For many, Google is simply a search engine. For business owners, it can be so much more. Google is also a directory where your business can be featured in detail, so your prospects who are looking for someone in your industry can learn more about you. This directory is called Google My Business.
In this article, we will look at Google My Business, how to maximize your Google My Business listing and the benefits of listing your company.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a Free Directory service offered by the Google search engine that allows you to create a listing for your company and add specific details for potential prospects to learn about you. It also allows you to generate reviews as well as manage and reply to those reviews.
What does it look like? Here’s an example of the Bush Marketing listing that you find if you Google our company:
Right away you can see a full profile of our company, hours of operation, online reviews from clients, as well as website and directions buttons. This is tremendously helpful and beneficial for people who are looking for you.
What about those who are looking for a specific company, but rather a service in a specific location? You can appear in those searches as well, provided you have optimized your Google My Business listing.
This is what appears on the Google Map when you do a search for “Web Design Toronto”. At the time of this article, Bush Marketing is ranked number 1. That puts us in a powerful position generate leads from searches.
Benefits of Listing Your Company on Google My Business
There’s a long list of benefits for listing your company on Google My Business. Here are some of the highlights.
- Google My Business is free.
- Google My Business is mobile-friendly. It can be viewed on any device at any time in any place
- It is very user-friendly and easy to set up.
- It allows your potential clients to get whatever they need including directions, a phone number and a website.
- Google My Business is incredible from lead generation if you have a high rank.
- It allows you to showcase positive reviews from your clients, and respond to those reviews generating good will.
How to Set Up Google My Business
The first thing you’ll need is a Google account. This account should be created specifically for your business; avoid using a personal account. Setting up a Google account is a piece of cake.
Once your account is set up, it’s time to set up the Google My Business page. Go to the Google My Business login page, and click the START NOW button.
You will need to add your business or claim your business, depending on whether Google is aware of its existence.
To learn how to setup a Google account and your Google My Business listing, check out this handy video.
Verify Your Business
Google wants to ensure that this is a legitimate business comment so they will ask you to verify its existence. Your company will not appear on Google Maps searches unless you verify your business. This is an essential step.
There are three methods with which you can choose to verify. You can verify by snail mail postcard, phone call, or text message. According to Google, most business owners verify using the postcard method.
Google will send a postcard to the address that you have registered with them. The postcard will arrive by mail after two to three weeks. Be careful, as it can look like junk mail. Inside the postcard will be a code that you can enter into your Google My Business listing to verify your company.
Now that you are listed on Google and you are verified, let’s take advantage of the listing and everything that Google offers. Here are the absolute musts for a Google My Business profile.
- Above everything, make sure that your NAP (name, address, phone) is correct.
- Add high resolution photos of your business. Team photos, office photos and examples of projects are great things to display on a Google My Business profile.
- Make sure that you categorize your business correctly. You are allowed multiple business categories. Make sure that you take advantage of this, and ensure that your primary business category is correct.
- Encourage your clients and past clients who have had a positive experience with you to leave you a 5-star Google review. Explain to them how they should do so. Having positive Google reviews will increase your ranking which is excellent for local SEO.
- You will receive a Google + page when listing your company. Take advantage of it!
Have you taken advantage of Google My Business?