(Note: This article has also been published on Immediatement’s blog.) For a local business, having a good level of exposure on Google is an important consideration. Indeed, in 2015, few people will look for a business by using a phone book. The vast majority of people will look for it on Google. It is therefore important for a local business to take the necessary steps to be found by people searching for them on Google. Today, I will talk about an easy first step that you can take if you have not already done it which is to register your business on Google My Business.
Google My Business is Free and it Will Give More Exposure to Your Local Business on Google
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a service that centralizes your local business’ information management in order to manage what will appear on Google search results pages, Google Maps and Google Plus. The service also allows business owners to add photos and virtual tours in addition to read and respond to reviews posted on Google Reviews.
To look at a video that gives an overview of what this service is about, refer to this article that I posted when the service was launched in June 2014.
How to List Your Local Business on Google My Business
Registering a business on Google My Business is relatively easy. Here are the steps to follow.
Step 1: Go to the Google My Business Website
Visit the service’s website (https://www.google.ca/business/), and click on the Get on Google button if your company is not already registered on Google. If it already is, use the Google account that was used to register the company or claim access to the account to the person who created the registration.
Step 2: Add Your Business
After clicking on the Get on Google button, do a search to find your business by entering its name in the field. If the search does not give any results, click on Add your business.
Then, enter the requested information in the appropriate fields (Business name, Country/Region, Street address, City, State, Zip code, Main business phone, Category) and check the box confirming that you deliver goods and services to your customers at their location, if that’s the case. When you are done, click on Continue.
Step 3: Confirm the Information About Your Company and Accept the Terms of Service
The information that you just entered about your business is not complete. Indeed, you must complete them using your Google Plus page, since Google uses the information on this page to fill your Google My Business account.
For now, you need to confirm the information about your company and accept the terms of service by checking the appropriate box. When it is done, click on Continue.
Step 4: Verify Your Business
Google has set up a verification process to ensure that companies that appear on its services are legitimate. It consists in sending you the verification information by mail or phone. Choose what you prefer and proceed to the next step.
Step 5: Complete Your Business’ Information Using Your Google Plus Page
To start updating your information, press the red Edit button.
Then, you need to enter the following information so what will be displayed to people searching for you on Google is accurate:
• Business name
• Contact info
• Maps & Search photos
When all this information is entered (some will already be because of the information you previously entered in earlier steps), your profile is ready to be seen by Google users. However, it is strongly recommended to take some time to do additional optimization work on your Google Plus page. You will want to, among other things :
• Choose a high quality cover and profile picture for your page
• Create photo albums that show your products, your services and your employees
• Add links to other relevant sites, like your blog, for example
This concludes this article on how to get free exposure for your local business on Google. Having good organic visibility on Google is not easy, so as a local company, you cannot afford to pass on the help that the Google My Business service will give you. If you would like to learn about other ways to increase your visibility on Google, read my article on Pay Per Click paid advertising. It is an excellent complement to your organic initiatives like Google My Business!