Imagine a new customer coming into your store and telling you they found you on Google. They found YOU. Now, stop imagining because it’s all possible with Google My Business. Take advantage of this free tool brought to you by Google, so you can start attracting, engaging, and converting new customers right away.
This sudden change has little or no effect of large-scale companies due to the availability of resources, large man-power, and sophisticated technical know-how to mention few. Most of this company resulted into working remotely from their home and constantly connecting to their large database of customers. But the question remains “Can Small Businesses Survive in this New World?”
How can small and medium scale businesses connect to their potential customers? The response is by making it easy for their customers to discover, learn about and contact them for their products or services
“For Small Businesses to Survive in This New World, it must be able to make it easy for their customers to Discover, Learn About and Contact them for their products or services”
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business, often refer to as GMB in short – is a free tool that allows you to promote your business profile and business website on Google Search and Maps. With the help of this free tool, you can connect to your customers by posting updates of your business profile updated with fresh photos, special offers and promotions to make it easy for customers to choose you.
Your free GMB profile, when properly optimize, it showcases your business and make easy for customers to discover, learn about and contact you. In order to properly optimize this free tool, you need to access it and in order t access it, you need to be verified by Google that you are the rightful owner of the business.
So, in this post, I will first iron out what the basic requirements needed, and then I will take your hand with me through the road map of creating a Google My Business account and using this free tool to claim and verify your Business Profile on Google.
Why do you need Google My Business account?
After explaining above, that the sole of your busines is attracting potential audiences for your business by making it easy for your customers to discover, learn about and contact your business. Aside, Google My Business making it easy to accomplish all this online there are as well some disadvantages to consider for not using them.
You risk losing potential customer: Without using GMB, you tend to loss customers who might have been interested in products or in need of your services.
Lost to competitors: Every business is all about competition. You are not the only one who render that same services and obviously you don’t give better service than your counterpart. Without the use of GMB you don’t even have edge to compete with these guys as your business doesn’t get known by anyone.
You lose your chance in the SERP real estate: SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. A Google My Business Account, however can be optimized to help your business rank above competitors for relevant keyword searches.
By now, I hope I am able to convince you, and not to confuse that you need a Google My Business account, if you want to provide accurate information, respond to reviews, attract customers, and rank higher in local search – even on the first page of Google SERP.
- Google / Gmail Account
- Business Profile
- Google My Business Account.
Google Account: This is the free account you create with google so you can have access to Google Docs, Google Photos, Google Drive, Gmail, and many more. This also refer to as “Gmail account” by many, including me. Gmail is just a feature out the many features provided by Google. Before now, I am sure you already have a Gmail account, be it a private account or business account. And if not, you don’t need to loss focus as I will be taking you step by step on how to create a personal or a business Gmail account.
Business Profile: This is your free business listing on Google that appears on the Google Maps, local search results of Google Search and the right-hand Knowledge Panel of Google Search.
Google My Business Account: This is the free account you create. Google provides you with a dashboard to manage and enhance your Business Profile.
How to Create and Verify your business on Google.
Now that you properly understand all the terminologies laid out, let’s put the pieces together to form a full picture of the process.
Your Goal is to gain full access to your Business Profile on Google
And the only means by which you can achieve this is your Google My Business Account, which you sign up for using a standard Gmail account.
Steps to Create and Verify your GMB account.
The steps to create and verify your Google My Business account is as follows:
- Ensure you have a standard Google Account for your business.
- Make sure you have a Business Profile
- Then create a Google My Business account.
Now, that you are armed with the groundwork laid out, you are ready to successfully create and verify your business on Google.
Step #1: Ensure you have a standard Google Account for your business.
A Google Account gives you access to many Google products. You can use your username and password to sign in to Gmail and other Google products like YouTube, Google Play, and Google Drive. Follow the steps, create your Gmail account and start sending emails.
Step 1: Visit Google Account creation page, accounts.google.com.
Step 2: Click on Create account button, then select the option “To manage my business”, since our aim is to manage our business with Google Account
Step 3: The sign-up form will appear. Enter your first name and last name.
Step 4: Choose a Username for your account.
Step 5: After choosing a username, enter a password. Type the password again to confirm. (As per Google’s instruction always use 8 or more characters with a mix of letters, numbers & symbols).
Step 6: At last click on Next. (right-bottom corner of the screen)
Step 7: On the next page enter your phone number to verify your account, your DOB and Gender.
Step 11: Click on Next.
Congratulations! your account has been created. From now onwards every time you sign in you just have to enter your email id and password. You can either choose to “continue” or sign-out by clicking “Not now”.
(Information source: accounts.google.com)
Security Tip: Every time you sign-in don’t forget to sign-out because it prevents others from viewing your emails. Do you know how to sign-out?
Step #2: Make sure you have a Business Profile.
Now you understand the marketing potential that Google My Business provides, but how do you create a new profile? Below are nine steps to creating a Google My Business profile.
Step 1: Start by going to google.com/business
Be sure to bookmark this address, as you’ll need it to access your Google My Business profile in the future.
Step 2: Log in with your Google account by clicking the “Sign in” button and select your Google account.
If you don’t have a Google account, go back to step 1. You’ll be able to create a free account with any email address.
Step 3: Enter your business name
Be sure you spell your name correctly and use Title Case (where you capitalize the first letter of each word.) This is the first impression for a customer, and you want to make sure it’s a positive experience.
Step 4: Start building your business profile.
This screen is where you’ll enter your business name, business category, location, phone number and website (if any). Both phone calls and website clicks are tracked by Google My Business, so make sure your information is correct here.
Step 8: Verify your local listing (most likely with a postcard – takes 14days for account verication)
According to Google, to manage your business information in Search, Maps, and other Google properties, you must verify your business listing. The verification process helps Google make sure your business information is accurate and that only you, the business owner or manager, has access to it.
Step 9: Finish populating your Google My Business profile, by filling up information about your business. Such as: business hours, business description etc. Then click “Skip” to begin.
Congratulations! your account has been created. Then will be awaiting our account verification in the next 14days. I’ll talk more about optimizing your Google My Business profile in the next installment of our Google My Business series.
(Information source: business.google.com)
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