A guide to Google My Business
Google My Business is a free marketing tool that connects you to your customers and helps you manage how your business looks and performs across Google.
My Business lets you add contact details, upload photos, list opening hours and manage any reviews that people leave for you. Your business gets ranked based on a number of factors but the main ones are generally considered to be:
- How relevant your business is to the search
- How close you are to the location of the person searching
- Activity around your page such as the number of reviews and how up-to-date it is
Getting started with Google My Business
If you haven’t claimed your My Business page sign up at www.google.co.uk/business.
Once you’ve entered your information you’ll need to verify that you’re the business owner before your listing will appear. You can do this with a phone call or Google will send a postcard to your business address with a verification code on it.
Make sure your information is accurate
To get the best results from My Business make sure the information you add is accurate and up-to-date. Here’s a handy checklist for adding your details.
- Use your full business name
- Make sure you choose a relevant category/categories for your business
- Provide an accurate business address and phone number and make sure they are exactly the same as the details listed on your website
- Add your business opening times
- Add some decent photography and images. There are different categories for your images including interior and exterior photos of your business premises and team photos
Your My Business dashboard contains a section called Insights so you can quickly and easily see:
- How your customers find your listing
- Where customers find you on Google
- Requests made for driving directions
- Any phone calls made directly from your listing
The last point is really interesting. Some people will often phone you directly from your My Business listing, sometimes before they’ve even visited your website so it really pays to put the effort in to make your My Business page attractive and useful.
Google recently added a new feature to My Business called Posts. This allows you to quickly publish small pieces of information about new events, products or services that are displayed when people find your business on Google Search or Google Maps.
You can add an image, a title, up to 300 words of text and a call-to-action button. As posts are quick and easy to create they’re certainly worth trying. There are certain guidelines that you need to follow such as not using overly salesy language so it’s worth researching this before you create the post. As posts are only active for a certain amount of time they’re ideal for information such as seasonal offers or upcoming events.
Working alongside your website
Remember to keep your My Business listing up-to-date so if your contact details or opening hours change make sure you update them. When someone buys a product or service from you ask them to leave reviews for you through My Business.
To get the most out of My Business remember that it should form just part of your local search strategy. Don’t forget to also keep your website up-to-date with local content and get backlinks from revelant, good quality websites such as local business directories.
Google My Business is a really useful marketing tool, it’s free to use, easy to set up and another great way of getting your business in front of your customers. It can really help with your local search strategy just as long as you remember to keep the information on it accurate and up-to-date.