When people search a generic term like “Coffee Shops in Columbia, MO,” Google provides a map listing the location of nearby coffee joints, as well as their business hours and ratings. This dashboard display is called Google My Business, a free tool that showcases your local business by making it easy to find with a quick search.
Google My Business is a useful tool for people to find your business, but it requires maintenance and updating on your part. You’ll need to make sure your business hours, photos, and location are always up to date; otherwise people won’t be able to find you. When your information is accurate, it builds trust. According to Interactive Marketing, 73% of customers will lose trust in your business if information is incorrect.
There are a few ingredients that go into creating your Google My Business account.
First, sign up for Google My Business (duh). You’ll need a business that makes in-person contact with customers, as online businesses don’t need the location feature Google My Business is built around.
Google wants your business’s address, contact info, business hours, photos and more to show online searchers. It’s important to double check the information you put in because it may be difficult to change later and incorrect business info can lead to disgruntled customers.
To complete your Google My Business account, verify your business with Google. Most businesses verify themselves by requesting a postcard from Google, but some have the option to verify by email, phone, or search console. If your business is already verified and has a Google account, you can skip this step.
If your Google My Business account isn’t quite up to par, you can go back and change your business information by updating it through your account. Just be aware that if your business address changes, you’ll have to re-verify your business.
It’s clear to see the value in having an accurate Google My Business listing. Successfully setting up a Google My Business account allows prospects to see your business when they search for related services in your area and lets customers leave comments and reviews that will be visible on your profile.
Google My Business allows you to spread the word about your services without the cost of paid advertising. You can also build trust with current customers, attract new ones, and manage the image of your small business online.
Start off on the right foot establishing your online presence, get out there and show Google what you’ve got.
Emily is a Writer and Content Developer at MayeCreate Design and a student at the University of Missouri majoring in Science and Agricultural Journalism. Emily enjoys combining her communication skills and love of writing to produce creative work. When she’s not writing she’s outside hiking, kayaking, or hanging out with her horse.