What is the Purpose of Google My Business?
Whether you own a brick-and-mortar store or an online shop, all business owners need to establish a prominent online presence for their company. With “70% of small-to-mid-sized businesses investing more into their digital presence” (FirstSiteGuide), it is no secret that having a successful search engaging optimized (SEO) business website is quickly becoming a key to success.
For years, businesses have been slowly trickling into the online market. However, it wasn’t until recent times that having an online presence was considered almost a requirement. With the recent pandemic sweeping the globe, many consumers headed online to purchase the necessities. Items consumers had previously purchased in-store were now being shipped to their doorsteps.
As reported by Insider Intelligence, “Despite a challenging year for retail in 2020, we estimate that worldwide retail eCommerce sales grew 27.6% for the year, for a total of $4.280 trillion.” ECommerce trends have been rising throughout 2020 and 2021 and are expected to keep climbing. Consumers now know that most of their shopping can be done safely, cheaply, and securely from home.
According to Forbes, “People are learning that shopping in a physical store isn’t always necessary. In fact, a “fingertip society” is emerging, and almost anything is just a click away.” The statistics and data don’t lie! More so now than ever, business owners need to learn how to add their business to Google. From website management tools to utilizing Google Maps for business location searches, Google My Business is an important hub for business owners to be aware of.
Google My Business is an online tool and resource that was established to allow businesses to operate and manage their online business website in relation to Google. Although the tool does target businesses, any organization offering services needing to manage their presence throughout Google can utilize the resource.
The purpose of this tool is to assist clients in discovering your business site, to allow them to locate the store’s physical location through Google Maps, and to allow the business owner to edit and confirm their business’ information. Notably, Google My Business also allows business owners to add their contact information, hours of operation, and to respond to customer reviews and messages!
Business owners or organization founders can log in to Google My Business through their computers. For on-the-go convenience, they can also download the Android and Apple versions of the Google My Business app. For added convenience, the Google My Business online tool is free for all users! With such a powerful resource at your fingertips, why wouldn’t you want to sign up to give your business a leg up in the online world?
How to Add Your Business to Google My Business
There is a notion going around that finding how to add your business to Google is a complicated and involved process. In reality, Google My Business has quick signup steps! Since the tool is very comprehensive, there is quite a bit for each business owner to fill out and accomplish. However, these can be accomplished one step at a time and at your own pace!
1. Sign Up For Google My Business
It is recommended that, while signing up for Google My Business, that you use your professional email or even business email. This will separate your business from your personal use emails and help you keep your information consistent.
You can sign up using both the Google My Business website or mobile app. It may be easier to start with the website for signing up and then use the Google My Business app once you get started for management and convenience purposes.
2. Add Your Business and Location
The website will ask you to begin by typing in your business’ name. It is a possibility that your business may not appear right away. That’s okay! You can type your business’ name and then select the industry category your business fits under.
Then, you’ll want to select the exact location of your business. If you have a physical location you will want to answer “Yes” and follow the prompts to mark the location of your business. One of the key features of Google My Business is the program’s use of Google Maps for business location purposes.
3. Complete All Business Contact Information
Make sure you are being thorough and accurate! This is the information customers will use to call your business to ask questions and set up appointments. In addition, they will utilize this information to find the physical location of your business.
4. Verify Your Business
You’re not quite done yet! For your information to show up as a searchable listing on Google, you must verify your business. This is Google’s way of confirming that you are who you are and that your business does actually exist before they post it for the world to see. You may request a verification postcard through your Google My Business profile.
It is recommended that, while you wait for your postcard, that you do not alter your business’ name, location, or even category. Once you receive your postcard, you will follow the verification steps provided to enter your verification number through the prescribed Google My Business verification site. It may take 2-3 weeks for your listing to appear and, once it does, your most recent edits will appear for your potential customers!
Once you have your account established and verified, Google My Business offers a wide variety of tools and resources to help business owners manage their online presence!