Whether you’ve completed a Google My Business audit and identified several pieces of information to rectify or are simply guilty of neglecting your Google My Business profile for a while, you’ll need to pencil in some time to go through and edit Google business listing details. This could include amending opening hours, adding images, updating contact info or even amending your business description.
It can be tempting to cross GMB off your to-do list once your profile is created or your major audit has been completed, but that can be a fatal mistake. BrightLocal research confirms that 93% of consumers get frustrated by out of date information online. More worryingly, 80% lose trust in a business if they encounter inconsistent or out of date information online and 71% say it has led to a negative experience.
For local search visibility, your business’ name, address and phone number (NAP) is of vital importance. This forms a citation, one of the top five local pack ranking factors according to Moz. And thanks to its high search visibility, Google My Business profile is the most important citation you have. This data is used by Google Maps and in many other places across the web, meaning it’s vital that your work to edit Google business listings keeps your NAP up to date.
As we’ve already seen, consumers are frustrated by incorrect information online. Not only is it inconvenient, but it can also give them a negative impression of your local business. Over half of local consumers (64%) have used Google My Business to find contact information, meaning that it pays to keep on top of changes with regular edits and updates.
Hit the links below to jump to the section of Google My Business that you need to edit:
In this guide to edit Google Business listing information, we’re focusing on a single business. If you manage multiple business locations, don’t fret – we have a guide on managing multiple locations in Google My Business, too.
To begin the process of editing, simply log in to your existing Google My Business account at https://business.google.com with your username and password.
Because you’ll be editing information and likely copying and pasting from sources such as your website, it’s easier to edit Google Business listing information from a desktop rather than using the Google My Business app.
Once logged in, you’ll be presented with a dashboard which shows any recent Posts, performance indicators and may provide offers such as free ad credits. The main menu can be found to the left of the screen.
Obviously the cornerstone of your entire profile, you won’t have to make edits to your business name often (if at all) but you do need to make sure it has been set up accurately, spelled correctly and matches the format used in other citations elsewhere online, in marketing materials, signage and in-store at your location (if you have one).
Google My Business has very specific rules governing company names on your GMB profile:
You mustn’t include your business tag line or marketing slogans. Don’t use all caps, poor grammar or too many spaces. You also can’t use the ® symbol. Unless they are part of your registered, real-world business name, no special characters (such as @ or $) can be used. No opening times or contact info should be provided in the company name field. Unless it’s part of your registered business name, don’t include geographic qualifiers such as town, city or state information. Equally, your name also can’t include directions or your location’s street address.
Your current business name, as entered on your Google My Business profile, is shown at the top of the menu bar. If you need to amend it because it contravenes the guidelines or is no longer correct:
Select ‘Info’ from the menu. You’ll see a full page of your business information appear, with a pencil at the side of each piece of information. Your business name is the very first item on the list. Click the pencil to edit. Business Categories
Studies show that choosing the correct business category for your Google My Business listing can have a definite impact on rankings, so it’s certainly something to check when you edit Google business listing details. Moz’s Local Ranking Factors survey says that your listing category influences two of the top ten local SEO ranking factors, but it’s actually not as easy as you may first think to nail the right category from the off.
Google allows you to select both a primary category and additional secondary categories. If you have just edited your business name, you’ll find the category currently assigned to your profile directly below. You’ll again see the pencil icon. Simply click to edit.
When choosing a category, you need to be specific and select a primary category that most closely matches your overall business. If you’re a “mom and pop” grocery store, for example, but have a coffee shop within, you’d select ‘greengrocer’ or ‘gourmet grocery store’ as your primary category and ‘café’ as an additional category.
We touched on the importance of citations and NAP earlier but it’s worth noting, too, that consistency counts. When you create directory listings, complete your social media profiles and fill in your Google My Business profile, you may actually find you write the address slightly differently each time. You could abbreviate the state on one or two, for example, or shorten the street name – small things that you’d think wouldn’t be a big deal.
In fact, you want to make sure that your address is written consistently as much as possible. It’s worth checking how it’s displayed on your website and on other directory listings (do a Google search if need be – or use BrightLocal to track citation data). You can then check that you have the exact same format when you edit Google Business listing details as part of this process.
You’ll find your address on the Info page, directly below the category section you just edited. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:
The address field should be filled in completely, with a door/building number, street address, town/city, state and zip code. If you’re part of a serviced office or multi-use building, add in your suite number or the floor of the building you occupy so visitors can more easily find you and your location is precise.
You may find that when you add your address Google is unable to pinpoint your exact location. If that’s the case, a red pin will appear and you’ll be able to drag it to the correct part of the map.
Don’t have a physical address to display? This is where adding a Service Area comes in…
If you visit your customers or deliver to them rather than having a physical location, the service area section of your Google My Business listing can be used to communicate the locations covered. You would edit Google Business listing info for service areas if you were running a service-area business like a plumber or locksmith.
When you come to edit this portion of your profile, you’ll need to have a list of applicable postcodes or cities covered to hand. Google no longer allows you to provide this as a distance around your location so be sure you have a complete list of areas covered before you start. To edit, click on ‘Info’ and then ‘Service area’.
Obviously you’ll need to edit this section of your profile each time you expand the area where your service can be delivered. Likewise, if you decide to stop delivering to or serving customers in a particular town, city or zip code, you’ll need to remove it from this part of your profile. Just click the ‘X’ next to the relevant area to delete.
Your hours of operation are unlikely to change much through the year but you may well have cause to change them around key events, such as the holiday shopping season or on public holidays.
Having accurate hours of operation is important for obvious reasons – you want customers to know when they can reach you and do business with you. Again, remember that incorrect or inaccurate information is a source of frustration for consumers so the last thing you want is to have would-be customers showing up only to find that your Google My Business profile misled them and you aren’t actually open at 6.00pm.
Depending on the type of business or organization you operate, you may not need to add business hours. If you’re a hotel, for example, you might not have opening hours. Likewise, if you’re a bridal boutique and you only see customers by appointment, you shouldn’t fill in this part of your listing profile.
Editing your hours is quick and easy. Simply click ‘Info’ then navigate to the clock icon, directly below the previous service area section. Click the pencil and then input the hours you operate for each day of the week.
If you have special hours, such as only being open for a few hours on Thanksgiving or staying open much later on Black Friday, you’ll see a ‘Add special hours’ option appear after you’ve inputted your normal hours. Simply click to edit.
Adding your phone number to your Google My Business profile makes it easier for those with a question or enquiry to get in touch. This is especially useful for mobile search users as they can simply click to call.
Don’t underestimate the importance of having your phone number visible – BrightLocal research shows that local search users do make calls directly from Google My Business listings.
In 2018, Google started to roll out Google Duplex, an AI powered tool which works with Google Assistant. It can make calls on behalf of the Google user to make reservations and bookings. Obviously, to tap into this as a business, your phone number needs to be added to your listing and be correct. You can add additional numbers if you need to after your primary phone number has been inputted.
It goes without saying that your business website is an important part of your Google business listing. Research shows that while Google now makes it easier than ever for a local consumer to find everything they need in the search results, it’s still imperative that you do have a local business website, so don’t be tempted to skip this step.
There is a section under ‘Info’ to input your web address – you can only add your primary address, so if you have multiple, such as a .com domain and a .co.uk, you’ll need to select the main URL. There is however a second option if you have a URL for appointments and bookings – you can add that directly below the primary website address for your local business.
As you get to the end of the editable sections on the Info menu, you’ll come to ‘Attributes’. These are short tags or phrases which describe an aspect of your business for consumers. As the business owner, the attributes you add are deemed ‘objective’ – in other words, they’re specific facts about your business. Consumers can also weigh in with their attributes, which are pulled from comments made about your business in Maps and reviews. These are therefore subjective attributes – they’re opinions, not facts.
If enough consumers suggest an attribute about your business (and Google may well ask consumers if they agree with your own attributes), it will be flagged up on your Google My Business dashboard for you to consider adding. It’s important to review these suggestions when you edit Google business listing information as they tell you how consumers see your business and could give you inspiration for more effective objective attribute tags.
When editing your listing and adding new attributes, be factual and accurate. Attributes such as ‘dog friendly’, ‘wheelchair-accessible’, ‘outdoor seating’ or ‘women-led’ are all examples of objective attributes. The attributes you can select will depend on the category you have chosen for your business. When you click to edit this section, you’ll be presented with a selection of attributes you can enable if appropriate.
With around 60% of local search users confirming that good images capture their attention, it pays to ensure you have a well curated photo album on Google My Business.
Our guide to looking good online is packed with tips and advice to help you select the best images for your Google My Business listing if you’re not sure what to include and what to leave out.
Google recommends that when you edit Google business listing photos you should focus on supplying search users with a wide range of different image types. These include both interior and exterior shots of your business location, images of key staff members, and product photos. Aim for a minimum of three images of each type but avoid overly professional staged photography. You can also add a company logo and a cover image.
When editing your images section, keep in mind all pictures should be in a JPEG or PNG format, between 10KB and 5MB in size and ideally, 720px wide x 720px high.
You’ll find the ‘Photo’ section mid-way down the left hand menu bar. Once you click through you’ll see all current images and be able to upload new ones. You can also upload a video showcasing your business here.
From the Business
The business description part of your profile is a summary of your business. Think of it as an introduction or business biography. Here, you’ll share a little about who you are, what your mission is and the products and services you offer. You may also want to include a few lines on your business history, its notable achievements or similar.
You of course want this to be captivating and engaging, but Google guidelines prohibit self-promotion so avoid mentioning sales, price discounts or marketing speak.
You can’t add a link here, nor can any content be offensive, misleading or inappropriate. Our article on optimizing your Google business description has lots of tips for crafting an effective description.
It’s worth noting that Google does review your description so you do need to be mindful of the text you submit and ensure all guidelines are adhered to. Don’t be afraid to create a couple of different versions so you have an alternate ready to go if your initial submission is rejected. You have up to 750 characters to play with.
To edit, simply click on ‘Info’ from the main menu and then scroll down to the bottom. Click the pencil icon and paste in your prepared description.
Now that you’ve made edits to your Google My Business listing, there are plenty of ways to keep it updated, from getting more reviews and creating eye-catching Posts to answering Q&As and uploading your products and services. Good luck with GMB!
Read more: brightlocal.com