Formerly known as Google Places, Google My Business allows you to put the right info about your business on Search, Maps and Google+ so that your customers can easily find you and get in touch.
Google My Business allows your company to:
- Show up on Google searches
- Get onto the map
- Stand out on Google+ and create a community
- Analyze your efforts with insights
- Actively respond to and encourage reviews
- Be found across all devices
Get your business on Google My Business
Step 0: Before you start, check that you’re not already on there. Go to Google Maps and search for your business; scroll around the map where you’re located and check there isn’t a pin on your office; go to Google+ and search on there too. Far too many times we see businesses with multiple Google My Business listings. This is SEO suicide and a recipe for search engine confusion. In most circumstances if Google cannot work out which page, website or item to show it won’t think “Oh well, I’ll show both.” far more likely it will go: “Not sure. I’ll show neither.” and you don’t want that.
Also, work out who will be responsible within your organization for doing this. We’ve also seen dozens of examples of businesses with a Google My Business listing set-up – but then their details change (or they spot a mistake) and have no idea how to log-in and change the details, because it was set-up by a former employee or agency/contractor and they’ve lost/never had the log-in details. You can claim back a Google My Business listing but it takes a long time, a lot longer than doing it properly in the first place. Either do this yourself, or better yet use a centrally accessible account that colleagues you trust have access to – so if someone leaves (change the password!) you can still access it.
If you’ve looked and cannot find your business on there, visit www.google.com/business to get started and follow the steps below to get your business to Google.
Step 1: Go to Google My Business and click on “START NOW”. Login to your Google Account, or create one if you don’t yet have one.
Step 2: Complete your business information. Fill in the details of your business in the panel on the left.
Note: Google likes consistency. It’s important to make sure that your Business Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) are written in the same way across all of your online content. For example, If your business is located at 3 George Street, don’t use 3 George St on Google, use a consistent format for all of your contact details.
The category section tells Google which business sector you operate in. Make sure the category you choose accurately fits your business, ask yourself ‘Is this the category my customers would put my business under?’.
Note: You have an option to add more categories later on if needed.
Make sure you are happy your information is accurate, check the box if you agree with the terms and conditions and click continue.
Step 3. Verify your business. Before your business listing is complete you need to verify it. Google will send you a postcard with a 5 digit code to the address you entered earlier. This can take a couple of weeks. Once the code arrives be sure to verify your business quickly, as the code only lasts for 30 days.
Once the postcard arrives, head back over to www.google.com/business. Here’s what the postcard looks like:
On the locations screen you should see your business details in the centre. Click the Enter Verification Code link on the right and enter the code in the box provided.
Step 4: Optimize your Google Business details. Once your business is verified you can manage it by going to www.google.com/business and choosing your business from the centre list.
Click the blue edit button to manage your details. This includes your business categories, opening hours, and several other areas. The more information you provide, the better Google will be able to optimize your listing.
What if I have multiple business locations?
If you have multiple business locations, (ie: you own a chain of restaurants that serve customers at several locations) you will need to add each of the business addresses manually. To do this, go back to step 1 and repeat this process for each of your business locations.
Note: The names for each of your locations should be consistent. You shouldn’t have a different name for each location. Each location should also have at least 1 category in common in their Google Business details.
For more information, learn more about what Hyperlocal Marketing is and how Hyperlocal relates to Mobile. Plus, we’ve compiled detailed steps on getting listed on Bing Places, and getting listed and claimed on Yelp.
For even more information, read through these blogs relating to Hyperlocal Marketing:
Get Noticed with Hyperlocal Marketing
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Why You Should be on Bing Places