How to Get Started with Google My Business
Google My Business is a completely free tool offered by Google to allow businesses to post their information online in search engine result pages. The information, including business services, hours of operation, location info and real customer reviews, displays prominently in Google’s local 3-pack of organic results.
Claiming of Google My Business Page
To get started with a free (yes, it’s really free) Google My Business page, head over to https://www.google.com/business. This page will ask you to fill in some basic information to get a profile set up. You’ll want to add in all of your company’s critical details so that customers looking for you are able to find you with ease. Consider uploading a logo and adding a few hi-res images as well. Even if you have a website you direct online traffic to, in many cases a Google My Business profile is your first impression online.
Once all of your information is added to the profile, you’ll be asked to verify the information. Due to the likelihood of spam in the program, Google requires the information be verified and they do so by sending you a small post card. Contained within the postcard is a pin number you will be asked to enter into your profile. Once you have the pin number entered and the profile is successfully verified, you’re all set up with a new Google My Business page.
So What’s Next?
The next step in optimizing the profile page URL in Google is to create citations with the same information. Pay close attention to Name, Address and Phone as these are the three most important elements going into the optimization of your Google My Business page.
As you begin developing citations for your business, Google gets a better sense of the information you are spreading on the internet and gives more authority to your page. If Google’s crawler can see you have a well-developed presence for the location you listed on your page, you have a better chance of ranking in local listings. Consider building citations from authoritative places like Yelp, Yahoo Local and Bing. If you need profiles built for you, there are a handful of services like Yext available to do so.
Another component of ranking a Google My Business page is the number of reviews. As Google can see the number of real reviews from your local customers increasing, your authority will also increase and you can plan to see more traffic to your page. With each and every customer you work with, ask them to leave you a review about their experience. Whether negative or positive, it will show that you appropriately respond to your customers.
As you can see from my profile, my name is a Jeff and I run a small Sacramento SEO company helping out local businesses enhance their digital foot print in the area. I’ve been working in digital marketing for 10+ years and have managed a lot of different campaigns during my time in the industry. I’ve had the privilege of speaking at marketing conferences in Boston and San Francisco, and I’ve developed strong partnerships all over the country. While local SEO is just one of the many things I do, I enjoy working with small businesses to find out how they can better compete online.
Have questions? Drop me a line anytime at email@example.com.