Everyone has heard of Google, but have you heard about Google My Business? Here’s the lowdown on how to make your listing appear right when people are searching for your business…
What is Google My Business?
These days everyone has a smartphone, so we are seeing more and more local searches as a result – ie. people looking for plumbers or lawnmowers for sale in their local area.
Google notices that these are local searches and will often show a map within the search results that features listings of local vendors. These are known as Google My Business listings.
These listings are featuring more and more in searches and are a key way of promoting your business locally, and driving more traffic to your website.
It is important for businesses to manage the content of their Google My Business listing to ensure it is accurate so that it performs well in a search, and to ensure that important details, such as address and phone numbers, are correct.
Google My Business listings are verified to a certain address, but multiple listings can be set up for those business with multiple sites. More on that in a moment…
How to claim and verify an existing Google my business listing.
By completing a search for the brand and location of the business in Google and viewing the panel on the right hand side, you can tell if a listing isn’t verified as it will show “own this business?” as an option.
To claim and verify this listing as your own business:
- Sign in to your google account at www.google.com/business and ‘add a location’.
- Follow Google’s instructions as if you were going to create a new page for your business (even if you know that the business listing already exists)
- If the location already exists then this will show up but a pop-up may explain that “someone else has already verified this listing”.
- Click ‘request ownership’ and answer the following questions and the form to request a
- Transfer of ownership. Google will then notify you an email has been sent to the owner of the listing, asking that they contact you.
- If 5 or so days pass without the owner responding to you or Google, you can reply to Google to continue the ownership transfer process.
How to set up and verify your Google My Business listing
If there is no listing for your business address, then a new listing will need to be set up and verified using a similar process:
- Sign in to your Google account at www.google.com/business and ‘add a location’.
- Input the name and location of the listing you want to create. Google may suggest a number of options that could be your business however if these are not, simply click “this doesn’t match – add your business”
- Google will then ask for further details on your business and it is very important to fill this out correctly so your details are correct in local searches.
- You should only use your correct business name
- Ideally, your ‘street address’, ‘suburb’, ‘city’, and ‘postal code’ should match the location that Google recognises. You can check this by using google.com/maps to enter what you know the address to be and Google will present you with its version of the ‘official address’. Copy and paste these details in the Google My Business form.
- Choose a category that most close describes your business. You can choose up to 5. However, the first one you choose should best represent your business.
By choosing ‘I am authorised to manage this business’, you will be creating the Google My Business location and an associated Google+ page.
You will then be prompted to verify your business location. Google will give you a few options to do this – postcard, phone call, instant verification or bulk location if you are trying to verify 10 or more locations at once. If you choose the postcard option, log in to Google My Business as soon as the postcard arrives and enter the code.
How to improve the performance of your Google My Business listings
Ensure your address and phone numbers are correct and that they match the same information on your website.
You can also select up to 5 business categories. Make sure you select the most appropriate categories, in order of priority.
Edit your profile to complete the form as full as possible:
- Copy your homepage URL from your website
- Add another category if you need to. At least 2-3 relevant categories in priority order should be added.
- Add your hours
- Use some of your most searched keywords in the introduction to your business. Keep it 3-5 lines in length and end your introduction with a link to your website.
- Add a quality profile photo of your business’ interior or exterior, or a feature product.
- Add a logo and cover photo for your business and select which image you want Google to show when people search for your service or product.
- Adding additional photos of your workers/products/services/workplace will help your ranking too.
It pays to update your Google My Business listing regularly, so that it ranks as well as it can. And if changing address, it is better to edit your existing listing, rather than creating a new one.
How to resolve duplicate listings
If you are advised your location is not showing because it is a duplicate or has the same address as another business, you may need to remove a duplicate listing.
You can check this by searching your business address in Google, or add a location in your Google My Business account and do a search for your business location.
To remove a duplicate listing, gain access by claiming and verifying an existing Google My Business listing or by adding a location and selecting “I am authorised to manage this business” if unverified.
Once you have access to manage to own the duplicate page, check the settings option and delete the page.
How to manage multiple Google My Business listings
If you have many branches or location, you will want to create a separate account to hold all your location pages. After logging in to Google My Business, choose the ‘create business account’ option.
Click the + button to ‘import locations from a file’ and download a template. Enter the addresses and deleted any columns you don’t have. You will then need to verify all your locations.
Want to know how to post from your Google My Business listing?
Contact us and we’ll show you how!