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By in Brand + Grow

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free tool for businesses and organisations to manage – and often improve – their online presence across Google.

This includes important Google services ‘Search’ and ‘Maps’ which are increasingly used by potential customers when searching for the products and services they require in their local area.

What you’ll need to do …

Set up a google mail or gmail account.

Click ‘Get on Google’.

Enter your business name and address in the search box. Select or add your business.

Verify your business with Google (follow the online prompts).

Confirm your business. This takes a few days.

Once you’ve completed these steps, Google will get in touch with you and you’ll be able to verify your listing.
You’ll need to log into the relevant gmail account to access your business listing.

Once you’ve logged in, look to the top right-hand corner, you’ll see a square of dots – click these and you’ll see a number of Google service appears, including the My Business logo (a blue shop front showing the famous Google letter ‘G’).

How it works

Once your account is set up, you can manage information that Google users discover about you when they search the web for your business.

As Google is one of the most popular search engines on the planet, having a listing means many customers consider you to be more reputable than businesses that don’t have one.
Your Google My Business listing, once successfully completed, will appear on the right-hand side of the search results page.

The listing represents an important snapshot of your business, including your business name, address, phone number, reviews, synopsis, photos, Google map and more.

Information you can input

There are standard chunks of information that you can provide.
These include a street address for your business, trading hours, photos, website, reviews and for many businesses, you can post regularly about your business.

Posts appear shortly after you’ve published them, and they appear as part of your Google listing. These posts are visible for around four days so it’s important to keep adding to these. You can also delete them if needed.

The all-important dashboard

Once you’re successfully set up your account, you’ll have access to your own dashboard which lists the various facilities available.
This includes posts, mentioned above (it’s worth saying here that some business do not have access to this feature).

Posts can be very helpful as they appear at the bottom of your listing and indicate that you’re an active, trading business.

Can I add my products, services or both?

Yes. This helpful function allows you to add your products and services.
You can add a product or service name and category.

Prices can be added, or a price range if that’s more relevant.
There is a product description section allowing up to 1,000 characters, a relevant image and a call-to-action button. Choose from order online, buy, learn more, get offer.

Hosting an event?

Then you can also add this to your Google My Business Listing.

Is there an app?

Yes there are apps suitable for Android, computer and iPhones and iPads.

Is there a messaging service?

Yes, you can install a messaging service from Google Play or from the App Store.

Anything else?

Yes, there are some paid ways you can help get the word out. You can use Google Ads if needed and there’s often an incentive to use this from Google.

Information you can gather

You can see your insights and analyse how customers search for your business and where they’re coming from.

Other informative insights include seeing how many people called your business from the phone number displayed.

In short, while Google does in some way rule the internet, it pretty clear that this can be in your favour. And most of the above is for free (other than your time and effort).