How to Set up Your Google My Business Account

Often underutilized, Google My Business makes it easy for potential customers to find you on Google Maps and through Google’s search engine results page.

What is Google My Business

Google has made finding your next favorite restaurant or local business easier that ever before thanks to its robust search engine. No more yellow pages or printing out directions from MapQuest, everything can be easily accessed through Google. Whenever you search for a specific service or restaurant online, Google pulls from Google My Business (GMB) and Google Maps to give you relevant, local information on businesses within your area that fit your search criteria.

Not having a GMB profile for your business can seriously jeopardize your ability to show up when customers search for businesses like yours. Google continues to be the most used search engine, sitting at an average 87.35% market share of all search engines worldwide. Make it easy for customers to find you online!

Here’s how a GMB profile looks like in Search. Every restaurant listed is a GMB profile.

And here’s how it looks like through Google Maps. Every red marker is a different profile that users can click on for more information and directions.

Having a business listing on the most used search engine platform will help you generate free, organic traffic to your business. The more information you can provide, the greater your chances of showing up in more searches. Information you can provide for your profile includes: a list of your services and products, a link to your website, your hours of operation, the ability to upload photos of your business, customer review management, and much more.

This guide will walk you through the steps necessary to set up your Google My Business account and how you can run it effectively.

Creating a Google Account

The first thing you’ll want to do is set up your own personal Google account if you haven’t done so already. If you already have a google account, feel free to skip to the next section.

Follow this link to go to the Google Account sign-up form. You do not need a Gmail address to get started. Fill out all relevant information and follow the directions on screen to get started.

Setting up Your Google My Business Account

Once you’ve set up your Google account, you can go ahead and get started on creating your Google My Business account.

Visit the GMB main page to set up your business listing now: https://www.google.com/business/.  You’ll want to navigate over to the “Manage Now” button.

After clicking on “Manage Now”, you’ll be given two options depending on what it is that you need to do.

  1. You can search for your business and see if a profile already exists. It’s possible that a customer has already created a listing for you if they couldn’t find your business online. You’ll need to go in and claim it as the owner.
  2. If there is no listing, you’ll have to create one! Click on “Add your business to Google” to get started.

The form will ask you to include information about your business such as the name, business category, a location (if you have one), the areas you service, whether or not you want customers showing up to the address provided, and your contact information.

You can still create a GMB account even if you don’t have a physical location for customers to visit. You’ll still pop up in the results page, you just won’t have random people showing up to your house. This also applies to businesses that operate within service areas, such as plumbing and lawn services. There will be a section here for you to include all of the areas you service.

Google will also ask if you would like a website for your business. While the cost is relatively low, the website you are able to create with their program is very basic and bare-bones. We highly recommend you get a professional website that can better incorporate your branding and function the exact way you want it to.

Any information you provide at this time can be changed at a later date through your profile by logging in. The final prompt is to verify your business.

Verifying Your Business on Google

Before you can take full advantage of your Google My Business account, you’ll need to verify your business. The final prompt will ask you how you want to verify your business; the most common verification method is a postcard. Depending on your business type, some alternative verification methods are available to you. Choose the option that best works for you.

The verification postcard will take anywhere from 5 to 14 business days. Make sure the mailing address you provided is accurate to avoid any delays.

Once you have access to your verification code, you’ll be able to input the code through your GMB homepage where it says Verify Now.

Getting Started With Your Google My Business Profile

This is how your business profile appears on desktop when you search for your business by name.
This is how your business profile appears on mobile.

It’ll take some time before you can verify your business. While you wait for the postcard to arrive, flesh out your profile so that potential customers can begin finding you today!

To quickly access your business profile, open a new tab (or visit google.com) and click on the little square drop down button next to your profile image.

You’ll notice a “Complete your listing” section on your GMB homepage. You should begin by filling out this information and get a 100% completed listing. This is a great starting point, but there’s a lot more you can do to fully optimize your listing. We’ll share a follow up article on the steps you can take to fully optimize your profile at a later date. in the meantime, we’ll go over each of the tools available to you through GMB.


The Posts tab allows you to write updates and offers for your business. Every post you create comes with a call to action button that lets you track how many people have clicked on your offers or updates. It also tells you how many people have seen your post.

While the character limit for Google My Business posts are 1,500 characters, we recommend all Google My Business post be kept short. You don’t want to be writing blog posts or articles on here. The better approach is writing a short blurb about an article on your site, and then linking to it with one of the call to action buttons. 

Remember, always keep the content marketing funnel in mind! Never create content for the sake of having content. Learn how to incorporate the sales funnel into your marketing to better convert potential leads into clients.

The posts you create are only shown for 7 days on your profile whenever you come up in the results page. After 7 days, your post will be hidden but it will remain on your profile. It’s important to post weekly so that customers have something to read and click on. Offers will be shown for the full extent of their run.


The Info tab is one of the most important sections of your Google My Business account. You’ll be spending a lot of time changing and updating your business information here. The first thing you’ll want to do is add additional business categories to your profile as this will help you appear and rank in broader searches. Stick to categories your business actually provides as any incorrect information about your business can get your account suspended. 

You’ll also want to include accurate hours of operation for holidays. Google wants to show customers likes being able to show customer if you’re open on these days and it can help you grow. Does your business operate during the holidays? Maybe you’re only open for half of the day rather than the full day. Google likes it when it can accurately tell customers if you’re open or not when they search for businesses like your during the holidays. It will increase your chances of showing up in the local results during these special days, so be sure to include those hours here.

Towards the bottom you’ll notice a section where you can include your products and services. We’ll touch on that in a bit. 

For now fill out all relevant information about your business in the Info tab. The more information Google can pull from your profile, the better the results customers will get when they search for you online.


Insights will shape the way you create content for your customers. It is an incredible tool that tells you how users are engaging and interacting with your business profile. Insights provides you with information on how people came across your business page, such as by searching “chiropractors in my area” (discovery search) or by your business name (direct search). It will help you determine what ads to run too, such as running ads to increase brand identity (impressions) versus running ads that will direct them towards your product page on your site (conversion).

If you need help creating ads or offers through your GMB account, send us a message and we’ll walk you through the process! You also get $100 free credits to start making ads, so might as well get help to use them wisely!

There’s a lot more to be gained from the Insights tab so be sure you explore all of the available information to elevate and direct the content you create.


For some of you, the Reviews tab may be one of the most important and useful tools available for your business. Through Reviews you will be able to manage and reply to any reviews left behind by customers.

This feature will only become available once your business is officially verified.


The Messaging function can only be accessed through the mobile app version of your GMB profile. You can find the Android version of the app here and the iOS version here.

Through the app you’ll be able to interact with customers directly, and they’ll be able to send you questions which you can reply to in a timely manner.


Within the Photos tab you’ll be able to include photos and videos for different areas of your business. You can share images of the outside of your building to show customers exactly where you are. You can also show images of your work area or office space which is helpful for those of you who operate out of a suite. Share images of your team at events or helping out customers, have fun with it! 

All images shared by you will be labeled as such when other view your profile. Customers also have the ability to share photos of your business to your profile, which you’ll be able to see on the Photos tab as well.


Include any products you sell in the Products tab for customer to see. Make sure you have an online shop or website to link to so that customer can quickly finalize any purchases.

Every product listing will include the name of the product, a product image, the product type, and price range. The more products you can provide the better your chances of showing up in different search results.


Just like the Products tab, a well built Services page can make a huge difference in the amount of organic traffic you can generate for your business. Be sure to take some time by writing up all of the services you offer to your customers and include key words to help you rank higher. You can include prices if you want, but it is not necessary. Include a brief description for each one. .


Google My Business gives you the ability to create a website through their platform. For the most part, it’s very generic and there aren’t a lot of options to play with. 

If you plan on taking your business to the next level, we recommend investing in something that is a little more “custom-built”. A good website is always built around a specific purpose which depends on what the goals of the business are. Do you plan on using your website as an informational resource for potential customers? Is your website your online shop to sell products and services? Perhaps the purpose of your website is to simply serve as a hub for all of the content you create such as videos and podcasts. If you have questions about creating an effective, custom website for your business, we’d be glad to help you out and walk you through the process!


The final tab is Users, which is where you can grant permission to others to access and manage your profile. If you’re too busy to run your GMB profile, you’ll probably want someone else on your team to help you out. This is where you’ll go to add other employees and give them access to editing and posting.

Other Features

The features above are the one’s you’ll be using more than any of the others. Other features include adding additional locations (if you own more than one) or linking your ads account to your GMB profile. You’ll also find a Google Support tab that answer any questions you may have about your profile.


There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be taking advantage of your free Google My Business account. You’re generating free, organic traffic to your business on the most used search engine worldwide. Effectively filling out key information can help you stay ahead of your competitors; the last thing you want is to lose business to your competitor down the street. If you still have questions on the information you should be including on your profile, we can help you get started! We can help you come up with a marketing plan to best leverage your tools and bring in business, If you still need help creating your account, we can set up and meeting (in-person or online) to walk you through the steps. Give us a call at 760-822-9610 or send us an email at info@starfox.media. Let us help grow your business, we’re only a call away!

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