Restaurants, cafes, hotels and resorts – have you claimed your Google My Business Listing yet? If you’re a local business that depends on customers to find and visit you at your location, you need to make it easier for your customers to find you on Google.
While the official Google blog has declared that Google+ as a social network is more or less dead and that Gmail users will no longer be forced to create a Google+ account, this does not mean that Google+ is not important for you as a local business.
While there may be fewer people following your local Google+ business page, the fact that you HAVE a Google+ Business Page will become more important. As the mobile search grows, local businesses need to become more visible on local and mobile search and this is exactly what your business page will do for you.
Not only can your prospective customers locate your business on Google using your business page, but they can also see your business information, numbers, website, address, hours of service and even the times of the week when your business is most busy or popular.
You also need to make it easy for them to review your business on Google which is why you must claim your business across Google Search, Maps, and Google My Business, and here are the reasons why. Mobile search has a major impact on local businesses, especially for retail stores and hospitality venues such as restaurants, cafes, and hotels.
This emphasizes the importance of getting your business listed on Google Plus Local, Maps and customising your search appearance. Businesses should ensure they have completed the full description of products, services, images, videos and social reviews.
Once you create and verify your business listing, Google will send you detailed insights and analytics about your Google My Business listing as in the image below. These analytics are from one of the Google My Business listings we created for one of our clients.
The #1 reason you need it is because it’s free! Yes, it costs nothing to create a free Google business listing. But before you do this, read Google’s quality guidelines for business pages. If your business meets these guidelines, you can continue.
How to Create a Free Google Business Listing
First, create a Gmail address and a Google+ profile. Then go to your profile and click on “Pages” and then on “Get Your Page.”
You’ll be asked to choose your business type. If you own a restaurant, retail store or hotel, choose the Storefront option. If you own a service business, including the one you operate from home (in which case you can hide your address), choose the Service Area. If you’re a music band, sports team or charitable organisation, or are any other kinds of business, choose Brand.
You’ll then be offered the option to fill in all your business details, an introduction, tag line, logo or image and a cover photo. Also, add your website and phone numbers.
There’s a lot you can do with your Google business listing dashboard, including connecting your Google Analytics, Google Adwords and YouTube accounts.
Once you have created a Google business listing free of cost, Google’s gift to you is that your business and your website will now come up on top in the local and mobile search results, when your customers search for your business name.
Your customers will be able to call you, get directions to your business, check out your website and connect with you immediately thanks to your listing.
According to Google, your business listing will give your customers the right info at the right time – whether that be driving directions to your business in Maps, hours of operations in Search or a phone number they can click to call you on mobile phones.
Your Google My Business page can also help you build a loyal fan base. Your customers can show their appreciation with ratings and reviews, endorse your content, and re-share your GMB posts across the web.
Here are the steps you need to complete to get your listing:
- Create a Google My Business Profile
- Complete your profile
- Verify your page, and claim your vanity URL
- Link your YouTube channel to your page
- Add content (images, videos, posts) to your GMB profile
Of course, once you have your verified GMB listing, you also need to update it regularly with interesting content and offers for your customers. We hope these Google business listing guidelines have helped you create your own local business listing on Google.
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© 2015 – 2022, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.
Priya Florence Shah is a bestselling author, an award-winning online publisher, and an online branding consultant. She is also the author of Devi2Diva, a book on emotional self-care for women. In her spare time, she writes science-fiction novels and poetry and chills with her two-legged and four-legged kids.