Google My Business (also known as GMB) is a powerful tool for small businesses. Using it correctly can unlock an enormous amount of traffic, insights, and potential leads. However, using it incorrectly could keep customers from engaging with your brand.

Making a Google My Business account isn’t that difficult. Realistically, it will only take you about 15 minutes to get your profile up and running online. So how do you build a GMB account that pushes the needle forward for you and your business?

Building A Google My Business Account — 10 Quick Tips
Below are 10 of the best tips for building a winning GMB account in any industry.

  1. Claim Your Listing Quickly
    The best time to get involved with your Google My Business account is right before or during launch. Your profile may take some time to be reviewed by Google representatives, which could hurt your lead generation if you wait too long. Hop online and make an account as soon as you can.

  2. Add Your Hours
    Be sure that all the hours you add to your GMB account are accurate and consistent. According to research, more than 50% of all Googlers will visit a business the same day they search for it. In other words, if your GMB account states that you are open, customers are going to expect that you are available to pick up the phone, or let them into the building.

  3. Provide Good Pictures
    Your Google My Business account will specifically ask for three initial photos: your logo, your picture (as the business owner), and a photo of your business. Make sure that you have high quality photos of each subject, maybe with some to spare. You may want to enable the ‘congregate photos’ tool that allows customers to post their own pictures of your store, products, or services.

  4. Invest In Specific Attributes
    Every GMB account has the ability to add attributes to its listing. These attributes take on many forms, from ‘curbside pickup’ to ‘wheelchair accessibility.’ Take some time to hone in on the attributes that make your business stand out, as well as the elements that make you competitive in the market. Free WiFi, online appointments, or even payment attributes can be leveraged for your audience.

  5. Target Some Keywords
    Use specific keywords in your business description to help customers find your services quicker. As a quick side note, it’s important not to stuff too many keywords into your GMB. In fact, that’s a practice actively discouraged by top Google executives. Instead, look for ways to incorporate searches into your GMB. Phrases like ‘local organic foods’ or ‘flowers for weddings’ is a great place to start.

  6. Consider Publishing Google Posts
    Just like making a blog post on your website or a LinkedIn article, Google Posts are a great way to boost your search rankings while also connecting with customers. Bear in mind that posts expire every week (7 days), so you will need to be continuously publishing new pieces over time.

  7. Connect Messages & Chat Features
    Choosing to use GMB to chat with customers can close deals much faster, and set you apart from the competition. The process is relatively easy to set up.

  8. Check For Consistency
    Your business website, web presence, and registrant information must match the listings on your GMB account. If even a single number in your contact information is off, your search rankings may be booted to the bottom of the stack. Prevent this from happening by taking an inventory of your physical address, phone number, and email address. Be sure that everything online looks the same before making any publishing decisions.

  9. Choose The Right Category
    When choosing a category for your business, it will be important to be as descriptive as possible. For example, your food service isn’t just a ‘restaurant.’ It could be a ‘fast food Chinese restaurant,’ or a ‘Vietnamese food truck.’ Google My Business has over 3,000 different categories to choose from, so take advantage of your niche by picking the right one.

  10. Ask For Reviews
    You may not be comfortable with it at first, but asking your customers to leave a review is standard practice for a GMB account. Reviews are absolutely critical for gaining trust with your customers, and have enormous impacts on where leads choose to shop. Don’t be afraid to lay it all out there!

The Bottom Line
The key to managing a winning GMB account is to provide accurate, consistent information over time. Be sure that you are constantly providing maintenance to your listing, and are willing to constantly optimize your profile for the best possible exposure. If all goes well, you’ll be swimming in local leads within a matter of weeks.