What is Google My Business?
Whether you run a restaurant in Greenwich or a building company in Birmingham, having your business listed in Google Maps will greatly increase your exposure whenever people are searching for relevant products or services in your area of the country. For this reason, all local businesses catering to a specific region of the U.K. should have a listing in Google Maps. To make this process as easy as possible, Google have come up with a one-stop-shop for business owners called Google My Business.
Around 50% of all mobile searches are local.
This is completely free, and it does not take much time to set up your business profile. Once you have claimed your listing using Google My Business, you will then need to optimise your page in order to get the best search engine results.
Once you are listed on Google Maps, Google delivers local search results to users based upon two main factors. When someone performs a local search, they do not even need to enter the city or county, in most cases. Google will be able to guess the approximate location of the user according to their IP address. However, if someone is looking for businesses located in another area of the country, they will be able to conduct local searches for that place, as well, simply by specifying the name of the city or area. This acts to override the location derived from the user's IP address.
If you haven't done so already, the first thing you should do is set up a free Gmail account. Because Gmail is part of Google's range of products, this will be very convenient, and will help you to better take advantage of the full range of Google's Internet marketing products: AdWords, Analytics, Webmaster Tools, and of course, Google My Business and Maps.
Before you begin, remember one important fact: there is currently no possible way to transfer your Google listing between different accounts. If you employ a third-party company to take care of your social media profiles and they list your business in Google Maps using their account, your information will stay with them. For this reason, it is essential that you create your own listing using your own Google account so you won't have to create a new Maps listing later on.
For the sake of convenience and ownership, you should always have your own Gmail account for managing all the Google services that you use. This will quickly become an essential asset for your business.
It’s vital you keep your Google Places listing updated, especially if your business moves to a new location.
How to add your business to Google Maps
Now that you have set up your Google account, you can claim your business using Google Maps. Visit the ‘Google My Business’ page at: http://www.google.co.uk/business/ and click the ‘Get onto Google’ button.
You can now search for your business on the left-hand side to see if it already exists on Google Maps. This is likely if it is a ‘bricks and mortar’ establishment. If a listing for your business already exists, you can click on the listing that appears.
To ensure that your information is correct and that you have provided the right location, your new listing will need to be verified. This may be done by phone, SMS or by mail.
If your business is completely new, then it is likely there is no mention of it anywhere in the system. If this is the case, just hit the “None of these matches” button to proceed. Using the online wizard, you will be given the opportunity to enter details about your business, such as phone number and address, and get it listed. Again, you will need to verify your listing.
Now that you have set up your listing, your business will eventually appear for relevant local searches and within Google Maps.