Google My Business – Practical Guide on How to Add More Locations for Your Businessin Marketing
Google My Business (GMB) is essential for every local business, either online or offline because it gives you the chance to interact with your customers on Google Search and Google Maps. This is a powerful tool to be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy and it is free of charge.
In this article, we will present you valuable information about the importance of Google My Business and why it’s important to have a local listing. We will also guide you step by step on how to list multiple business locations on Google Maps and how to set up Facebook Business Locations.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a service provided by Google since 2014. Its purpose is to make local businesses easier to be found on Google Search. GMB is allowing the local business listing to stay on top of customer reviews and observe analytics such as clicks, views, direction requests and calls. This service became the first step in the local search marketing strategy.
Having a well-optimized GMB listing is a decisive source of organic traffic and revenue.
What is a Local Listing?
A local listing is anywhere your business directories appear. It could be on Facebook, Uber, Apple Maps, Yelp and other platforms that are relevant to your business segment and geography. Local business listing is extremely powerful when done right. Every listing for your online business must have the same data on each platform. Neglecting any discrepancies will harm your business.
However, in this article, we will focus on Google My Business. When a user is looking for your business on Google, the local listing will be displayed on the right of the search engine results page (SERP). On Google Maps, your local listing will appear to the left, together with other suggested businesses.
We recommend paying attention to user intent when your business is popping up in the search results. This way, you can ensure that you will deliver relevant content and the exact information at the right time. During the search process, potential customers might include your business name, your business address, or any other information they are interested in such as reviews, photos, or business hours.
The Importance of Google My Business Listings
If you are listed on GMB, your customers will find you easier and all needed contact information is provided in one place. This action is an essential part of a local SEO strategy to drive traffic to your website and ultimately, revenue.
Having a well-optimized Google My Business Listing will help you connect easier with customers that search for products or services provided by your business. Also, the chances of appearing in the local pack (the first 3 search results that appear below the map) will get higher. Generally, the better your website ranks in the local pack, the more visible your business will be.
Furthermore, an optimized and verified GMB listing, allows you to connect your map with your Google Ads account. By implementing a pay-per-click strategy along with location data, you can attract more attention to your business and potential customers can connect easier with you.
Having your business listed on Google is so your customers can get driving directions to your physical location. Another important aspect is that your business can pop up when a user is conducting a local search and types “[product/service/business] near me”. When you do not have a Google My Business Listing, your potential customers will be directed straight to your competition.
How to Set Up Your Business Locations in Google My Business
The best approach to manage multiple locations in Google My Business is to create one business account with bulk location management functionality. It is not recommended to use your personal account. Instead, create one for your company and use an email address that is related to your business domain.
It is very simple to get started on your business profile. Just follow the step-by-step guide below.
Step 1 – Sign in to GMB
- Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and Connect or Manage your account. You can choose either one, as the next page will bring you to the same landing page.
- Click on Create account and select To Manage My Business.
Step 2 – Create Your Google Account
- Add the First Name and Last Name and use your business email address. Make sure that you use a valid address, as you will receive a confirmation email. Set up a password, confirm it, and click on Next.
- In case you do not have an email address for your business, just click on Create a new Gmail address and follow the steps.
Step 3 – Find and Manage Your Business
- Enter the business name. If you don’t find your business in the drop-down menu, then click on Add your business to Google. Fill in the name of your company, and select your business category.
Step 4 – Add Location
- In case you have a physical store, select Yes and complete the address field. If you don’t have a store where customers can visit, but you offer service or delivery, list your service area.
- If you provide service outside this location, select Yes, if you don’t, select Not.
Step 5 – Fill in Contact Information
- Add your Business Phone Number and Business Website Address.
- If you use a Facebook Page instead of a website link, you can add the URL to your Facebook Business Page.
Step 6 – Complete and Manage Registration
- You will be asked if you’d like to receive updates and notifications. You can either opt-in or opt-out.
- The last step is to Complete your local listing. Just click on Complete and you will be redirected to Confirm your Business Page.
Verify Your Business on Google
You can complete this step right after you have completed your registration.
Another way is to sign in to Google My Business and click on Verify Now.
The most common or default verification option is Postcard by Mail. In case you prefer phone or email and you have an eligible business for these methods, you can choose either one. We suggest selecting the method more comfortable for you, fill in the required information, and submit the request.
It can take up to 14 days for the postcard to arrive. After receiving it, sign in to your Google Account and click on Verify Location from the menu. Enter the five-digit verification code from your postcard to complete this step. Your business listing will not appear immediately on Google, it might take a few weeks, but you can manage your account from the Google My Business App.
Claim a Google My Business Listing
You have 3 options for claiming your business:
- Log in to Google My Business, search your business, select it and follow the steps to confirm the ownership of your company;
- Search your business on Google Maps and click on Claim this Business;
- Search for your business in Google Search and click on Own this business?
How to Add a Second Location in Google My Business
Now is the time to talk about adding a second location or multiple locations on Google Maps. To be eligible for listing multiple locations, a business must be claimed, verified and each location must be edited and updated individually.
As a best practice, we suggest managing all locations from a single business account. Also, you can assign managers for each location. In case of having multiple managers, make sure that the business details are accurate and consistent across each location. We recommend being very careful about consistency, as it is an important factor that might affect local SEO and search rankings.
Google wants to make everything easy and allows users to keep multiple locations from one master Google My Business account, called a location group, (previously known as business accounts). Location groups are like a shared folder that allows you to safely share the management of your locations with multiple users and run location-based ad campaigns or Google Maps marketing campaigns
Create a Location Group
Use a location group only if you have less than 10 locations:
- Sign in to Google My Business;
- Click on Manage locations;
- In the top right corner, you’ll find the Create Location Group button.
- Name the group location and click on Done.
Bulk Location Management
It is possible to manually add each location, but in case you have a large number of locations or more than 10, adding them manually can be time-consuming. Google gives you the possibility to use the bulk location management tool.
- Click on Add location tab;
- Select Import Locations;
- A window with multiple resources for managing and importing multiple locations will pop up;
- Click on Download the Template and choose one of the formats you prefer Comma Separated Values (.csv) or Microsoft Excel (.xlsx);
- Once you have downloaded and completed the table with the needed information for all your locations, upload it into your account;
- To upload your table, click on Select file;
- In case your file is missing any data, you will receive the following alert.
After finishing up the bulk upload, you have the option of Bulk Verification. Remember that the verification process can take up to one week.
If you need to change any location details, download the table, make the changes, and upload it again.
We understand that all these steps and rules can be confusing. If you struggle with finding the time to manage multiple locations on Google My Business or how to list multiple business locations on google maps, you can contact us. We can assist you and make sure that all best practices are applied.
Facebook Business Locations
For a multi-location business, Facebook is providing a Location tab. Before adding all your Facebook Business locations to your main Facebook account, we would like to emphasize the fact that you will have to manage the content for each location individually. By adding multiple locations on your Facebook Page can affect your customer reviews. It is very possible to lose them.
To add locations to your Facebook Business Page, follow the next steps:
- Make sure you have an admin or editor role. You can check this by going to Settings -> Page Roles;
- Access Facebook Business Location Manager;
- Select the page from the top menu for which you want to add stores (in case you manage multiple business pages);
- Under Manage Your Store Details, click on Add Stores;
- Add store details and create a new store page for each physical location. We recommend naming the store pages after the main page name, with the location included. You can do it manually if you have under 10 stores;
- In case you have more than 10 stores, use the Facebooks .csv template;
- If you already have created separate Facebook pages for each location, you can connect them to your main page.
Our Recommendations & Best Practices
Now that you are up to date, we prepared a list with important key points to consider for page creation in Google My Business. This will help with local SEO and will help your business rank higher.
- Use the actual business name;
- Pay attention when choosing the business category;
- Provide a unique and engaging description of your business;
- Check your opening hours, phone number, business address and make sure they are accurate and consistent across Google and all local listing platforms;
- Make sure your business details are up-to-date;
- Add engaging and high-resolution images of your business;
- Use your business logo as your profile picture;
- Encourage local reviews and social check-ins from your customers;
- Add the locations to all your Social Media profiles;
- Make the best of each location and drive location-targeted ad campaigns;
- Make sure you have a contact page on your website with all business information;
- Last, but not least, we strongly suggest being patient!
All your locations must be treated as separate companies with branding and marketing as the common thread. With a few simple optimization moves, your company will benefit exponentially. Ranking for multiple locations takes a lot of planning and ongoing effort. Write fresh and unique content for each location section to help solidify your relevance for each city in which you’re trying to rank.
Are You Ready to Start Skyrocketing Your Business?
We, at Flowmatters, understand the importance of accuracy and consistency in online presence. We make sure that we follow all the best practices to improve your business online. We know that it is not that easy to keep clear and clean communication across all business platforms and it takes more effort than simply creating a Facebook Page. We can help you with consulting and Digital Marketing services to build the right strategy either for raising awareness, increase sales or generate leads.
Let’s have a chat and let’s bring your business to new heights!
Frequently Asked Questions
Nothing! It is completely free to create a listing. However, if you want to promote it, you have to invest in Google Ads.
Yes! You can even add a link to your website. On Google Maps and Google Search, your website will be highlighted and your visibility increased.
Google wants to make sure that you are the owner of the company and you have permission to manage the company’s profile.
Besides keeping an active and engaging company profile, if relevant and about your business, the GMB posts will help your SEO and you can rank higher.