let let Google know what area you serve customers.

Note : As of February 2019, it looks like Google will still let you set a radius around your business. I think this is a bug. Once you create your listing Google will likely alert you that radius around the business is no longer an option (at least this is what my GMB notifications told me in the fall of 2018).

If Google is going to make you set your service area based on  specific areas  then you might as well do it now.

You can set your service area based on the city, county, state, zip-code, country, and so on.

So let's use an example.

Let's say a local electrician services the western Kentucky area.

They could enter something like:

  • Marshall County, KY
  • McCracken County, KY
  • Calloway County, KY
  • Graves County, KY

...and so on.

They could also enter these areas by zip-code or even the major cities in each county if that's where they like to focus their business.

Tip : If you serve an entire county I would just enter the county name instead of trying to list out all of the zip-codes.

GMB Entering Service Area Locations UI

Categorize Your Business

This step is very important too, so don't rush through this. Take your time and do it right.

When you set your "categories" in you'll be able to set both  primary and secondary categories .

Getting this step right is crucial if you want to show up in Google's results page when potential customers are searching for a product or service you offer.

GMB Categories UI

Set What Contact Details to Show Your Customers

Adding this information to your Google listing is optional but I would HIGHLY recommend it.

Adding your website has the obvious benefit of potentially driving a customer to your site where you can more easily convert them to a lead.

Listing your phone number gives customers a direct way to reach you.

Tip: You'll get a little bump in your local ranking from Google each time a visitor visits your website, gets directions, calls you, texts you, etc. from a local search.

GMB UI showing what the Contact Details UI looks like

Note : If you don't have a website you can select the "I don't need a website" option or the "Get a free website based on your info" option. If you want to learn more about getting a free website if you don't already have one, click See details during this step.

Be sure that everywhere you list your website on the web (in a Google listing, Yelp, Yellow Pages, local Chambers of Commerce pages, and so on) that you use the exact same URL structure for your website. 

In other words, if your website is https://yourwebsitename.com don't list it anywhere as https://www.yourwebsitename.com. 

If you don't have www in front of your name, don't list it that way anywhere (and vice-versa).

Also, be sure that if you use the same http or https structure in front of your name on all listings depending on which one you have. It's important that your business name, address, and website are the same across all directory listings. A tool like Direction is perfect for  checking your NAP consistency across the web.

Google recommends having a secure website (https), which will require you to have what's known as a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate installed.

If you don't know what this is or how to do it, ask your website developer or feel free to reach out to us here at Ardent Growth .

Once you've filled out that information, press the "Next" button once again!

Finish and Verify Your Business

Don't get too excited. You're not done yet.

GMB Finish and Verify UI

Next, you'll have to verify your business and that may take a couple of days. You can optimize your listing in the meantime though. 

Google may give you a different option to verify your business but for most business owners, you'll have to wait for a postcard to be mailed to you from Google with a verification code on it.

GMB Choose how to verify UI

How to Verify Your Google My Business Listing

Depending on what kind of business listing you're attempting to create (or manage) you'll may have a few options available to verify your business:

  • Verify by mail (postcard)
  • Verify by phone
  • Verify by email
  • Instant verification
  • Bulk verification


Once your postcard arrives you'll need to sign back into  google.com/mybusiness , click Verify Location from the menu or the Verify Now button if it's available, then enter the 5 digit code from your postcard.

Note : Google recommends that you do not edit your business name, address, or category, or request a new code while you're waiting for your verification postcard. Doing so can potentially become a nightmare for you to untangle (involving some phone calls with Google customer support).

And that's it. You know have your listing all set up. 

Now it's time to optimize it (if you haven't already) so you can leverage the value it can bring to your business.

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

The search results display businesses relative to your location.

Showing up at the very top of a Google search is like gold. But you know that, right?

About 26% of all clicks go to the first result listed (not including ads) if there's no featured snippet present. Otherwise about 8.6% of clicks go to featured snippets and 19.6% go to the first organic result.

Ahrefs Featured Snippets Ctr

Whether you were able to verify your business or not, you can still continue on and optimize your Google My Business listing.

Establishing your listing is like the foundation and frame of a house, it has to be there. Optimizing it is like ensuring the roof doesn't leak and the insulation performs well. That being said, you'll want to ensure you're following the Google My Business guidelines for representing yourself on Google.

[elementor-template id="8786"]

When someone searches for a service or product that Google thinks can be provided to them from a local business the search engine results page (SERP) will be changed to include local results.

Be happy. This is Google looking out for local businesses.

For example, if you search for "plumbers" you'll likely see something like this:

GMB Local Pack

Showing up in this  3 Pack  (a.k.a. the Local Pack ) is your chance to shine as a local business.

It's a way for you to beat all of those directory listing services trying to get your customer's attention.

There are several factors that influence how you rank in the local pack and no one knows for sure. We have learned some best practices through advice straight from Google and our own experimentation and testing though. 

Let's get started. 

Optimizing Your Info Section

On the left-hand side of your dashboard you'll see an option labeled  info , click it.

GMB Dashboard UI

Add as much info as you can to your info pane. The more complete it is the better!

What Should I Add to My Info Section?

  • Business Hours of Operation
  • Phone Number
  • Website Address (if applicable)
  • Appointment URL (if applicable)
  • Services You Offer
  • Business Description
  • The Date Your Business First Opened

To edit a section, just click the pencil icon for that section.

Gmb Edit Pencil Icons

Note : Anyone can edit your listing. So include as much information as possible. This will help prevent people from accidentally adding incorrect information to your listing.

Also, be sure to check your business listing regularly to ensure everything is still accurate.

Advanced Tip for Tracking Organic Traffic from Google My Business in Google Analytics

One problem with tracking organic traffic in Google Analytics is that you cannot easily determine whether or not the traffic is coming from your listing in the Map Pack or the regular organic results. You can resolve this by adding UTM parameters to your website URL in the Google My Business dashboard.

Append the following to the end of your URL: ?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=organic&utm_content=listing&utm_campaign=local

Google My Business Utm Parameters

Now when you check your Analytics in the future you will be able to identify which traffic came from your GMB listing.

Google My Business Gmb Source Analytics

Brick & Mortar vs. Service Area Business (SAB)

Brick & mortar.

Leave the "I deliver goods and services to my customers" checkbox blank if you have a brick and mortar business where your customers or clients come to do business with you.

Service Area Business

If you're a Service Area Business, click this checkbox.

You'll see another box appear giving you the option to  hide your address .

If you don't want your address displayed (for example, if you're a home-based business and use a personal address as your business address), then go ahead and check this box.

GMB Service Area Business UI as of February 2019

What is a Service Area Business (SAB)?

  • A business that goes to the customer or delivers things to the customer but doesn't primarily serve its customers at its business address (e.g., landscapers, plumbers,  roofers ).
  • If you serve customers at your business address  and  deliver to them, then you can also register as a service area business (e.g., pizza shops, florists)

Examples of Brick & Mortar Businesses

  • grocery stores
  • gas stations
  • doctor's offices
  • mechanic's shops
  • restaurants (that don't deliver)
  • accountants

Examples of Service Area Businesses (SABs)

  • general contractors
  • exterminators
  • electricians

If you don't know what category you fall into, feel free to  email me  and ask.

Choosing the Right Google My Business Category

If you're unsure of what category is the right category, you can search for the type of business you run in Google and see what categories your competition selected. 

We also have a searchable list of Google My Business categories if you want to see a current list of categories available. 

If you see a trend them amongst all of them then you can probably assume that's the category you should choose.

Google SERP results showing what the competition lists as their primary category

In the example above we can see that most construction businesses in the Murray area have themselves categorized as some type of contractor.

Feel free to be specific if you primarily provide one type of service.

The Services Editor

The services section allows you to add additional content to your listing. These are helpful for users but they do not help you rank for additional keywords from an SEO standpoint.

Google My Business will automatically suggest some services but you can create custom services as well.

As of October 2020, services do not appear for desktop searches yet but they do appear on some mobile searches.

How to Optimizing the Service Section

  • Click on Services in the left-hand navigation of your GMB dashboard
  • Create a section or add a service to a pre-existing section.
  • Add a  Service  that you offer.
  • Add a listing price if you want.
  • Click Add once you've added the info and that's it!

Google My Business Attributes

The  Attributes/Highlights  section allows you to add items depending on the industry your business falls into. Attributes will show up on your business profile in both Google search and maps.

These can include things like:

  • Veteran-Led
  • Wheelchair Accessible

Displaying a Veteran Led Business in Google Business Listing

How to Add and Edit Google My Business Attributes

The easiest way to add or edit Google My Business attributes is from the Business dashboard. Once there, view the Info screen and scroll down to the section with a small tag

Google My Business Attributes Tag

Click the edit icon

GMB Edit Icon

to select which attributes apply to the business and then finalize those changes by clicking " Apply ."

Google My Business Attributes and Highlights in the GMB Dashboard

How Do Google My Business Attributes Help My Business?

Adding attributes to a Google My Business listing enables the business to show up in additional searches that are more refined. For example, if a person didn't have cash and only had a card, they might want to know what payment options were available.

Or perhaps you ran a small bed and breakfast and wanted to let potential searcher's know that you had WIFI — that's an attribute you can add.

Restaurants have a ton of options they can add as well (see below). No matter what kind of business you run, you should fill this out completely and recommend people you know answer questions about your business to help highlights appear as well.

GMB Attributes for Branch Out

Business Descriptions

This is pretty straightforward. Make it sound natural and human. Don't attempt to keyword stuff. Google is smarter than that and let's be honest, it sounds odd.

Example of a Good Business Description

google my business plan

Additional Options

Some types of business will be able to include additional items in their listings. 

For example, restaurants can add menus, hotels can add the ability for people to book reservations, and so on. 

Be sure to review what all is available for your industry type and feel free to message me if you want me to include details about it in this guide.

Google My Business Photo Guidelines

  • Format:  JPG or PNG
  • Size:  Between 10 KB and 5 MB
  • Minimum Resolution:  720px × 720px
  • Quality:  Use high-quality images. They should be in focus and well lit, and have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters. In other words, the image should represent reality.

It's very important to add a  profile photo  to your listing.

Customers who see a nice profile photo are a lot more likely to click on your listing than another one that doesn't include a photo.

Ensure that your photos are optimized for SEO by naming them appropriately. 

Do not upload images with generic file names (or file names like IMG2018_05_21). 

Instead, think of a proper name like (boxing-up-pizzas-for-hungry-customers.jpg). 

What Types of Photos Can I Add to Google My Business?

Cover photos.

  • Profile Photos
  • Other Photos

Other people can add photos to your listing as well (known as user-generated content, which isn't always a good thing — learn  how to remove user-generated photos ). I would encourage you to do this and treat it in a similar fashion that you would your Facebook page.

Don't just upload random photos of your business.

Make sure they're high-quality photos with good lighting and relevant. Your photos should portray what your business does.

Also use photos that perform well in both square and landscape mode because your images will be formatted as rectangles on phones and squares on desktops. So make sure the primary focal point of your photo is near the middle.

Gmb Photos As Squares On Desktop

Profile Photo Size

Gmb Profile Photo Size 1 To 1 Aspect Ratio

250 x 250 pixels (minimum 120 x 120; maximum 5200 x 5300)

You can now set your preferred profile cover photo as of June 2019. Choose your cover photo carefully as it will be the primary image that appears whenever your business is viewed in the search results.

Get a professional cover photo that will appeal to your ideal customers and as always, make sure that it accurately represents your business.

GMB Cover Photo Example

A new photo module has also been added to listings. Photos uploaded by the business will show up instantly in this module.

Cover Photo Size

Gmb Cover Photo Size 16 To 9 Aspect Ratio

1080 x 608 pixels (minimum 480 x 270; maximum 2120 x 1192)

Shared Images Size

Gmb Shared Photo Size 497 To 373 Aspect Ratio

497 x 373 pixels (minimum width 497; maximum 2048 x 2048)

If you have your logo set it will begin being displayed in the listing as well (similar to the way your favicon is being displayed next to your website listings on mobile searches). 

You can set your logo by going to your GMB Dashboard and clicking on Photos in the left-hand navigation menu.

If you don't already have one set, go ahead and so so.

You can click the pencil icon next to your logo if you want to modify one you've already set in the past.

Google My Business Video Guidelines

Video content performs very well online and is growing rapidly.

Don't just add random videos. Ensure your videos aren't shaky and aren't shot in portrait mode.

Ask yourself, "If my competitor uploaded a video like this, would I make fun of them or envy them?"

Google My Business Video Requirements

Video posted on your listing must be:

  • 30 seconds or shorter
  • 100 MB or smaller
  • 720p resolution or  higher

Google My Business Review Guidelines

You definitely want your customers to leave online reviews. 

You can encourage customers to leave reviews by simply asking them and by also responding to reviews that customers to leave you. Make sure you're following the rules though.

Note: Don't forget to get reviews across other major online platforms as well. 

When customers see that you engage with the people who post on your listing it makes them much more likely to say something as well.

  • If a review is positive, thank the customer.
  • If they are negative, be kind and attempt to make things right if you can.

⚠️ Don't get into a war with someone just because they leave you a bad online review.

GMB Example of a Bad Review

How Can I Remove Negative Reviews from My Listing?

You cannot a remove customer reviews from your listing just because it is negative.

However, Google does allow you to dispute fake reviews. Note that there is no guarantee that it will be removed just because you dispute it though.

How Do I Dispute a Fake Review on My Google Listing?

  • From the Business Dashboard click on Reviews (located on the left side)
  • Find the review you want to flag, click on the three little dots in the upper-right hand corner of the review.
  • Click "Flag as inappropriate"
  • You can follow up on the status of your dispute by clicking on the Support option from the left-hand menu.
  • You can also file a  legal removal request form  as well. But be aware, the standard is set pretty high for libel.`

How Do I Turn Off Reviews for My Google Listing?

There is no way to turn off your reviews on Google. If you don't like the reviews people leave your best bet is to respond kindly to those reviews and attempt to resolve the issue.

Even if it's a fake review; respond to it as if it were a legitimate complaint while you're waiting for Google to make a determination after you have flagged it for a dispute.

While it may seem unfair or scary to let the reputation of your business be in the hands of the consumer — the truth is, it's always been this way. It's just more apparent now. Do not live in fear of reviews. Instead, handle yourself professionally online when responding to them and you'll still look good to the people who matter — your ideal customers.

Can I Embed My Google Reviews on My Website

Yes. There are a variety of options to embed your Google reviews on your website.

Tools like  EmbedReviews  make this fairly easy for your webmaster to do without having to create their own connection to Google's API.

Do Google Reviews Impact my SEO?

Yes.  Google states on their own site  that, "High quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business's visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location."

Google's guidance on how GMB reviews impact SEO

Activate Your Booking Button

Having a booking button on your GMB listing can be a powerful addition to your ability to generate leads.

Businesses in supported regions that have integrated with one of Google's supported booking/reservation partners will be eligible to active this enhanced GMB feature.

GMB Booking Button

Google My Business Messaging

If your business listing has been verified you can enable messaging.

Messaging is a powerful tool to utilize, especially if you're trying to attract younger audiences to your business.

I think we all know that the younger generations spend more time looking at their smartphones than they do talking into them.

Enabling messaging will allow a customer to text message you  without them ever knowing what your cell number actually is (assuming it's different from the one on your listing, that is).

If you're uncomfortable having clients text your cell number you can download third-party applications or even the official  Google Voice  app and let them text that application instead.

They'll never know the difference and you can usually restrict the times in which an app will send you notifications by tweaking your app settings on your phone.

Don't underestimate how many leads you could lose out on by not enabling this option. It's not uncommon for a person under 35 to never become a lead because they just don't like talking on the phone .

To Enable Messaging for GMB:

  • From the Dashboard click on  Messages  on the left-hand side.
  • Click Enable

Google provides extensive guidelines  to abide by for business owners using the Messaging feature.

Once enabled, the option to message you will show up for users on mobile.

GMBs messaging feature displayed on mobile

Can I Manage GMB Messages from My Desktop Computer?

Update for June 2020: It is now possible to manage your messages from your desktop computer (laptops as well). Google has allowed potential customers to message business from Google Maps and Google Search so long as they had Google My Business set up. 

The downside was that you had to message folks back using your GMB app, as there was no way to do it via a computer.

This was quite frustrating for franchise owners and busy businesses who simply couldn't keep up with things on their phone. 

We're happy to say that Google has now partnered with several customer service solutions to enable communication with customers from the same platform they're used to using. 

 You can find a list of available partners here .

Google My Business Posts

Think of GMB Posts in a similar fashion to posts on Facebook.

Google offers another avenue to provide potential customers with info about your business. Keep things active on Google and maintain an omnichannel approach to marketing.

Google My Business Posts can contain text, photos, and videos.

Check out our complete guide to Google Posts if you want to dive deeper into this area of Google My Business.

What are Welcome Offers in Google My Business?

In June 2019 GMB rolled out a new feature called Welcome Offers . 

It's no surprise that most online shoppers are looking for a deal of some sort (that's why most of them shop online to begin with). 

Businesses can now encourage customers to follow them with  welcome offers for doing so.

An icon of a small blue tag is appended to the upper-right of the Follow button on your listing.

However, I wouldn't rely on most folks recognizing this until it becomes more widely known. So in the mean time, create an attractive offer and promote it on social media as well as your GMB posts.

Think carefully here and remember the initial goal is to attract followers so you'll show up in their For You tab in maps.  

Product Catalog

You can showcase your product categories and products on your listing as well.

You can add new categories and products from the “Posts” section within your Google My Business account or from your Dashboard by clicking on "Products" on the left-hand navigation pane.

This feature is especially nice for brick-and-mortar businesses that carry brand name retail items they would like to promote.

GMB Product Listing

Short Names & URLs

You can add a short name to your profile now as well. Doing so will give you a link to your GMB listing that is more branded.

You can use this to promote your listing and provide customers with an easy link to leave you a review.

You can set your short name listing by going to the Info pane of your GMB dashboard. 

You'll see the place to set it directly beneath the section to set your phone number.

Although no announcement has been made, Google has confirmed there is an ongoing bug with Google My Business shortnames that can result in your listing being suspended. #seo #googlemybiz #gmb pic.twitter.com/M5GN1vYTru

— Candour (@candouragency) July 25, 2019

Additional Thoughts

Download the official google my business app.

Be sure to download and install the Google My Business app on your phone.

It will allow you to edit your listing, respond to messages, review insights, create posts and a lot more.

  • Download Link for iPhone
  • Download Link for Android

If you have any questions about how to set up or optimize your local business listing, don't hesitate to reach out and ask.

google my business plan

Related content

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What is Local Search Marketing? Starter's Guide to Local SEO

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How to Set Up Local Business Listings [Updated for 2020]

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Google my business management service to drive more local leads.

Drive more web traffic from mobile, Google Maps and local searches with our Google My Business Management Service.

You should be able to run your business without having to worry about managing your Google My Business profile

  • Are you nowhere to be found in the top 3 map results?
  • Do you believe your GMB profile should generate more calls?
  • Are you spending too much time troubleshooting your ranking issues?
  • You don’t know where to start to get your listing seen by local prospects?


Matteo Trovato Head of Marketing

A solution for local businesses looking to rank on Google Maps

“With Google My Business, you can make your business stand out from the crowd on the world’s most popular search engine.

With almost 50% of online searches having local intent, and 65% of searchers using Google My Business to find contact details for a local business, you want to show up in Google Maps to boost sales.

Our team of experts are here to help you get set up and optimized for visibility!”

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Is pronto the right gmb management company for your business.

What our clients say about how we help them reach their GMB goals and get more local leads. 

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Fresh Fit, Partner

“I trusted Pronto’s GMB experts with a valuable client of mine, and the result couldn’t have been better. We came in to spark local leads in the OKC area and we saw positive results across the board.”

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“With little knowledge about how to best use Google My Business, I approached Pronto looking for a fully-managed service to help step up our local SEO. We are thrilled with their hands-on approach.”

One Google My Business plan to rule them all

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Book a call to get started

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Actionable Recommendations

Receive a list of actionable recommendations to enhance your current campaign or to kick off a new one on the right track

A Google My Business Plan

Recommended Google My Business campaign plan and ongoing optimization ideas

GMB management case studies

Take a look at our GMB optimization results

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An Optimized GMB Listing Renders a 4,550% Increase in Direct Phone Calls

An Oklahoma-based health food business worked with Pronto to step up their local leads with an optimized Google My Business (GMB) profile.

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Actively Managed GMB Listing Yields a 365% Boost in Website Clicks

IT firm Data Cube Systems contacted Pronto to help them establish a greater presence on their Google My Business listing to help increase local business opportunities.

Attract local searchers and turn them into customers

Keep your Google My Business listing active at all times

We optimize your listing to reach your local audience

We post new content to engage potential customers and drive traffic to your site

Get monthly reports on the progress of your Google profile and website authority

A fully managed GMB optimization & management service

First, we identify local online competitors then analyze their GMB listings to determine their current ranking. 

Next we audit for any keywords that overlap with your business’ target audience and compare them against others in similar verticals.

We diagnose the status of your GMB listing through a 19-step audit process. 

This step allows us to make informed decisions about your campaign strategy and execution.

We build monthly local citations and high-quality contextual links for your business. 

We then create and post relevant content on your behalf to amplify your local presence.

We prepare and share a Google My Business and links report each month to keep our clients informed on progress.

Frequently asked questions​

Through our Google My Business management service, you will benefit from an amplified presence on Google, higher engagement on your listing, and increased website visits. 

We cannot promise leads as there are way too many factors involved in turning a visitor into a lead, but we are confident that our work will result in an increased interest for your business from local prospects and potential buyers.

Yes. One GMB listing is meant for one location. It requires specific optimization and a proper GMB strategy to make each GMB listing ranked. 

Multiple locations mean multiple GMB strategies are required. Therefore, one service is for one GMB listing.

Optimize your Google My Business profile to get more local leads

If your business has a physical location, then setting up your GMB profile is an absolute must. It gives you a chance to rank in local search results and promote your business to the right buyers.

Maintaining a high Google My Business ranking can make a huge difference for businesses such as landscaping, plumbing, restaurants, gyms, or music schools. According to a study run by Google, 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on a computer or tablet did the same.

Additionally, businesses in competitive metro areas or with multiple branches will also benefit from optimizing their Google My Business SEO since ranking for a second location can be much harder than the first one.

Why is it important to optimize your Google My Business listing?

Google’s search algorithm is incredibly smart at detecting when a user is looking for local information. It will directly insert the top 3 listings on Google Maps above the first organic results.

These local results and maps are called “The Google Map Pack” and, for local businesses, this is exactly where you need to be.

Searches like “local gym,” “IT support near me,” or “plumbers in Fort Worth” will display Google Ads, Google Maps, and 8 Organic Results to users. 

With one click on Google Ads potentially costing upwards of $20, getting the most out of your Google My Business profile is essential.

Accelerate your maps ranking ascent with links

It’s no secret that Google favors brands over anonymous businesses, and so it makes sense that brand and authority-building campaigns become key to your local SEO success.

Local SEO link building, paired with our monthly Google My Business maintenance service, lays the foundations for establishing a strong local presence and strengthening your brand authority in your local area.

Every month, our local SEO experts will manually create high-quality and highly relevant contextual links aimed at building your brand authority and establishing keyword relevance between your website and your Google My Business listing.

There is an abundance of services available that promise to rank your Google My Business listing in the map pack, but the integration of a targeted link-building campaign with a well-optimized listing is all you need to maximize your local visibility.


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Adam Porteous Head of Accounts

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The Ultimate Guide to Google My Business

Aja Frost

Updated: October 10, 2022

Published: April 27, 2018

What is Google My Business?

GMB is a free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. That includes adding your business name, location, and hours; monitoring and replying to customer reviews; adding photos; learning where and how people are searching for you, and more.


If you're just getting started with local SEO, your Google My Business listing is a great place to focus your early efforts. After all, when people search for a product or service near them, they're usually very close to making a purchase -- one in two people who conduct a local search (think "watch repair near me") visit a store that day. So it's important the information about your business that shows up when people search Google is as accurate, complete, and optimized as possible.

Download Now: Business Startup Kit [Free Templates]

To learn how to create your Google My Business account, verify your business, and make its listing as strong as possible, read on. 

  • Create an account and claim your business
  • Verify your business
  • Optimize your listing
  • Download the GMB app
  • Know the difference between Google My Business, Google Places, and Google+

Is Google My Business free?

GMB is completely free to use. The only requirement for using it is that you must have some face-to-face interaction with your customers -- in other words, you can’t operate 100% online.

Create a Google My Business Listing

  • Step 1: Log into the Google Account you want associated with your business (or create a Google Account if you don’t already have one).
  • Step 2: Go to google.com/business and select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner.
  • Step 3: Enter your business name.

Google My Business business name.

  • Step 4: Enter your business address. 

Google My Business business location.

  • Step 5: If you go to your   customers ’ locations, rather than having them come to you, check the box “I deliver goods and services to my customers.” And if you work out of your house or another address you don’t want publicly shown, Check “Hide my address (it's not a store) Only show region.” Finally, select your Delivery area.

Google My Business delivery area

  • Step 6: Choose your business category. Try to choose the most accurate category possible -- you’re essentially telling Google which type of customers should see your business listing.
  • Step 7: Add your business phone number or website.
  • Step 8: Choose a verification option. If you’re not ready to verify your business yet, click “Try a different method” → “Later.”

How to Verify Your Business on Google

There are several ways to verify your GMB listing:

  • By postcard

Instant verification

Bulk verification, postcard verification.

  • Step 1: If you aren't already logged into Google My Business, sign in now and choose the business you want to verify. (If you're already logged in, you'll be at the verification step.)
  • Step 2:  Make sure your business address is correct. Optional: Add a contact name -- that's who the postcard will be addressed to.

postcard verification.

  • Step 3:  Click "Mail." The postcard should reach you in five days -- make sure you don't edit your business name, address, or category (or request a new code) before it comes, because this could delay the process.
  • Step 4:  Once you've gotten the postcard, log into Google My Business. If you have more than one business location, select the location you want to verify. If you only have one, select "Verify now."
  • Step 5: In the Code field, enter the five-digit verification code on your postcard. Click "Submit."

If your postcard never shows up, or you lose it, you can request a new code by signing into Google My Business and clicking the "Request another code" blue banner at the top of the screen.

Phone verification

Google lets some businesses verify their location by phone. If you're eligible, you'll see the "Verify by phone" option when you start the verification process.

  • Step 1:  If you aren't already logged into Google My Business, sign in now and choose the business you want to verify. (If you're already logged in, you'll be at the verification step.)
  • Step 2: Make sure your phone number is correct, then choose "Verify by phone."
  • Step 3:  Enter the verification code from the text you receive.

Email verification

Google lets some businesses verify their location by phone. If you're eligible, you'll see the "Verify by email" option when you start the verification process.

  • S tep 1: If you aren't already logged into Google My Business, sign in now and choose the business you want to verify. (If you're already logged in, you'll be at the verification step.)
  • Step 2:  Make sure your email address is correct, then choose "Verify by email."
  • Step 3:  Go to your inbox, open the email from Google My Business, and click the verification button in the email.

If you've already verified your business with Google Search Console (a free tool that lets you manage your website's search performance and health), you might be able to instantly verify your email.

  • Step 1:  Sign into Google My Business with the same account you used to verify your business with Google Search Console. (Some business categories aren't eligible for instant verification, so if you don't get a notification asking you to verify the listing, you'll have to use a different verification method.)

If you operate more than 10 locations for the same business -- and you're  not  a service business or an agency managing locations for multiple businesses -- you might be eligible for bulk verification.

  • S tep 1:   If you aren't already logged into Google My Business, sign in now and choose a location. Click "Get verified" next to its name.
  • Step 2:  Click "Chain."
  • Step 3:  Fill out the verification form with your business name (as well as the parent company, if applicable), country or countries where you operate, all contact names (i.e. everyone who will be using the Google My Business account), contact phone number, business manager email (someone at the business who can verify you're a representative of that business), and the email address of your Google Account Manager. 
  • Step 4:  Submit the verification form. It can take up to a week for Google to review and process your claim.

How to Optimize Your GMB Listing

Once you've verified your business, it's time to finish fleshing out your profile. 

Go to the Google My Business dashboard, click the listing you'd like to work on, select "Info," and then choose a section to fill out or update.

edit info.

Add as much information and media as you can, including a business profile photo, the area you serve, your hours, attributes (e.g. "wheelchair accessible," "free wifi"), the day and year you opened, and a public phone number and website URL.

Anyone can "suggest an edit" to your listing, so it's important to A) get everything right the first time (so you don't encourage random people to make their own changes) and B) periodically log into your GMB dashboard and make sure all the details look right.


At any point in time, you can edit your business profile by logging into your GMB dashboard, clicking on "Info," clicking the pencil next to the field you'd like to edit, making your change, and then choosing "Apply."


Google My Business Photos

According to Google, businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website and 42% higher requests for driving directions in Google Maps. 

Photos should be at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels high and JPG or PNG files. 

Not sure how many pictures to add -- or what they should be of?

Cover photo

Your Google My Business cover photo is one of the most important, as it shows up front and center on your listing. 


Profile photo

Your profile photo is what appears when you upload new photos, videos, or review responses.


Along with your profile and cover photos, you can and should upload other pictures to make your listing more informative and engaging.

Google My Business Videos

You can also add videos. Videos must be:

  • 30 seconds or shorter
  • 100 MB or smaller
  • 720p resolution or higher

Videos can add some variety to your profile and make you stand out among other businesses in your category; however, don't worry if you don't have any -- unlike photos, they're not a "must have."

Google My Business Reviews

One of the best ways to encourage future customers to leave positive reviews? Respond to current ones. Not only does leaving an appreciate response show the original reviewer you're thankful for their support, it also makes that positive review stand out on your listing  and  influences people to leave their own reviews.

Here's a sample reply to a satisfied customer:

Thank you for your business, [name]! We're so glad you enjoyed [product, e.g. "the blueberry pie"] -- it's one of our favorites, as well. Hope to see you back at [business name] soon. 

You should also respond to negative reviews to show you take them seriously and placate the unhappy buyer. But make sure you're extremely courteous -- attacking them back will only make you look unprofessional and their review more credible.

Thank you for the feedback, [name], and I'm incredibly sorry [product/experience] did not meet your expectations. [If you've made a change, mention it here -- e.g., "We're now double-checking orders to make sure everyone gets exactly what they asked for."] If you'd like to come back in, we'd be happy to give you [product] on the house. In any case, thanks for your business, and I hope we can do better next time.

Google My Business App

Google My Business is also available in app form for both   iOS   and   Android .

You can use the app to:

  • Update your business hours, location, contact information, and description
  • Post statuses and pictures
  • View search insights

You cannot use the app to:

  • Delete your business listing
  • Change its settings
  • Give ownership of the listing to another user

Google My Business vs. Google Places for Business vs. Google+

If you're confused about the many names and options for managing your Google presence, you've got a right to be. Google Places  used  to be Google's tool for owners to manage their  business  profiles, but it was retired in 2014. Now Google My Business is the central hub to manage how your business appears on Google Search, Maps, and Google+.

So, what's Google+? It's Google's social network (the closest example is probably Facebook). You can join or start Communities -- public or private groups organized around a theme, like Knitting -- and follow or create Collections -- think Pinterest boards. 

A Google+ account for your business lets you interact with niche groups and post pictures and updates. In other words, it's like a Facebook page for your business. You can access your Google+ account from your Google My Business dashboard (but a Google+ account isn't necessary to have a GMB account).

Here's the TL;DR:

Do you need a Google+ account? No -- and if you're short on time, it might be better to focus on other marketing and/or social media channels. 

Do you need a Google My Business account? If you're targeting local customers, I highly recommend it.

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Google My Business

A free service that lets you provide more information about your business when it appears in search. Beyond a URL and description, you can add business photos, videos, telephone numbers, business hours, a delivery area, and links to reservation services. A cover photo and snippets from Google Maps and Google Street View help potential customers know what to expect when they arrive for the first time. A word of warning: Users can suggest edits to your profile, so check it regularly for accuracy.

In this guide to Google My Business, you'll learn about the most important aspects to take into consideration to verify your Google my Business presence and maximize your local search results by optimizing it.

google my business plan

Take your SEO strategy to new places

Mailchimp has the tools and resources to help promote and boost conversion on your website.

Google My Business, a subproduct of Google, Inc., is a platform designed specifically with local business owners in mind. Spreading the word about your business is not always easy, even if you are attempting to do so locally.

With Google MyBusiness, optimize your marketing efforts as well as your local visibility within top search engine results today, including Google itself. With Google My Business, you can reach a significantly wider audience in less time and with a focus on what matters most—your customers and clients.

The most important starting point for getting found in local searches is your Google My Business (GMB) profile, to be created with your Google account. When you search for your business on Google, your profile is what shows up in the knowledge panel, or the box on the right side of the search results page .

It’s also the source of the information that shows up for your business in the map pack —the group of 3 listings at the top of organic search results—as well as your info that’s surfaced on Google Maps.

Google My Business features

If you are interested in Google My Business optimization and streamlining your own local business, it is first highly advisable to create your own Google Business account to familiarize yourself with the features that Google My Business has to offer. Some of the most notable features of Google My Business can help you on your journey to success, no matter what industry you are in.

Mailchimp Short Form -28 Graphic 71

Descriptions and categories

Whenever you are attempting to place your business URL into an online directory, you may find yourself limited by the type of information your listing can have or how the listing itself is organized. With Google My Business, you can choose what category is right for your business while also implementing a tidy description of your business that will act as keywords for users whenever they are searching using Google. Adding a description and selecting a category for your official URL will also help to boost the SEO, or the search engine optimization of your website.

Spreading the word about your local business can become frustrating, especially if you are not doing so online yet. With Google My Business, the exact location of your business will appear within rendered search results, along with a local map to display where on the user's map your business is positioned. You can use Google My Business to help boost the overall visibility of your business, especially if you are a locally-owned company in an area that is rife with competition.

Reviews go a long way in making lasting impressions on users, especially when attempting to sell a product or service online. With Google My Business, your company's reviews will appear automatically, which can work in your favor or against you, depending on how others feel about your business and brand. A business that has a high rating with rave reviews is much more likely to garner the attention of newcomers and prospective customers. If your Google My Business listing is littered with poor or mediocre reviews, new prospective customers are more likely to seek out an alternative source.

Another key element of Google My Business is the ability to implement and share photos of the location of your business, the types of services you provide, and even the products (such as unique items, food, or even drinks) that you offer to your customers. Additionally, with any Google Business listing, customers and clients can upload and share the photos that they took of or at your place of business. Using Google My Business to share photos can change the way others view your business while also helping to leave a lasting and positive impression on those who are genuinely interested in knowing more.

Throughout the evolution of Google My Business, new components and features have been implemented into the platform itself for user accessibility and accuracy purposes. Today, anyone who uses Google My Business with a Google Business account has the ability to add their very own attributes to their business listings or local promotional campaigns. Attributes from Google My Business represent specific details about a place of business, such as whether or not the location is pet-friendly, offers outdoor seating, or even donates to specific or charitable causes. Using attributes can help with attracting a particular audience or crowd, especially if that is your intention.

The advantages of Google My Business

Using Google My Business is a great way to attract new customers, spread the word about an existing business, or find your way into any market, even highly saturated and competitive ones. Some of the most notable advantages of using Google My Business for your own business include:

  • Visual maps : Provide visual maps and GPS coordinates directly from Google Maps once you have integrated your own business into Google My Business.
  • Boost SEO : Using Google My Business is a great way to boost the SEO of any website, including those of local businesses near you.
  • Boost your appeal : When a business or brand appears within the top search results of top search engines such as Google, it is much easier to make a positive and professional impression, which will result in a higher CTR, or click-through rate on your website.
  • Valuable insights : Google and Google My Business provide even more valuable data and insights from online users and customers. Use Google My Business to learn more about how users find your business and whether they are doing so via search engines or via the Google Maps maps themselves.
  • Maintain a higher ranking : One major benefit of using Google My Business is the ability to keep your company's overall ranking steady and climbing, rather than forgotten. With an active Google Business account, boost your URL positioning effortlessly within Google search engine results.
  • Increase overall engagement : When users feel as though they can trust your business, they will be more likely to interact and engage with your links, promotions, and even your products or services.

Your profile is your new homepage

Your first impression with potential customers isn’t just your website anymore: It can be your GMB profile.

Websites used to get significant traffic from people who needed simple bits of info about a business, such as its address, phone number, testimonials, or photos of your single or multiple locations.

Today, people don’t need to go to your site to get that information. Your name, address, and phone number are at the top of your profile. There’s also a gallery of images of your business, and customer reviews are aggregated right under your location information. Google even shows the most popular times for visiting your business. For many local businesses, people will decide to become customers without ever visiting your business’s website.

Since potential customers will also be comparing you to your competitors, it’s vital that you complete and optimize your listing so you can make the best first impression and increase your chances of converting those users to customers.

How to set up your account

If you’ve already got a Google My Business account set up, skip ahead to the optimization section. If you haven’t, here’s how to claim your location in Google business listing. Please note that Google occasionally makes updates, so some of the wording may be a little different. Just follow these easy steps:

  • Go to google.com/business .
  • Click “Manage now.”
  • Enter your business name and click “Next.”
  • Enter your address. If you’re a service area business and don’t have a physical store but deliver services (such as a plumber or electrician), click the “I deliver goods and services to my customers” and “Hide my address” checkboxes.
  • Choose your primary business category. It’s important to pick the most accurate category that describes what you do.
  • Add your phone number.
  • Add your website URL.

Verify your business

In most cases, you won’t get to choose your verification method. Google will send a postcard to the address you entered, and when it shows up (typically about a week later), you’ll log back into your GMB dashboard and enter the code to verify your business.

Sometimes you might be able to choose phone verification. If you’re eligible, you’ll see the option to “Verify by phone” in your profile. When you click the “Verify now” link, you’ll receive an automated call with a verification code. Enter the code and you’re good to go.

Sometimes you won’t get the postcard will have other problems with verification. If you can’t seem to figure things out, your best option is to contact Google My Business support on Twitter. Send a tweet to @GoogleMyBiz and someone on the GMB support team will get you the help you need.

Once your business is verified, you’ll be able to respond to reviews and make edits to your business information.

Optimize your Google My Business profile

Now it’s time to optimize your Google My Business profile. Sign in to your GMB dashboard and click on your business.

Because your GMB profile feeds valuable details about your business directly to Google—and the best optimization tactic is to supply as much information as possible—fill out everything you can.

Mailchimp Short Form -28 Graphic 70

Here are the elements you want to optimize:

  • Use your actual business name. Adding additional keywords is against Google’s Terms of Service and can get your listing penalized.
  • List a local phone number. It’s a key signal, or ranking factor, that you’re a legitimate local business. If you use a call tracking number, enter the tracking number in the primary slot. (That’s what will show up to users.) Put your actual local number into the secondary slot.
  • Make sure your hours of operation are correct.
  • Write a compelling description. Let people know who you are. Don’t stuff this section with keywords, which is the practice of loading a page with keywords to boost a site’s ranking, because the description doesn’t have any effect on how you rank in searches.
  • Upload lots of high-resolution photos. This includes exterior, interior, and product shots.
  • Upload videos, if you have them. Videos must be 30 seconds or shorter and smaller than 100 MB.

Get reviews from happy customers

Potential customers want to know what it’s like to buy your product or service , so they’re going to check out your customer reviews. Reviews are also a key element in getting more visibility in local searches.

Customer reviews are not just for internal review. In fact, they can have a major impact on how others view your business and whether or not your business succeeds online. Whenever you research a company that is unknown to you, you may seek out reviews or testimonials to help give yourself some peace of mind before making a purchase or placing your trust in the company's hands. However, if your first impression of the business includes poor reviews or negative responses, you may be more inclined to look elsewhere for the products or services you need.

Reviews from customers provide insight into what your customers want and need from your business. They can also be extremely informative when it comes to the shortcomings of your customer service or even the level of quality of your products.

Mailchimp Short Form -28 Graphic 69

As a business owner, it is also important to communicate with your users and prospective customers, even those who are disgruntled or unhappy with the service they received. Responding to reviews with the use of Google My Business is not only a way to potentially win back loyalty from customers, but it is also a method of conveying transparency to those just getting to know more about your business. You can also use your time to respond to a poor review to remedy the issue and offer a solution, which the public and anyone who stumbles upon your Google My Business listing will see. Businesses who interact and engage with unhappy customers are much more likely to receive returning and repeat business in the future.

Pay attention to questions

The questions and answers section is a “community” feature that shows up directly under your name, address, and phone number. It allows anyone who uses Google to ask questions about your business or answer them. Since you’re the expert, you should be answering every question that’s asked.

Questions can receive multiple answers, but the answers with the most “likes” will show as the primary answer. Then users can click the link to read more answers if they want to.

Questions work the same way. If a question gets at least 3 likes, it will show up in your GMB profile instead of the standard “See all questions” link. If multiple questions get more than 3 likes, the question with the most likes will be the one that’s displayed in your profile.

Control the conversation

Asking your own questions gives you even more control over the conversation around your business. Load your most-asked questions, then enter informative answers to set up a pre-site frequently-asked-questions page. You’ll stand out from competitors and be much more likely to convert users into customers .

Make sure you vote for your answers, too! This ensures that your “From the owner” answers are always displayed as the primary responses. Keep an eye on your questions and answers section so you can keep your answers at the top.

Some useful sample questions (depending on your market and industry) include:

  • Do you ship your products and/or services? If so, how do you go about shipping items to customers?
  • What is the return or refund policy on your products?
  • What methods are available for contacting customer service?
  • How can I return an item if I received the wrong one?
  • When can I use the promotional codes and discount offers I received in my email from you?

Controlling the conversation ahead of time can reduce overwhelming your customer support team while also helping to solidify a professional and trustworthy reputation online.

Grab more eyeballs with Google Posts

Posts are basically free display ads for your business. You should always post promotional offers because users can see Posts before they get to your website.

Posts display a thumbnail image and brief description that pops up to a full-sized image and more text when clicked. They show up at the bottom of your profile panel on desktop and in a dedicated tab in the Google Maps app.

Select an eye-catching image that’s at least 1200x900 pixels. Pay attention to how the image is cropped in the thumbnail version so you don’t lose an important part of the image or text.

There are 4 Post templates you can use when creating your own. The amount of text visible in thumbnail view depends on the template you choose and whether you decide to include a call to action (CTA).

  • What’s New Posts give you the most visible text in your thumbnail. Without a CTA button, you’ll get 4 lines of text, or about 100 characters. If you include a button, the link will replace the last line, so you’ll only have 3 lines of text.
  • Event Posts let you include an event title and a date range for the event. However, each bit of info replaces 1 of your 4 lines of text. Without a CTA button, you’ll only have 2 lines of text, and with the button, you’ll only have 1.
  • Offer Posts include an offer name, a date range for the offer, and options for redemption methods such as a coupon code, visual coupon, or link to your site. You’ll lose lines of text for the name and date range, so if you include a CTA button, you only get a single line for your description. (Redemption methods and coupons only show when expanded to full view.)
  • Product Posts include a product name and a price range. Each replaces a line of text, so when you include your CTA button, you end up with only 1 line of text.

Posts stay live for 7 days after they’re published. If you have several active Posts at the same time, they’ll appear in a carousel with the most recent post displayed first.

Get more out of your listing

Now that you know how to claim, verify, and optimize your Google My Business listing, you can make that great first impression. Whether you’re setting it up for the first time or optimizing a listing that already exists, you’ve got a guide to help you show up more often in local searches and find new customers.

From sharing photos of your products and services to answering questions directly and providing a visual map of your company's location, using Google My Business has many advantages for all business owners. Whether you own a small local printing shop or if you are looking to scale and grow your business online, using a Google Business listing with your own Google Business account is essential today. Next, check out our What is Local SEO? article to learn more about the basics of local search.

A well-optimized GMB listing is one of the most important elements of local searches, so get out there and show yours off!

Written by Greg Gifford. Greg is an expert in local SEO.

How to Write Great Google My Business Posts [Tips + Examples]

Learn how to attract more customers with one of the most overlooked social media opportunities: Google My Business posts.

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What’s the first thing you do when looking for a new restaurant, dog groomer, or anything else? Google it, of course. But how do those businesses show up there? Answer: By creating a free Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business).

Why is Google Business Profile so powerful? It’s simple:

  • Customers see your profile when they’re actively searching for a business like yours.
  • Customers can quickly get a feel for your brand from your photos, reviews, and updates.
  • Keeping your profile updated is a low time investment with a big payoff: More customers.

While everyone else is out fighting for views on Instagram or Facebook, potential customers see your profile when they’re looking for a business right now , which probably means they want to shop or book with you right now . Your GMB profile gives them the extra information they need to choose you right now .

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know to craft customer-winning Google My Business posts easily, including what to post, when to post, and pitfalls to avoid.

Table of Contents

Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template   to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.

What is a Google My Business post?

A Google My Business post is an update that can be added to a business’s Google Business Profile. It can include text (up to 1,500 characters), photos, videos, offers, ecommerce listings, and more. Google My Business posts show up alongside all the other profile information and reviews in search results on Google search and maps.

Here’s an example of a text and photo post published by a yoga studio:

Example of Google My Business post

There are 6 types of posts available to all businesses:

Three additional post types are available for specific types of businesses:

  • Menu, for restaurants
  • Products, for ecommerce

Are Google My Business posts free?

Yep. Everything from filling out your profile, and adding your business to Google Maps, to creating posts is 100% free.

Are Google My Business posts right for my company?

Especially for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations, a Google Business Profile is non-negotiable. There’s no question that Google is one of the top ways for customers to find you, so focusing on local SEO and optimizing your presence there is common sense.

Plus, did I mention it’s free? A free way to get more free traffic from a place where 88% of people who search for a local business will visit a store within a week? Mmkay, sounds pretty sweet.

TL;DR: You should post on your Google Business Profile. It works. Customers like it, SEO robots like it, everyone likes it. Do it.

Google My Business post image sizes

Using the correct image sizes for each social platform and marketing channel shows you care about your brand and keeping it consistent.

While Google will fit any size or aspect ratio you upload, it’s best to upload photos or videos with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Or, at the very least, keep your main subject centered. This will keep any cropping to a minimum.

Uploading photos larger than 1200px wide is also not recommended as Google seems to compress them, resulting in fuzzy images. This may change with future algorithm updates.

Image format: JPG or PNG

Aspect ratio: 4:3

Photo size: 1200px x 900px recommended (480px x 270px minimum), up to 5mb each

Video specs: 720p resolution minimum, up to 30 seconds long and 75mb per video

How to create a Google My Business post

Step 1: decide your post type.

Will you share an update, a video, change your menu, add a service, or launch an offer? To see available options, log in to your Google My Business dashboard and click Posts in the navigation.

Some post types, such as menus, are limited to specific categories of businesses.

Decide the objective and purpose of your post and where it fits in your social content strategy before you start writing. Answer these questions:

  • Is this post promoting a new product or service?
  • Are you trying to bring back old or current customers, or find new ones?
  • How will you capture your ideal customer’s attention?

Still not sure what to post? Use Google’s marketing kit to create a graphic from a review and share it. You can get creative with these, too: Print out a bunch and make a review wall in your shop, or display them in your window.

Google templates for Google My Business posts

Step 2: Write your post

Simple enough, right? It’s true that creating social media content isn’t as tough as neurosurgery, but there are ways to make it even easier.

These tips are specifically for Google My Business posts and not other social media platforms:

  • Keep your post short. You have a 1,500 character limit but there’s no need to max it out. Customers are looking for quick answers or info on Google, not an in-depth piece.
  • Include a visual. Stick to photos or videos of your location or products. Leave the infographics for your other social platforms.
  • Use Google’s free marketing kit assets if you don’t have any great photos yet. While the best visual to use is a real photo, this can be a great resource if you don’t have one, and to go along with an event or offer post.
  • Customize your CTA button . You can include a link you a landing page, coupon code, your website, or product page in every Google My Business post. By default, the CTA button will say “Learn more,” but you can choose from many different options, including “Sign up,” “Order now,” “Book,” and more.
  • Track your offers with UTM links. Adding UTM parameters to your offer links tracks campaign performance to optimize future offers.
  • Use hashtags. They don’t help you rank higher. They just clutter up your post.
  • Run afoul of Google’s strict content policies. While taking a stand on social issues or featuring your customers’ faces may work well on other social platforms, Google wants to keep their profiles 100% business activity focused. Google will remove any content they determine to be “off topic.” Be sure to review Google Business Profile content policies .

Step 3: Publish it

Alright, hit Publish and your post is live! GMB posts stay visible for 7 days. After that, they are automatically removed from your profile.

Step 4: Engage and respond to your customers

A post on your profile might prompt a customer or prospect to leave you a review or ask a question. It’s crucial to respond to these interactions.

This is true for all platforms, but especially Google My Business, since your reviews show up front and center in local searches and can drastically influence someone’s decision to visit your business.

Google My Business results on Google Maps

Make it a weekly habit to:

  • Respond to new reviews (ideally daily!)
  • Repurpose your reviews into other content: Social media posts, on your website, add them to in-store signage, etc.
  • Ensure all questions are answered
  • Reply to post comments
  • Check your Business Profile and keep information up to date, like hours, contact info, and services

It’s easy to manage your Google Business Profile in the same place you manage all your other social media: Hootsuite.

With Hootsuite’s free Google My Business integration , you can monitor and respond to reviews and questions, and publish your Google My Business posts from one easy-to-use dashboard. It even works for multiple business profiles (including other locations or separate companies).

See how easy it is to add Google My Business posts and profile updates to your existing social workflow in Hootsuite:

Start your free trial. (You can cancel anytime.)

5 examples of smart Google My Business posts

1. offers are always a good idea.

Having an active offer on your Business Profile increases the chance someone will choose you over the competition. For example: I’m hungry and searching for a sandwich shop near me in Google Maps. Sweets & Beans (great name) caught my eye because they have a special offer, and it shows up right in the listing.

Once I click on it, I can view the offer without leaving Google Maps. If it looks good, the button to get directions is right there, making it super easy for me to pick this shop.

Lunch deal posted to Google My Business profile

2. Show off your space

Clothing boutique West of Woodward has lots of professional photos showing what they sell and giving searchers a taste of their industrial-chic vibe. Potential customers can easily tell if the store matches their style.

Images added to Google My Business profile

3. Deliver important updates with gratitude

Blink & Brow does a great job here of communicating their main point—that no one has gotten sick from their salon—with a spirit of gratitude. This post also follows another key rule of Google My Business posts: Keep it short.

Instead of making it about them, the post thanks their staff and customers for their hard work. Showing appreciation for your employees and customers is always in style.

Review on Google Business Profile

4. Feature an upcoming event

Hosting a special event, conference, or seminar? Create an event in your Google Business Profile dashboard with the Event post type. Events show up on your profile and in Google event listings.

If you use an external service to manage events, like Eventbrite, you can integrate it with Google My Business to automatically list new events for you. This is great for recurring events.

Events post on Google My Profile

5. Promote new products or services, paired with a great photo

We’ve covered how important good photos are, but when you combine that with a succinct, easy-to-skim service description, and call to action? *Chef’s kiss*

Marina Del Rey’s post captures attention right away with a photo of their (gorgeous!) outdoor dining space, then sums up what to expect from a reservation and the process to book a table in a clean, point-form format:

Example of Google My Business post

In this case, they list contact information, although you can set up online reservations directly from your Google Business Profile for an effortless, automated booking process.

Hootsuite makes it easy to attract new customers and communicate with current ones with Google Business. Monitor and respond to Google My Business reviews and questions right inside Hootsuite. Plus: create and publish Google My Business updates alongside your other social media posts.

Try it free today

Do it better with Hootsuite , the all-in-one social media tool. Stay on top of things, grow, and beat the competition.

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As an ex-agency strategist turned freelance WFH fashion icon, Michelle is passionate about putting the sass in SaaS content. She's known for quickly understanding and distilling complicated technical topics into conversational copy that gets results. She has written for Fortune 500 companies and startups, and her clients have earned features in Forbes, Strategy Magazine and Entrepreneur.

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  • Help Center
  • Google Business Profile
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Service
  • Submit feedback

Sign up and verify your business

Welcome to a business profile on google, get started.

With a Business Profile on Google, you can manage how your local business shows up across Google products, like Maps and Search. If you run a business that serves customers at a particular location, or you serve customers within a designated service area, your Business Profile can help people find you. Verified businesses on Google are twice as likely to be considered reputable.

With a Business Profile, you can:

  • Tell Google your hours, website, phone number, and location (a street address, service area, or place marker, depending on your business).
  • Use Google Maps and Search to stay up-to-date with your online presence wherever you are.
  • Post photos of your business and its products and services.
  • Collect and respond to reviews from customers.
  • Improve how your business appears online so new customers can find you.
  • Point customers to your website.

When you’re ready, consider using location-based ads with Smart campaigns in Google Ads to reach an even larger audience.

Sign up now

Determine if a Business Profile is for you

Your business might be a great fit for Business Profile on Google.

Business Profiles are built for businesses that make in-person contact with customers during specific hours. It’s not for exclusively online businesses, or homes for rent or sale. Learn more about eligibility for a Business Profile .

For larger businesses, Business Profiles also offer a tool to manage lots of locations. Learn more about bulk location management .

Ready to get started? Click the sign up button and proceed to the next page of this guide.

Business Profiles are only available for businesses that make in-person contact with customers. Learn more about eligibility for a Business Profile .

You can still grow your business with Google by getting started with Smart campaigns , Google’s easy-to-use online advertising platform.

Get started with Smart campaigns

Learn about online marketing

You can manage the way your business appears online in several ways:

  • Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to how results appear when someone uses a search engine like Google. These are called organic search results. You can’t pay to change how and where organic search results show up. Your results are determined by a number of factors, like how relevant they are to the original search. Learn how to improve your SEO .
  • Search engine marketing, or SEM, refers to ads you buy to show up near search results. Google’s online advertising program, Google Ads, helps users buy ads. Advertise your business with Smart campaigns in Google Ads .
  • Your Business Profile on Google helps you maintain local results , which show up in a number of ways in Maps and Search. Learn how Google sources and uses business information in search results . These results are tailored to particular geographic areas and help users find nearby businesses. Learn how Google ranks local results .

Related resources

  • Report a violation of Business Profile third-party policies .

Need more help?

Try these next steps:.


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