Google My Business is one of the most useful online tools a small business can access. It puts your name and business name in front of customers who are looking for you nearby—and it also places you on the map when people do searches for other businesses close to your location.
These local search results are shown in a variety of places across Google Maps and Search. If you did a search for one of your neighboring businesses, for example, yours would most likely show up, too, on the map. If not, there are steps you can take to ensure it does—and these steps will help increase your overall search engine ranking, too.
First of all, improve your info. Go to Google My Business and make sure your information is correct. This includes your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) as well as your hours of operation. Also include your business category and attributes, so customers not only know where you are, but what you do. Make sure your hours of operation are current and updated as frequently (and quickly) as necessary.
Verify your location in Google Maps, too. There are three ways to do it First, sign into Google Maps on your computer. Then:
- Enter your address in the search bar. On the left, in the Business Profile, click Add your business.
- Right-click anywhere on the map. Then, click Add your business.
- In the top left, click Menu, then Add your business.
Then simply follow the on-screen instructions.
Manage and respond to your reviews. Not only do they provide valuable feedback from your customers to help you improve your business, they help establish your reputation, head off potential problems, and increase your Search Engine rankings.
It’s easy to reply to reviews, once you have verified your business on Google My Business. After you log-in, click the menu on the left and then ‘Manage Reviews,’ if you’re responding to multiple reviews. If you’re only responding to one, click on that review and then click ‘Reply.’
Remember to keep it short, personal and appreciative. For negative reviews, reply publicly, but offer to talk to the dissatisfied customer offline, such as a phone call or private message. Once you do, however, make sure you’re available to talk.
You can follow a similar process through Google Maps and Google Search, too.
It’s relatively simple to make sure your business shows up in Google My Business results. Follow these steps, and you’ll be visible to potential customers in no time.