Previously know as ‘Google Places’, Google My Business (GMB) is a useful – free – online tool for promoting your business to the wider community – helping to connect potential customers with your products and services.

Try Googling your own business and see what comes up. Setting up a Google My Business profile is quick and easy, your profile is shown in search results and contains the following information:

Business name, business address, business telephone number, business logo, photographs of your business, one-click direction, call and website buttons, popular times, hours of operation, reviews.

You’ll need to have your account verified by Google, this is a simple process and can be completed at any stage. You’ll need a bricks and mortar address, PO boxes are not allowed. Google wants to find your business trustworthy and not fraudulent in order to provide comprehensive local listings to users. In most cases your business can be verified in seconds with an automated call from Google after you’ve added a listing. But in some cases, business owners will have to verify their businesses through a postcard with a unique code from Google.

Don’t forget to setup GMB profiles for each store, depot or office location. Retail businesses with shops in several towns should create a listing for each location, not just for the head office.

So, what are the benefits of a Google My Business listing?

  1. Businesses that verify their information with Google My Business are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers.
  2. GMB allows you to read and respond to reviews from your customers, and post photos that show off what you do including 360degree interior images. Businesses that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.
  3. GMB allows you to see insights on how customers searched for your business, and where those customers came from. You can also see information such as how many people called your business directly from the phone number displayed on local search results in Search and Maps. And when you’re ready, seamlessly create and track the performance of AdWords campaigns.

Bing Places

Now that you have your GMB listing, don’t forget to setup your Bing Places account too – did you know that Apple’s Siri service uses listing data from Bing Places? If you’re not on it, you’re not being found.