Boost Your Online Presence With Google My Business
Google My Business is truly a remarkable tool for any company. It lets your consumers find your location with a simple click. Powered by Google Maps, it also opens up your mind to more possibilities and options.
With technology on the rise, more consumers are conducting their search for local businesses using their mobile phones. More than just a search tool, Google Maps is continuously growing and evolving, optimizing both users and businesses with convenience. According to a US Mobile App Report, Google Maps has over 95 million users, only falling behind Facebook, Messenger, and YouTube.
It only means one thing: It is indeed critical for a business to put themselves on the map to gain more relevance and presence. No matter how good your products and services are, if you are still hiding in the wilderness, then no one will recognize you. So how do you effectively do this? Read below for more information as I lay down the steps on how to easily add your establishment on the map. As an added bonus I will also be sharing tips on how to strengthen your online presence.
Adding your business with Google Places
If you have established your business already, there is a high probability that your business also exists in the Google My Business directory and all you have to do is merely claim it. In case that you are a new business, you need to add them.
Go to Google My Business and click “Get on Google”. Sign in using your Gmail account, or make one if you don’t have any.
Enter Your Business Name and Address in the Search Box. Check if it appears among the suggested matches. If so, then proceed to Step 3. If not, select “Add your business” and fill in the necessary information like the exact address of your establishment. Bear in mind that you should be as accurate and consistent with your information as possible.
Once you have filled in the required information, you will be asked to choose a Category that designates your business (this will appear near the bottom of the form). At this point, you should carefully consider before making any final decisions.
Your category selection is really important, as it will denote how Google ranks your business and where exactly your business will appear in search results. You can select among a variety of preset Categories. Basically, start typing in your industry keyword (so, for example, if you own a clothing store, you would type “Retail) and the most closely identical categories will appear. You will also get a chance to add more categories later on (up to 5).
After you have completed the first three steps, Google will have to verify your business address. In other words, Google must check whether your business is actually where you say it is. This might take a while (1-2 weeks) as Google will physically mail a postcard to your business.
This postcard is inscribed with a verification PIN, which you will then input online to complete the verification. Eventually, you will be given the option to receive your PIN by text message or automated phone call. You have 30 days to confirm the verification PIN so please do it as soon as possible.
Lastly, to get full usage of your Google Maps ranking, you have to set up a Google My Business page, which is presented through Google Plus. Upon doing so, you will:
- get the privilege of having a freehub online
- be able to share even more information with your customers
- provide a room for search engine optimization keywords to be used for your business
Tips on How to Improve Visibility and Ranking in Google Maps
Now that you have set up your business in Google Maps, it is time to actually improve it so that more people will find your business easily. It can also be a way for them to discover your business if they are just nearby the area, looking for suggestions to visit. These tips should apply to any business establishment that appears in Google Maps.
Double check your Google My Business Information
The more Google distinguishes your business, the more it will enable you to correctly display your listing online. Make sure that your Google My Business information is complete, accurate and updated. Include all existing contact information such as your address, telephone number, and website so that Google can provide as much information as possible. Also, putting business hours to your listing can give potential customers an idea on when your business opens and closes. Take note that Google will disrepute businesses with multiple phone numbers or locations listed for one actual business.
Encourage More Reviews or Feedback from Clients
Reviews leave an impact on your business and this time, it helps Google determine that your business is actually existing. Positive reviews increase your visibility level. The more reviews your business gets, the better. You can graciously ask your customers to leave feedback on your Google Maps listing or in any social media/review site. Google will eventually notice this so gather as much as you can.
Select Applicable Categories
As stated earlier, you will get the chance to select up to 5 categories on which your business falls under. While you can select several categories, you should only choose the ones that most likely apply. Choose keywords that are closest to what describes your business but not in a way that it becomes too confusing for people to identify.
Embed a Google Map on Your Website
Most businesses place a map on the contact page of their site for customers to easily locate them. Embedding a Google Map is just another way of indicating that your business is located where your listings say it is. Use the exact address that you have on your Google My Business listing.
It is actually easy to embed a map to your website. First, search for your business name on Google Maps. Click on the three lines next to your business name and click “Share or Embed Map”. Copy and paste the link on your business’ contact page.
Add Photos to your Listing
Having photos on your listing will make your business stand out and it will highlight the establishment, proving that it’s really there. Choose a good photo of your establishment and make sure it is updated. You can add more than one photo so choose ones that will tempt customers to come to your place.