Why do I need a Google My Business page?
If you are a small business owner with a physical store, your Google My Business page is crucial for your online performance.
You may already be listed on some directories, have a Facebook page for your business, and are wondering why you should have yet another business profile. Having your Google My Business page set up properly will complement your website and send you potential customers and more traffic. You’ll appear on Maps, Search and Google+, and your online performance will improve because you’re helping search engines to provide relevant, well structured information quickly.
If you already have a Google My Business page (if you have a Google Places for Business or Google+ page, then you will already have a Google My Business profile), skip to the bottom section where we’ll go over best practises. If you’re just getting started, keep reading!
Setting up your Google My Business page
- Visit https://www.google.com/business/ and click “Start Now”
- Select the Google account you want to use and sign in
- Search for your business name in the search field
- Once you select your business, some pre filled information will appear (like address and phone number). If there is no match, simply fill in the information yourself.
- At the end of the form, you will see this text: “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location” and you will have to select ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
- If you serve customers at their locations, you should check ‘yes!.
- When you click ‘next’’, it will ask you to confirm you are authorized to manage the business, and proceed to create your Google+ page first. Then you will see that Google needs to verify your business and you will have to click on ‘mail me my code’, which will be sent to your business address. DO NOT give a P.O Box address!
Once you enter your Dashboard, you will get a popup offering a quick tour to get started. Don’t skip it because it helps you get familiarized with all you can do.
Set up your profile photo (with your logo), and fill in any missing information on your profile.
Multiple business locations
Once you are in your Google My Business location, you can add another location that will bring up the same form you initially used to set up your page. Read this post on how to create multiple locations.
Best Practises for Google My Business
- The phone number you list should be a local number that matches the number displayed on your website.
- Choose the correct categories. If you consider your business to be in more than one, list your top, very specific categories and go with the most ‘important’ (where you get most of your clients from). Google Says: “Choose the fewest number of categories it takes to describe your overall core business”
- Check if your opening hours are listed correctly.
- Encourage reviews from your customers.
- Encourage visitors to upload photos of your business.
- Get citations: from directories like Yelp, Yext, Yellowpages, etc. This means get you list your business information (name, address, phone and website if applicable). Make sure this information is the same as in your Google My Business profile.
- Don’t make more than one Google Places account for your business.
- Add photos and videos of your business.
Watch out for:
- Others trying to make (unauthorised) edits to your listing
- Any calls claiming to be from Google, telling you your listing is incomplete and that there is a number one spot waiting for you. This ends up in you getting charged. Google My Business is free and Google does not charge for inclusion or for optimising your results. You may get calls from Google to verify details like location, and Google does have salespeople for their AdWords product, but no money should exchange hands in order to optimise your Google My Business profile.
- Spammy reviews (report them to Google).