If you want your business to be found online, then local search optimisation is crucial. The first and most important thing your business should be doing is setting up a Google My Business page. It’s not difficult to do, though you may have to wait a while before your listing is authorised by Google, but the simple fact is, it’s worth the wait if it can help your business make traction in the locality.
So what is exactly is Google Maps? Well, Google Maps, which used to be called Google Places, is now part of the Google My Business dashboard. This is a dashboard for managing and tracking a business’ online presence across Google’s various platforms, namely Google Local (Google Maps), Google+, Google Analytics and AdWords.
Adding or claiming your business listing on Google My Business
Before you work your way through the registration process, there is one important thing you should be aware of: Google will only let businesses register a business in the city or town in which they have a physical address. If you’re a new business, or a more established business wishing to list a new location, you will need to add this to the Google My Business directory: however, if you’re an established business it’s worth checking whether you are already listed. There’s a strong possibility you could be, even though you may not be aware of this.
5 steps for Google My Business registration
- Find the Google My Business directory and click on the blue button ‘Get on Google’
- Enter your business name and address in the search box
- Select or add your business
[If your business listing appears in the suggested matches, then click on it. If the information is not displayed, then you will need to add it. Before you add this information – name, address and phone number – work out how you want this information to be displayed. It’s important that any address you use at this stage should be the address you use consistently across the web – any variation will simply confuse Google and any potential customer.]
Business Category Selection tips
Google will then prompt you to categorise your business. It’s important that you take extra care when doing this, as this categorisation will not only help Google classify your listing, but will also determine how the listing will be displayed in search queries. So the more accurate and specific you can be about this information; the easier it will be for Google to classify and display correctly.
Google has ca number of pre-set categories or keywords for most industry sectors. When you start to type your specific keyword Google will offer a number of alternatives. Choose the one that’s most appropriate. Don’t worry if this categorisation is not exact at this stage, as you will be able to add up to 5 more categories later.
- Verify your business
Google will want to verify that your business is where it claims to be, so it will either write to you with a verification PIN that can take some time to arrive, or you may be given the option to receive your PIN by text message or automated phone call. If the option is offered, then take it as it’s much quicker. Once you’ve received your PIN, then;
- Confirm your business and set up a Google+ page