That’s right. Advertise your business on Google — for FREE!
It’s called Google My Business, and it works because it puts your business on the map. The Google Map, that is.
Google My Business allows you to manage your business presence across Google, especially on Search and Maps. Here are some of the things it can do for you:
Get on the map — and get noticed
Ever notice how sometimes, when you search on Google for a business or service, a small Google map will show up in the search results, with a sidebar listing the businesses in the area shown?
A typical listing beside the map will show the business’:
- Phone number (clickable from a mobile device);
- Hours of operation;
- Photos; and
- Link to your website.
This information is vital for businesses, especially those with a brick-and-mortar presence, because if your potential customer is in the area, having your business already on the map makes it even easier for them to visit you.
This is the power of Google My Business, and making it work for you is easy.
Categories help your customers find you
These days, instead of reaching for the Yellow Pages, more people ‘reach for Google’ to find what they need. Google My Business lets you list your business by category (retailer, plumber, consulting, etc.). This makes you easier to find and tells Google more about your business.
Getting started with Google My Business
To register your business, Google will need to know:
- Your free Google Account login (Don’t have one? Create yours here. This is how Google will communicate with you);
- Your business address — no PO boxes here. Google wants physical locations (Have a home-based or private address? There is an option in the setup to hide your physical location on the map);
- Phone number (preferably a local number); and
- If you deliver products or services and if you serve people at your business location.
Ready? Go to the Google My Business Signup page and follow the instructions.
Verify Your Business
Google insists you verify your business address and information. After you have completed the signup process, they will mail you a card with a code on it. Once you enter that code, your business is considered verified and you are part of the Google My Business listings!
Keeping your Google My Business up to date
It’s always good to add items to your account, especially photos that show your business and what you do.
Respond to Reviews
Your customers can give your business a review, for better or worse, that are public. If or when you get a bad review, it is important to respond appropriately and not ignore it. How you respond — and how quickly — matters.
Google My Business will work for you by, quite literally, putting you on the map. And all it will cost is a few minutes of your time. So what are you waiting for?