Google My business

This is part one of a two-part-series on the essential Google tools for your business, Google My Business

As Everyone knows Google is the world’s most popular search engine. Google My Business is free and gives your business a public face and a listing on Google. Once your listing is on google it means the details you provide about your business can appear in Google Search, Google Maps, and to connect with your local prospects google maps is probably the easiest.

Once set up interact with customers whenever possible. Responding to their reviews to shows that you value customers and their feedback.

Starting Your Google My Business Listing

Do a Google search to see if your business is already listed. Unclaimed businesses will have a “Are You the Business Owner” button you can start the process to claim it by clicking it and following the instructions on screen.

You will have two options to verify your business listing, “Mail me my code” or “Call me now.”

Once completed you will have control of your Business listing and you can begin optimizing it and access any insights and analytical information and the all important business reviews.

Note:If the “Are You the Business Owner” button is not visible, then someone has already claimed the listing. If you don’t know who verified the listing, you can go through Google Help process to help you claim it.

In the Google My Business page enter the most important and relevant business information, Such as the business name, address, phone number and opening hours. There are a number of input boxes and categories to help you make the most of your listing. To be successful in local search results, and especially if you have local competition ensuring the most detailed and accurate information will make it easier to appear in a prospects search results. You can also add important keywords and search phrases to your business description and a link to your website.

For example, if your business delivers goods or services to customers at their location, there is an option for adding details about the area’s you cover.

You can also add Photos. These really help people notice and click on your business listing especially the profile photo, this will be seen by more people than any other, so choose one carefully. The photo should be in focus and clear and unaltered. You can also add a Logo image to help customers identify your business.  Images can be in JPG or PNG format and should be least 720px tall, 720px wide up to 5MB

To get the information to show you will need to verify the Google My Business Listing

The easiest way is by Google sending you a PIN in the post.

Once you are up and running you will get regular emails from google reporting on the number of searches, photo views, address lookups etc. Based on this you can make further tweaks to your listing for further optimisation.

TIP: A correctly optimised Google My Business listing will greatly improve your local search visibility. So, ensure everything is accurate and grammatically correct. And take time to browse and select the best relevant category for your business .

Tip Sheet

  • If your business has ‘Opening Hours’ and staff, make sure your address details are complete and correct.  
  • Make sure your listing clearly tells customers what your business is, where it is, and how they can purchase your product or service.
  • Keep Business Operating Hours Accurate and up to date including public holiday hours
  • Include Keywords
  • Add Photos
  • Encourage customers to leave feedback and write reviews for your business.
  • Manage & Respond to Customer Reviews

Google Plus brand page

Google+ brand page

A local business offering local services can get a lot of value from driving people to the business’s online properties. Setting up both a Google+ local business page and a Google+ brand page is a great way to do this.

A Google Plus brand page allows you to communicate with customers and prospects. As this is a Google product it has some advantages over a facebook business page, but it is a good idea to create one of those too. There is a section on Facebook for business later in this chapter

The advantages are that Google indexes more information from a google profile that it does from other social networks, like indexing the actual posts. This makes it the most effective profile for your business.

So,  setting up both a local business page and a brand page will allow your business to appear in search results in  Google Search, Google Maps and improve your search rankings an ultimately, more customers knocking at your door.