People rely heavily on Google to find answers to their questions within seconds.
Google has become an important tool to find information and discover new products/services in the local area. With 82% of people turning to search engines to find local information, your Google listing is the perfect place to showcase what is unique about your business.
Google My Business is a platform where businesses can manage their online presence and assemble all their business information from Search, Maps and Google+, and manage them right at one place.
Google My Business is a free and easy tool – so why wouldn’t you get it?
- Cost Effective – its free!
- Boosts SEO – When setting up your account, you can select categories relevant to your business; this will strengthen search results and boost SEO when users search for your specific category.
- Local 3 Pack – This feature shows the top 3 local search results on a map at the top of the page. This is a recent change that Google has implemented and the 3 core results are based on location and the amount of key information on the Google listing.
- Respond to Reviews – Customers are encouraged to leave reviews which businesses can easily respond to. Reviews help you understand your customers’ experience and create a community around your business.
- Google Posts – Increase your search visibility by attaching posts to your Google My Business profile to promote events, offers and news for the brand.
- Chat to Your Customers – Google Allo is a smart messaging app that connects users with local restaurants that have it installed – so they can easily find out the information that they’re looking for.
- Mailing Address – In order to set up an account you must have a physical address where Google can send your profile validation. If you are a home business, you can change this information at a later date and hide it so it isn’t common information.
- Reservation Links – On profiles for hospitality businesses, booking platforms associated with the business will connect up to the reservations link which will drive the user to a page directly from the bookings provider. This will also incur a charge for the business. You aren’t able to update this in the dashboard, however you can call Google and they can remove the link.
- Competition – Competition is high and with there being so many small businesses, you need to keep on top of your online presence so that is it fully optimised.
- Businesses need to stay updated, so if there is a change in address, contact number, opening hours, you have new imagery etc. then this will need to be updated so customers can easily connect.
- Multiple users can be linked up to one account, so you can split the work load between multiple users for efficiency.
- Businesses need to make sure there is a consistent Name / Address / Phone number as Google places a lot of weight on having information that is correct and accurate.
- When it comes to mobile local search, nothing beats a responsive site. As internet users on mobile devices are consistently growing, Google is putting more prominence on search results from mobile friendly sites.
- Monitor your insights and use this to improve your visibility and engagement. Check your monthly analytics to see how customers search for a business online.
- Keep an eye out for future algorithm updates. By knowing what’s coming up, you can be ahead of the game!
1. Go to google.com/business and click Start now at the top right corner of the page.
2. Sign in to your Google Account, or create one if you don’t already use Google services.
3. Enter the name of your business and click Next.
Note: You can also select your business from the suggestions that appear as you type.
4. Enter the address of your business and click Next. You may also be asked to position a marker on the location of your business on a map.
a) If you manage a service-area business, follow these additional steps:Tick the box for I deliver goods and services to my customers. Optionally, tick the box for Hide my address (it’s not a store) Only show region –.
b) Click Next.
c) Select a delivery area option and click Next.
5. Search for and select a business category and click Next.
6. Enter a phone number or website URL for your business.
7. To complete sign-up, verify your connection to this business by clicking Continue.
8. Select a verification option.
a) To verify at another time, select Try a different method and click Later. If you’re not authorised to manage the business, find the person in your organisation who’s authorised and continue the process.
For a more in-depth guide on signing up and verifying your business, read more here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/6337431
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