Have you ever Googled your business or one of your services? You open your browser, type in your top service, then bang, right there in .0068 seconds your competitor across town pops up.
It's frustrating. You know you know you have this service listed on your site. You know you have it linked to from various citations around the web. You know you put in headers and that the keywords are on the page. But still, right at the top is a list of 3 other businesses ahead of yours.
You see this is where Google is trying to be helpful for its end users, and where you can be left behind. Even if your SEO is great, if you haven't listed your business on Google My Business you will be behind your competitors. Google is trying to show its users relevant businesses that perform the service you searched for from local businesses. We find that a lot of times distance is the tiebreaker as well. Which is great. If two businesses are equally matched then the distance I have to drive to get there is going to be a big factor in me having a good experience or not.
Now Google may eventually pick up on who you are, where you are, all that but this is your chance to tell Google through their My Business product what you do, where you are located, hours, and more. This is your "listing" on Google itself. It's your chance to say what you do and not leave it up to the interpretation of indexing robot spiders.
Signing up is relatively easy. Just head over to Google and Search My Business. Or go Here.
Go to start now and Google will walk you through their sign up process. If you already have a Google account you would click Sign In. Either way, if you try to sign up twice, Google will pick up on it and direct you to the correct gateway.
Once you are signed up it's time to enter information about your business. They start with Name, Country, Street Address, Etc. If you have a service business without a physical storefront you are going to want to click the box at the bottom that says "I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location" that way Google will list you as having a service area and not start sending people to your house.
Once your information has been entered you hit continue. If you checked that you have a service area you will then drop a pin on the map and set that area's size and scope.
If you have a service area and a physical storefront of some kind you set that on the next page as well.
Now it's time to verify your business.
Google want's to be sure you actually exist. One sure fire way of getting that done is to send you a postcard. This postcard will have a code on it that you will have to enter into your My Business account on the location you just created under Verify. It usually takes 1 to 3 weeks to receive the card. Once you receive it that verification process is easy.
Once you verify your business it's time to input your information
On the left-hand side, you will see a menu where you can enter your info, see insights, reviews left on Google, create posts and message clients. We will go over messaging clients and creating posts in a future post. For now, just enter your business info. This is where you can give Google as much information as you want. You can upload pictures of your company and employees in action, enter your hours, what you do, different services you offer. You can even access your Analytics and AdWords Express accounts (if you choose to go with Express, which we recommend you not).
What it comes down to is Google My Business will actually give you a sense of control over your business. SEO, SEM, and how your website was built can be really overwhelming. Even Google Analytics can be a bit much. Google My Business is the place where you can simply state what your business does and see how you're doing out there. It's also a great place to create posts and let your customers and potential customers know if you have a sale going on. All of these things let gain some control of your online presence and move forward with confidence.
Need help setting up your Google My Business Account? We would love to help! Drop us a line or give us a call. We can get you set up in no time.