google-my-business-websitesSavvy website owners are always on the lookout for quick wins to boost their visibility in the Google search rankings. The good news is that there are several things business owners can do to give themselves a leg up in the search results and adding your business to Google My Business is both free and easy to do.

How does Google My Business help?

A Google My Business (GMB) listing is mostly about adding your business to Google Maps (hence why it was previously referred to as Google Places!) but has been expanded to include a Google+ page for your business (at this time very few businesses are actively using their G+ page but it hasn’t stopped Google from at least trying to push the idea – often businesses would use it only in a vain attempt to curry favour with the big G).

A verified GMB listing means you can start to show up on Google Maps, as well as local search results. For example, PogoStick Web Services shows up when you google “website design new brighton” – because Google knows I’m looking for local results it displays the map but your business will only show on this map if you have a GMB listing. When you consider how hard businesses work to get on the first page of Google, it makes complete sense to spend a few minutes adding yourself to the map and potentially show there on the front page – for free!

How do I improve the effectiveness of my Google My Business listing?

The key to an effective GMB listing is the same as it is for any marketing – put your best foot forward. You can add a lot of information in the business description but chances are potential customers may not get that far so put effort into the ‘first impression’ items: Your business name, contact details, main photos and reviews.

Make sure your information is complete, helpful, accurate and well written. Think about the sort of information that customers are looking for – how do I get to your business (if you service customers at your address), when are you open until and can you help with my problem.

Use the photos to showcase your work and try hard to get the best quality possible, either by hiring a professional photographer or editing your own using something like Photoshop.

Of course, of all the items the most important is the reviews section – encourage customers to leave reviews, the more the better! You may need to explain to them how to to do it by sharing step-by-step instructions on adding their feedback.

Obviously, good reviews are preferable but to do that you’ll need to earn it – nobody likes fake reviews!

By building up your reviews, new customers are more likely to trust your business and choose you over competition that have no feedback.

Of course, regardless of best practice for adding a My Business listing the key thing is to make sure you add and verify your listing – don’t put it off just because you don’t have all your photos ready or can’t think of a good blurb to describe your product – do it today! Here’s how…

How do I add my business to Google (Places) My Business?

Google provides their own online help to guide you through adding a local business page and we highly recommend you take the time to do it as soon as possible – and get more visibility in the search engine result pages!

In a nutshell, here are the steps involved:

  1. Go to the Google Business Center – you will need to sign in using a Google email address e.g. a gmail account.
  2. Click the plus symbol and Add a location.
  3. Follow the onscreen prompts to add details of your business.
  4. Request verification – in most cases this will involve Google sending a postcard with a verification code (this can take up to two weeks).
  5. Add information and photos about your business.
  6. Enter the verification code when it arrives and start requesting customers to add reviews.

If you’d like us to setup a page for you and manage it on your behalf, we’d be happy to do that – just get in touch!

Creating an effective Google My Business (formerly Google Places) listing
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