How Google My Business Can Help Your Local Company
Many small business owners wonder if it’s worth it to invest their time in creating an online presence. After all, in a world dominated by big box stores and corporations, what chance does the little man have online?
The answer to that question may surprise you. These days, people are increasingly turning to Google to help them find local businesses. Google’s new service, Google My Business, is a big part of that trend.
But what is Google My Business? And why is it so important that you start a page for your local business?
In this article, we will answer those questions and show you how to start and maintain a Google My Business page of your own.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool that makes it easier for people to find your business online. It is a profile page on which you can list your location, hours of operation, photos of your business, customer reviews, and more.
Why is Google My Business Important?
We live in an increasingly digital world, and king of that digital world is Google.
Think about it. When was the last time you used a phone book to find a local company? You probably just Googled it, right?
Google My Business is your ticket to being prominently featured in local search results. If you take the time to optimize your page, then it could show up as part of Google’s local “three-pack” in search results. These are the three businesses that show up in the box at the top of the page when you make a local search.
While some companies spend top dollar to be at the top of Google searches, you could find your business front and center for free! All you need to do is take the time to set up a page and make it look great.
How to Create a Google My Business Page
Follow these simple steps and your page will be up and running in no time at all.
- Go to the Google My Business website and click the green start now button in the center of the page.
- If you aren’t already, you will be prompted to log in to a Google account. Log in with the account you use for your business, or create an account if you don’t have one.
- Once logged in, fill in your business information on the map page and then press continue.
- You will next be asked to verify your information. Make sure the information it lists is accurate, then check the authorization box, and press continue.
- Google will create your account and ask you to verify your address so they can send you a verification postcard. Once you click mail, the postcard should reach you in a few business days.
- While you wait for the postcard to arrive, you can access your dashboard and start filling in all your information. (Note that any edits you make won’t appear on Google until after you’ve received the postcard and verified your location.)
- Once the postcard arrives, use the code printed on it to verify your account. After this you should be all set!
How to Maintain My Google My Business Page
Don’t just stop at setting up your page. Make sure you optimize your page by adding great looking photos and filling in all your company information. You should also continue to keep your page relevant and up to date as time goes by.
One way to keep your page relevant is to ask your customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business page. A steady stream of favorable customer reviews indicates to Google that your business is worthy of “three-pack” status.
You should also take advantage of the “Posts” feature, which allows you to send out updates about events or deals going on at your business.