Having a presence on online directories is a must if you want to reach your audience online. Aussies use search engines like Google to discover and research local businesses every day — and a Google My Business listing can get you noticed by the people who are searching for your product or service.
Google My Business can improve your online presence, boost your SEO and bring more foot traffic to your store. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is particularly important, as more customers turn to the internet to research a business’ opening hours, delivery policies and more.
So how essential is it to have a Google My Business account and how do you set one up? We take you through the ins and outs here.
Why do I need to have a Google My Business listing?
Here’s the short answer: a Google My Business listing is a must-have for any SMB.
A study by BrightLocal found that 84% of businesses get discovered on Google via ‘discovery searches’. These are searches where a customer might look for a broad category, product or service in their local area — for example, ‘cafes near me’ or ‘best plumbers in Brisbane’. In this instance, a person knows exactly what they’re looking for and wants to research local businesses that provide that product or service.
If you don’t show up in results for these searches, you lose out on valuable opportunities to get your business in front of potential customers who are looking for exactly what you offer. On top of this, if your Google My Business listing has the incorrect information – such as the wrong opening time or address – you run the risk of making some customers very, very frustrated. Eighty percent of customers lose trust in a business if they have incorrect or inconsistent information online.
Listing your business on large and trusted online directories like Google, Yellow Online and TripAdvisor can also be incredibly beneficial for search engine optimisation. When you have your business information and products listed across online directories, Google understands where you’re located and will show your business to customers searching for your products or services in your local area.
How to set up your Google My Business listing.
If you want to get the most out of Google My Business, you need to set up your listing correctly and manage it on an ongoing basis. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting your company on Google:
1. Head to Google My Business and login.
Click ‘log in’ and sign in to your Google account, then select ‘Manage Now’.
If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to create one to start using Google My Business. This part is simple – just click on “Create account” on the Sign In page, then follow the steps to set up and verify your account.
2. Enter your business name.
You’ll be taken to a page where you can search for your business name to find an existing listing.
If you can’t find your listing or it doesn’t exist yet, simply click ‘add my business to Google’ or select ‘Create a business with this name’ from the search bar.
3. Input your business category and address.
You’ll then be taken through a series of steps to input details on your business, such as your company name, category, address, and opening hours.
If you service multiple areas, Google will also give you the option to add all of your different service areas like so:
4. Put in your contact details.
On the next page, you’ll be asked to put in your contact details, including your phone number and website. If you don’t have a website, you can also put an alternative page, such as your Facebook page or Yellow listing.
5. Finish and verify your business.
Finally, Google will ask you to complete the process.
Once you’ve completed this, you’ll need to go through a verification process to validate your business details. The most common ways to do this are either a verification postcard sent to your business address, a phone verification, or email verification.
6. Manage your listing.
After your listing is verified, you’ll be able to manage and optimise different aspects of your listing, such as:
- Add photos and videos
- Create posts to promote any new offers
- Manage your Google Reviews
- Add in a Q&A section
- Update your menu or showcase product collections
- Update your business information – opening hours, contact details etc
To save time and ensure your information is always up to date, White Pages Connect is a great tool for instantly updating your GMB page. It not only allows you to update this page, you can also update your details across major search engines, social sites, apps and maps all from the one platform.
To see how it works you can get a demo here.
7. GMB insights.
It’s also handy to keep an eye on your Google My Business Insights. Simply click on the ‘Home’ button on the left-hand menu, then click ‘Performance’ to see how many views and clicks your listing has had. You can also manage your business listing and view insights using the Google My Business app.
8. Get a free listing with Yellow.
Featuring your business on a range of trusted digital directories is a simple way to build up your SEO value and move up in search results. With over 4.2 million searches a month, Yellow Online is a fast way to connect with customers and when you combine it with a GMB listing you’re boosting your chances of being discovered for local searches. List your business for free today.