Have you ever wondered why some businesses show up with images and business info on the right side in Google Search results (see image below)? Or how to make your business show up on Google Maps? Here’s how to do it.
Go to Google My Business Page. You will need to sign-in with your Google ID, i.e. your Gmail login and password. In the next page fill in your business name, location info, phone number and website. Under ‘Category’ start typing your business vertical, like ‘Car Rental’, ‘Hotel’ etc and choose the best option from the drop-down menu. If you deliver any of your goods or services to your clients (like plumbers, locksmiths) choose ‘Yes’ at the bottom, otherwise leave as ‘No’.
The next screen will ask you to verify that all you entered is correct. If all is ok click ‘Confirm’, if not click ‘Back’ and edit your info. Once you click ‘Confirm’ Google will ask you how to confirm your address. The most common way is for Google to send you a postcard with a verification code. This is to prevent unscrupulous users from registering fake addresses. This verification process may take 1-2 weeks. Only once your address is verified it will appear in Google Maps and on the Google Search Results pages. In the meantime you can still complete your business info.
Once you are past the confirmation pop-up you get into your actual Google My Business Page. The page will show that your business profile is only partially complete (usually about 45%), the aim is to get this to 100%.
First thing to do is to add a profile photo. Click on the respective link and a new window will open. Here are all the possible photos you can upload, including a logo, a cover photo, photos of your business, photos of your team members, photos of your products etc. Try to add at least the minimum number of photos to get to the 100% completion score later. You can add or remove any photos at a later time if you like. Once you save all the images your score should be about 70%.
Next will be your opening hours. Move the small slider for each day you are open (will turn green) and tap on the ’24 hours’ and choose your opening times. Once done click ‘Apply’ at the bottom right. You can then also add Special Hours, for example if you are open during particular holidays on certain days. This is optional.
Below the Special Hours is a section for you to add your website. Make sure it includes the full URL including the ‘http://’ part. If you don’t have a website you can build a simple one-page business website from within the Google My Business Page – we have a tutorial for this here: How to build your free (simple) Google My Business Website, go check it out once you are done here.
Now scroll up to the top and click ‘HOME’. The page will reload, and you should now see that your score is 100% – well done! Now you just need to wait for your postcard to arrive. Once you have it go back into your Google My Business Page and click on what looks like a crossed-out shield at the very top right of your screen. A pop-up will appear for you to enter the verification code. This will also unlock the Reviews section and the Insights section.
I end with a word of caution: at the upper part of your Google My Business Page you are offered to get started with AdWords Express. Don’t! AdWords Express is not the same as the regular Google AdWords, it is a stripped down version with very limited functionality. If you at some point plan to use Google AdWords always go for the full featured version. I guarantee you that if you sign up for AdWords Express you will regret it later.