You have your business up and running. Now you want to ensure potential clients and customers can find your business online. Sure, you’ve set up your Facebook and website (or maybe not – but might want to think about it!), but does your business show up on Google Maps when you search for it?
If not, it is best to ensure your business is findable on Google. See steps below to find out how to set up your “Google My Business” account, a free online business listing. There are some eligibility requirements for creating a Google listing; see all eligibility requirements on Google Support.
If yes, your business does show up, is it fully optimized? Have you claimed it? Is it verified? It is crucial to ensure data is accurate and up-to-date. If your business is not yet claimed, or is not verified, you can follow the steps below to do so.
Showing up on Google Maps search results can be important, since it is what will come up when people Google your business or are searching for something that your business offers in the geographic location that you are near. It also gives clients the chance to review your business.
Steps to set up “Google My Business”
Step 1: Search for your business name in Google. The image beside illustrates what will show in the results if your business has been picked up by Google or you have optimized “Google My Business”. These results are for the BACD.
Step 2: In the search results, if you see the business and the button “Are you the Business Owner” or “Own this business?” link, click the link.
If you do not see this link, go to Google.com/business and click on “Get on Google Button”.
Step 3: Sign into your Google Account (if you do not have one, click “Create Account”). You will need a Google Account in order to continue.
Step 4: Search for your business. If you see your business in the results, click your business. If you do not see your business in the results, click on the magnifying glass in the search bar to see the option to “Add your Business. Click the “Add your Business” link.
Step 5: Enter in the pertinent information for your business, or update if need be. You can update these fields at a later time, however try to enter accurate information for the Name, Address, and Category fields. In the next step, you will need to verify your business, and as part of the verification process, you will have to wait to hear from Google via mail or phone.
It is not recommended to amend your Business information (especially Name, Address, or Category) during the verification process, as you may need to re-verify at a later time (and this can be a hassle). You can continue to edit information and verify the account at a later time.
Step 6: Verify your business. You will then be given an option to verify via snail-mail or phone from a Google Representative. Once verified, you can edit and modify your Google listing as needed (i.e. update your hours, add images etc).
For a step by step video – you can visit Google Support.
Your business is verified by Google – What now?
Once you have your page set up, it is a good idea to optimize and update content. This could include, having accurate business hours (i.e. updating if you are closed for a holiday), a URL to your website (if you have one), a well-written description, and photos of your business. If you own a business where the physical ambiance of your location is important, think about adding a variety of high quality images or about getting a Virtual Tour done.