Lesson 4: GOOGLE MY BUSINESS - investing in great minds; to do great things...
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Lesson 4: GOOGLE MY BUSINESS


Posted July 27, 2017 0:29 AM

Google My Business Listing

Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses 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.

Quick facts about Google My business

  • It drives Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • You can follow and interact with customers
  • Google my business comes with a reporting tool showing number of views clicks on your page

Google My Business gets you in front of your customers. You’ll stand out, whether people are looking for you on Google Search or Maps.

You can set your company’s hours, contact info, and more. Customers find the right info, right at their fingertips — and can get in touch with just a click.

  • Manage how your business information appears across Google, including Search and Maps, using Google My Business—for free.
  • Interact with customers new and old and tell them the story of your business.

Benefits of using Google My Business

Manage your information

Manage the information that Google users see when they search for your business, or the products and services that you offer.

Businesses that verify their information with Google My Business are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers.

When people find your business on Google Maps and Search, make sure that they have access to information like your hours, website, and street address.

Interact with customers

Read and respond to reviews from your customers, and post photos that show off what you do. Businesses that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.

Understand and expand your presence

See insights on how customers searched for your business, and where those customers are coming from. You can also see information like how many people called your business directly from the phone number displayed on local search results in Search and Maps.

When you’re ready, seamlessly create and track the performance of AdWords Express campaigns to spread the word about your work.

Imagine yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. This customer is three blocks from your storefront and looking for exactly what you do best in the neighborhood—maybe they’ve seen your sign or heard about your business from a friend. If they search for your services on Google, what will they find?

Maintaining your business presence on Google My Business can help customers discover the products and services you provide, contact you, and find your location.

What you can do with Google My Business

You can think about the benefits of Google My Business in three categories.

  1. Maintain accurate information about your business online
    • Tell Google your hours, website, phone number, and location (a street address, service area, or place marker, depending on your business)
    • Use the mobile app to stay up-to-date with your online presence wherever you are
  2. Interact with customers
    • Post photos of your business and its products and services
    • Collect and respond to reviews from customers
  3. Attract new customers
    • Improve how your business appears online so new customers can find you
    • Point customers to your website
    • When you’re ready, consider using location-based ads with AdWords Express to reach an even larger audience

And it’s all free.

Online marketing

There are a number of ways to manage the way your business appears online:

  • Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to how results appear when someone uses a search engine like Google. We call these organic search results. You can’t pay to change how and where organic search results appear: they’re determined by a number of factors, like how relevant they are to the original search.
  • Search engine marketing, or SEM, refers to ads you buy to appear near search results—it’s what you can do with Google’s online advertising program, AdWords. When you’re ready to advertise your business, we suggest that you get started with the easy-to-use AdWords Express.
  • Google My Business helps you maintain local results, which appear in a number of ways in Maps and Search. These results are tailored to particular geographic areas and help users find nearby businesses. Learn how Google ranks local results.

To recap: SEO, SEM, and management of local results are all ways to improve your online presence. Now, let’s take a closer look at local results and what you can do with Google My Business.

Sign up for Google My Business

Follow these steps to sign up:

  1. Go to google.com/business and click Start now at the top right corner of the page.
  2. Sign in to your Google account, or create one if you don’t already use Google services.
  3. You’ll see a map of your country with a form at the top left. Enter your business name in the first field.
  4. As you type, suggestions for possible matches will appear. If you see your business, select it from the suggestions.
  5. Complete the rest of the fields with your business information, then click Continue.
    • You may see a potential matching business suggested to you. If this is your business, click it. If it’s not your business, click Keep the information I entered.
  6. You'll see the option to confirm that you're authorized to manage the business. If you are, check the box, then click Continue. If you aren’t authorized to manage the business, find the person in your organization who is, then continue signing up.

Double-check your business information

No matter what you see, double-check that your business information is correct. It’s crucial that when you verify your business information everything is ready to appear live to customers across Google.

If any of your information is incorrect:

  1. Click Verify later.
  2. If you manage more than one location, click Manage location for the location you’d like to edit.
  3. Click Info at the top of the page.
  4. Click the section you’d like to change and enter your business information.
  5. When you’ve finished editing all of your business information, click Done editing at the bottom of the page.

Now that you’ve either claimed or created your listing, it’s time to verify your business. Once you verify, your business information will be eligible to appear across Google.

Begin verification

Verification helps ensure the accuracy of your business information across Google. Verified businesses are twice as likely to be considered reputable by users.

Verification also protects you from anyone who might otherwise pose as a representative of your business. Until you’ve completed verification, you won’t be able to edit the business information that appears on Google products.

For most businesses, verification means requesting, receiving, and reading a verification postcard from Google.

Tip

Some business owners may be able to verify through other methods like phone call, text, email, or Google Search Console. If you see any of these options, follow the directions on the page to verify your business.

If you’ve continued to verification directly after signing up, you’ll see Mail in the top left corner of the page, over the map where your business is pinned.

  1. If your business information is correct, click Mail. Make sure not to click Verify later below.
  2. Enter the name of the person the verification postcard should be mailed to. (This is optional—you can leave it blank if you’d like.) We’ll send it to the address you provided for your business.
  3. Click Send postcard.

You may have signed up for Google My Business, then stopped before beginning the verification process. In that case:

  1. Sign in at google.com/business. Your Google My Business dashboard will appear.
  2. Find the red banner at the top of the page, and click the Verify now button to the right.
  3. You’ll see Mail in the top left corner of the page, over the map where your business is pinned. Confirm that your business information is correct, then click Mail. Make sure not to click Verify later below.
  4. Enter the name of the person the verification postcard should be mailed to. (This is optional—you can leave it blank if you’d like.) We’ll send it to the address you provided for your business.
  5. Click Send postcard.

Wait for your postcard

In a few weeks (depending on where you’re located), you’ll receive a postcard from Google at your business address. The postcard will include a unique verification code, which you’ll enter in Google My Business to confirm that your business is located at the listed address.

While you’re waiting for your postcard, you can start laying the groundwork for success online:

  • Take pictures of your business and the products and services it provides, which will make great additions to your Google My Business listing. You can even take customers inside your space with Business View.

Complete verification

Once you receive your verification postcard, return to google.com/business. Sign in and click Enter code in the blue banner at the top of the screen. Then follow the instructions to enter the verification code from your postcard.

Congratulations: you’re now verified and ready to edit your business information, respond to reviews, and add photos!

It may take a few weeks for your business information to appear across Google. Once your information is live, check out your listing. Just search for your business name and city in Google Search or Maps and see what appears.

Keep your business info up-to-date

Next: Make your business listing awesome

  • Update your business information
  • Add owners and managers to share responsibility

Update your business information

When information about your business changes, update it with Google My Business. Keeping your account up-to-date makes sure that Google has the most accurate information to share with potential customers. In some cases, Google may not accept changes if we believe they’re inaccurate.

Here are the types of business information that you can update with Google My Business:

  • Business hours
  • Physical address (If you change your address, you’ll need to complete the verification process again to confirm the new address.)
  • Phone number
  • Category (What kind of business do you run?)
  • Website

You can also add new businesses to Google My Business.

Add owners and managers to share responsibility

Running a business is hard work, and you may not have time to keep your online presence as fresh as you’d like. Owners and managers can help.

By adding owners and managers to your Google My Business listing, you can delegate responsibility to other members of your staff while keeping ownership of the page.

There are 3 kinds of users:

  • Owners: listing owners have the widest set of privileges and access, and can make high-level administrative decisions like adding other owners and managers or removing the listing from their account.

  • Manager: a manager can do most of what an owner can do, like edit business information, manage Hangouts (which let you hold video calls with customers), and view Insights about how many people are viewing and interacting with your listing. You might make a trusted staff member a manager of your listing to help keep your information and web presence up-to-date.

  • Communications manager: a communications manager can interact with customers on behalf of your listing by posting pictures and responding to reviews. Friendly, tech-savvy members of your staff might make good communications managers.

You can remove owners and managers at any time.

What can you do with your listing?

Stay engaged with your customers with these easy-to-use features:

  • Share photos of your business in action
  • Respond to customer reviews

Share photos

Your listing is a great place to showcase the photos that capture your business. Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don't have photos.

In addition to your profile picture, logo, and the picture you’d like to appear first on Google Maps results, you can post photos of products and events to keep customers in the know and show them what you do best. If you have a website, put your website’s photos to work by also posting them to your listing using Google My Business.

Let’s take a look at the kinds of photos you can add to your listing.

There are several types of photos you should add to your business listing:

  • Profile photo - Add a profile photo to help your customers recognize your business on Google. Your profile photo will be featured next to your business name on your Google+ page. It should be a different photo from your business logo, which should be added in the "Logo" section.
  • Logo - Add your logo to help customers identify your business. Square-sized logos display best on Google.
  • Cover photo - Add a cover photo to showcase your page’s personality. Your cover photo is the large photo featured at the top of your Google+ page. Note that this photo will be cropped to fit a 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Additional photos - Add different kinds of photos to spotlight features of your business that customers consider when making purchasing decisions. You can add different kinds of photos depending on the kind of business you manage.

Photos should be at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall, and either a JPG or PNG.

Reply to customer reviews

Your business listing allows customers to post reviews of your business. Online reviews are a great way to take valuable word-of-mouth marketing to the web, and can help new people find you online.

When you respond to these reviews, you show existing and potential customers that you value their business.

Remember that you’ll be posting publicly as your business when you reply to reviews. Replies to reviews may not appear immediately on your business listing on Google.

Insights

Want to find out how effective your listing is? With Insights, it’s easy to track how your listing performs.

First, access Insights for your listing:

Now that you’ve accessed Insights, what do you want to learn? Choose from the examples below.

How many times have people seen my business information?

The "Where customers view your business on Google" section tracks the number of times people saw your business information on Google Maps and Search.

How many times have people requested driving directions to my location?

In the "Customer actions" section, find the "Requests directions" box. This feature tracks the number of clicks for driving directions from a local search result in Google Maps, Search, or Maps for mobile.

How do customers find my listing?

The "How customers search for your business" section shows how many customers found you in a "Direct" search (they searched for your business name or address) versus a "Discovery" search (they searched for a category, product, or service that you offer, and your listing appeared).

Learn more about Insights

Expand your presence with online ads

Itching for more exposure? AdWords Express is an easy way to start running online ads and catch the eyes of people who might be looking for what your business offers—all within your budget.

Simply introduce your business in about 3 lines, and you can be connected to new customers in 15 minutes. By connecting AdWords Express with your Google My Business account, you can even create ads that feature reviews and your location on Google Maps.

Assignment

  1. Register a business on Google My Business (come up with an imaginary business if you don’t have one), and send the link or screenshot of your profile to the facilitator.

 


Tags: Google My Business
File Under: education
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