Add a business on Google
As an entrepreneur, you want to do everything you can for potential clients to discover you, and a free Google My Business listing is a great way to do that. According to Statcounter, about 90 percent of organic searches are done online using Google rather than any other search engine. With a verified Google My Business account, you can feel confident that your customers are getting accurate information about your business when they search for you online. In this article, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about setting up and optimizing your Google My Business account to reach a wider audience.
Add a business on Google:
Adding a business on Google and how to set up a Google My Business account.
What is Google My Business?
A free Google My Business account for business owners provides an online place for you to list up-to-date information such as business hours, physical address, phone number, email address, and website. You'll have access to a comprehensive online dashboard where you can manage all the information in your Google My Business listing, as well as add photos, products, and updates.
Google My Business accounts are especially useful for boosting your local SEO. If you haven't already thought about setting up Search Engine Optimization to improve your business's visibility online, now is the time to do so. A Google My Business account uses search engine optimization (SEO) for business listings. If you own a bakery and have a verified Google My Business account, when someone nearby searches for “bakeries near me” on Google, your business will appear.
Your Google My Business account is also a free marketing tool for your business. Your free account allows you to promote your Google Business Profile, website and products on both Google Search and Google Maps.
Why is it important to set up a Google My Business account?
Here are some of the ways you can set up a Google My Business account for your small business.
Accessing and Editing Your Google Business Profile:
Your business likely already has a Google profile, even if you haven't set it up. However, this list may be out of date or contain incorrect information. You won't be able to access your profile and make changes without creating a Google My Business account and verifying your identity.
According to this BrightLocal study from 2018, 68 percent of consumers will stop shopping with a business if they find incorrect information online, which explains why it's important to update your business profile on Google.
Organize your online presence:
Whether you have a website for your business yet, your Google My Business account gives you a place online where you can provide and update customers with important information about products and services or business hours.
Get a competitive advantage:
In order to get your business profile to rank higher than your competitors, you need a Google My Business account where you can improve your listing with relevant keywords. This makes it easy for both current and potential clients to get to know your business.
Access to valuable insights:
A Google My Business account not only helps you create a professional business listing, but also gives you access to all kinds of ideas about how customers discover your listing and what they do once they find it.
Reply to comments:
According to a Google/Ipsos Connect survey, responding to customer feedback online helps businesses build customer trust. In fact, consumers find that businesses that respond to feedback are 1.7 times more trustworthy than those that do not. It may feel frustrating when some leave a less than excellent rating, but responding professionally to negative feedback can improve your business' overall image.
Besides all the reasons we mentioned above, people expect to see a Google Business Profile for a legitimate business. If your listing lacks information or personality, your potential customers can choose to go with a competitor who looks more professional in your stead.
8 simple steps to set up your Google My Business account:
Now it's clear why you need a Google My Business account, and we'll walk you through the eight steps to set up and verify your profile.
1. Create a Google Account:
If you already have a Google account, you can use it now. You don't need a Gmail account in order to set up your Google account, but if you have a Gmail address, you already have a Google account. However, it is a good idea to have a separate Google account for your work, so you can separate your professional and personal life.
If you need to create a new account, head to the login page and click Create Account. You will see the option to create an account “for myself” or “to manage my business”. Select the Business option and follow the steps.
2. Go to google.com/business:
Click Manage Now and you will be able to start the process of creating your Google My Business account.
3. Enter your business name:
Start writing your business name. If your business already has a profile, you'll see this list. Click it, and you'll have the option to claim it as your business, or if the profile has already been claimed, you can request access or report a problem. If you don't yet have a Google Business profile, you can create a new one at this point.
4. Enter the business location address:
After that, you will have the option to add your physical location. If you work out of an office or storefront, enter the address here.
5. Choose your business category:
When choosing your business category, try to use a keyword related to the type of business you do.
6. Define your service areas:
If you serve a specific site or site group, you can enter it here. You will be able to change this or add more locations later. If you opt out of entering your physical address, you will be prompted to enter at least one service area so that consumers know where you work. You will also be asked to select the country in which your business is located.
7. Add a phone number and website URL:
Providing accurate contact details is one of the most important elements of a successful Google Business Profile. Enter your business phone number and email address, as well as your website. If you don't have a website for your business, you can choose not to include it, or you can get a free website based on your business profile. You are required to include either a website URL or a phone number to proceed from this step.
8. Check your work:
Now that you have your Google My Business account set up, the last and most important step is to check before you post your card. Most companies will only be given the option to receive a verification code by mail. Enter your postal address, and in about five days you will receive a postcard with a unique verification code that you can enter online. Once this is complete, people will see your updated Business Profile in Google searches.
In some cases, you can also select the option to verify a phone number or verify an email. You'll know if you qualify for these options if they appear on the verification page. If you choose to verify the phone, you will receive an automated message with a verification code. If you choose the email, you will receive the code this way.
Instant verification is available for companies that have already been verified using Google Search Console. Combined verification is also an option for companies that operate 10 or more different websites.
How to improve your Google My Business account:
Once you verify your identity, you might think your job is over, but that's not the case. In order to truly stand out in your Google searches, take the time to take advantage of these other features that Google My Business has to offer.
Add photos and videos:
According to Google, “businesses with images are more likely to receive requests for driving directions to their site, as well as clicks to their websites.” Uploading photos and videos of your business can help you capture the attention of potential customers. You can include images of your products, your actual website, and any additional images that help viewers understand what your business is about.
Write a great job description:
An attractive description is one of the most important elements of your Google Business Profile. Include details such as whether you offer outdoor seating or are wheelchair accessible. You can also list information such as whether you know you are a female-led business or if you are an LGBTQ2S+ ally, and the types of payment you accept.
Take advantage of the Q&A section:
Besides providing a forum where potential customers can submit questions, you can also use the Q&A section to respond to any frequently asked questions you receive. Simply submit a question and answer it from your trading account.
Post cases with promotions and offers:
Your Google My Business account allows you to create posts to offer special deals or share updates. You can also add a coupon code or link to redeem the offer, and bring people directly to your online store.
Add product groups:
You can add product lists and sort them into groups for people to browse. If you are a service-based business, simply list your services as if they were products. Don't forget to add a link to bring leads to your web store.
Include a button to order food online:
If you offer a fast food restaurant or delivery service, you can set up an online order button by partnering with an approved third-party provider.
Use Google Reviews:
To get some reviews about your new business profile, you can send the review form to previous clients.
Set up messaging:
With the messaging option, customers will be able to send you messages directly on your phone, so you can respond quickly without revealing your phone number.
Add users to your account:
If you have someone update your Business Profile for you, you can add their Google Account to your Google My Business account.
Check your thoughts:
Regularly checking your Google My Business stats can help you learn how to adjust your marketing to get better results.
Create paid ads:
A Google My Business account is completely free, but if you want to take your business profile to the next level, you can also take advantage of paid advertising to help elevate your listing to the top of search results.
Now that you have a thorough understanding of why you need a Google My Business account and how to set up one, go out there and verify your identity!
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