What Is Google My Business?
(And Why Should Small Businesses Use It)
Google My Business is a free resource set up by the search engine giant to help businesses take control and ownership of their brand and location. Unlike Facebook, the platform offers a website and allows you to stand out for free. If you haven’t started using this invaluable tool already, you’re running the risk of customers either not finding you or reading incorrect information.
Google My Business Allows You to:
- Get noticed by genuine potential customers
- Manage your reputation
- Generate more business
Small Businesses Use Google My Business Because:
- 4 out of 5 customers use search engines for local information
- 70% of customers visit a store or make a purchase after a search
- 85% of people of trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
This is why you should be using Google My Business, next you can learn how to get started setting up your profile.
How To Create Your Listing
- Log into Google, go to google.com/business and click Start Now.
- Start typing the name of business and if Google already has a listing, click the name.
- If Google doesn’t have a listing already, fill the details including address and/or delivery area.
PRO TIP: If you run an e-commerce store from your home, you might not want to have your address visible.
4. On the next screen, move the pin to your exact your location, if you want customers to find your business.
5. If you offer deliveries, you can determine your delivery method and service area.
6. Select the category your business falls under by typing it in and picking the best fit.
7. Pick how you want your customers to contact you, by giving a phone number and /or a website.
PRO TIP: If you dont already have a website, you can get a free one built based on your Google My Business data.
What Do You Do If Someone Else Has Already Claimed Your Business?
- Click Request Access after you see a message indicating that someone else has verified the listing.
- Fill out the form and specify what level of access you want — “owner” if it is your business.
- The current listing owner will receive an email asking them to get in touch with you.
- Enter your business information and complete the verification process.
- After receiving verification, you will see an ‘Owner conflict’ dialog box.
- Click Request Access and the curent listing owner will receive an email asking them to contact you.
- Upload the location information via the spreadsheet found of the Locations page.
- Open the upload location and a duplicate will show the message ‘Owner conflict’.
- Click Request Access and the current listing owner will receive an email asking them to get in touch with you.
If Approved — You’ll be notified by email.
If Denied— You’ll be notified by email and you can still suggest an edit to the listing or, in some cases, lodge an appeal.
If Ignored — If you don’t get a response after 7 days, look for a Claim or Verify button on your dashboard and you may still be able to claim the business.
How To Verify Your Listing
Once you’ve filled out the your information, Google needs verification that you are who you’ve claim to be, which can be done in a variety of ways.
Here’s how they all work.
Verifying Your Listing By Postcard
- Log into Google My Business and select the business you want to verify.
- Verify your address and add a contact name and click Send.
- After the postcard arrives, log in, open the business you want to verify and click Verify Now.
- Enter the code from the postcard and click Submit.
Verifying Your Listing By Phone
- Choose the relevant business, then click Verify Now.
- To receive the code in an automated phone call, click Verify by Phone.
- You will be given a code on the call, enter it on the website and click Submit.
Verifying Your Listing By Email
- Choose the business that you’d like to verify, then click Verify Now.
- Click Email from the list of options (if available. Google does not offer this method to all users)
- Click the Verify button in the email.
Verifying Your Listing By Instant Verification
- If your website is verified with Google Search Console, you may by able to verify your location instantly.
- Make sure you are signed in with the same email address for Search Console and Google My Business before trying to verify.
Verifying Your Listing By Bulk Verification
- Click Get Verified next to one of your locations (you need more than 10 locations to qualify).
- Click Chain and then fill in the verification form.
- Verification should take around a week.
How To Optimize Your Listing
1. Add Key Information To Your Profile
- Service Area — If you a run a business offering services, define the area you operate in.
- Attributes — This gives you a chance to highlight key attributes like whether you offer free wifi, have disabled access, etc.
- Opening Date/History — If you are due to open soon or have a long history in your area, tell your customers.
2. Create And Add Media To Your Listing
- Cover — A cover photo should showcase the purpose and personality of your business in just one photo.
- Exterior — Include exterior shots from different angles to make it as easy as possible for customers or clients to find you.
- Profile ImageE/Logo — Use your logo as a profile photo for readers to quickly identify your response to a review.
- Interior — Choose your interior photos to give the best first impression — no messy desk/shelves.
- At Work— Show your staff serving your customers and demonstrating a variety of services.
- Team— Photos of your team, ensure you pick ones that pick ones that fit the tone of your brand.
- Product — Use these photos to highlight your most popular products.
Pro-Tip — You can also add a 30 second video clip to highlight brand themes (they need to be 100 mb or smaller and 720p resolution or higher)
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Listing
Check Back Frequently — Anyone can update a listing so make sure your information is correct.
Use The Questions & Answer Feature — If you don’t answer questions, someone else might on your behalf.
Respond To Reviews — Thanking customers for good reviews makes them stand out and encourages others.
Write Posts — Post are mini updates where you can highlight upcoming events, sales, etc.
Use Messages — The text messaging services is a great way to quickly respond to queries.
Include Photos — Businesses with photos receive 42% more request for directions.
Google My Business is a must-have tool for all shapes and sizes. It’s also very straightforward to set up, so why not try following the steps we’ve presented to make it easy for local customers to find you?