Google My Business was once called Google Places, but whether you know it as Google My Business, Google Places, Google Maps or something totally different, it is vital that your business appears there if you are locally based company. These days getting onto the front page of Google, unless you are using AdWords or an amazing SEO Company is tough, but you have a chance with GMB as this is based mostly on locational searches, but also on a range of other factors that you have some control and influence over.
If you are unsure about what Google My Business is, do a search in Google for “plumbers forest of dean” and you will see that one of the first results should be a map, followed by three businesses, and these are there as a result of Google My Business listings. Whereas we used to see seven results, these days we only get three, but you can understand the importance of being there if people are looking for a business like yours, especially on a mobile phone.
Here are some top tips about how you can make sure your business takes advantage of Google My Business and starts to appear and be visible.
Firstly, try and find your business on Google Maps and if you see it listed, you need to claim it. If it is not, you will need to go to Google My Business, sign in with your Google account and then add a new business. Complete your profile as we discuss below and then request a verification pin which will be sent to your business address within two weeks, but normally in a couple of days. When you have it, log back in, verify your business and you should be live within a few days once verified and accepted.
This is crucial, as until you have a completed profile and it is verified, your listing will never appear on the local searches. You need to make sure you use the correct address (obvious, but you need to be consistent with how you enter your address across the Internet and listings), choose the most relevant categories for your business, add some photos, add a company description and make sure your opening hours and all possible information is complete. Do not skip this or rush it, as this needs to be spot on in terms of accuracy and offer excellent quality, otherwise you will not get the rankings that you deserve.
Reviews really help to not only make your listing appear on the results, but to also make it stand out, as if you get enough reviews and they are favourable, your listing will get the little gold stars next to it and really make a difference when it comes to potential customers clicking on your listing, or heading off to one of your competitors if yours does not really stand out. Ask existing customers to leave you a review and send them the link to your Google My Business page, as these days, most people have a Google account so it really should not be an issue.