How To Set Up Google My Business The Right Way

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a tool by Google that is focused on helping businesses connect with their customers, gain more exposure online, and generally promote their business as a whole. What’s great about Google My Business is that it puts together all of Google’s business services into one convenient dashboard that is easy to use. It goes beyond simplistic features of working hours and phone numbers and even provides driving directions to your business and allows customers to call you directly.

google my business

No matter what industry you are in, your customers are searching for you online and you need to take advantage of the free services that Google offers. Whether someone wants to know at what time your business is open on work days or a new guest wants to check out how the customer service was from previous guests at your hotel, you need to have all of this information readily available online, and Google My Business can help you with that.

Google My Business connects maps, Google search, Google+, reviews, and Google Analytics into one. This way, you can easily manage all of these features and any changes you make will automatically update for all of those services. It’s also connected to your YouTube and Google+ accounts, so you can share updates from your dashboard.

Even if you don’t own a local business, Google My Business is still providing a user-friendly interface that allows you to interact with customers, track Google Analytics, and add details of your brand. Note that if you have already created Google+ or Google Places for Business then you’ll already have Google My Business created on your Google account.

Overall, Google My Business allows you to:

1. Manage your business info and how it appears on Google and its platforms

2. Interact with your customers on reviews and Google+

3. Understand and further expand your online presence through metrics and insights

google my business set up

How to Set Up Google My Business

Alright, in this section we walk you through how to get Google My Business up and running. Before you get started, you need to know that if your business is located in multiple locations, then you’ll need to create a separate page for each of those locations. You can create multiple pages through the same Google My Business account and simply add multiple locations.

You can also create a separate business account if, for example, your company contains different businesses or totally separate services or departments. Bulk verification is also available if your business has 10+ locations.

The first thing that you need to do is to go to Google’s Business page. If you already have a Google account, then just log in and skip the next step. Below we’ll create a new account just for the demonstration.

Google Account Creation

On this page click Get on Google. You’ll be asked to enter the basic information about yourself such as name, password, birthday, etc. After you click “Next step” you’ll be asked to add an image. You can add an image of yourself or even better, your company logo. Use a picture that your customers can use to familiarize themselves with you and your brand. Using something memorable will stick in their heads for longer. After you are done, you can come back to Google Places and start setting up your profile.

create google account

After you’ve done that, you should be redirected to Google’s map. Here you are going to set up your local business, and if you are not a local business, then in the upper right-hand corner click “Not a local business?”.

 

Adding Your Business’s Details

To start, type in the address of your business in the search bar at the top. If there are no information or listing about your company, then you’ll have to add the details manually. If your business is listed, then simply select it from the results.

After you click continue, you’ll have to create a Google+ page and confirm that you are authorized to manage your business. Again, click continue.

On the next page, Google will suggest that they mail you a postcard with a confirmation code to confirm your physical address. If you don’t confirm it then your business will not be verified and the public will see that. If you were already listed on Google, then you’ll have the option for them to call you to confirm the address. Once you take care of it, you’ll be redirected to your Google My Business page where you’ll be offered to take a tour if you are not familiar with it. We recommend that you take it so you can get more comfortable with using it.

google plus page
create google my business

Please note that Google Reviews & Insights will be accessible when you verify your address via postcard or a phone call.

 

Automatic Verification with Google Webmaster Tools

Google supports automatic verification if your website is already linked with Google Webmaster Tools. If it’s not, then is a good idea to do so because you can use it to analyze traffic, check crawl errors, upload and review sitemaps, see links going to your website, and much more! You’ll be instantly verified if you’ve already verified your website with Google Webmaster Tools.

 

Filling in the Business Details

Here’s the information that you can add to your business profile:

  • Introduction
  • Website
  • Phone number
  • Business category
  • Address
  • Hours of operation
  • Virtual tour pictures

 

Introduction

The first thing that you need to do is to type a brief intro about your business. Simply click on the “Add an intro about your business” and style it however you see fit. Is a good idea to be concise about the product and services you offer and to describe them very accurately. When you are done, click “Save”.

Categories

There are hundreds of categories that you can choose from and you can enter more than one category if you’d like. Choosing the right categories is very important because Google makes suggestions to users based on the information you provide. If you select the wrong category, it’s not likely that your business will be properly recommended.

Photos

Google breaks pictures into six categories:

  • Identity photos
  • Interior photos
  • Exterior photos
  • Photos at work photos
  • Team photos
  • Additional photos

 

It is suggested by Google that you add 3 photos to each of those categories. Be sure that your photos are very clear and crisp and that they represent any of those categories that best.

Making Your First Google+ Post

You can post to Google+ right from your dashboard. To do so, click “Share what’s new…” and a new box will pop up. In it, you can write your post, add photos, video, links and choose the visibility of the post. After you are done, click “Share”!

profile picture

Google My Business Insights – See What’s Working

With Insights, you can learn more about your customers, how did they found you, where are they coming from and see how much they are interacting with you.

insights

Navigating Insights

Insights consists of 5 sections; each provides you a way of understanding how people interact with your listing:

1) How customers found your listing

2) Where they find you on Google

3) Actions

4) Requests for driving instructions

5) Phone calls

You can adjust the timeframe for the data in any section, and you can select 7, 30, or 90 days.

How customers found your listing

Here you can see how many customers found you through direct search (they typed your business name or address) compared to a discovery search (customers searched for a product or service, and your listing appeared).

Where customers find you on Google

In this section, you can see a number of customers that found you either through Google Maps or Google Search. You can also see the number of views your listing got from each product.

Actions

Here you can see a different type of actions that people took on your listing. This includes visits to your website, calls, direction requests, and photo views. The graph shows you particular actions on different days so you can segment information based on the day you want.

Driving direction request

Here you can see where exactly on the map are people requesting driving directions to your business. You’ll see a heat map of the popular places where people ask Google Maps for driving directions. The total number of requests will also be shown by city and neighborhood.

driving direction

Phone calls

In this section, you’ll see how often people called your business through your listing. You’ll see a number of total calls in a timeframe that you can toggle. In the graph that you see, you can view trend by day of the week or time of the day and exactly pinpoint when customers are most likely to call you.

Visibility Reports

The Visibility Reports shows approximately how many times the content and the page were viewed, and a breakdown of your views that show the last 7, 30, or 90 days. You can also toggle different options to see separate stats.

visibility

Engagement Reports

The Engagement Reports displays the total number of actions on your Google+ posts (+1’s, shares, and comments) as well as the number for a specified time period.

engagement

Audience Reports

The Audience Reports tab shows you a breakdown of the people who follow you. You can see a breakdown of gender, age, countries, etc. To see a breakdown of followers by country and gender, you need to have a page with more than 200 followers.

audience

Use all of this information to improve your engagement. For example, if you see that your customers are engaging with your posts on Monday the most, then save your best content for that exact day. Overall, these statistics provide information that allows you to customize content to the more exact audience.

Google My Business Reviews

This section of your Google My Business account makes it super easy to view and respond to customer reviews. You’ll see reviews that your customers post in real time and you can respond to each right away. This is a great way for business owners to reply to all reviews quickly because a single bad review that you ignore and allow to sit out there can have a huge impact on potential new customers. Customers are also asking questions and providing valuable feedback, all of which you can tackle and respond to.

reviews

– Respond to reviews: you can answer custom questions or thank them for leaving a great review. Keep it short and sweet, be nice and thank even the customers that left a bad review.

– Flag inappropriate reviews: even though reviews are used as a way for customers to give their opinion of the service you provided or your products, sometimes reviews can be fraudulent or abusive. It’s important that you flag or remove these as soon as possible. To flag a review, just click on the flag icon in the lower right corner. Flagging a review doesn’t mean that it’ll actually be removed since Google has its own parameters for what is an acceptable content.

– Share reviews: whenever you receive an awesome review from one of your customers, you’d probably want to share it! Reviews are shared to the Stream for others to see, and to share it there, simply click on the share icon on the review. You’ll also have the option of leaving a comment.

CONCLUSION

Four out of five customers perform a local search on Google to try to find the right business that meets their need for a product or a service. Google My Business connects those customers with your business on the other end of those searches. Getting on board gives you a much better opportunity to be found and get more traffic.

The Google My Business is already used by countless small businesses and for a good reason. You should definitely set up and verify your Google My Business so you can be many steps ahead of your competitors. It’s totally free and easy to set up, what more could you ask for?