Using Google My Business: A Simple Way to Expand Your Company’s Presence in Search
Remember Google Maps? Google Local? Those are products Google phased out and folded them into their suite of business services called Google My Business. To control the business information that appears on Google, companies must first claim their listing. It takes effort to claim, update and optimize your GMB business listing but it’s well worth the time, regardless of whether your business is brick and mortar or online.
What is Google My Business? From Google:
“Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses, brands, artists, and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.”
What does Google My Business do for you? Helps put your company on the map — literally.
How to gain control over what — and how — Google displays information about your business
Go to https://www.google.com/business/, log in (or create a new account if you don’t already have one) then navigate to your business listing and select it. If your business is not yet listed on Google My Business you can enter it. One caveat — you’ll need to wait for a postcard containing a code to be delivered via USPS (hello Y2K!) to confirm and verify your business location. Waiting on a flimsy postcard does make for some trouble if your business is located in a business center or a campus shared with many other businesses, we’ve had to enlist Google’s help on more than one occasion on clients’ behalf because the postcard was not delivered. But be patient. Once the process is complete and you are a verified owner you’ll find important business marketing tools like the ability to change your official business name or location (very important if you’ve moved so Google maps will direct visitors to the right place); add a business description; assign categories for the work you do or products you sell; add a portfolio of business images (interior, exterior and products); change business hours; add holiday hours and more.
Here’s what you’ll be working on (right side, laptop view):
And here’s and example of how your Google My Business listing appears on a mobile device when a mobile users searches a location-specific query.
That’s some GREAT real estate for your business!
I strongly recommend all businesses with a physical location and those with no physical location but instead a “service area”, claim their Google My Business listing and start updating it pronto. And, like your social media accounts, make sure there’s more than one trusted resource who can access the account in case of emergency.
Want more information? Call me at One Web Source (203) 431–0290.