To create a Google My Business account, visit https://www.google.com/business.
Next, input the basic information of your business.
Then, you will have to verify your account by submitting a code that is mailed to your business address via physical postcard. This step is necessary to unlock all Google My Business features.
After your company information is added, you will be able to access your account to start personalizing your listing.
Google My Business requests your name, address, and phone number (otherwise known as “NAP”) to begin the listing. You must ensure that the information provided on Google My Business matches the information on your website exactly, as well as your Facebook page and any other online listings. Inconsistencies in your business’s information across the internet will negatively impact your search ranking.
Filling out your company’s information is especially important because anyone can suggest an edit to your business listing, including competitors.
When someone clicks on “Suggest an edit”, it gives them the opportunity to make some pretty dramatic changes to your listing.
Many times, these “suggestions” are immediately made live on Google, even if you don’t approve them. That’s why it is of utmost importance to proactively monitor and manage your Google My Business listing.
When was the last time you tried a new restaurant without reading some reviews first?
Reviews are becoming increasingly paramount for local search. Good reviews lead to more sales, but even bad reviews present an opportunity.
How to get more Google reviews
To share your public Google My Business listing, first pull up your listing on Google Maps. You can do this by clicking the “View on Maps” link on the Home page of your Google My Business account.
Then click the Share button, and send the link to your customers.
Responding to reviews
After you start to gather reviews on your listing, you need to respond to them. All of them.
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Why? Well, 44.6% of people said they would be more likely to visit a business if the owner responded to negative reviews.
If you are receiving 5-star reviews, thank your customers for taking the time to leave their feedback.
If you receive less-than-stellar reviews, do not be defensive or hostile. Rather, thank the customer for the feedback, and ask how you could have improved the experience if that wasn’t already made clear.
You can manage your customer reviews by going to the Reviews section in Google My Business.
Questions & Answers
Similar to Reviews, Google My Business allows people to ask questions about the business that anyone can view.
However, anyone can also answer those questions, not just the owner.
Keep a close eye for any questions that come in so you can answer them quickly and keep some control over the narrative.
What if your customers have questions that aren’t answered on your website? They can simply call the number listed in the search results, right?
It turns out that most people much prefer messaging over calling when given the option. Some people even have a crippling fear of making phone calls.
That is one of the reasons why Google My Business introduced it’s messaging feature, allowing potential patrons to ask questions and receive direct support via instant messaging.
To enable the messaging feature, it requires downloading the Google My Business mobile app, which can be found inside of your Google My Business account
In addition to messaging your customers one-on-one, the Google My Business mobile app also allows you to also manage your business profile, share photos and posts, and check analytics.