Updated October 2019
Google My Business offers businesses an incredible opportunity to be found in local search engine results. As Google’s algorithms undergo constant change to provide a better user experience, Google My Business becomes increasingly important for ALL businesses as they seek to have an online presence and seek to be found easily in a local search.
Google My Business lists your business location on Google Maps and local search results. The listing is free and is a necessity for both store fronts and eCommerce businesses, and lists important information about your business, hours, location, services, contact information and website link.
This is a simple and effective way to be found in local searches on Google. As Google accounts more and more for a user’s location in its algorithm, this local listing will help your business appear when users type in “[keyword] near me.” So, for JM, our listing will appear for a user in Omaha searching for “web designer near me,” because of our Google My Business listing. You’ll notice also in a query like this, Google returns three locations based on your current location.
Gaining access to or setting up a Google My Business page is SO EASY. Here’s a step-by-step guide from our web marketing and SEO team:
Set up Google My Business
Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and select “Start Now”. Sign up for a Google account or enter your current account information. You’ll then be able to search for your business. If you cannot find your business, simply “add your business.”
Create /Claim My Business Page
Once you’ve found your business location you can follow steps to confirm you’re authorized to manage the page. This part CAN be a little tricky, depending on the history of your page. We run into problems when:
- A page has been created for your business, but you no longer have access to it
- Someone else has access to your page, and you cannot retain ownership of the page directly from them
Sometimes, these circumstances require a direct phone call to a Google support tech.
Verifying your business with Google takes a few simple steps, but it important for appearing in Maps and Search. Google will provide you with a verification code through one of the following ways:
- Postcard mailed to your business address
Optimize and Manage
Manage and respond to reviews
Reviews can be powerful. And whether a Google review is positive or negative, responding to these reviews show you value your customers. Positive reviews will increase your visibility, so encourage customers to leave reviews.
Listing services with brief descriptions (maybe even pricing) can help Google return your business to a viable customer and can give users a general idea of your business.
Photos can help you tell a story by showing your office space, employees and products, your giving users a look into your company culture. It’s a digital storefront.
Google My Business has a posts option for each page. For each post you can upload an image, write up a little text, add a title and include a link. This area offers flexibility in promoting events, sales, new products, new services, highlight old services, blogs, etc. These posts expire after about 7 days.
Google My Business is one of the most simple and critical steps you can take to help your website be found in a local search. And it’s free! And if you don’t have the time to worry about this, we’re happy to help you in set up your My Business Page, optimize it and advise you on how to take advantage of all its benefits.