Are you ‘on’ Google?
One of the basics of having an online presence is to make sure that your business can be found consistently in as many places as possible. One of the ways to do this is to take advantage of a 'Google My Business' page. If you haven't already sorted this do it today. It is easy and best of all FREE and doesn't take long at all!
If you are wondering what the difference between Google My Business, Google Places for Business and Google+ Pages is then the answer is that there is no difference. All of these things are one and the same now.
Why create a Google My Business page?
Having a listing will help people searching for your business name find you on Google search results and Google Maps. Best of all it is device independent so no matter what device someone is using you'll pop up.
How does it help my business?
Let's say that someone searches for your business name in a Google Search, if you have a Google My Business page a large box appears on the right hand side of the screen with all the details about your business.
On a Google Map you can claim your business location, display contact details and any reviews that past customers have left about your business. And if you are a service business without a specific location you can opt to define a service area instead.
How do I set up my Google My Business page?
To get your Google My Business listing go to: https://www.google.co.nz/business and then click on the Start Now button. You'll need a Google account to sign in with and if you don't have one you can click the More options and then 'Create account' link which takes you though the process. If you do have a Google account simply sign to proceed.
Once you are signed up / signed in you will be taken to the maps page where you can search for your business name and address to claim it. If it doesn't appear then you can 'Add you business'.
Part of the process of setting up the Google My Business listing is to verify that you are business owner. This is done by means of Google sending out a physical postcard through the post. This is probably the part that takes the longest but it is worth it in the end, so just bear with it.
Once you have received the postcard you follow the instructions to verify the account and then you're done. It is a good idea to ensure that all contact details that appear on all of your online profiles are identical. Make adjustments to ensure that they are.
Over time make sure your page is kept up to date with the latest information and contact details about your business. Taking advantage of this free service will help local searches and you'll be able to monitor progress through the free analytics that the service provides.
Good luck and if you need any help setting it up, just sing out!