How To Set Up a Google My Business Page – And Why You Should
Google My Business is a free and easy tool for businesses wanting to boost brand awareness and manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. You can post photographs and manage the information consumers see when they search for your business or services. Businesses that add photos to Business Profile receive 42% more requests for direction on Maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites than companies that don’t.
A Business Page also provides your customers with a place to review your services, as well as allow you to read and respond to these reviews, and even questions. And, the more reviews and positive ratings you have, the better your business performs in local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor in the local search runnings, so practising good SEO will optimise your Business Page.
Having a Google My Business page allows you to tell consumers your story and create an appealing and impressive first impression. The more information you have about your business, like address, email and phone number, the more likely you will be seen as credible and reliable.
Please keep reading for our complete in-depth guide on what you need to do to set up your Google My Business:
- Set Up a New Google Account
Or, access your Google My Business login if you already have one.
- Head to Google.com/Business
Click ‘Manage Now’.
- Enter Your Business Name
If you have the same name as another business in your region, you will see the autocomplete function suggest those businesses for you. This allows you to see if your business listing already exists (to avoid duplication) and add a new Google My Business profile to an existing business if you’ve just opened a new location.
- Enter the Address of the Business
Enter the address of your business if you have a physical location where you interact with customers. For example, if you are a Service Area Business that delivers goods and services to your customers, you will need to tick the box at the bottom of this form.
Service Area Businesses have two options:
– If you can receive customers at your business address, enter your address, tick the box and click ‘Next’.
– If you have no premises where customers can visit you, leave the address field blank, tick the box and then tick the ‘Hide My Address’ box, which appears below.
- Specify Service Area (Service Area Businesses Only)
If you deliver goods and services directly to your customers, you have the option to specify a service area. This allows Google to accurately surface your business for searches in those areas, even without a physical address. Enter one or more regions, cities or postcodes that your company serves.
- Choose Your Business Category
This influences the kinds of search terms you appear in Google for and also appears on your Google My Business profile. You will be able to adjust this later (which will require re-verification), but try researching competitors and how they categorise their business.
Your category will also impact the further additional information and URLs that you can add to your profile. For example, food and drink businesses can add URLs to their listing for online orders, reservations, and menus. They can even add menu items directly into Google My Business.
- Add a Contact Phone Number and Website URL
A phone number and website URL aren’t compulsory, but we strongly recommend adding them if you want to take advantage of all the functionalities that Google My Business offers, like call tracking. If you don’t have a website, Google will give you the option to create a new ‘Google Website’ based on the information you have provided.
However, having a unique, professional website is vital for local businesses to reach out and find new customers. If you don’t have a website, get in contact with Cheshire Cat Marketing to learn more about our website development services.
- Complete Your Google My Business Verification
Google now needs you to prove that your business is where you say it is. For new Google My Business profiles, you have the following three options:
– Postcard verification. This is the most-used verification process and is available to all businesses. In this process, a verification postcard will be sent to the address you entered (typically reaching you within five days). Once you have received it, you can enter code into your Google My Business account to verify your business. If your code doesn’t show up, you can click the ‘request another code’ banner at the top of the screen.
– Phone verification. Some businesses have the option to verify their listing over the phone. You will know if you are eligible for this option when you see ‘Verify by phone’ at the beginning of the verification process. By choosing this option, you will receive an automated message with a verification code to enter into your Google My Business profile.
– The last option is email verification. Like phone verification, you will know you are eligible for this option if you see ‘verify by email’ at the beginning of the verification process. You will receive a verification code in the inbox of the Google Account associated with the Google My Business listing, which you entered at the verification stage. Make sure you have access to this account before choosing this option.
The other two options are:
– Instant verification is only available if you’ve already verified your business’s website with Google Search Console.
– Bulk verification for companies managing ten or more locations.
Congratulations! You have now verified your Google My Business profile. You can now optimise it to ensure potential customers see your business. These are a few things we suggest doing:
– Adding photographs and videos to your listing
– Writing and SEO optimising a business description
– Using Q&As to understand your audience
– Creating posts to showcase offers and promotions
– If you are a drink or food business, you can add menus
– Encouraging customers to find you on Google Maps
– Requesting and managing Google Reviews
You can be seen as a reliable business by updating your profile with up-to-date working hours, contact information, descriptions, and photographs. Google My Business is a necessity for local SEO, highlighting your business to hundreds of potential customers. Research suggests that 50% of consumers will visit a store or business the day they perform a local search. Meanwhile, 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details, so it is incredibly important to keep the information updated and fresh.
If you need help creating and optimising your Google My Business account, please contact us today. Cheshire Cat Marketing is a no-nonsense marketing agency based in Northwich, Cheshire and designed to support small and medium-sized businesses looking to grow and develop their brand awareness, sales and customer satisfaction. We offer a wide range of services, including social media management, website development, email marketing, print marketing, SEO and blog creation.
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