Every website owner these days is aware of the importance of Google. You just cannot avoid and survive in the digital landscape without Google. Since most of the desktop searches happen on Google, businesses need to optimise their presence on Google. That is why to optimise your presence on the internet; business owners need to work on Google My Business listing.
Google My Business listing is a free listing service offered by Google that allows your business to show up on Google Search and Maps. Hence, as a business owner, you need to take full advantage of Google My Business listings.
So, what is Google My Business listing, and why is it important for your business?
Let us dive deep into what you need to know about Google My Business listings – why do you need a Google My Business listing, how to get started, and how to verify your business.
Why do you need a Google My Business Listing?
If you have an online presence, there is no way you can avoid Google. And, when you know that Google is important to your business, it is better to play by the rules they set. It is in this context that Google My Business listing assumes significance.
It is, therefore, vital to understand why do you need a Google My Business listing.
Google has always set very high standards for its users, and want them to have the best search experience. That is why it allows businesses to create listings so that their users can get the relevant information without wasting time – you get the info without even opening the website. Also, if you want to serve local traffic for a service business, you can optimise Google My Business without even having a brick-and-mortar location.
Google My Business listing allows you to put out accurate information about your business, which includes your contact information and phone number. What you need to do is click on Google.com/Business and create an account for your business and put all the relevant information about your business. People who visit Google can view all the information you put out there when it throws up your result.
You might argue that you work hard on SEO, and your search engine presence is good enough, so why do you need to bother about managing your listings. But you will be surprised to know that businesses that verify their information through Google Business are perceived as reputable. It encourages people to call you up the moment they see you listed on Google because it reduces uncertainty about your business.
As mentioned earlier, with Google ruling the desktop search market, there is no way you can ignore Google listing. And, that is why you should always keep your information updated and current on Google listing. You need to understand that there is stiff competition in the business world, and many people are searching for a business like yours. If you keep your information current on Google, you might be able to beat the competition easily.
It is frustrating for business owners to search their details on Google Maps, and many find that they don’t have a strong presence on Google Maps. But when you are listed on Google My Business, you don’t have to worry about a strong presence because it helps you establish a rock-solid address. It becomes easier for your customers to find you when they are searching for a business in your niche.
Google Business Listing helps people find your business on Google Maps. Most people these days use their mobiles to search for a business on Google Maps. Hence, to optimise the experience of your mobile users, you should also consider listing your business on Google Maps. When you have an accurate Google Business Listing out there, it makes sure that your potential customers can contact you without any problem.
Google Business Listing also helps you in Local SEO. Local SEO is extremely important for businesses that want to increase their sales. You need to understand that local business search traffic is high-converting. Most people who search for local businesses tend to call a business or visit them personally in the next 24 hours. When you make sure that your phone number is listed on Google, you are sure to drive more traffic to your store.
Here is how Google Business Listing helps you:
You get to display the accurate records of your current number. With Google Business Listing, your potential customers can see your contact number.
Google doesn’t just display your phone number, but you also get to display your contact information to your potential customers. It is possible to link the correct map of your office address along with your office timings so that your potential customers can call you during office hours.
Google Business Listing also helps you to engage with your customers. You can read your customer’s reviews and respond to a few of them. It helps build trust with your potential customers who are seeing your reviews.
Also, you can add a photo to your business listing. Adding photos enhances trust and improves customer interaction. The number of calls coming to your office should see an uptick.
Google now allows you to create a short name/ URL for your business. It further enhances customer trust.
How to get started?
If you are new to Google My Business, here is how to get started:
You can start by visiting https://www.google.com/business, and then enter your business name. Tap yes on the location and enter your office address. In case you serve other areas (apart from your location), then enter those areas as well. Next, select your business category (or a category that is closest to your business), and then select the contact details you want to display. Enter your phone number and your website URL, then click on Finish to verify your account.
A few things that you need to keep in mind while setting up your account:
NAP – It is the name, address, and phone number of your business. You need to ensure that your NAP details remain similar across all listing sites like Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, and Yellow Pages online.
Put in accurate operating business hours so that your customers can call you when you are available. You can include special operating hours around holidays and special events, as Google My Business allows you to do so.
Select categories that suit your business or one that is closest to it. Try to be specific while choosing your primary category. Choose the Secondary category that is closest to your business so that it is easy for your potential customers to find you.
You can add a photo of your business as well. If you want your potential customers to have a sneak-peek about your business, you can add photos of your products and services to your Google My Business profile. Even your customers can contribute photos to your listing. In your listing, make sure to include your profile photo, logo image, cover photo, and other additional photos. Don’t forget to update your images regularly.
Google My Business also allows you to write posts. You can share your businesses’ special moments, promotions, events, products, and even more. In your post, you can add an image, a link, call-to-action, and text. The posts you add here are displayed in Google Search and Maps results.
In the search results, Google has made it easy to access your Google My Business dashboard. When you search your business by name and address, you can access your Google My Business dashboard where you make edits and see an overview of your listing.
Reviews are important for businesses, and you need to manage them carefully. Positive reviews instil trust among your potential customers, while negative reviews do the opposite. Make it a practice to request your customers to leave a review. Also, make it easy for your customers to leave a review. You can also incentivise review writing for your customers. But don’t forget to respond to those who send in their reviews.
Don’t forget to monitor Listing insights. Businesses need to know how their customers interact with their business listing. Google My Business insights allow you to get an overview of how your customers interact with your business listing. From the insights, you get to know how your customers find your listing, where your customers view your business on Google, what actions your customers take, and competitive insights in your niche.
Verifying your business
First up, it is important to understand that verifying your business is a vital step in opening up a Google Business account. Your listing will not be displayed if it is not verified.
There are numerous ways of verifying your Google Business account, and you can do it via phone, email, postcard, instantly, or in bulk.
If you are opening up a Google My Business profile that has a physical location, the best way of verifying your business would be via postcard.
Here are the three most simple ways how you can verify your business account:
Sign in to your Google Business account (if you have not already created an account, do so) and select a business to verify.
Recheck your details – business address, phone number, and email address. Make sure that all your particulars are correct and add a contact name so that Google can address it to you.
The last step is to choose a way how you would like to get your account verified. You can select any of the following ways to get your account verified:
You can do so by mail – In case you decide to get your account verified by mail, click the blue button that reads MAIL. Patiently wait for a postcard from Google, it can take up to five days. As soon as you get the postcard, log into your Google My Business account and select “Verify Now” and enter the verification code, which is a five-digit code. And, if by any chance, you don’t get a postcard from Google, you don’t need to panic because you can revisit your Google My Business account and request another code.
You can also verify your account by phone – Select “Verify by phone” if you want to verify your account by phone. But before you select the phone option, make sure that you have entered your correct phone number. You will get the verification code on your phone – enter the code to verify your account.
Also, you can verify your account by email – Select “Verify by email” if you want to verify your account by email. Go to your inbox, and check out the mail you have just received from Google. That email will have a verification button – click the button, and your account will be verified.
If you have a problem setting up your Google My Business account, you can get in touch with vStacks Infotech now. We are a digital marketing company, and we know what it takes to conquer the digital world. Also, you can contact us for a robust SEO and Local SEO strategy so that you can do well on Google.