Every business in today’s modern society asks the same question, “How do I get my business on Google”. The answer used to be much more difficult than the average business owner could do on their own. However, as technology improved and consumers needed more – Google did their part to help local businesses get found online.
In this week’s post, we’re going to focus on Google’s exciting tool made specifically for businesses – Google My Business. If you’ve ever searched for a business on Google, you’ve probably seen a Google My Business Listing. If you notice the listing shown on the right, that’s a Google Business listing, but with your own business’s crucial information, pictures, reviews, and so much more.
Benefits Of Having A Google My Business Listing
Getting a Google business listing set up is crucial in building your presence online. Google can help show customers businesses related to their searches when a customer searches for an industry or something related. This helps boost your search engine results on Google and other sites (as well as boosting your other marketing channels).
When you have a reputable Google Business listing, Google will start providing your business more online credibility. This means if you have a Facebook, a website, or any other channel online that represents your business – Google will be more likely to display it once you have a business listing setup.
How To Setup Your Google My Business Listing
Getting started is as easy as having a gmail account. You can either manage your business listing with your personal gmail account or you can create a google account specifically for your business (i.e. [email protected]). Either login to your existing google account or create one to manage your business, then let’s get started.
1. Claim Your Business Listing (Or Start Your Own Listing)
Once you’ve signed into the Google (or Gmail) account you plan on using, head over to business.google.com. If you’re signed into your Google account, you’ll notice a type field that asks what your business name is. If you’re not signed in, you’ll need to click on “Sign In” to link your business listing to a google account. Once you’re logged in, just head back to that page and click “Manage Now”.
Once you’re signed in and you click “Manage Now”, you’ll be taken to a page that asks for the name of your business. This is important because Google may already recognize your business (you just have to claim your listing). If your business is relatively new, you might not see your business here. Just start typing the most accurate name of your business and you’ll notice a drop down list come up.
If your business is recognized by Google, you’ll see your business name and address. If it’s not, you can click the option to “Create A Business With This Name”.
If you have to create your business listing, Google will walk you through the initial steps needed to verify that your business is legitimate.
When your business is already recognized by Google, you’ll be able to link your google account with the business listing itself – then you can start customizing your listing.
2. Verify Your Business Listing
Once you’ve found your business from the drop down list, you’ll be asked to verify your listing. To verify your listing, Google uses the public contact information that they currently have. This could be a publicly listed phone number, email address, or if you don’t have either – your mailing address.
Make sure to verify your business before doing anything. Google will not display any new information, photos, or videos until your listing is verified.
If you had to create your own business listing, Google will most often send you a verification code on a postcard to your mailing address. This postcard can take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks to be received. However, once you’ve completed your verification you can start customizing your listing with all the new business details.
3. Fill Out Important Business Details
Congrats on getting your business listing activated and claimed! Now we can really start making it your own with detailed information, photos, videos, and industry-specific information.
Make sure you’re logged in, then click “Info” on the left hand side. From here you’ll see an editable business listing. For the purposes of this post, we’re just going to run through the most important details.
*If you have a specific business type that takes appointments, check-ins, reservations, or that even has a menu (restaurant), you’ll notice some additional information you can use to make your listing stand out*
Categories are CRUCIAL – so don’t skip these. To add your business’s primary category (and add additional categories that match your business), just click the pencil for the option under your business name.
On the image above you’ll notice it says “Restaurant”. That was the primary category we initially chose for our example business, but yours may be different. Once you click the pencil a popup with open up and ask you to start typing the category you want.
Try to start with your primary focus in business – for example a nail salon, a restaurant, a photographer, etc. Once you’ve identified your primary category, you can fill in as many additional categories as you want that fits your business offerings.
2. Service Area
This portion of your listing should only be used if you deliver to customers or you meet customers at their location. Even if your business operates within a specific area of town, if you have a sole location you’ll want to keep that your primary location.
If you do deliver or meet customers at their location, add as many counties/cities that match your available service areas. When a customer is looking for a delivery or business interaction that comes to them – they’ll find your business depending on their area and industry searched for.
Another really important aspect to add to your listing is your most accurate business hours. These can be changed in the future. However, it’s better if you leave these set and use “Special Hours” to add Holiday hours of operations if you need to.
To add your current business hours, click the pencil next to “Hours”. You’ll see a list pop up of each day of the week. In order to set your hours, you’ll have to click the switch next to each day to apply the hours for that day. If you’re closed on some days, leave those unselected.
Once you’ve entered your hours, simply select “Save Changes” and your new business hours will be updated to your listing.
4. Phone Number
Entering your phone number here is really important. Not only does it display your number, but when a customer looks up your business Google will display a button simply saying “Call”. This helps encourage people to just reach out by phone, while giving you the opportunity to win over a customer.
Make sure the phone number you enter here can be verified and will be accessible for customers. You don’t want it to go to a personal cell phone or a phone that’s never answered. Once you’ve input your business phone number, save your changes!
Listing a website is not required when you first set up your Google Business listing. It does however help you build credibility with Google and gives customers another way of getting to know your business. When your business website is listed here, Google will also give you a small boost to your search engine rankings (so it’s really great for moving your business up in the results)!
Simply enter the website (make sure you include http:// or https:// depending on your site), then select “Save Changes”.
Attributes are another optional listing asset that can help your business stand out. Google includes unique characteristics to choose from for every business. These attributes can range from “Women-led” to “Wheelchair Accessible Location” and many other options.
For certain attributes like “Veteran-Led” businesses, Google will even send you an award or certification you can display in your place of business! To really make your business stand out, make sure you run through the list of attributes and add the ones that fit your business. And just like the others, make sure you save your changes.
7. Business Description
Although the description is listed last, it’s extremely important to getting your business seen and trusted. Your description can go beyond your business category, explaining what your business does best.
Not only that, but your description can also help you be listed on Google for more than just a few categories. For example, if you serve food. You may be a restaurant, but you probably specialize in a type of dish or food. You also might make each customer’s experience special with catering or birthday celebrations.
Overall, use your business description to dive into all of the things that makes your business special and worthy of your customer’s business. Once you’re done, make sure you hit save changes again.
4. Add Photos
Adding photos not only gives your business listing some color, but it can also give your listing more credibility. Customers are more likely to reach out to a business that has images of their place of business, products, or team online.
To start adding your own photos just click “Add Photos” at the bottom of the “Info” section OR click “Photos” in the left sidebar.
From here, start with something simple like your logo. Google has categories for the types of pictures you upload, so look at the top of the screen for “Overview” and click on it. Once there, you’ll notice two options “Logo” and “Cover”.
If you have a logo, you can upload it under the logo option. Your logo may need to be resized depending on the size of your original logo, but Google displays logos best if they have square dimensions.
A cover photo is what will be displayed above your business name on your listing. You can upload a simple photo that showcases the primary purpose of your business, or you can have someone create a cool design for you (we know a girl).
Once you have uploaded your logo and cover photo, you can really start showing off your business. To make it easy (and organized) just click the category of photo you’d like to upload at the top and start uploading your photos! Google gives you a wide variety of categories for photos like: Interior, Exterior, Team, Products, Food/Drink (Restaurant only), and much more.
Make sure to tag each photo with a caption for an extra SEO boost from Google!
5. Review The Other Google My Business Features
To get the most out of your Google My Business listing, we’re going to go over the other options in Google My Business that can help you succeed.
While you can’t make your own reviews, the reviews section helps you keep up with all of your business’s reviews and gives you the opportunity to respond to them.
If you already have customers that are willing to leave a review (or even if you just want to tell people they can leave a review) Google Business gives you a quick link to share with your customers. Just send them the link, post it on your social media pages or even your website.
Why are reviews crucial with Google? Google uses customer reviews as a vital ranking source (aka the more authentic, reputable reviews you have – the more likely you start ranking higher in the search results).
Posts are a great way to keep your customers and search inquirers interested in your business. By click on the “Posts” section in Google My Business, you can add photos, videos, offers, events, and more that Google will display to people in your area.
Same as your business social media pages, if you consistently keep your customers and visitors in the loop – they will reward you for it.
Messaging is a great feature because it allows customers to ask you questions directly from your business listing. Although, unlike the other sections in Google My Business – you have to turn it on.
To do that, select “Messaging” from the sidebar and click “Turn On”. From here, you’ll be able to start receiving messages in your Google My Business App. Google also gives you the option of setting up automated responses, so your customers always get a response instantly.
Like we said from the beginning, Google My Business is jam-packed with great features that are all specifically created to help you get on Google and manage your listing successfully. Google gave you one place to monitor your progress and manage your growth with “Insights”.
Need to know who’s finding you on Google search or maps? Insights can help. Curious about how many people are calling from your listing or visiting your website? Or even how many people have looked at your business photos. Google My Business can do this and more.
To view your insights on the computer, just click the insights section in the sidebar. If you want a direct and consistent way of managing your business on the go – the Google My Business app is perfect for that.
Download The App For Total Control
Download the Google My Business app and you can do almost everything from your phone. Take pictures and upload them on the fly, answer messages directly from the app, edit your business listing with the most up-to-date information, and much more.
Just search the Google Play or IOS App Store and download Google My Business today to get started!
Wrapping It Up
Well we’ve covered a lot, but at the end of the day – you have a business listing that will not just make you more visible now but for the future. Getting your business listing on Google is just the first step in growing your business online, so if you need more help establishing your online presence and growing more customers – give us a call.
We’re experts at not just getting Google to find you, but growing your presence across multiple online channels. All of which, lead to getting you more customers in the door and revenue into your business.