Have you ever wondered why you can’t find certain businesses on Google Maps? The reason for this is that in order to show up on Google Maps, you have to register with Google My Business, but some business owners just can’t be bothered to do this. Maybe they don’t see the value in it, or don’t want to put out the money for what they see as an unnecessary expense. Whatever the case, what many of them probably don’t realize is that the whole point of having an online presence is so potential customers can find you, and Google My Business can help them to create that presence.
Google My Business enables you to connect with your customers directly, whether they’re looking for your business in the Google search results, on Google+ or on Google Maps. This service helps to ensure that people can find information about your business from anywhere and on any compatible device. It allows your customers to easily find things like your hours, contact information, location on Google Maps, and reviews on your business, all in one place.
There are several requirements you have to fulfill to register with Google My Business. These are the steps you need to follow:
To sign up on this platform, go to the Google My Business home page and click on the ‘Start Now’ button at the top right-hand corner of the page. From here, you will be brought to a page where you have to enter your business name. After you’ve filled out the form, click on the ‘Next’ button.
Next, you will be directed to another page where you have to key in information on your business location. This includes the country or region, street address, city, province and postal code. If your business is involved with the delivery of goods and/or services to customers, then you should check the box next to the truck icon. You will then be brought to the map page where you can zoom in on the map and drag the marker to the spot where your business is located.
On the next page you need to indicate how you normally deliver the goods or services to your customers. Options include using mail or courier services, delivery in person within the specified city, region or postal code, or delivery within a specified distance from your business.
On this page, you will be given the option to categorize your company. Selecting the right category for your business will enable you to attract customers that are searching for your kind of business. This is why it’s so important to choose a category that perfectly matches your company, so keep this in mind and choose wisely.
At this point, you are asked to provide current contact information to enable customers to get in touch with you or learn more about your business. This includes your phone number and your website address. Though some people still don’t understand the value, having a website is a great way for any business to enhance their online presence. If you’re someone who’s still sitting on the fence, and you don’t have a business website yet, Google My Business allows you to create a website for free and customize it with your own text, design themes and photos.
Once you have completed the above steps, Google will create a Google My Business account and profile for your business. However, to verify that you are the genuine owner of that business, Google will send a verification postcard to whatever address you gave during the registration process. The postcard will arrive within a few weeks and it contains instructions on the procedure you need to follow to prove that the business belongs to you.
Setting up a profile on this platform is actually pretty easy. For instance, on your dashboard, you can go to the ‘Home’ section and edit your company’s information, add your company logo and include photographs, to increase the chances of people clicking on your business. You can also manage the photos that are on your business profile. You’ll have the option to determine the photos that will be presented in the search results and even place them in certain categories. Once the profile’s ready to go, you should start asking clients to write reviews for you on Google. This will boost your credibility by showing that your customers love you so much that they’re willing to take the time to write a blurb about your business.
Google statistics data collected by Mobilosoft shows that Google My Business can increase the visibility of businesses by about 29 per cent and improve click-through rates by up to 60 per cent. Having your business on this platform is slowly but surely changing from an option to a necessity because it just makes it so much easier for people to find your business. It will also build trust in your brand, as customers will be able to find you on virtually any device. Many small business owners might not see the value, and they might think that this sort of thing is completely unnecessary. But the truth is your business’ online presence, or lack thereof, could be the difference between you dominating the market, or having no chance to compete.