Google My Business can make the world of difference to the success of your business. Especially if your business has a local audience! Set up Google My Business and it will show your listings in SERP when a search is specific to your business. Customers can leave reviews on your listings that you can respond to. Also, your business will appear on Google Maps when people search for things in your area.
As well as the above, Google My Business gives you the tools you need to successfully monitor the behaviour of your existing and potential customers. All in one place, and it’s free! Not to mention the added bonus of being able to easily make a basic, one-page website that can promote your business through; interacting with customers, advertising special offers and posting pictures of products.
Hence the reason we have written this guide on how to set up Google My Business!
Below is an example of how Google My Business shows your listings on SERP to clarify. However, bear in mind this is only one aspect of this great tool, we will go into more detail about the other features later on in the post.
How to set up Google My Business
The first thing you have to do to set up Google My Business is go to https://www.google.com/business/ and click ‘start now’. That will take you to this page.
Enter your business name and click next to bring you to step 2.
Here you need to enter your business location. This is especially important as it automatically syncs with Google maps. When people search for your business, or businesses similar to yours, you may show up and people can find out exactly where you are. Once you have entered your location, click next to take you to step 3.
At this stage you need to choose a business category (Pizza Restaurant, Bakery, Nail Salon etc.) This allows your business to connect with customers that are searching for products and services that you offer. For this reason you need to be specific. You can have a primary category and additional categories if your business offers a variety of things. For example, imagine you own a small restaurant. Your cuisine is mainly Italian but you also offer American and French cuisine. Specify this, so if someone searches for ‘american style restaurants’ in your area, you have your bases covered and will appear on maps or search results. Click next to bring you to this page.
This stage gives you the option to add your contact information. We advise that you should definitely input your contact information. This way, your number and website will appear in your listings. This is important for obvious reasons. It means people can get in contact with you if they have queries about your business or products. Other important information such as opening times can be added in the Google My Business dashboard too.
The final stage to set up Google My Business is to verify your business. Click next once you have put your contact details in and it will take you to this page.
Click continue and you will have to choose a method of verification. A postcard will be delivered to your business address with a verification code to make sure your business is where you stated. This is important for both you (to be found) and your customers (to find you). You now have your Google My Business listings set up and can begin to design your website.
Note: you will only be able to post and respond to customer reviews once you have verified your connection to the business.
Your Google My Business Website
Another thing you get when you sign up to Google My Business is your ‘free’ one page website. Your probably thinking, Awesome! Free, easy to create website? Sign me up, but be cautious…
The website you make through Google My Business can be useful. Especially if your a new business and don’t have a website at all yet. You can add photos to interact with people and promote your products and services. It’s is definitely a good place to start your online presence.
However, be careful when choosing to ‘make this my website address on Google Search and Maps’. Especially if you already have your own website. If you do make it your address it will REPLACE the website you already have listed on your Google My Business account! Meaning when people search and click your ‘website’ button on your listings, it will take them to the basic one-page website rather than your own website if you have one. So be careful! More on this in another, more detailed blog.
Finally in this post, we are going to give you a little ‘insight’ into the analytics you will have access to through Google My Business.
Google My Business – useful for giving you ‘insights’
The ‘insights’ aspect of Google My Business is one of tools we were talking about at the beginning of this post. It allows you to monitor behaviour of your potential and existing customers on various levels. You can review your clicks, calls, listing views all from your Google My Business dashboard.
Google My Business also has a great feature that lets you gain a better understanding of your customer community. This is by tracking where people have requested directions from through Google Maps. Allowing you to better target existing and potential customers.
Another interesting and useful aspect of Google My Business ‘insights’ is that it allows you to monitor your photos. It tells you which photos are getting the most attention, and how you are doing in relation to your competitors. This can be useful in knowing what is working for you and what isn’t so you can tailor your advertising.
We hope you now understand exactly how to set up Google My Business to get your listings on Google and Google Maps. As well as gaining an insight into other features you have access to. All for free! Take advantage of another free Google service by making a Google+ profile and brand page.