The Google My Business Page Setup Guide
Google Maps, or Google Places, is now a function that’s part of the Google My Business dashboard. The dashboard enables you to manage, analyze, and track your websites activity and user behavior from all of the Google platforms like Google Maps, Google Analytics and AdWords, and Google Plus.
Before you begin setting up your Business Listing on Google, keep in mind that Google will usually show local businesses from surrounding neighborhoods in the “Local Maps” search results. Therefore, you can only register your business and have it verified in the area or city of your physical address.
Use “Google My Business” to Claim Your Business
Typically, for an established business, you will find that the business is already in the Google My Business directory and you will just have to claim it. If you’re starting up a new businesses or opening a new location, then you will have to manually add the listing. So, let’s start!
Step 1: Go to Google My Business.
Click the button that says “Start Now”.
Step 2: Search for Your Business.
Type in the name of your business and the address in the search box as shown in the screenshot below.
Step 3: Select or Add Your Business Name and Address.
Upon entering in your business name you may be able to choose from the suggested matches if a dropdown list is shown below the search box. Next, click on your business listing if it appears or choose the option to “Add your Business”. Continue filling in the information required.
FYI: Consistency is key. Make sure to carefully choose how you would like your business NAP (Name-Address-Phone Number) to appear. If you are already listed on other directories, given that your listing across the web is accurate, then be sure to enter it in using the same format (i.e. Does your listing spell S-u-i-t-e or is it STE.). If your business is new business and you haven’t yet had it listed in online directories across the web, use this opportunity to decide how you will want your address to appear since what you choose here will be the default address across the web.
While answering the questions, keep in mind that the more specific information you can provide, the better Google will be able to accurately classify your business and show your listing correctly.
Select the Category Your Business Falls Under…
Once you reach the bottom of the form, you will be asked to select a Category. You get a chance to add up to 5 more categories later, so focus on choosing the main product or service you offer that will best describe your business.
The category selection is significant as it is fundamentally how Google classifies your business as well as the type of search query your listing will be displayed for.
Google provides you with preset Categories (keywords) for each industry. Begin typing the keyword related to your business to see if Google produces a match, and pick the best classification.
Step 4: Confirm and Verify Your Business.
Google makes it mandatory to verify your business address before allowing you full access to your Google My Business Page. This helps Google make sure that your business is located where you say that it is, and it exclude any business that gives a fake address in order to provide their users with the most accurate information.
Click on “Mail” to receive a postcard with a verification PIN by mail at the address you registered for your business (this process can take 1-2 weeks to receive).
On some occasions, Google provides the options to receive your verification PIN through an automated phone call or via text message.
If the only verification method made available to you is by mail, make sure to be on the lookout for the postcard since you will only have a 30 day window upon receiving it to verify your business listing. We’ve often seen many businesses have to repeat the verification process because either the postcard was set aside and forgotten about or accidentally thrown away by an employee who didn’t know.
Step 5: Set up Your Google+ Business Page!
Aha! At last, you’ve now successfully set up your Google My Business page and have completed the first step in Local Search Optimization to improve your local visibility.
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