So, you’ve got your local business website up and online and now are a little stuck how to get it found by your potential customers, this is the first in a series of guides to show you steps you can take to get your website more visible to potential customers searching online via a search engine like Google.
This guide will show you the process to get your website listed on what’s known as Google My Business (sometimes shorted to just GMB but also previously known as Google + Local, Google Places or Googles Map Pack).
Why Do I Need to Get onto Google My Business?
Getting on Google My Business can greatly increase your chances of showing up in Google's Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general (all these help potential customers searching on Google find your website!).
So, it’s crucial you get your website listed with Google My Business so potential customers can find you when they’re searching for your local service in your local town/city just like in the image below.
The First Simple Steps to Getting my Website Registered with Google My Business
We recommend setting up your GMB account on a desktop or laptop computer if possible as it is easier and comes with more features.
Follow this link: https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778 for more information on the differences and also how to sign up using your mobile phone. The process is the same as the one outlined below in general but of course the images viewed on a mobile screen will be different.
You can view this simple video on Youtube which shows the whole process from start to finish, you can also read on to follow more detailed instructions.
1. The first step is to visit google.com/business where you should see this page, to begin click on the green “Start Now” button
2. Next you will need to choose which Google Gmail account to log into (this is only if you have more than one Gmail account for example one for business and one for work). *NOTE if you don’t have a Gmail Email account already then skip to step 4 below which shows you how to set up an account
**NOTE If you only have one Gmail account and are already logged in then google will probably skip this step and take you straight to the screen shown in step 5 below
3. Then simply enter the password for your chosen gmail account
4. ONLY follow this step If you do not already have a Gmail email account. You will need to create one as follows; click on the create a new account option which will take you to this screen. Simply fill out the details with your correct information and Mobile telephone number and sign up for Gmail.
5. The steps above once completed should now take you to this screen below. Start to type in the name of your Business in the text box in the middle of the page.
6. As you start to type your Companies Business name you will see suggestions automatically start to appear. These are from the data base of companies google has already found in its Google My Business database. As this is a guide for entering your brand new website into GMB then It’s unlikely you will see a brand-new business or one that’s never had a website or online presence before appear, however if you do see your business registered don’t worry simply select it from the list this video explains more on how to claim that listing
Make sure to spell your company correctly and exactly as it appears on your website, you then need to click next.
7. Now you will need to enter your Address, again this is very important you spell it correctly (exactly as it appears on your website).
Google will use this address to verify you are a real business at that location so pay great attention to getting this part correct, the address needs to be a location you can receive real old fashioned snail mail postal letters.
For most local home service businesses (e.g. Plumbers, Locksmiths, Carpet Cleaners) you can tick the option “I deliver goods and services to my customers” and we don’t recommend you select “Hide my Address” for more help on this click here
8. Next you have the option to select how you deliver goods and services to your customers, it really depends on the type of local business you are. However, in most cases we recommend you select the option shown below and choose the distance from your Companies location as to how far you will travel to meet customers.
9. You will now be given the option to select what kind of business you are. Choose the main one you focus on making your living from if you do multiple services e.g. you may be an Electrician and a Plumber but you can only select one so choose appropriately.
10. Now enter your telephone and your business website. Make sure these details are 100% correct and spelt right, this is how potential customers finding you on Google My Business will contact you for your services so its important they are correct.
11. The next step simply requests you verify you’re the owner of this business so select the next button to continue
12. This step is to ask you how to verfiy that you are a real business in the local area and the verification process can vary (click here for all the verification options google might ask). We normally recommend you get listed via a postcard being sent in the mail to your address given in step 7 above. If you are offered verification via normal call then that’s a good simple option too. The video call option will require you to show your offices or company vehicles with logos printed on etc so be prepared prior to the video call if you choose that option.
13. This should be the next page you see once you’ve selected to verify by postcard
14. You will be given the option to add a contact name to the post card, we recommend you do this so that the postcard will be addressed to you personally as shown in the example image below e.g. Attn: Isaac Mpembe. Once added then click “Send Postcard”
15. That’s it the post card should be on its way to you, keep an eye out for it in the post. If it hasn’t arrived within 2 weeks then we suggest you contact google via your new Google My Business dashboard (See step 16). You can now click “Continue”
16 . This is how your Google My Business account will appear. DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING just yet, if you do change details BEFORE you receive Googles verification postcard then you will not verify your account and will most likely have to repeat the verification process all over again. Only start to update and edit your account once its verified.
When you receive the postcard, it should have a verification pin code (some numbers). Login back in to your Google My Business dashboard and you should be given the option to add the pin number its normally at the top of the page where currently the screen shot below shows in the blue bar “You requested a verification postcard on this date. Most Postcards arrive within 22 days”. This link explains more on verification - https://support.google.com/business/answer/6300716
Remember! If you update or edit your details after requesting the postcard, but before receiving it, you will need to request a new one … so best to leave any changes and edits until afterwards.
What to Do If you are Stuck and Need Some Help?
Sometimes you might run into issues setting up the account. If you do then remember you can always contact us at www.plmdigital.com for assistance and a done for you service on getting set up on Google My Business.
These links from Google also might help you, some are older help guides than others as Google has changed the layout over the last 5 years and whilst the overall process remains the same the older guides and videos might show slightly different screenshots to the current ones today:
Introduction to Googles GMB Service
How to add or claim your business on Google My Business
How to verify your business on Google My Business
How to Edit Your GMB Listing Details
FAQ´s & Trouble Shooting
Great So What’s Next?
Now you are awaiting the verification steps from Google My Business you can rest up and await the next steps on how to market your business. You will want to update your Google My Business Listing in the next training module. And we will also discuss other ways to start getting your website found and branded online.
If you want help in accelerating that process then we have packages and tailored options to suit all budgets simply schedule a call back today to discuss with one of our team on how we can hep you grow our business online today – www.plmdigital.com