You’re a local, face-to-face business and you haven’t set up your Google My Business listing yet? Do you hate money? Do you have any idea how much you’re leaving on the table? Well, we can’t tell you exactly, but it’s a lot!
According to Think With Google, 76% of consumers that search for a business near them end up visiting within a day. Of these, 28% result in a purchase. That translates to a considerable amount of foot traffic that’s currently giving their cash to your competitors.
Thankfully, it’s easy to get set up. This guide will take you step by step through the process, and then offer some suggestions for maximizing your results. By the end, you’ll be ready to start pulling in local search customers. We can discuss your irrational fear of cash later.
Set Up Google My Business Listings in 10 Easy Steps
You’ll need a regular Google account to begin. If you don’t have one, register one now.
Step 1: Access Google My Business
Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and click on Manage Now.
Step 2: Search For Your Business Name
Unless you’ve entered your information before you’re unlikely to get a result. If you do you can request ownership of the profile. If you don’t, click “Add your business to Google”.
Step 3: Enter Your Business Name
Enter your name as you’d like your customers to see it in search listings. This means your proper business name, not abbreviated versions you might use in casual conversation.
Step 4: Choose a Business Category
It’s important to select the category that best fits the service you provide. Not only does your category choice influence the search terms applied to your listing by default, but it may also open up extra options in your profile. As an example, restaurants can optionally add menus to their listings.
Step 5: Decide If You Want to List a Location
If your business has a physical location that customers can visit, select “Yes”. If instead, you deliver products or services directly to your customers, select “No”. You’ll then be given the opportunity to enter your service area.
When you set up Google My Business listings, you’ll have the option to add a service area even if you have a physical location. That will come later.
Step 6: Add Your Location
Enter your business address. This is the address customers can visit, not a corporate office, or some other location that isn’t customer-facing.
Step 7: Decide If You Service Customers Outside of Your Physical Location
If you’d like to set up a service area apart from your main location, select “Yes, I also serve them outside of my location”. If your address is the only place where customers can interface with you, select “No, I don’t”.
Step 8: Define Your Service Area
Enter the areas you do business. Google will offer a few suggestions based on your current location. You can also type specific city and town names. Make sure you’re thorough. If you do business anywhere in a given zip code, add it.
If you selected “No” in the last step you’ll skip right to step 9.
Step 9: Add Contact Details
Here you should enter a local phone number as well as your website URL. Entering these will allow Google to track who calls you or visits your site through your business profile. Google offers a number of useful analytics to gauge the value of your listing.
Step 10: You’re Finished!
Once you click “Finish” you’ll gain access to your listing’s management area.
Step 11: Verify Your Account
Okay, you got us. There’s technically one more step. You’ll need to verify your account. Depending on the type of business you’re listing you may be given the option to verify via a postcard, a phone call, or an email. This is a critical step because you won’t be able to further enhance your listing until it has been verified.
When You Set Up Google My Business Listings, It Pays To Be Thorough
Google rewards businesses that fully complete their profiles. Answer all of the questions in your initial set up, even the optional ones. Once your listing has been verified, add content to every section of your profile. If you don’t have something Google wants, find a way to get it. Every bit of information you add gives the search engine extra grist for customer queries.
Be sure to craft a compelling profile description. Consider what your customers might most want to know about businesses like yours and then answer those questions. Remember, your description is selling you to prospective customers. Write it accordingly.
Add your business hours and photos of your location, both interior, and exterior. Smiling employees helping customers are a great addition (get permission first). Also, take advantage of the local Q&A feature found in Google Maps.
Most importantly, get your customers to leave you Google reviews. You can add a link to the reviews section of your My Business profile on your website, emails, and other customer-facing collateral. Reviews help new customers judge the quality of your service. They also provide novel keywords to match future Google searches. Reviews are a critical component of local SEO.
At Puget Tech, we can help set up Google My Business listings for businesses looking to fully optimize their exposure. We can also add this service if you’re looking to have a new website designed. We take a holistic view of SEO, which includes local search. Give us a call and let us show you want we can do.