Once you have your idea for a business mapped out, you’re ready to go, but the World of online advertising seems to be so complicated you don’t know where to start…. a great place to begin is with Google. Get yourself a Google account!
Unsurprisingly, Google will reward you in their rankings, if you’re using their apps. Luckily for you, when you sign up with a Google account, you get a bunch of free apps that are indispensable for new businesses looking to get recognised online. One key app, is Google My Business.
Here’s our brief guide to ‘Google My Business’ for new businesses…
To the end user searching for a service that you provide, Google My Business gives you the ability to have a listing on Google’s search network, filled with pictures, a map, link to your site, ratings, and more, for the potential customer to see. In short, if you’re not on Google, but your competitors are, you’ve already lost that potential customer.
So firstly, if you haven’t already done so, sign up for a Google account here.
Next, once registered, go to Google.co.uk, or when you open your browser if you have Google Chrome, click the square of dots at the top of the screen…
From here, you will see a range of Google apps that you’re now entitled to use. These include Google Drive… a free storage space in the cloud, that you can access anywhere in the World. A calendar… again, this can link to any device you may have, and so your appointments are kept in one place and accessible anywhere. If you click ‘More’ at the bottom of the list, a new list will appear that includes Google My Business. Click it.
This should take you through to the sign-up page. If for any reason it doesn’t, you can find Google My Business here.
Follow through the instructions and fill out as much detail as you can about your business. Add its location, add a logo, add pictures if you can, add opening times, your website address etc. Importantly, be specific when choosing a category. If you’re a Japanese Restaurant for example, make sure to mention it, because you’ll receive a far better SEO return than simply listing yourself as “restaurant”. Your information – like hours open – should match the information on your website, clearly. This helps Google’s ranking bot link your online presence.
Once you’ve added all the information accurately, Google will send you out a verification code through the post. It usually takes about 2-3 working days to arrive. Once it arrives, enter the code, and your business account on Google is set up.
Once your account is set up, you will appear on Google, as a listing with lots of new features to help build your presence online. Type your business name into Google, and your listing will appear on the right hand side. You will appear on Google Maps, and your listing will appear in a list with others in the area who categorise themselves in the same industry as you. If your competitors haven’t yet signed themselves up to Google My Business, well then you’re already now one step ahead. You can also receive reviews from customers, add stories and calls to action, show off your recent work (as we do often!), you can embed your listing on Google Maps onto your website itself, you can even view how people have searched to get to your listing and your website.
Without a Google My Business account, you will not appear in local search results. To those using Google to find a local service, you simply aren’t an existing business, but your competitors are. On their own blog, Google highlight the importance of their My Business app for local search results. That is why a first step on the road to mastering your digital marketing strategy as a new business, is to open a Google My Business account!