Even if you’ve no idea how to set up Google My Business, you’ll definitely know what it is.
When you type the name of a specific product or service into Google, you’ll usually find that above the regular websites listed, there’s a map with several business and their contact details listed under it.
Similarly, when you type a specific business name in, you’ll find a box just to the right of the Google results containing information about said business: their location, contact details, their opening hours, reviews and photos.
In 2021, this is vital for any business who wants to find new leads through the internet (so… all businesses). If you’re a local business, you need people to be able to find you on map listings. If you rely on word of mouth alone for your customers, you can be sure that people will Google you to check reviews before using your services. However you find your customers, whatever your business model is, your priority should be to set up Google My Business.
So here’s how to do just that!
First steps for setting up Google My Business
Before you begin, it’s worth typing your business name into Google and seeing what comes up. You may already have a listing without knowing it—any member of the public, oddly enough, can create a page for you if they are so inclined. If there’s anything listed already, simply click the link below which reads ‘claim this listing’. Otherwise, head over to google.com/business to get started.
You need a Google account to begin. If you have one sign in, if you don’t, sign up!
Enter your business name
Once you’re in, you’ll be faced with a simple white screen bearing a simple request: enter your business name. Be sure to avoid typos when entering it.
Define business category
The next screen you come to will ask for the category of your business. There are around 4000 potential business categories for you to choose from (simply type in the search bar and it’ll suggest relevant terms to you). It’s important to get this right; choosing the wrong category can cost you potential customers. Be as specific as possible to ensure you’re competing against fewer companies. You can add multiple categories, but avoid adding too many and spreading yourself too thin—focus on your main service.
Add your address
The next question you’re asked will be:
‘Do you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office? This location will show up on Google Maps and Search when customers are looking for your business.’
This will dictate whether or not your address is visible to the public. Ensure you choose the right option; you might not be thrilled if people mistakenly begin arriving at your home address when you usually travel to clients!
Add service areas
If you travel to customers rather than them travelling to you, you can answer the next (optional) question, ‘where do you serve customers?’ The areas you list will show up on your listing and help bring relevant customers.
List contact details
Rather a simple, this one: simply pop in your email address and phone number so customers can get in touch!
Finish and verify
And that’s… it! Five minutes of effort, vastly improved online visibility. The final part of the process is to verify your listing. This is most commonly done via postcard: one will be delivered to the address you’ve detailed, and within you will find a unique code which you are required to enter at a specific URL. Easy peasy.
How to set up a Google Business account for the best results
After you’ve set up a Google Business page, it’s time to head to your dashboard and fine-tune your listing to begin drawing in new customers. Here are a few quick tips to set up Google My Business like a pro…
Consistency is key
When entering your business name, address and phone number online, make sure they’re entered in exactly the same way every time across all websites and profiles. Doing so allows search engines to connect the dots between them. Google penalises sites if they’re not consistent with this, so make sure each time you write your business address it’s exactly the same as your Google My Business account!
Write and optimise a killer business description
In a few short sentences, summarise who you are, what you do, and why you’re the best. Be sure to get in keywords relevant to your business!
Add opening times
You can select the days and times you’re open for business—these will show up prominently on Google listings, so be sure to get them right!
Liven things up with photos and videos
Add all the photos you want—the more the merrier. Think product images, interiors and exteriors of your shop and/or offices, and logos. Make sure your images are minimum 720 by 720 pixels for the best quality, and choose a particularly attractive one for your cover photo—listings with photos get 35% more clicks.
Check out the little ‘Messaging’ tab on the dashboard when you set up your Google Business page. Click it, and you’ll see you can enter your mobile number; this allows people to press a ‘Message’ button on your Google listing through which they can message you directly. This allows you to reply in real-time to any requests that come through.
Add posts to your listing
You can add posts to your listing too! Anything from events and blog pieces to videos, offers and products is possible; it can be a great way to keep your listing looking slick and up-to-date.
Respond to reviews
When your listing is up, before long you’ll begin to receive customer reviews. These are super important to the success of your business. Be sure to be active in replying to them; be appreciative and humble in response to any praise you receive, and reply to criticism as responsibly and in as courteous a manner as possible.
Ready to set up your Google My Business?
Follow the steps above and you’ll have set up a perfect Google My Business account.
If you want a little help however—or the work taking off your hands completely—drop Suki Marketing a message today, and let’s chat about how we can help take your business to the next level.