Google My Business is a platform created by Google for business owners. It helps them manage how their businesses appear on Google search results and Google Maps. This enables the small business owner to gain ownership and claim free business listings. They do this by adding details such as contact information, working hours, images, products, services, and much more.
Google My Business also provides its users a dashboard and access to Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Analytics. Maximizing Google My Business for a small business is vital for every business owner and small business entrepreneur. This is to ensure that no one else registers to get listed with his or her name. As a result, ownership of the business can be claimed and influenced by someone else.
Setting Up Google My Business for Your Small Business
It is recommended that a computer is used to set up Google My Business rather than using a smartphone.
Setting up Google My Business for your small business can be done in the following steps:
- Visit the website HERE. It can also be found in the site by searching for google my business in the search box of Google.
- Click the Manage Now button on the page. A user that has not yet signed into a Google account would be directed to do so.
- Enter the name of the business after logging in. If anyone has registered the name of the business before, it will appear with an autocomplete function. This autocomplete function will suggest the multiple names in order to avoid multiple duplication. Click Next.
- Enter the address of the location of the small business. If the business delivers goods and services to customers, tick the box located at the bottom of the form. This kind of business is referred to as a Service Area Business and there are two options available for it:
If the business location is physical and can be visited by customers, enter the address. After you do that, tick the box that indicates, “I deliver goods and services to my customers and click next.
If the location of the business is virtual and not physical, leave the box empty. After you have done that, tick the box below that indicates, “hide my address (it’s not a store).”
- In the case of a Service Area Business (SAB) especially one with a virtual location, the business still has to be identified specifically with a geographical area. This is to enable Google to bring up the business when people search in or near the area especially when they search for small businesses. Fill in one or more cities, regions, or ZIP codes in the “select to add areas” space.
- Fill in the business category. Choosing the business category also influences the kind of search terms that will make the business to appear in Google search results. The category that is chosen also appears in the Google My Business profile. It is recommended that research is done on competitors and a full list should be checked to determine the best category to describe the small business.
- Add a phone number and website address. This enables the business owner to take advantage of Google My Business functions such as call tracking for instance. In case the business has no website, Google offers an option for creating a new “Google Website” based on the information provided.
- Verify the business to complete the setup. The verification takes some days. The various options available for verification depend on the kind of business listing and they include:
Verification by email
This option is only available for some businesses and small businesses. A “Verify by email” option will appear to show that the business can be verified by email. The verification code will be sent to the Gmail inbox of the Google account linked to the Google My Business account.
Verification by phone
This kind of verification requires eligibility. A “verify by phone” option at the beginning of the process will appear to show that the business listing can be verified by phone. An automated verification code will be sent to be entered into the account. Like email verification, this option is only available to some businesses and small businesses.
Verification by Postcard
Postcard verification is the most frequently used type of verification which is also available for all kinds of businesses. A verification postcard is to be sent to the address provided while setting up the account and should be delivered within five days. Enter a code that is to be used to verify the business in the Google My Business account. Another code can be requested if the code does not appear by clicking the “Request another code” code.
This can only be done after the business’s website has been verified with Google Search Console.
This is meant for businesses that run at least ten locations.