The Complete Guide to Google My Business


Google My Business (GMB) is an essential marketing tool for any brand. Through GMB, you can update your business information on Google; appear on Google Maps; allow customers to make reservations, get directions to, or directly call your locations; and engage with existing and potential customers through their Google reviews.

But just how important is Google My Business? Consider this customer reviews stat:

Approximately 63% of consumers check reviews on Google before visiting a business.

In other words, more than 60% of the people searching for businesses on Google are ready to become customers. To make sure you get these consumers through your doors, we wrote this guide. With it, you can master GMB, make full use of its features, and attract the most customers. Scroll through each section, or use the table of contents below to navigate:

    • Set Up Your Google My Business
      • Google My Business Login
      • Claim Your Business on Google
      • Google My Business Categories
      • For Business Locations with Multiple Categories And Departments
      • Verify Business on Google
      • Bulk Locations on Google My Business
      • Add Descriptions to Google Business
      • Google My Business Photos And Videos
      • Adding Services and Menus on Google My Business
    • Managing Google My Business
      • Add or Change Your Hours on Google My Business
      • Add Holiday Hours on Google My Business
      • Google My Business Posts
      • Add the Google My Business Bookings Feature
      • Generate Leads Using Google My Business
      • Turn On Messaging and Chat with Customers
      • Questions and Answers
      • Fix Incorrect Business Information on Google
      • View Insights on Google My Business
    • Managing Reviews On Google
    • For Agencies: Setting Up Google My Business
      • Signing Up as an Agency on Google My Business
      • Managing Users
      • Managing Location Groups
      • Switching from a Personal GMB Account to a GMB Agency Account
    • Do More With Google My Business
      • Google Local Guides
      • What is Google Local, Google Places, and Google+?
      • Google My Business App for Mobile
      • Add Your Business on Google Maps
      • The Local 3 Pack

Set Up Your Google My Business

Adding your business locations to Google My Business is more complicated than just entering your name, address, and phone number. You’ll often need to claim a pre-existing listing, verify your information, and choose the correct attributes for your listing. To do so, follow these steps. Google My Business Login

  • Visit to sign in or create a Google account for a business.

  • Once logged in, Google will ask, “What’s the name of your business?” You can search for a listing by typing the business name and address in the search box. Results will appear in a list as well as on the map. (Below, we’ll talk more about claiming and verifying your business location in bulk.)
  • Claim Your Business on Google

  • To claim your business on Google, click on “Add location” on the “Manage Locations” page.

  • Google will ask you for the name of your business. Type its name on the search bar and click on the correct name if it appears on the dropdown list.

  • If none of the results match your business,  click the top of the list where it says “Create a business with this name.” You will then choose the business type: storefront (restaurants, hotels, etc.), service area (taxi service, delivery, etc.), or brand (products, brands, causes, etc.).
  • One note about service-area businesses: Google released a new update to Google My Business in January 2019 that makes it easier for service area businesses to sign up for a listing.

    During the sign-up process, Google will ask if your business has an office or store. Choosing the “no” option will allow you to choose your service areas before moving on to selecting your brand’s category.

    Businesses with both storefront and service area locations will also be able to edit information for each location separately, which should make it easier to customers to find the right location.Google My Business Categories

    If you’re creating or adding your business to Google using Google My Business, you can choose from a list of categories to provide more accurate information about your business. For example, if you run Taco Bell’s marketing, you can (perhaps optimistically) put your business in the “Mexican Restaurant” category. Categories are very specific. You can drill down into sub-genres like Tex-Mex or be as broad as possible by simply listing “Fast Food Restaurant.” If you manage a brand, Google recommends that all your categories be consistent across all your locations. So every Taco Bell is categorized as a “Mexican Restaurant” and every McDonald’s is a “Fast Food Restaurant.” Once you’ve created your listings you can always go back and edit your GMB categories. Click into that location (or location group) then click on “info” on the left menu. Once you see the details for that listing click the pencil to edit, delete or add Google My Business categories. For Business Locations with Multiple Categories and Departments

    For organizations with multiple locations Google only allows you to have one primary category for each location. However, there are some slight exceptions.For example, if you manage marketing for a chain of grocery stores, you can list your grocery stores and the pharmacy inside them as two separate listings, each with its own primary categories. Check out this example from Costco: Costco takes this approach to the extreme — listing its gas station, bakery, food court, tire center, and a number of other departments all separately. For businesses like this that have one main location, but two distinct operations that are different enough to warrant multiple categories you may be able to add them as separate locations.What qualifies for a multi-department listing? Think about banks inside grocery stores. Or restaurants inside gas stations.Google’s guidelines say that if your departments have separate entrances and / or separate customer care, you may qualify for multiple listings. 

    If your businesses have two (or more) distinct operations running at one location, look to see if you can list both under separate categories. This will allow you to show up in more relevant search results. Verify Business on Google

    The next step is using the Google Verify My Business feature. You’ll have to verify to Google that you own or represent the business listing. Typically, the verification code will be mailed to you (yes, snail mail) – this takes one to two weeks. Once you’ve entered the code into your account, you’ll finally be able to start managing your local business information on Google.You can verify a business on GMB in other ways — email, phone, and Google Search Console — but these are usually not available. If you do see a phone icon and an option to verify by phone, Google recommends you choose that over a postcard because it is so much faster. Option 1: Verify My Business By Mail.

    The most common way to get a business verified is through the mail. Google will send you a postcard with a verification code attached to it.

  • In your GMB account, click on the “Verify Now” option after clicking on a business listing.
  • At the postcard request screen, check and make sure that the listed address is correct. (You can also request a postcard through the GMB app by tapping the “Send postcard” button). 
  • Wait patiently. The postcard takes about two weeks to arrive, and it’s important not to change any information during this time. Doing so will only delay the verification process.
  • Once you have the code, you can go into the GMB account, click on the business location you want to verify and hit the “Verify location” button in the menu or the “Verify now” option.
  • Enter the five-digit code and hit submit to finish the process.
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