Google My Business: why you need it and how to get started
If you haven’t setup a Google My Business account for your business, do it now! This is such an important step to get found online whether you have a storefront or work from home. It’s also an easy way to manage how your business appears on Google maps and searches. As Casey Nifong mentioned in my What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) blog, setting up a Google My Business listing with photos and detailed information about your business is a quick and easy way to boost your search results. Did I mention it’s free?
Another great reason to have this listing is so people can leave you reviews. Reviews are a big factor in rankings and an authentic way for people to learn about your services or products.
Setting up Google My Business
Head over to google.com/business and click Start Now in the upper right corner
Fill out the appropriate information about your company (name, address, etc). Don’t panic if you work from home! All you’ll do here is make sure you’re listed as a service-area business (check I deliver goods and services to my customers) which means you don’t have a brick-and-mortar storefront. This will give you a listing, but your address will be hidden.
When you’re filling out the information about your business, be as detailed as possible and make sure it matches the address, phone number and other contact info as your website and other places on the web. Google doesn’t like it when your business information is all over the place.
Once you complete filling out your information, Google needs to verify the address of your business (home or storefront) and they’ll mail you a verification postcard. Once you receive your postcard in the mail, log back into your Google My Business account, click Verify Now and plug in the code it provides you on the card. *Note* You cannot use a PO Box for your address.
Once you are verified, you’ll be able to make changes to your business information, upload images, add a business description and update working hours. A little fun fact from Google: “Businesses that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.”
Google My Business lets you check insights such as how many people used your listing to call you, visit your website or request directions. You can also share your latest offer, promotions or specials. I like logging in before every holiday to update my holiday hours so CLOSED displays while I’m spending time with family and friends.
It’s important to stay on top of this listing and update, update, update! If your store hours change or you move, update this immediately so your customers aren’t lost and your search results aren’t affected.
If you need a more detailed explanation on how to get started and set up, follow this guide that Google provides.
Interested in learning about Google Analytics? Check out my blog, Google Analytics: Setup & Basics.
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