“Hey, where do you want to eat?” your friend asks. You respond, “I dunno, let me Google some places nearby.” Has this ever happened to you? I can personally say, this happens to me all the time.
This is a common situation today, because people are always on the search for new food to eat or new things to try, and local businesses are being found this way all the time.
You may or may not know, but the business that pops up on a search at the right-hand side of the screen or on Google Maps is what’s called a “Google My Business Listing”. This is one of the easiest ways to put yourself on the grid and be found by new customers or clients AHEAD of organic searches.
We have 3 major questions that many people have for us about Google My Business Listings. These questions usually are:
- What is Google My Business?
- How is it helpful to me?
- How can I a Google My Business Listing?
Once you’ve mastered the answers to all these questions, your business is ready to thrive!
What is Google My Business?
Simply put, Google My Business is a free listing on Google Maps, it pinpoints your business or service area on a map, shows your phone number, and link to your website and depending on the business you can have a book now link as well.
Let’s say you own an ice cream shop and someone searches “ice cream near me” or “ice cream shops”. If you are local, there is an excellent chance that you will pop up as one of the options for this potential client to choose from.
Even if you are not in the food business and work in a service-based basis, it is still just as important to get your business listing online. It has been shown that the majority of people will look you or your business up on Google and find you on your website before they call you. If you look credible and professional online, the greater your chances are of a potential client getting in touch with you. Having an online Google My Business listing is just another way to look professional.
Having a Google My Business listing is great especially if someone already knows the name of your business and they look you up online. By typing in the actual name of a business, a box of information will appear on the right-hand side of the screen with everything you need to know about it! It will give you everything from location to reviews to hours and more!
Business can really start to boom once you put yourself on people’s radar, and a great listing can make all the difference.
You can easily be found by hundreds, even thousands of people by setting up your Google business. People are always searching for new places to eat, where to get the best haircut, where they can find someone to landscape their home, and so much more!
Now we know what a Google My Business listing is, we may have a slight idea of why it matters, but we want to dive in a little deeper into all the ways it can be beneficial to you.
How is Google My Business helpful to me?
Google My Business like we said, it is a free listing on Google Maps and an easy way to be found by hundreds of people. However, it is more than showing people that you simply exist on a map.
Potential clients are more likely to be drawn to you and your business if your listing is full of helpful information.
When making a listing, you want to make sure that people can see:
- Your Business Address
- Your Business Hours
- Your Business Phone Number
- Your online rating and reviews
- Your Prices or Price Range
- Your Services
- A link to your website (if you have one)
- A brief description of what your business is
And anything else that you think might be helpful in drawing people to you like photos and accessibility.
I can’t tell you how many times I thought I found a good place to eat or get my nails done, but when I tried to find their website, their price, or even their hours, there was no information whatsoever! People really will turn away from your business and buy from someone else if your information is not available. You may have the best deal, or the best prices in the world, but if your clients don’t know that, they will never come to you for business.
This is why it is vital to set up your Google My Business Listing right, and to fill in as much information as you can for others to easily find.
How can I set up a Google My Business Listing?
Luckily when it comes to Google My Business Listings, creating an online listing is super easy and free!
First thing’s first, you need to have a Google account to move forward. If you do not have a Google account, make sure you take time to set one up for yourself. Once this is done, the next steps are fairly easy.
Google is going to want to verify that your business is legit and doesn’t already exist somewhere else. Feel free to search yourself or search your business. Now there are going to be one of two scenarios:
- If your business pops up on the right-hand side of the page already as a listing, but you have not claimed it, there should be an option to claim it right there. It will say, “Own this business?” If you do, simply click on it and sign up for a free Google My Business account.
- If nothing pops up after your search on the right-hand side of the page, no maps or no listings, you will have to manually go to google.com/business and then from there, you will create a Google My Business Account.
Whether scenario 1 or 2 was your case, both should take you up to this point.
From here, you are going to sign in and answer the questions it prompts you. These will be things like your business name, location, what kind of business you own, phone number, website, etc. Remember you can set up a service area rather than location if you are a traveling service business without a brick and mortar location.
When you finish, they are going verify your listing by mail. They will send a postcard with a verification code on it that you need to log into your business account and enter. When this comes in the mail, punch in that code and you are set up with a Google listing, but only at its bare minimum.
Here is how this will look:
Sign in and type in your business name
Agree to the Terms of Service and Policy by clicking “next”.
Choose your business category
Add a location (If applicable)
Add your business address (if applicable)
Do you serve beyond your own location? Just answer yes or no.
Add a phone number and website if you can
How you do your Google listing is up to you. You can leave it as is if you want to, but if you really want to go above and beyond to look professional online, you must add as much information about your business as possible.
Like I said before, I have turned away from many businesses because of their lack of information, and you want to make sure that this does not happen to you.
When you get to your Google Business home screen you will want to click on the word “Info” on the left-hand side. This is where you can edit everything about your business. You want to be sure to add your business hours, phone number, website, products, photos of your office or building, or anything else you are wanting people to find. You can also edit your information under “Complete Your Business Profile”.
One last step that is super essential – editing your services.
It is super simple but can make all the difference in people finding you or not: When you go to edit your information, you will see “Services” somewhere in the middle of the page. This is where you want to add words or phrases to show people what kind of business you are. If you are not telling the world what it is you do, chances are, no one is going to look twice at you.
You can add as many words or phrases to your business as you need to! As long as these words are relevant to your business, you are in good shape!
Again, don’t forget the other parts as well like your website, hours, service areas (especially if you are a mobile business like a notary). FILL IN ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU CAN! Yes, I just yelled that at you so help you understand it makes all the difference in someone choosing you vs. someone else.
Want to have your Google My Business Listing really stand out?
Be sure to ask clients to leave you reviews on your Google My Business Listing! When you have 5-Star reviews, as well as business who have reviews vs. businesses that don’t, you will really stand out from those that simply put their name on a listing.
Don’t go for a review request the second you finish service with someone, give it a day or two or enough time that they will have been able to get value out of your service or product first. Then send an email asking them to give you feedback on how you did so that others can see what it is like to work with you, most people are more than willing to help!
Be sure to shorten the link that Google gives to leave a review or hyperlink it to simple words in your email like “Leave a Review” or “Got 60 seconds? Let us know how we did!”.
Not sure where to find your link? Type in your business name with the spaces (not your URL) into a search bar. If your account is set up properly then your Google My Business listing will show in the right-hand side of the search page. Click the “Write a Review” button, then copy the HUGE link that will be in the address bar of your search browser. Again, this link is so long that you will want to hyperlink it in your email request to clients to leave a review.
Need Help Setting Up Your Google My Business Listing?
Sharing what you love with the world is what we are all about! If you have any questions or concerns about your business listing, feel free to reach out and contact us! We are always ready to lend a helping hand!