SETTING UP GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
As mentioned in the digital-first steps post, Google My Business is the essential first step all businesses should make when going online. It's free, makes your business visible in Google to people searching for relevant services offered by your businesses ("accountant in Palma" or "Plumber in Santanyi" for example), as well as providing a platform to engage with customers, promote your location and special offers and generate all-important user reviews.
With 97% of people using the internet to inform themselves of local businesses and 50% of local searches visiting the store the same day, this can become a real business driver
However, to ensure your business appears in the key top three results (for maximum visibility), it's important to make sure your Google My Business (GMB) account is set up according to best practice.
Top 3 listing in the search results for free, it doesn't get better than that
So Lets get Started!
Head over to https://www.google.com/business/ and click on "Manage Now".
In the Search box, enter your business name, this will help you see if you already have the business listed (sometimes Google does it without you). If you do not see your business, click on "add your business to Google".
Now to add your business address. If you have a physical location like a shop or office, enter it on the next screen, make sure the format of your address is EXACTLY the same on all your digital profiles (Social, Website, Directories and GMB) as this will increase your chances of showing in the top 3 listings. For example, if you say "Carrer Alfaro, Pt2" on your website, DON'T say "Calle Alfaro, Patio 2" in your business listings, make sure it matches exactly.
You may not want to enter a business address. For example, you might offer a service that delivers (like a Pizza restaurant) or works remotely (like an electrician). In this case, leave the address blank and click on one or both of the options below the address field relevant to your business. Either"I Deliver Goods and Services" or "Hide My Address" The last one is used if you do not want your address listed (for example, you work from home).
For those that select "I Deliver Goods and Services", you will be asked to specify the areas you serve, either through a physical distance from your store or you can list specific towns, cities, post codes and regions you cover.
Now it gets important, you must select a single business category which will set the types of searches you will show up for. Either search for an option from the list that you feel closely represents your business or search Google and look at what other services have put. You will be able to add more later, but this will be the primary one.
Be accurate, as some GMB options are only available for certain sectors, for example, Food and Drink businesses can add links for online ordering and reservation partners, Hotels can incorporate class ratings and list amenities offered.
With this done, you can add your businesses Phone Number and website URL. If you do not have a website, I don't recommend the free option. Google automatically populates a page for you, however, the quality and usability is questionable and unlikely to give a professional opinion. Whilst not immediately critical, it is recommended for businesses to invest in a high-quality website what will not only make you more visible online but provide potential customers with a good first impression of your business.
Finally, click complete and verify your business. You will need to enter a postal address to receive a postcard with your registration code on it (this address will not show up on Google). It generally takes 14-20 days to receive the code and your listing will not show until this is received and the code entered.
So What Next?
Whilst you wait for the postcard, you can use this time to add additional, essential information bout your business to your listing, including
It's important you do this as all this information will help you provide a more engaging and informative experience to your customers, increase your ranking in the search results and increase the number of searchers clicking on your listing. Just be aware, your listing will not be visible until you have entered the verification code you will be sent, so don't forget to check your mail.