Your business needs to be on Google.
I’ll say it again: your business needs to be on Google.
Your customers are looking for your business and if you aren’t on Google, they’re not finding you. How many times have you been in a new place or even in your own hometown and needed to look up a store or service provider? I would bet good money that you didn’t take a phone book out of your junk drawer, wipe off the layers of dust, and flip through its flimsy pages to find what you needed. You took out your phone and Googled what you were looking for.
You’ve undoubtedly seen Google listings for your favorite businesses, and you might even think that your business has one of its own. Even if your business’ information is listed on Google when you search for it, you don’t have a verified listing unless you’ve done the work to claim it. This means that you don’t have control over how your business appears to your customers, and can’t monitor and respond to reviews that are made about your business.
Your customers are on Google to find out where your business is located, what you’re all about, and when you’re open. They’re evaluating you against your competition based on your ranking, reviews, and how professional your Google listing and website look. Consumers make these kinds of decisions every single day, and your business is missing out on tons of business if you haven’t created and optimized your Google Business listing for your target audience.
Setting up a new Google My Business listing is easier than you think. Follow the steps below to get yours up, running, and bringing in business.
Go to google.com/business. The page should look like the screenshot below. Click on “Start Now” to start setting up your listing.
Enter your business’ information to find it on Google. If you’ve been around for a while, you might already have a listing up that you just haven’t claimed yet. If you opened your doors relatively recently, you’ll probably be starting from scratch. Either way, the process is the same. Once you’ve found your business, click “Continue”.
Now you’ll be asked how you want to verify your business. You can set it up to either get a phone call or have a postcard mailed to your business. Once you get the code, you have to verify your business within 30 days.
If you have multiple locations, you’ll need to have a card sent or a call made to each individual location. There is unfortunately no way around this. You’ll have to enlist someone from each location to look out for the verification number and relay that information to you. The good news is, once you verify each location you can easily run them all from one Google Business account!
Completing Your Listing
Even before you verify your business, you can get to work optimizing it to attract your target customers. To complete your Google My Business listing, you’ll add information like your business logo, hours, interior and exterior photos if you have a brick and mortar location, photos of your work, and your phone number.
Check back for Part 2 on how to optimize your Google My Business listing to attract your target audience!