If your business has a physical location, whether this is a shop, a warehouse or other type of premises, then you want the internet to show you to customers who are near where you are. One of the ways to do this is to use Google My Business, also known previously as Google+ Local and Google Places. So how does it work?
My Business Basics
Google My Business is the place that search engines go to find out information about a business. By making sure that the information contained on the database is accurate and up to date then the information customers find when searching will be relevant. Typical information contained includes phone number, address, hours of operation and even an image of the business property if you upload one. The information can appear in both Google Searches and also on Google Maps.
Once the My Business page is set up, you can also do a host of other actions from it. These include setting up a Google+ page and connecting with customers via it as well as utilising a Google Analytics page to study traffic to your website. Reviews of the business can be added and you can gain insights once the business is verified. Finally, you can even establish hangouts where you can meet customers or join those set up by other businesses.
The listings don’t cost anything to set up and are worth doing even if the business already has a website, particularly for its local aspect. If you had already registered your information with any of the previous versions, such as Google Places for Business or the Google+ Pages, then it will automatically migrate to the new setup.
Getting Set Up
As with most things about Google, it is relatively simple to set up the My Business listing. Set up a Google+ page for your business then you can be verified. This is done by either phone, postcard or with the new instant verification via the Webmaster Tools. Once you have verified you as the business in your location, you will begin to appear on the listings accordingly. Being verified also allows managing the listings, making updates to the pages and respond to messages sent via it. It also shows customers that you are where and who you say you are and encourages buyer confidence.
Getting the Most from My Business
When setting up the My Business page then there are a few points that are more important than anything. Making sure the business address is accurate is vital because the pages are displayed based on their location. So if you are based in Liverpool, then you want to ensure the address is full and correct to connect with Liverpool customers. Also, ensure that you have the right category for your business to ensure you come up in relevant searches – customers aren’t interested in a sign maker when they want a garage to repair their car.
You can also add multiple locations to your My Business page if you have more than one business premises. This allows you to connect to customers in all of these locations.