How to setup Google My Business (GMB): Add your business for free on Google [Updated]

Google My Business listing services Parach Ibadan Nigeria

Google My Business now called Google Business was designed to give small businesses the opportunity to boost their online presence at no cost. Because Google business hasn’t really stuck to users, the term Google my business is still commonly used. This great tool from Google was launched in June 2014 and has grown in popularity among small businesses all over the world.  

A recent survey of Google My Business users in the UK has shown that Google My Business remains a very effective channel for business promotion. Some of the key findings of the survey indicate that an average business receives over a thousand searches each month with about 84% coming from discovery searches and 16% from direct search.

A direct search refers to a search made by using either your business name or location. These types of searches are usually from people already familiar with your business or they heard about it from another form of advertising.

A discovery search refer to generic searches like “computer training centre near me” or “digital marketing agency near me”, “IT training centres in Ibadan”, “Digital Marketing training in Ibadan” and more.

Branded Search: A branded search is when a consumer finds your listing for a brand related to your business. 

With Google my Business (GMB), you become visible to clients in your locality. Your GMB profile includes:

  • Business name
  • Posts
  • Options to upload images, videos, Logo
  • A free Google website
  • Direct messaging via the app

Let’s set up your free Google My Business Account (you should be able to do it on your phone).

Step 1: Search, Claim or Create Your Business.

  • Go to www.google.com/business 
  • Click on the start now button 
  • You need a Gmail account, so register if you don’t have one
  • Enter your business name (Use a name that clearly reflects your business). For example I would not write ‘Parach Ventures’ for my ICT business. Rather write I would write it asParach Computers’ (Orogun Junction)’ or something related to it. I even took a step further to include the location in that title so my customers see right away how to locate us. Sometimes your business may be listed already in Google Maps, you just need to claim it.
  • Select your business category (see step 2 below)
  • Select the free website option during registration

Step 2: Selecting the Right Business Category

  • Find out where your main competitors in the city are listed.
  • We can spy on our competitors: Go to Google
  • search for your business niche for example, Computer Training schools in Ibadan
  • Notice the main businesses in the image below are listed as Computer training schools, so we ensure ours is just that too. So do the same for your business area be it fashion, cosmetics, real estate etc.
  • You can add at least two other related categories.

Step 3: Verify your business

  • Continue registration till you are asked to verify the business (usually Google will send you a code by post, SMS, video call etc.) choose one you prefer and that will be available for you. Some of the options are not available for businesses in Nigeria.
  • Until the verification is complete your business will not be visible to the public but you can continue with the other descriptions.
  • The post card takes about 2-3 weeks depending on our postal service. Preferably, pick it up from the post office yourself.

Step 4: Write a good Business Description

  • In the Google My Business Profile write a good description for your business. Don’t tell stories here, talk about your services and products. Doing this well can improve your Search Engine Optimization efforts as you will show up in google my business listing when people search for your service.

    Before writing your description on google my business profile, draw up your keywords list. One quick way is to use Google autocomplete to see possible ways people are searching (Keywords) and make sure you include them in your description. Several premium keyword research tools exists like SEMrush, Ahrefs, Ubbersuggest, Keywords everywhere etc. You can also use the Keywords planner in Google Ads.

    • This is Google autocomplete. Notice Google gives you suggestions related to what you are searching for. Sometimes people are lazy they take these options.  So be sure to include some in your description like the example shown. “ We offer Computer training in Ibadan with courses such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Advanced Excel,  advertising agencies in Ibadan, web design training in Ibadan, Digital marketing training in Ibadan, Coding schools in Ibadan, CT training and Consulting for schools, best place to learn digital marketing in Ibadan
      and a lot more. ’’. You have up to 750 characters for your business description, please write as much relevant stuff as possible.

Using AI writer for Google My Business Description

AI writer for the business description was recently added to Google My Business or Google business.  With this tool, Google would provide suggested text which you can accept or reject. You can ask it to suggest more text if you aren’t satisfied with the content provided. You can use other powerful AI writing tools to improve your business description.

AI writer for google my business description

Step 5: Add Business Details (Info)

  • Add business hours, images, phone numbers and other important details to your profile. Make sure your NAP (Name, address and Phone number is consistent)
  • Add labels too for services or products
  • You can create a business short name and add an appointment link in your GMB profile.

Step 6: Add Posts, Your Products and Services

  • Most businesses forget to regularly add posts to their listing and so they miss out on potential customers. You can add images, events, products, services etc. This is key to your digital marketing strategy and needs to be consistent.
  • Do this every week and be creative with it
  • These posts expire after 7 days, so post regularly (at least twice every week and if possible everyday) except for events that expire after the set dates.
  • More recently Google my business has made it possible to include up to ten images when you make a post on google my business page.
  • Ensure to add a call to action button for all your posts, you can include a button to call you directly or a link to your website or your WhatsApp Business group.
  • Add as many products and services to your business profile.
  • Now you can choose to do this in the Google business dashboard or using Google Maps

Step 7: Add Photos of Your Business or Services

  • Uploading photos of your business office (interior, exterior view, staff etc.) gives customers a lot of confidence and could influence their choice of doing business with you. They already have a feel of the business ahead of time. So be professional about it, let your brand resonate. If need be hire a graphics designer. Follow this link to hire a graphics designer.

A note on Images – Your Google my business photo sizes should typically be in either a JPG or PNG file format and for best view should have dimensions of 720 x 720 pixels. The overall image file size should be between 10 KB and 5 MB. Ensure the images are properly titled and SEO friendly.

Step 8: Claim Your Free Website

  • This is one very interesting aspects of using GMB. You get a free google my business website that updates automatically as you post more.
  • You can use the editor to make changes – add text, images etc.
  • Add more relevant business descriptions in the Summary Body area under edit. Add as many keywords relevant to your business in this section

Step 9: Add New Business Listings (or Locations)

  • You can add as many other businesses as possible. This can help you gain more visibility.
  • Simply click on add location and follow the steps like you did before.

Step 10: Ask Your Customers To Write Reviews

  • Please ask your customers to write reviews for you, as it would contribute to higher ranking on Google.  We noticed that asking customers to include the courses they studied could prove useful in your rankings and search keyword relevance. See a snapshot from the reviews pulled from our business page. Notice that the often mentioned keywords in the review were highlighted by Google.
  • Google encourages business owners to get reviews for their business and this is so important.
GMB reviews pic
  • Please reply those reviews too (even if they are negative reviews).
  • You can send the review link to old and new customers alike.

Step 11 - Use Insights To See How You Are Performing.

  • See how many times you show up in searches directly or indirectly. You can also see how many people tried to call, checked your website, and viewed your photos weekly, monthly or quarterly.  Google recently updated how insights appear giving you options to select a date range to view search terms, views, calls, request for directions and more. If you have Google analytics setup you can correlate your website visits.

Google recently updated the performance option on your business profile. Now you can select a date range to view business interactions and even a list of  search terms that triggered your business profile. These search terms can form valuable keywords for your next post.

google my business performance


You will agree with me that adding your business on Google for free using Google My business listing and Optimization is very crucial to your local Search Engine Optimization strategy. Put up your listing today and start getting in front of potential customers. If you need an SEO Expert of GMB optimization Expert please click here now.

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