Quick Start Guide for Google My Business

What is Google My Business?As a small business owner, you understand the importance of establishing a solid online presence to maximize your chances of being found when someone is looking for the product and services you sell.

Without a well-built website and well-rounded presence on social media, your potential customers will instead find your competitors. That starts with your Google Maps listing.

But how can you be sure that you are reaching a local audience?

The answer is by making sure your Google My Business listing has been claimed and optimized.

What Is Google My Business

Google My Business is the way for small business owners to get literally “on the map” on Google.

With this new interface, all your Google tools are located in one easy to use location.

The service from Google is free so you now have a way to control your business in the virtual world at absolutely no cost to you.

Here’s the tools that Google My Business provides you:

  • Google Plus – A social media site, Google Plus lets update your status, share messages, link to other sites, and post media all from your Google business listing page.
  • Reviews – This is an important element of your Google map page ranking and reviews are automatically pulled from Yelp and other popular review sites. You should encourage however, to have people leave reviews right on your Google My Business listing.
  • Maps – Proper business name, address and phone number (called NAP) allows your business’s location and contact information to appear on the Google Maps listing enabling your customers to find you quickly.
  • Hangouts – These are video chats that you can make live with your customers in a FAQ or new product presentation format.

These are just a handful of the things that you can do with Google My Business.

What Google My Business Does For Visibility

  1. You can respond to negative reviews about your company.
  2. Display pictures of your store, products and even staff members.
  3. Use Hangouts to provide customer service and resolve issues.

Combine your brand page, social media marketing campaigns, reviews, product information, and your location or locations on one platform.

As a small business owner, the platform lets you see where your customers are located and what their needs are.

No Learning Curve

The cool thing about Google My Business is that you probably already use many of its components individually.

This means that there is virtually no learning curve so you can get started taking full advantage of the platform almost immediately.  You will find the platform to be an extreme time saver.

To sign up with Google My Business you should use a Gmail address. If you don’t have a Gmail they are free and you can sign up here.

The site is very intuitive and you can easily go through the registration process.

Once you get your new Gmail address simply click here and enter your business phone number or full address to claim your business listing, or create one if you’re not currently listed.

Follow all of the prompts, enter the required information, and your Google My Business account is up and running. It really is that simple.

Tips for Using Google My Business For Best Results

Google My Business is not a difficult platform to use.  The key is you’ve got to use it!

Here are four steps you should do right now:

1. Set Up Your Profile

Take the time right now to set up your small business profile. Claim your space on Google by simply clicking on the “Get On Google” tab.

2. Add Pictures

Add pictures to your profile. The images should showcase your business and products. Google will walk you through the types and number of images for each type.  Tip: Name your image files with your business name, product/brand names, and keywords about your business to boost search results.

3. Manage Reviews

You can monitor and manage any reviews right from your Google My Business dashboard. Always respond to negative reviews quickly and without getting defensive. Have grace and negative reviews can be mitigated.

4. Leverage Insights

Get used to looking at the insights section. You will discover how people are finding you online and how often they are clicking on your site’s link from different search services. You will also receive demographic details about your audience.

In 2016, take 10 minutes a week to review and update your Google Map account.

The benefits of utilizing this free online marketing platform are too good to ignore.

Did you know that there are more than 500 million users registered with Google Plus.

If you choose to not claim and optimize your Google Map listing, consider how many potential customers you will lose to your competition whom hav chosen to optimize the platform.

With its ease of use and incredibly flexibility, Google My Business is a free marketing tool that every small business owner should take the time to learn and make use of it’s marketing power.

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