This article was last updated on 10/5/2020

Google is literally everywhere nowadays, isn’t it? We use Google to find other websites, answer all of our questions, and to find our car keys. Oh wait, that last one doesn’t exist yet… but wouldn’t it be great?!

Google is at the center of the internet and has a market share of over 88% as a search engine, according to Statista. Obviously, Google is the dominating older brother in the search engine market.

This isn’t a bad thing, though.

Knowing that Google receives over 63,000 searches per second with an average of 3-4 searches each day per person means that Google is your greatest asset!

“Why do all of these statistics matter?” You might ask.

In June of 2014, Google decided to expand the horizons for business owners both big and small. That month, Google launched Google My Business, a replacement to Google Places. This created a huge frenzy both online and offline for business owners.

The reason?

Google created something where small and medium-sized businesses could compete on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) with much larger businesses and corporations... on the first page!

Let’s throw another statistic in here, roughly 75% of clicks go to the first page on Google’s SERPs. That means business leads! If you aren’t on the first page when a person is searching for services or products like yours, then you’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

But enough of why you should be on Google’s first page, let’s talk about what exactly Google My Business is and why you should care about it for your local SEO (search engine optimization) strategies.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Google My Business?
  2. How do I Get My Business Listed on Google My Business?
  3. How do I Verify My Google My Business?
  4. Adding Business Assets on Google My Business
  5. Google My Business Image Dimensions
  6. Deleting User Uploaded Photos
  7. How to Find Your Google My Business Listing URL for Sharing
  8. Find Your Google My Business HTML Snippet for Map Embedding
  9. How to Delete Your Google My Business Listing

What is Google My Business?

“Finally! Now I can understand what Google My Business is and become a pro!”

Oh yes, we will be talking about Google My Business and how you can become a master of it with these 5 simple steps for only $99.99 per month! <- That’s a joke.

Please stay calm as we’re not expecting you to hand us cash to learn about Google My Business, it’s a free tool after all. If you continue reading, you’ll be able to gain best practice knowledge when working with Google My Business.

Google My Business (commonly called GMB), is a business listing platform on Google’s search engine results pages for businesses to gain recognition, acquire relevant traffic, source reviews, and help customers find business locations. Think of it as a competitor to Yelp or Yellow Pages.

Someone who is interested in finding products or services like what your business offers doesn’t have to search on Yelp to find your business’s information, location, hours, and reviews. All of this can be found on GMB!

This puts you one step closer to getting a new customer!

Google created this platform to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) compete online to be seen and get leads since it’s really hard to get on the first page as a new business. This outlet may be several years old now, but it’s continuing to grow and is expanding with new features for local business owners.

We implore you to take the actionable information found in this article and go start your GMB listing as soon as you can, if you haven’t already.

What is a Google My Business Listing?

A Google My Business listing is your footprint on Google’s first page results. Open Google in your web browser or Google Maps on your phone and when you type in “gas station near me”, what do you get? Does it look anything like this?

Gas stations near me in Fort Collins search on Google

Or this on Google Maps?

Gas station near me in Fort Collins Google Maps search on mobile

Looking at the desktop screenshot above for “gas station near me”, Google’s typical search results look different than normal, don’t they? This is called the map pack, snack pack, local 3 pack, or what I like to call, Google’s gift to the small business owner: The ultimate local SEO hack.

Okay, it’s not really a “hack” but it provides more leverage on Google’s search results than you’ve ever had before!

Each of these results “A, B, C” for gas stations is a unique business listing. Since all of these are Shell gas stations, the example here is that your business might have multiple locations, but you can create a unique business listing for each one.

Your business listing on GMB is your business’s digital footprint on Google for local SEO. If you have a small business that serves healthy fruit juice drinks, you have a chance to compete with Jamba Juice.

Jamba Juice? The well-known, over-popularized “healthy” drink chain that’s known globally?

Yes, the same one! If you own a local smoothie shop in a location where Jamba Juice is located, you can actually compete thanks to GMB!

What are the Benefits of a Google My Business Listing?

I’m placing this here because I want everything in one place for the benefits of a GMB listing.

Yes, I know I’ve already been talking about the amazing benefits of having a GMB listing, but here’s a bulleted list for why you should have your own:

  1. You can compete with large, well-known businesses.
  2. You can appear in the map pack, which appears on page one on Google’s search results at the TOP of the page.
  3. It’s free! Yes, Google My Business is completely F R E E. You don’t have to pay for a Google My Business listing.
  4. GMB automatically connects to the Google Maps app to provide users with a route to your business.
  5. You can add your products and services for additional information to help the person searching.
  6. You can add your business description, hours of operation (even on holidays), offers, specials, promotions, and images of your business.
  7. GMB listings gather reviews from customers (reviews are important indicators for ranking on Google).
  8. Google search users (your customers) can add images of your location, products or services. This offers you free content!
  9. You can appear on page #1 of Google’s SERPs… I’ve listed this twice here because it’s the best benefit of using Google My Business.

Who Can Have a Google My Business Listing?

Google has strict guidelines as to who is allowed to own a Google My Business listing. Qualifying for a GMB listing includes:

  1. Having ownership of that business.
  2. Actually operating during the hours listed and able to meet in-person with customers during those hours.
  3. Servicing or selling products in the area(s) you say you operate in.
  4. Having a physical location of some sort (more on this below).

Examples of businesses that qualify for Google My Business listings:

  1. Practitioners with offices/suites. For example, a physical therapist that works within a building with other physical therapists but has their own office.
  2. Having a mobile business but owning an office location.
  3. Brick and mortar businesses that sell physical items. For instance, your delicious fruit drinks.
  4. Businesses servicing areas. Earlier in the year of 2019, Google introduced new features for businesses that don’t directly have a physical location, but rather service specific areas. So, if you’re a plumber and not a fruity juice expert selling delicious sugary drinks of pure awesomeness, you’re safe and able to use GMB!

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you want a good laugh and to see bad examples of GMB listings and user-generated content, take a look at some GMB tales of horror.

Who Can’t Have a Google My Business Listing?

We know who CAN have a Google My Business listing, but who CAN’T? Ineligible or unqualified businesses include:

  1. Properties for rent or sale such as apartment vacancies, model homes, vacation homes, your best friend Jeff’s kind of cool basement but still hasn’t installed that insulation. No, Jeff, you can’t have a GMB listing for your freezing Airbnb. Brrr…
  2. e-Commerce businesses with no physical location.
  3. People who don’t actually own the business or lease the business’s location.
  4. Ongoing events like classes or meetings at a location where you don’t own the property or have the authorization to conduct business there.
  5. Virtual offices. Again, if you don’t have a physical location, a GMB listing isn’t for you. Even though you might have a phone number, mailing address, hours of operations, and some pictures to throw up on the listing, Google will deny you verification permissions. One thing stands true, you have to be able to meet in-person with the customer. The only exception to this is if you can prove to Google that you own or lease an occupied office space, similar to that of a co-working space. Even then, you could run into some challenges if you don’t meet customers in-person.

How do I Get My Business Listed on Google My Business?

Simple, you claim it.

If you fall into one of the listed qualified businesses above, then congratulations!

This article isn’t just to tell you about what Google My Business is, it’s also to help you set it up! Jeff, let’s go make some local SEO magic happen for anything but that cold, dark basement… unless you’re planning on turning it into a walk-in workspace or a dive bar.

Claim Your Live Google My Business Listing

Let’s just jump straight into it!

Your business might already have a GMB listing, it’s just waiting for you to claim it. If your business is already on Google Maps search, that means it’s already listed.

“Should I just leave it alone?” you might ask.


Leaving your current listing to the Google bots to manage means you can’t optimize it for local SEO purposes and your business information might be inaccurate. Don’t leave your GMB listing in the hands of fate or Google bots.

To claim your Google My Business listing, there are a couple of steps to take.

1. Find Your Business

Go to Google Maps and type in your business name or a keyword phrase that will bring up your business listing. You might have to do some digging around to find it, but if you saw it before, it’s there.

2. Claim Your Business

Once you have found your business listing, it’s time to claim it. Somewhere on the listing should be a button for “Claim this business”. Click on the “Claim this business” button. You’ll be taken through a step-by-step claiming process for the listing. Obviously, you’ll want to be using a Gmail account in order to access your GMB listing.

Follow the steps presented to you and fill out the accurate information for your business. Include your business’s name, address, phone number (NAP), and any other information to get you started.

3. Reclaim Your GMB Listing

Perhaps you created a Google My Business listing a while back and forgot about it? Or maybe someone on your team created a GMB listing and it was left alone for a while? If there is a chance that either of these scenarios (or another one) occurred, then you should claim your GMB.

Either try to find the email and password to access the listing and you can work with it from there or you can click the “Claim this business” button and use a new email address.

Create a New Google My Business Listing

If none of the above scenarios occurred and you don’t currently have a Google My Business listing for your business, then create a new one.

1. Log Into Google My Business

Using your Gmail account, log in to Google My Business. Click on “Manage Now”.

Google My Business login page

2. Find Your Business Name

If you didn’t find your business listing earlier by going to Google Maps, you can try again by searching for it directly on Google My Business. If it still doesn’t show, then move forward with creating a new Google My Business listing.

Google My Business searching for business name

3. Create a New GMB Listing

Type in the accurate name of your business (no extra keywords like adding your city “Fort Collins” unless that is in the legal version of your business’s name). Select “Create a business with this name”.

For the fun of it, I’ve chosen to create “The Juicy Pineapple” because I’m currently craving fruit juice.

Follow the next 8 easy steps to add the information of your business to create a new Google My Business listing.

Choosing business name in Google My Business

4. Add Your Business’s Name

Add the accurate name of your business to officially get started on your new GMB listing.

Creating Google My Business listing part 1

5. Choose to Add Business Location

If you have a location that customers can directly visit (preferably not your home), then click yes. If not, click no.

Creating Google My Business listing part 2

6. Add the Business Address

If you chose to add a business address because you have a physical location for customers to visit, add the information here.

If you chose to add a business address because you have a physical location for customers to visit, add the information here.

Creating Google My Business listing part 3

7. Answer if You Serve Outside Your Location

If your business serves other locations besides the address you just added, click yes. If not, click no.

Creating Google My Business listing part 4

8. Choose Service Areas

If you clicked yes on the previous section, then add the cities and areas you serve in this next section. If you clicked no, then skip this step.

Creating Google My Business listing part 5

9. Choose Your Business Category

Google has a pre-set list of categories for your business to fit into. You can choose up to 10 categories. If you forget to add categories that your business fits into, you can add more later.

Creating Google My Business listing part 6

10. Add Visible Contact Details

Your “visible contact details” include your business’s contact phone number and a link to your current website (if you have one). If you don’t have a website, you can opt-out by clicking “I don’t need a website” or you can have GMB automatically create you a website that is structured via their generic template.

Creating Google My Business listing part 7

11. Finish and Manage Your New Google My Business Listing

Ta-da!! The final step here is to click on the blue “Finish” button. Once you do, you now have a GMB listing!

Creating Google My Business listing part 8


Congratulations! You have officially created a new Google My Business listing!

Now, it’s time to make it live to Google searchers.

How do I Verify My Google My Business?

Once you have created a Google My Business listing, you have to have it verified by Google. The reason for verifying your GMB listing is so that Google can legitimize your business and prove an accurate address. If your business isn’t at the address you say it is, Google won’t verify it.

Go to your GMB dashboard to access your listing to start on the verification process.

Google has several verification processes that you can choose from.

Let’s look at The Juicy Pineapple GMB dashboard again.

Google My Business listing pending verification

You’ll see that my new listing is “Pending” verification (even though it says “business is verified”). Google can automatically verify your business if it fits the requirements without manual help on your end. However, this doesn’t always work since Google might not be able to verify your business without further information.

If your business doesn’t automatically become verified, then you’ll have to choose a verification method to verify your business address. Without verification, your business won’t be listed on Google’s Map Pack or Google Maps!

Google has 5 ways to verify your business listing(s).

1. Verify Business Listing via Mail

Google will send a “postcard” to the address associated with the business listing you’ve just created. If you have chosen this verification method, it will typically take up to 14 business days for a postcard to reach your address. On the postcard will be your verification code.

When you receive the postcard, go to your Google My Business listing’s dashboard, then access the pending verification section. Google’s instructions for verifying using a computer with the postcard’s code include clicking on the “Verify now” button and inputting the 5-digit verification code. Click “Submit” once you have added the code and your listing will be verified.

If you haven’t received a postcard, in the verification section, you can request Google to send a new postcard. This means that, if you end up receiving the original postcard, you can only use the new postcard’s code. The original code will no longer be applicable.

Google My Business postcard verification process on desktop
Resource from Google Support

If you’re on the go or don’t have the time to access your computer, you can verify your GMB listing on your mobile device. To verify your listing via a mobile device, you can access your Google My Business account by either signing in to the account on a web browser or by accessing the Google My Business app. Follow similar steps as the computer verification method found above.

Google My Business postcard verification on mobile
Resource from Google Support

2. Verify Your Business Via Phone

This is an available verification method for select businesses. If your business listing verification options provide this method, that is the only way to choose it.

This is a very simple process for verification. Select this method and the phone number that you have linked to your business listing will receive a phone call from Google My Business with the verification code. Input and submit the code in the verification code field. Your business will then be verified.

Google My Business phone call verification method
Resource from Google Support

3. Verify Your Business Via Email

Email verification is another method that is optional for select businesses.

If you have this verification method available, choose this option for a quick and easy verification. All you have to do is choose this method, double-check the email in the email field to ensure it’s the correct email address, then check your email for the code.

Go back to your GMB listing and add the code in the verification code field.

Google My Business email verification method
Resource from Google Support

4. Instantly Verify Your Business Listing with Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free monitoring and indexing tool created by Google for website owners to index their pages, check website search clicks, review errors/suggested changes for pages on your website, and more.

If you own a website for your business and have already verified it using Google Search Console, then you can verify your new GMB listing. Using the same email address you use for your Google Search Console account, create and verify your Google My Business listing.

Some business categories might not be eligible for this type of verification method.

5. Get Bulk Verified

If you have a business with 10 or more locations, you can get bulk verified. There are a variety of ways to get bulk verified. Essentially, your user account will get verified by Google My Business and your 10 or more locations will become verified. This is a very useful method for agencies that have an Organization account with a multitude of client address locations.

If you don’t have 10 or more locations of your business, then this isn’t the verification method for you.

Once you’ve been verified, your business listing’s location and details will be on Google Maps and search results.

New Verification Method: Video Verification

While this was first introduced for beta testing back in September of 2018, Google has officially released video verification, partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic slowing postage.

Not every business will have eligibility from what we can see. However, we didn't have this option available for some locations until we received an email. After postcard verification failed because Google couldn't recognize the suite number, we were sent this email:

Email from Google My Business Support to verify listing via video call

This makes us believe that even if you don't have the video chat option available upfront, Google will reach out to you to offer this verification method after you've exhausted your other option(s). What you'll need to be prepared for this video chat with one of Google's 'specialists' will differ depending on if you have a physical storefront or a service area business.

However, the scheduling of these video calls remains the same: 24-48 hours in advance once Google Support has reached out to you for the scheduling. This video chat can be done on your mobile device or laptop so long as you have a camera installed.

Video Verification for Physical Storefronts

If you need to verify an address that customers or employees will be needing directions to on Google Maps, this is a physical storefront. Google will request the following information:

  • Be at the physical location for your "workplace".
  • Show the Google specialist around the workspace.
  • Show your business logo in the front of your location near the address (this should be in the form of a permanent signage rather than a piece of paper you print your logo on <- that won't fly!).
  • Tools you use in your office (i.e. computers, printers, manufacturing equipment, coffee makers, etc).
  • Optional: Business cards with the business logo.

If you do not have these available to you, Google will not verify your listing.

Video Verification for Service Area Businesses

For service area businesses that need to verify their existence, the Google Support specialist will ask for the following:

  • Vehicle used to meet clients that must include your logo on it.
  • License plate of your registered motor vehicle (no public transit currently accepted).
  • "If you carry tools or other instruments fo your trade in your vehicle, that's ideal." - Google

This should be all you need to verify your service area business via Video Verification. However, you may be required to provide proof of business address through a legal document that includes the legal business name and the address for verification.

This is what we currently know about the Video Verification method so far. Within 48 hours after the video call, our listings were verified, so this is a very effective verification method!

Be sure to use the checklists above to prepare for these video calls.

Adding Business Assets on Google My Business

The fun isn’t over yet!

Now that you have successfully verified your business listing on Google My Business and the whole world can see where you are located, you need to add some extra optimizations.

Optimizing your GMB listing increases the likelihood of ranking on the Google Map Pack. You want to make everything as clear as possible on your GMB listing. Users should be able to understand where exactly you’re located. How they can reach you. What products or services you offer. Maybe some additional business information so they can understand what separates you from the competition.

Google ranks optimized GMB listings. When you have completed and verified as many sections on Google My Business as you can, this shows Google you’ve completed your GMB listing’s sections. Making pictures, products, services, and other business information as comprehensive as possible presents you with the opportunity of outranking your competition.

These optimizations are general details about your business and anything else you’d like to add. You’ll be optimizing for:

  • Hours of operation (including Special Hours for holidays or other days off)
  • Additional phone numbers
  • Products/services
  • Business description
  • Photos
  • And a few extra details for searchers to know more about your business

When you first get started, Google creates a “Plan” to help you organize and optimize your GMB listing. Isn’t that nice of them? Yours will look something like this:

Google My Business automatic listing plan

If you want to use the plan, you’re more than welcome to. Otherwise, just use the menu on the left-hand side and work your way down.

Adding your business information is very simple and doesn’t require much time. It should take roughly 20 minutes to add everything as long as you have your information and photos organized.

Adding Posts to Google My Business

Since we’re working our way down the menu, let’s talk about GMB posts. Posts are an actionable way to alert your community to events, offers, new products, or add an update about your business!

Add a post section in Google My Business listing

When a post is created, it will show in your business’s Knowledge Panel on Google search results. The Knowledge Panel appears on the right-hand side of specific keyword searches. This is where your Google My Business listing will appear on Google search results. The Knowledge Panel includes all of the juicy information you just added to your GMB listing!

Google My Business Knowledge Panel on Google search for Beyond Blue Media

“Why should I use Google My Business posts?” You might ask.

Posts are a great way to engage your community on Google search results. What if you have an offer of 25% off all purchases for the next 24 hours? People searching online won’t know about this amazing 25% off deal unless they reach your website. Currently, they don’t know about your website and are just searching for key terms related to your products or services.

The way they can find out about this offer is through GMB posts!

All you need to do to get more sales is click on the “Add offer” button under Posts on GMB and add the offer information. It’s best to include a photo so make sure it’s a great one! Try to keep the images in a 1:1 ratio (like a square) so they appear on all devices at the best resolution.

Creating an offer post on Google My Business

Make sure to add your start and end dates, a link to the promotion code (if applicable), then publish it! Your post will be seen by everyone who finds your GMB listing.

After 7 days, Google will archive your post. Google keeps posts archived so search users can see your older posts. Keep flushing these posts out to make way for new, more relevant posts.

Engage with your community! Let them know the exciting things you’re doing locally and of any new products or services you have. This will increase your chances of acquiring a sale.

Adding Business Information

You’ve already added basic business information. Now it’s time to add additional information that can answer more questions for your potential customers.

Business info section on Google My Business

Add your operating hours and any additional phone numbers customers can use for contacting your business.

Google has made it easier for your customers to find and follow you on Google Maps and search with the addition of a short name. A short name is exactly as it sounds. You create a unique shorter version of your name so customers can remember your business for later. If customers have Google accounts, your customers can save your location for a later date to return for more of your products/services.

Google allows business owners to get a little more local SEO optimized when it comes to GMB short names. Google permits you adding your location’s city or area to your short name! While this might not do much as a ranking factor, it’s still a keyword placement that has the chance of enhancing your ranking. 

For instance, I can add the short name “JuicyPineappleFortCollins” for my juice shop. Now, my customers know that this particular GMB listing I’ve created is the Fort Collins location. And Google knows this too!

You can only change your short name 3 times per year, so try to stick with just one short name and don’t change it often.

Adding a short name in Google My Business

If your business sells food items, you can create a menu or add a link to your menu on your website.

You can also add Business Attributes for location accessibility, amenities like bathrooms and free Wi-Fi, what type of payment methods you allow at your location, and much more. Optimizing the Business Attributes section provides both users and Google answers that you might not have been thinking about before.

You’ll also want to add a description for your business. This is where you get to tell customers what your business sells, why you created it, and the purpose it serves in the community. You can include up to 750 characters, an estimate of 125 total words. That space fills up fast, so only include important information.

Here is a suggestion for a successful business description: DON’T SPAM YOUR KEYWORDS!

You can include which city your business is located, but don’t overuse it like this:

“The Juicy Pineapple is a juice shop in Fort Collins, Colorado providing juiced drinks in Fort Collins, Colorado. In Fort Collins, Colorado, we like to service Fort Collins residents with the best Fort Collins-made juiced beverages. Our delicious Fort Collins drinks are made with love from Fort Collins, Colorado.” <- Don’t do THIS!

Your business description isn’t a place to throw a bunch of your keywords in one place and hope to outrank other local businesses. From an SEO perspective, that is a bad tactic and usually ends in a penalization from Google. One type of penalization from keyword spamming is the removal of your business listing.

So please, Jeff, don’t do it! You spent this long working on your GMB listing, you don’t want it to disappear.

Questions you should ask yourself when creating a Google My Business description include:

  • Does this business description offer any insight as to what my business offers?
  • Do I list where I’m located without keyword spamming?
  • If a potential customer reads this, will it be intriguing for them to choose me over a competitor?
  • Is this an accurate representation of my business and what it stands for?

Take some time to put thought into your business description and it can go a long way.

Add Business Photos

One thing that we at Beyond Blue Media see happening all the time are businesses not adding photos of their business location or products/services!

Here is a simple answer as to why your Google My Business listing needs photos, direct from Google: “Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don't have photos.”

Take a tip from the creators themselves and do yourself a favor, add photos!

Adding business photos in Google My Business

Add photos for these sections:

  • The business logo(s)
  • Business location’s interior
  • Business location’s exterior
  • Products
  • Team members acting out services
  • And team members

Don’t include stock photos! There is nothing unique about a stock photo, hence why they are called “stock photos”. They are for general usage only.

Your unique photos are to help identify your business and the quality of your location and work. With new images slamming the internet every second of every day, users expect to see photos of your business.

Add as many images as you can for each section. Once you’ve added these images, search users can see them in the knowledge panel on Google search results.

Knowledge Panel with business photos of Beyond Blue Media

Unfortunately, you aren’t allowed to choose which images are the first seen on your GMB listing, this is Google’s choice. Typically, the best performing images or the ones that Google’s algorithm believes are the best to show customers will be the first shown.

If you don’t like an image that’s at the forefront of the Google knowledge panel, you can try deleting it and adding it back later. Google will choose another image to replace it.

Google My Business Image Dimensions

To help you with the image adding process, here is a comprehensive table of dimensions for uploading images:

Measurements in Pixels Minimum Maximum Recommended File Size File Format
Profile Images 120 x 120 5200 x 5300 250 x 250 10KB - 5MB .jpg or .png
Cover Photo 480 x 270 2120 x 1192 1080 x 608 10KB - 5MB .jpg or .png
Owner Images 250 x 250 10000 x 10000 720 x 720 10KB - 5MB .jpg or .png
Customer Images 497 width 2048 x 2048 497 x 373 10KB - 5MB .jpg or .png
Post Images 400 x 300 10000 x 10000 540 x 405 10KB - 25MB .jpg, .png, .bmp

Google My Business Video Guidelines

There is a section on Google My Business where you can add videos to your GMB listing. These are the recommended guidelines for uploading a video:

Maximum Duration Maximum Size Recommended Format Minimum Resolution
Video 30 seconds 100MB .mp4 720p

There is a section on Google My Business where you can add videos to your GMB listing. These are the recommended guidelines for uploading a video:

Now that you’ve added images (and possibly videos) to your Google My Business listing, you can manage them and add more later.

Deleting Business Uploaded Photos

Deleting business photos that you or another team member has uploaded to your GMB listing is as simple as adding them. Just click on the photo that you want to delete and click on the trash can icon in the top right-hand corner.

Deleting an image from Google My Business via trash icon

If you’re sure you want to delete this photo, click “Delete” when the popup appears.

Permanently deleting a photo from Google My Business listing

And voila! Your photo has been deleted.

Deleting User Uploaded Photos

I’ll let you be aware that there is a way for search users to add their own images to your GMB listing. This isn’t negotiable and you’re not in charge of approving them, Google is. Very helpful, right?

User-generated content is a good thing, for the most part. This means that your users care enough to add useful images to your GMB listing for others to view as resources. However, you might not like every image that comes through.

What if a customer adds an image of your location’s bathroom and it’s filthy? (I don’t know if your bathroom is filthy, but you might want to keep it clean 😉 ) You don’t want a disgusting photo of something that’s barely even relevant being showcased all over Google search in your knowledge panel!

How do you remove user-generated photos on Google My Business listings?

It’s easy enough, you just have to ask Google to remove it.

1. Choose the Image for Removal

Under your Google My Business listing, go to the Photos section. Next, click on “By customer”. Here, you can view and report all images uploaded by customers. Google will only remove an image if it’s somehow inappropriate or irrelevant to your business.

Finding user generated photos on Google My Business

2. Mark as Flagged

Click on the image you want removed, then click on the flag icon in the top right-hand corner. This will lead you to a new page where you can inform Google as to why you want the customer’s image to be removed.

Flagging a user generated photo on Google My Business

3. Report the Inappropriate Photo

On this reporting page, you’ll choose the reason(s) for why this photo should be removed or parts of the photo should be blurred. You may also choose to mark the photo as a low-resolution image.

Reporting a user generated photo to Google

If the image taken by the customer is a 360 degrees photo (which is super rare), then drag the photo lens across the area that is inappropriate.

Finish the image reporting process and provide as many details as you can for why you want the image removed. Then, select Submit.

Google will respond to your email with their decision. If you don’t like their decision, you can continue discussing it with them via email.

How to Find Your Google My Business Listing URL for Sharing

Okay, if you have a website or someone is asking you for a link to your Google My Business listing, there is a way to acquire this URL. Perhaps you’re trying to provide a customer with a way to leave a review?

To find the link for sharing your Google My Business listing, there are two avenues you can take.

Find the GMB Listing Link Under Admin

1. Go to Your GMB Listing Admin Dashboard

Go to the home dashboard for your Google My Business listing. Click on the Info section.

Business info section on Google My Business dashboard

2. Share Your Business Profile

Click on “Share your Business Profile” for the link to your GMB listing.

Share your Business Profile on Google My Business

3. Copy Your GMB URL

Copy your GMB listing URL! To make your URL more unique, you should add a business location short name.

Copying shareable link to Google My Business listing

Find the GMB Listing URL On Google Search

1. Google Search Your Business Listing

Search for your business name on Google. Once you find it, click on the “expanding arrows” icon in the Knowledge Panel to expand the map. You can find this icon on the top right-hand side of the map.

Expanding map on Google My Business Knowledge Panel

2. Click on the Share Icon

On the next page, click on the “Share” icon.

Share icon on Google Maps

3. Copy Google My Business Listing URL

Finally, copy the URL found under “Send a link”.

Copying GMB shareable link on Google Maps

Now you can share your Google My Business listing with anyone!

Find Your Google My Business HTML Snippet for Map Embedding

Embedding your Google My Business listing URL on a website page is typically used to show the location of your business via Google Maps directly on your website. Maybe you want to embed the link on a page for driving directions?

1. Google Search Your Business Listing

Search for your business name on Google. Once you find it, click on the “expanding arrows” icon in the Knowledge Panel. You can find this icon in the top right-hand side of the map.

Expanding map on Google My Business Knowledge Panel

2. Click on the Share Icon

On the next page, click on the “Share” icon.

Share icon on Google Maps

3. Copy Your Google My Business Listing HTML Snippet

Finally, click on “Embed a map” then copy the HTML snippet for pasting on your website.

Copying HTML snippet for Google Maps location

How to Delete Your Google My Business Listing

For whatever reason, if you decide to delete your Google My Business listing, it’s a very simple process. Only delete your GMB listing if you know that you won’t use it again. Otherwise, you spent all of this time for nothing.

If all you want to do is mark your business as “closed”, then simply follow the outlined process below and select “Permanently closed” instead. You get to keep your GMB listing, but the business location is now marked on Google properties as closed.

1. Access Your Google My Business Dashboard

Go to your GMB dashboard for your listing, then click on “Manage locations” in the menu on the left. If you’re already under “Manage locations”, then skip this part.

Manage locations section on Google My Business

2. Choose the Location For Removal

Choose the location that you want to permanently delete by clicking the empty box next to the name and address. If you’ve selected it, the box will highlight with a blue checkmark. Once you have selected the location for removal, select “Actions” and a new menu of options will appear. 

Choosing location to delete from Google My Business

3. Remove Google My Business Location

Now, click on “Remove location”.

Removing location from Google My Business

4. Permanently Remove Google My Business Listing

Google wants to make sure you understand what happens once you remove a location from Google My business. This is your last warning before the removal of your location is accepted. To conclude your GMB listing removal process, click “Remove”.

Permanently removing location from Google My Business


Your business location has now been removed from Google My Business. However, certain information might be kept for Google searches and future use. You can always go through the creation process of this Google My Business listing again in the future if you so choose.


We’ve finally come to the end of our journey through Google My Business. In case you didn’t want to read the full article (that took quite a while to build) and only care about specific details, let’s do a recap for the “too long; didn’t read” section here!

Google My Business is an amazing free tool that allows any business owner, no matter the size of the business, to compete for visibility on Google Search and Maps (Google properties). It is possible for small to medium-sized businesses to be the first seen businesses on Google’s search results for related searches. You have the opportunity to acquire customers that would otherwise go to larger, well-known businesses!

To create or own your Google My Business listing for your business, you must claim it. It is an easy step-by-step process that has been explained in full above. You don’t have to have a direct business location in order to have a GMB listing. You do have to verify your business for which you have multiple options on how to do so (how-to located above).

For search users to learn more about your business, you should optimize your GMB listing with essential details such as hours of operation, additional phone numbers, and other relevant details. Creating a business short name gives you the advantage of using a keyword associated with where your business resides or services. Short names are unique names for business locations and are included in your GMB listing’s shareable link.

Google My Business posts are meant to connect with your community. They shouldn’t be used for spamming keywords or to lead users astray. Always ensure that any link you add to a GMB post is relevant and leads users to the correct page on your website.

Google My Business listings that use and optimize photos are 35% more likely to drive user clicks to their website. This provides you with a much higher chance of acquiring a sale. At the very least, it grows your web traffic and spreads your brand awareness. Read the section on photo dimensions above for all photo information you need to know.

Google search users are able to upload photos of your business and products without your acceptance. You can delete these photos if you find them inappropriate, but you must work with Google to do so.

If you want to share your business’s location without having customers have to search themselves, you can share a Google My Business listing link with them. There are two ways to accomplish this. You may also acquire the Google Maps location of your business and embed the HTML snippet on your website to make driving directions and search easier for users on your website.

Deleting and removing your Google My Business listing is simple and only requires you to click a couple of buttons. Google will do the rest.

If you want to contact GMB support, the menu on your Google My Business dashboard has a section for Support where you can submit inquiries and provide feedback. This allows you to speak directly with the Google team.

That’s it for now! You’ve successfully created your Google My Business listing and have all of the tools you need to optimize it for further reach and getting more business!

Google My Business is such a great tool to use for local SEO and the best part is that anyone can use it! It’s free, simple, and attracts local customers that are more likely to purchase from you. Who doesn’t want that?!

I hope this guide answered all of your questions about Google My Business. If you feel like something was left out or you have more questions, feel free to contact us here at Beyond Blue Media! Our knowledge on creating, optimizing, and managing Google My Business listings starts from when GMB was first introduced.

Our team works on GMB listings every day and continues to expand their knowledge on how to place our clients in the #1 position on the map pack. Give us a call today and we’ll help you set up your GMB profile for local SEO no matter where your business may be located!

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Written by Joseph Jones

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