Getting Started with Google My Business
Whenever someone’s looking for a business or answer to a question, where do they turn?
It’s estimated there’s well over 3.5 billion searches per day on Google. Of those searches it’s estimated that 75% of customers won’t even make it past Page 1. This means that your ranking on Google is more important than ever. What’s one of the simplest ways to start getting your business ranked on Page 1?
Starting and optimizing your Google My Business!
In this post we’ll break down the quick-and-dirty to setting up your Google My Business and some best practices to make sure your listing stays fresh, optimized, and ranking.
How do you set up Google My Business?
You may have a Google My Business listing already or you may need to set up your brand new business for the first time. Regardless of if you’re a fully online business or brick and mortar you should claim your business right away.
Here’s how to add your business to Google:
- Sign in to Google My Business and into your Google Account, then click Next.
- Enter the name of your business or chain. If you have a chain, you can also select it from the suggestions that display as you type.
- Enter your business’ or chain’s address. If you’re an online business without a physical location, you can enter what area you’re home office for example is located in. Then, click Next.
- Choose how your business will display on Google Maps. If you don’t serve customers at your business address click I deliver goods and services to my customers and then Next.
- List your service areas, then click Next.
- Search for and select a business category. Then, click Next.
- Enter a phone number or website URL, then click Finish.
- Select a verification option. It’s recommended that you review your information before you request verification.
- To verify now, at the top, find the red banner and click Verify now.
- To verify later, click Verify later and then Later.
- If you’re not authorized to manage the Business Profile for the chain, find the person in your organization who’s authorized and continue the process.
Verification is done by Google sending you a physical postcard in the mail with a code and instructions on how to claim your business. Make sure that the postcard is being sent to your physical business location! It should arrive between 3-5 business days.
How do I claim my business on Google if it already exists?
- On your computer search for your business on Google .
- On the right hand side where your business appears click “Own this business?”
- Make sure you’re logged into the Google account you want to claim your business under; it’s recommended that you claim it under your business domain.
- Fill out the information requested and select a verification method and follow the on-screen steps.
You will be sent a physical postcard to verify with Google similar to the setup instructions above as if you were claiming a new business. The card and instructions will arrive within 3-5 business days.
How can I optimize my Google My Business listing?
Once you’ve claimed and verified your business on Google, it’s time to start optimizing your listing to make sure customers are getting the most accurate and professional-looking results when searching for your business or product.
First impressions are everything!
It’s estimated that 57% of shoppers rely on Google for reviews and information about a business before considering visiting your location or website. Treat your Google My Business listing list any other social media profile: update it weekly (at minimum), respond to reviews, and make changes as necessary such as hours, locations, etc.
Here’s a few optimization tips you can add to your weekly task list (or first time setup list if you’re setting up a new business) to make sure your listing is looking as polished as possible:
- Complete every section of your Google My Business account. A complete listing will help Google see your listing more favorably and your customers will appreciate the information.
- Select both primary and secondary categories to make sure that your business is appearing in every search possible. If your category has a specific subfeature, utilize it! Restaurants, for example, will have the option to list their menu. All fo these details are important for driving a positive customer experience.
- Write a complete and detailed “from the business” description so customers know exactly what type of business you offer, services you provide, etc. The less actions a customer has to take to learn about your business … the better!
- Publish Google posts weekly in a similar way that you’d post to Facebook, Twitter, etc. This may include special announcements, events, or products listings.
- Upload new photos of the business weekly in that same similar social-media fashion. These images may also appear in Google Image searches and have a chance of driving additional traffic to your listing or site.
- Respond to every single review – negative or positive – to build transparency and trust with your customers. Reviews can make-or-break a customers first impression!
- Add products or services whenever applicable. You want to make the shopping, appointment booking, or whatever you provide as easy as possible to get into the customers hands or calendars.
- Setup Messaging to communicate quickly with your customers in case there’s questions or confusion. If you’re getting the same questions over-and-over this may be a weak point in your listing: fix it quickly!
- Update information such as phone numbers and hours (especially around holidays) as frequently as possible. You don’t want customers showing up at your door or calling you when nobody is there.
Overall: the more you interact with Google, the more it will favor you!
Have questions on some of these optimizations? Or maybe feeling a little overwhelmed by how much work it may take to keep your business looking fresh? We can help! Feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com and let’s chat about how we can get your business ranking Page 1 on Google.