For local businesses, one of the biggest challenges can be making your business discoverable to your audience; word of mouth is a really powerful tool but so is Google Maps. A great way to reach your audience and potential customers in the local area or visitors researching the area is to make your business discoverable on Google Maps via Google My Business.
You might be thinking, what is Google My Business? Google is dedicated to helping small, local and independent businesses become discoverable, and the Google My Business platform is the way they do this. The platform is free, easy to use and enables you to manage everything related to your business on Google including listings on Google Maps.
Using ‘Google My Business’ is really important to your local SEO. Making sure your contact information and opening hours is consistent across your website, Google and other sources is essential to ensure your customers trust your business. How many times have you searched for a tyre centre, a corner shop or a cinema with the intention of visiting immediately? Making sure your information is correct is key to ensuring the customer has all the details they need to make that visit successfully.
1. Sign-in to your Google account or create a new one to link to your business.
2. Once you have logged into your account search google.com/business
3. You’ll then need to enter your business name to start the process. In this step the business name section may autocomplete with names of businesses in your area. Your business may already be listed on Google so to avoid duplicating businesses this tool will suggest a business name to you which may be yours.
4. Once you have found or created your business listing, you’ll need to add all your details including business address and contact information.
5. When filling in details such as ‘Business Category’ it’s a good idea to research your competitors to see what categories they come under / would best describe your business. Depending on the category you select will depend on the features available to you – i.e. a food and drink business may have the ability to add a link to their menu or ordering platform.
6. Verify. You can verify you are the business you are adopting in a few ways – the most common form which is available to everyone is via post. Google will send you a verification code in the post to the registered business address which you need to enter on your account to verify. The other forms are via phone or email, these options aren’t always available, they will be listed as an option for you if they are available.
Once you have set up and verified your account, there is a whole host of elements you can add and customise including adding images and videos to your business listing, manage Google reviews and add service/product menus. These are all optional of course, but one thing we do really recommend is to write a really attention grabbing and optimised business description for your listing, tell your potential local customers what your business is and what you offer in a really clear and simple way.
So that's it, the very basics of how to use Google My Business to show up on Google Maps and in search results for your business!