What Is Google My Business?
Creating a Google My Business account for your business lets Google know that your business exists and is up and running. This feature helps you customize the search results for your business and allows users to easily discover it on the search engine result page (SERP). When searching for a restaurant or a hotel or any kind of business on Google, you might have observed an information box, called a knowledge graph, appear on the right side of the web page with customized data about the business, such as its address, phone number, working hours, ratings, and so on. This information box is your business listing on Google. In simpler words, Google My Business is a tool that helps you customize and showcase all the necessary information on the SERP. Note that this feature is only available for businesses that make in-person contact with their customers to conduct business. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. You can learn more about the exceptions here.
Steps To Set Up Your ‘Google My Business’ Listing
- Step 1: Go to Google business platform and sign in
- Step 2: Search for your business
- Step 3: Add your business
- Step 4: Select your business type & add location
- Step 5: Add where you serve your business
- Step 6: Fill in the phone number & add your website
- Step 7: Verify your business address
- Step 8: Set up your profile
1. Go To Google Business Platform & Sign In
Go to the Google business platform by clicking on this link. Then, click on Sign In to log in from your business Gmail ID. Remember to use the email address you use or are going to use for your business – the same one that you use for your business’s Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
2. Search For Your Business
Post signing in, you will see a search option to find and manage your business. Understand that online business listings can be created by anyone – it could be a previous business owner or even consumers engaging with a brand. But such listings may lack a number of details that you might want to put out for your potential customers. So, before establishing your business on the web, you could simply begin by typing your business name to check if it is already listed online. If you do end up finding a listing, the next step would be to claim it. This step would help you authenticate that you are the verified owner of the said business and have the license to maintain its digital presence. Read this blog to learn more about how you can claim your business online.
3. Add Your Business
If no results show up for your business, it means your business has not been listed online before. Then, you can simply go to the Add Your Business To Google option at the bottom of the screen to list it. Now, fill out the name of your business and proceed by clicking Next.
4. Select Your Business Type & Add Location
Once you have added your business name, Google will ask you to choose your business category. To do this, go to the Business Category option and select a category from the options suggested on the list. While you can add more than one category, we suggest you try to keep it as precise as possible and not overdo it. After all, you don’t want your potential clients to get confused about your business and move to the next listing.
Once you’ve added your business category, you could opt to add your business address if you operate from a specific location – for instance, a studio or home office. Adding an address to your business could make it more reliable to your potential clients and help them locate the place on Google Maps easily and accurately. However, if your business requires you to visit your clients frequently rather than them reaching out to you, you could select No in the address field.
Suggested Read: A Photography Business Checklist For Wedding Photographers
5. Add Where You Serve Your Business
Suppose your wedding photography business is based in San Diego, and you want to increase your reach among the local client base. Listing your business as a ‘San Diego wedding photography business’ rather than just calling it a ‘wedding photography business’ could help you maximize your local search result. So, how do you add this critical information to your listing? After you have keyed in your address, you will be asked to add areas where you serve your business. Note that this is an optional step, and you could skip it if you want. However, adding this detail to your business will help the search engine to show your Google My Business listing to relevant customers in that particular area. Google gives you the option to add more than one location. So, you could consider adding all the places that you serve in to increase your customer reach and hit Next.
6. Fill In Your Phone Number & Add Website Link
Imagine a client spots your business on the search page and wants to learn more about your services. But if you haven’t provided your contact number or your website details on your listing, chances are they will move on to the next best listing that suits their requirement. Adding your contact information such as your phone number and your website could help them get in touch with you easily if they have any questions about the products and services you offer. This would also mean a high volume of inquiry calls coming your way. So, we suggest you ensure that you have the bandwidth to attend to the high call volumes.
Along with your phone number, you will also be asked to add your website. There will be three options to choose from – Add current website URL, I don’t need a website, Get a free website based on your info. Make your selection as per your requirements. Once you complete this step, just hit Finish.
7. Verify Your Business Address
As soon as you have clicked on Finish, Google will ask you to fill in your business address and postal details. Through this step, Google verifies your business by sending you a postcard with your verification code and a few instructions. This usually takes up to 5 days. If you wish to skip this step for the time being, you could also opt to click on Verify Later. However, remember that this is an important step and requires your action to completely set up your Google My Business listing. Once you have received your verification code, all you need to do is log in to the Google business platform and add the code.
8. Set Up Your Profile
The last step in this process entails adding all the details about your business and finally setting up your profile. You could fill in the operational timings, your business description within 750 characters, and even add some photographs that showcase your work. And voila! Your listing is successfully set up. Now, wait for people to find your business on Google and get in touch with you.
To make the most of the Google My Business feature, try optimizing your listing by adding more relevant and precise information about your business. If done correctly, this feature could substantially increase your chances to connect with your potential customers. Moreover, this tool allows you to track user behavior and analyze how people are engaging with your business profile. So, remember to keep customizing and updating your listing at regular intervals to keep it relevant and useful for your clients!
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