You’ve heard of Google. But have you heard of Google My Business—and how it can help you grow and market your business?
What’s worse than having no online presence? Being online with the wrong information. If your customer calls and it’s a wrong number—then that customer is going to your competitor. And what if your customer goes to your old address? Or arrives at your business after closing time because she had the wrong business hours? No good, right? Let’s make sure these things never happen to your business.
Let’s start with your Google My Business page. Wait, let’s rewind. What is Google My Business? Well, Google My Business is a tool that helps you manage how your business appears in Google Search and Google Maps. It’s a free tool and is super helpful for ensuring that the correct information about your business appears in both of these pages, making it less likely that you lose a customer to your competition.
Claiming Your Business
Now back to that business of making you more money. If you don’t have a Google My Business page, let’s set you up with one:
- Create an account. Log into the Google Account that is associated with your business. Don’t have a Google Account? Create one.
- Go to google.com/business. Select that green, “MANAGE NOW” button in the top, right corner.
- Enter your business name, LLC, or Doing Business As (DBA).
- Enter the address of your business. Make sure you check the box that says “I deliver goods and services to my customers.” if you go to your customer’s locations instead of them coming to you. Do you work from home and don’t want your home address made public? Check that box too, and then check the box that reads, “Hide my address (it’s not a store)”. This way you can choose specific areas (or areas around your home address) that your business services.
- Choose your business category. These categories help Google connect you to the customers searching for your services. For example, if you chose “Dental Clinic” as your primary category, Google may also show your business in results for “Dentists” and “Pediatric Dentists.”
Do be as specific as you can when choosing a category. For example, choose, “Chinese Restaurant” over just “Restaurant.” You can add more categories to your primary business category as well. For example, if you’re a car dealership that also repairs and details cars, you’d choose “Car dealership” as your primary category and add “Auto repairs” and “Car detailing” as additional categories.
Do note that you cannot create your own category (there’s a drop-down menu to select from). If you don’t see the category you’re looking for, get even more general in your choice. And if you add or edit one of your categories, you may be asked to verify your business again. We’ll get more into verifying your business later on.
- Add the phone number and website of your business. If you don’t have a website, Google My Business will build you one for free based on your Google My Business page. (That’s so nice of Google, right?)
- Select “Finish”.
Verifying Your Business
Congrats! You have a Google My Business page. But you won’t be able to edit your business info in Google until you’ve verified your business. Verifying your business helps ensure the accuracy of your business info across Google. You don’t want a business that isn’t yours claiming to be you, right? And verified businesses are twice as likely to be trusted by consumers.
There are several ways to verify your business, the most popular way is by postcard. Here’s how to get verified by postcard:
- After you’ve selected “Finish”, you’ll be at the “Choose a way to verify” screen. (If you aren’t logged in. Log in. Then select the red, “Verify now” banner at the top of the page.)
- Make sure the Contact name, Business name, and address are all correct.
- Select that blue “Mail” button.
- Enter the name of the person who should receive the verification postcard (or you can leave it blank).
- Click “Send postcard.”
- Wait up to five days for your postcard to arrive.
- Log into your Google My Business account. If you have multiple locations, chose the location you’d like to verify.
- Tap “Enter code.” Enter the unique verification code written on the postcard.
- Yay! Now you’re Googleable.
Some businesses are eligible to be verified by phone.
- You’ll see a “Verify by phone” option when you request verification via the “Verify now” banner.
- Make sure you can directly answer the phone if you chose “Verify by phone.”
- Then all you have to do is answer the phone and enter the code from the message.
Some businesses are eligible to verify their listing via email.
- Just select “Email” from the verification options.
- Check your email.
- Click the “Verify” button in the email.
You can now get started with Google My Business. Make sure to add as much information, photos, and videos as you can. Also make sure you include a business profile photo, the area you serve, your hours, attributes (outdoor seating, open late, delivery), the day and year you opened, and a public phone number and website URL.
Ready to take the next step in Googlability? Then this free eBook is just for you.