We get asked this question quite often by businesses who are brand new, or those who are struggling to gain traction in search results. One of the answers to the question of ‘How do I get my business on google?’ is to make sure you have grabbed your Google My Business listing and fully optimised it.
What is Google My Business?
Think of it as a free listing. It appears on the right-hand side of the search results when you use Google search on desktop. It’s at the top of your organic search results on mobile, and also creates your business info for Google Maps.
You can add Office hours (including updating any changes such as ensuring your business says closed on Boxing day, etc.!). It’s where your Google reviews live, and you can add photos of your business, posts a link back to your website, a description of what you do, FAQs. There’s actually loads you can do here.
And most people don’t know about it.
How do I get a Google My Business listing?
Go to Google, search for your business name and look for the box that appears on the right-hand side. You should see something like this appear. Depending on what information Google has, there might be less information showing about your business, but this is ours to give you an idea.
Can you see where it says ‘Suggest an edit’ towards the bottom of the screenshot? If your listing has not been claimed, just to the right of this you’ll see the words ‘Own this business’?
Click on that and follow the prompts. You’ll be asked to confirm ownership by providing a code that will be sent to you via snail mail. Look out for this, as when it appears, as it will look like junk mail to anyone not expecting it! (If you're lucky – you might be able to confirm ownership by phone; in that situation, you'll have an incoming automated call that gives you the number.)
What do I do if my Google My Business listing has already been claimed?
If, as you go through the process above, you see something like the following, it is because someone has started, but not finished, this process.
Simply click ‘Request Access’, you’ll then be given a form to complete. Once completed, the current owner has seven days to respond. If they don’t respond, Google will continue with the verification process I’ve described above for you so that you can claim the listing.
What if I can’t see ‘Own this business'?
If you have multiple logins for Google – check all of them. You might be an admin on one of your accounts, whether it’s the email address you use to log in to Google Analytics or your personal Gmail email address. (These are all Google accounts – many people have several accounts and don’t even know about it!)
If you’re an admin, when you do your Google search, the top of the page will look something like this. (It can be a bit different for everyone, but you’ll recognise it if you have it!)
If you’re sure you don’t have access on any of your google accounts, go to business.google.com. You should see a Call To Action to create a location and, you can fill in the listing from there.
What do I do with my Google My Business listing?
Here’s a few questions that crop up regarding the information on the listing, and (hopefully) some helpful answers!
No, the photo is taken from Google’s Street View photos so we can’t change the image, but we can add our own photos. Also, it will only show that photo when it believes you deliver your services at your business address. This can be changed.
Essentially, by removing the address. When you go through the creation of the listing you are asked for an address. You’ll then also be given a tick box to confirm if you provide services at the address or not. You’re also given the option of adding ‘Service Areas’, so, for example, if Green Umbrella did not have an address, our map listing would show a map of the UK with a highlighted area we do business in, rather than the street view image of the building we’re in!
Firstly, make sure the information is correct! Phone numbers, addresses, links to websites must all be correct! Then work through it, but my checklist is as follows:
– Edit contact details
– Add Service areas
– Add Photos
– Add a business description
– Add 3 FAQs and answer them!
There’s lots more that I get the businesses we work with complete on Google My Business, but I can’t give all our secrets away – Not in one blog anyway! In all seriousness, please take action after reading this. If all you need to do is google your business name and confirm you have access to it and the info is correct, it’s probably only going to take a minute or two out of your day. If you don’t have access – you need to fix that ASAP. If this blog hasn’t given you everything you need to know to get access, then the live chat button is on this page right now waiting to be used!