How to Add a Business to Google My Business (The Right Way)

how to add a business to google my business company listing search engine results

A Google My Business listing is more than the foundation of local SEO—it's the entire monolith. From Google Maps to the coveted Local 3-pack, everything hinges on Google My Business. Your potential and current customers rely on this data to gauge, locate, and contact your business.

For these reasons, you want to do more than the bare minimum when creating your business profile. Every form and feature is an opportunity for search engine optimization and the increased visibility that comes with it.

Is it time to add a business to Google and jumpstart your local SEO strategy? Here's the right way to do it.


Claiming and Creating a Google My Business Profile

Everything starts with a Google account. Log in to your business account or create one if you haven't already. Once you're logged in, navigate to the Google My Business website and click on the blue Manage Now button.

Google will ask you to enter your business name. If they already have information about your business, you'll find it here. Otherwise, select the Add Your Business to Google option.

Fill out the basic information to the best of your ability. There's nothing to optimize here. You're just giving Google information about the basics such as your address and coverage area.

Google will then ask you to verify your business. Any option gets the job done. Once complete, you just created the skeleton of your Google My Business listing.

But what if someone else, such as a customer, has already entered your business in the Google database? You'll want to claim the profile instead. You can do this by selecting the Claim This Business option on the Google website or associated listings, such as on Google Maps.


Add Your Own Photos

You should make an effort to fill out every profile form, but few things are as important as adding your own business photos.

For one thing, the lack of images can make any small business appear illegitimate or unpopular. Even worse, customers have the ability to add their own photos instead. These blurry, poor-quality photos can give potential customers the wrong message.

The cover photo is front-and-center on the Google My Business listing. In short, it’s the first and perhaps the only thing online traffic will see—make it count.

Source high-quality, transparent images that match your brand. Since Google My Business is all about local SEO, you probably have a brick-and-mortar location. Show off the interior in your cover photo.

You also have the option of incorporating an outside photo to your Google My Business listing. This helps customers locate your business from a street view.


Choose the Right Category

There are thousands of business categories available on Google My Business. Dozens of these categories could accurately describe your business, but it's important to locate the best one.

Are you running a restaurant? The restaurant category seems like a great fit. That is until you realize they become far more specific, such as breakfast restaurants, Mediterranean restaurants, Chinese restaurants, and so on.

The more specific, the better. You need a niche!


Optimize Google My Business Attributes

There are so many different fields on a Google My Business listing, it's safe to assume they aren't all worthwhile. But you know what they say about assuming. Since business owners commonly avoid the attributes section, they deprive the Google algorithm of the key information it needs to match users with accurate suggestions.

Basically, you're only hurting yourself.

Attributes cover a wide variety of distinctive business properties, such as the atmosphere, accessibility,  and specialties. You'll have a unique list of attributes based on your business category. 

For example, a clothing store won't find attributes about gluten-free food options.

Rather than selecting every attribute relevant to your business, it’s sometimes better to focus on the highlights. That's because Google will automatically create a business description based on your attributes. By selecting a boatload of different verticals, the synopsis may not contain keywords for branding befitting your company.

A brief synopsis is more important than you may think. Although you can and should include a Google My Business description in your own words, it's located at the bottom of the listing. Most web traffic won't even see it.

The synopsis, on the other hand, takes center stage on the listing.


Frontload the Business Description

Although the business description is tucked away, it still plays an important role in SEO. A description can contain up to 750 characters, but your focus lies with the first 250.

These 250 characters appear in the Knowledge Panel snippet and provide search signals. That means you want to incorporate keyboards and geodata, such as your business location.

Haven't figured out a keyword strategy? You may want to make use of some search engine optimization services before working on your business listing. 

You won't find more textual real estate anywhere else on Google My Business. Yet for that reason, Google has very strict business guidelines. The short of it is you can't talk about promotions or include links.


Don't Just Add a Business to Google

So, you know how to add a business to Google. You may be tempted to create the listing and be done with it. But for the best results, you'll have to revisit the listing to answer reviews, check for unsolicited changes, and update key information.

You haven't even scratched the surface of everything Google My Business has to offer. But hopefully, you're now prepared to start off on the right foot with company listings and search engine results.

As a new business owner, you need all the help you can get. Search our website for more content like this. Visit the Digital Marketing and SEO sections of the Bootstrap Business Blog to learn how to add a business to Google and optimize your business listings or search results.

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