Your Guide to Google My Business Spade Design image 1

Your Guide to Google My Business

No, we’re not telling you to Google “My Business.” It is the name of a service offered by the folks at Google.

My Business is Google’s exciting new tool for business owners. It pools all of Google’s many services into one platform.

It makes managing your business much easier. And who doesn’t like easy?

It’s also FREE. Google does not want to increase revenue with the service, they merely want to get more businesses online (and the additional competitive edge on Facebook doesn’t hurt either).

Here’s the 411 On Some Included Services:
  • Google+: Google’s social networking platform. You can share messages, photos, videos, and links to your followers. All straight from the My Business page.
  • Reviews: Google has an entire review platform, which gives businesses ratings based on their reviews. This is all manageable through the main page.
  • Google Analytics: You can quickly see all of your website’s stats right on your business dashboard.
  • Insights: Information on your visibility, engagement, and trends in the market.
  • Maps: Manage your business’s location and information available on Google Maps
  • Hangouts: Video chat with your customers

How Exactly Does This Help You?

Well imagine the following common scenarios:
  • You have been receiving some negative reviews lately. Using Google My Business, you can see what the negative reviews say, but you can also respond to these reviews as the owner, and see what effects these negative reviews have on web traffic. You could even host a Hangout with customers to discuss any resolutions. All through one platform.
  • You’ve been meaning to branch out to more people, but your online presence is somewhat scattered. My Business integrates your business’s Google profile, creating a more complete presence online. You have the ability to combine your brand page, reviews, location, information, and social media marketing in one platform. People then see all of this whenever they see your website through Google. All of this also shows up on a Google search, reaching out to more people.
  • You’re developing a new ad campaign. In order to better segment your consumer base, you utilize Google Insights. You can see, for example, where your customers are coming from. You also use Google’s review service to analyze who loves your business, who you cater to well and who needs more focus. You can continue to plan your campaign on the go through the mobile platform, and can even launch campaign events through Google+. Again, all in one location.

The guru’s around here at Spade Design, consider this a must for your business. Yet 45% of the Business Scans that we run (try it yourself it’s free) show the business has not been registered with Google.

Here’s a quick guide to help you with the process if you are a DYIer, if not, leave it to the pro’s and we will register your business with Google and about 40-60 other platforms by using our RocketListing service. Now to the good stuff:

How to Claim Your Business

The first step to managing your location data on Google is claiming your business via GMB. You do this in three simple steps:

  1. Set up your Google account
  2. Add/Claim your business
  3. Verify your business

Set Up Your Google Account

In order to log into the GMB dashboard, you must have a Google account. If you have an existing account for Gmail or Google+, you can use that account to log in, or you can create a new account. Whatever account you choose, it should be one that your business controls.

Add/Claim Your Business 

To claim your business on GMB, visit the GMB dashboard and:

  • Search for your business using its name and address
  • If your business is displayed in the menu, click on its listing. If your business is not listed, click NONE OF THESE MATCH and enter your business information

Address Entry Guidelines*

Enter the complete and exact street address for your location. Ex: “1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View, CA, 94043”.

Only include information that is part of the physical address. Including information like cross streets or nearby landmarks, when they are not part of your physical address, may make it more difficult to determine your location on Google Maps.

Verify Your Business 

Now that you have identified or entered your business information, you need to verify its accuracy with Google and con rm that you are the owner. You may have up to three options for verification. Not all options are available all businesses.

To verify your business: Select the location you would like to verify and click VERIFY NOW. You may then choose to:

  • Verify By Mail 
    • Click MAIL to have a verification postcard mailed to your business
    • Assign at least one person at your place of business to be on the lookout for the postcard. Most failed verifications are the result of either bad phone numbers, missed phone calls, or lost or misplaced postcards
    • When your postcard arrives enter the code on the postcard in your GMB dashboard
  • Verify By Phone 
    • Make sure that you have access to the business phone number that you provided to receive your verification code
    • Click VERIFY BY PHONE to have the code sent to your phone
    • Enter the code from the message in your GMB dashboard
  • Instant Verification 
    • If your business’s website is verified with Google Search Console you may be instantly verified
    • Make sure you are signed in to GMB with the same account you used to verify your website

How to Manage Your Business Listings on Google with the Location Management Platform 

The GMB API replaces the manual work with an automated feed; however, given the complexity of collecting, storing, and managing location information, many businesses will choose to leverage the API through a location management partner.

The Location Management Platform (LMP) enables companies of all sizes to manage location data across their websites, mobile apps, and internal systems. In addition, the LMP lets you publish your location data to the industry’s largest network of maps, apps, social networks, directories, and search engines, which includes not only to Google but also Apple Maps, Facebook, Foursquare, Bing, Yahoo, and Yelp. As an approved Google API data provider, updates in the LMP push to GMB in real time. From there, Google syncs that information with Google Maps, Search and ads—in some cases, within minutes.

This means less time spent managing your business’s online presence, faster updates for your customers when your hours or other key business details change, and greater ability to ensure that your location information is always consistent and up to date everywhere consumers are searching. Syncing the LMP with your GMB account takes just minutes and instantly unlocks the power of the GMB API to boost brand awareness, drive foot traffic, and increase sales.

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