What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (formerly Google Places) is a free Google service for businesses. You can use it to create a uniform business entry for your company. Once set up, this entry appears on all Google products, including Google Maps, Google Search.
My Business entry appears, for example, when a prospect searches Google for your company or a related topic, for example, for your industry in your city. The business entry with address, opening times, position on a map and ratings is then prominently displayed in the search results or to the right of it. This area on the Google page is also called the Knowledge Panel.
An example: If you search for “Eis St. Georg”, the ice cream parlour “Luicella’s” does not only appear in first place in the search results. In addition to the search results, the ice cream shop’s My Business entry also appears.
Who can create a Google My Business listing?
Any company with a locally accessible address can create a new Google business listing or claim and edit an existing listing. All you need is a free Google user account.
It is possible that you have a Google My Business entry without your own help if you are listed in business directories. Google works with providers such as “Yellow Pages” and “The Local” and creates an entry from it.
You can find out whether there is already an entry by logging into Google My Business and trying to enter your company. When you enter the address or phone number, Google checks whether there is already an entry. Of course, you can also just google your company.
How do I create a Google My Business listing? A step-by-step guide
- Go to Google My Business homepage.
- Click on “Start now”.
- Now you have to log in with an existing Google account or create one with a click on “More options”.
- Then enter the basic data such as company name, address, telephone number and website and click on “Next”.
- Confirm the company name and address as well as your authorization to make the entry.
- Then you will be asked how you want to receive the verification code for the verification, for example, by postcard. You must enter this so that the entry appears in the search results. If you want to continue, you can also click “Confirm Later”.
- You land on an overview page for your company entry. There you can see what percentage of the data is still missing. The entry can also be deleted here.
- Now you can upload photos of your company, specify opening times and description. Incomplete business listings are not shown. They can also be edited or changed by anyone. Therefore, you should edit the information completely yourself.
How to optimize your Google My Business listing
Whether a business listing appears in Google search results depends on various factors, such as:
- Distance to the location of the one who is looking
- The trustworthiness of the company
If you follow these tips, your business listing will be more likely to appear on the Google search results page.
- Make sure that the address is correct, as this is the basis for displaying the entry in the local search. It is important that the address and all other information exactly match those in other business directories (yellow pages, Yelp).
- Check whether Google has correctly marked the position on Google Maps and correct it if necessary. This is important for a correct navigation.
- Always provide a correct phone number in addition to the address. Instead of a hotline or call centre number, you should preferably provide a local telephone number.
- Enter the correct URL of your website.
- Photos are an important factor in making My Business entry more lively and meaningful. Pictures are usually the first thing that seekers see. Therefore, you should use attractive images that show different aspects of your company. This can be a logo, indoor and outdoor photos, product photos or pictures of employees. Google alone decides which images are displayed in the search results.
- For more trustworthiness, you should motivate customers and partners to rate your company on Google My Business. Ratings have an impact on ranking.
- Respond to questions or ask questions yourself and provide the answers in the ” Questions & Answers ” area. In the settings, you can determine whether you want to be notified when new questions come in.
- Keep your business listing up to date with Google posts.
What are Google posts?
With Google contributions, also called Google Posts, you can present special promotions, events or products directly in the Google search index. Google Posts can also be used to promote new blog posts, press releases or job advertisements free of charge.
Google Posts can be up to 300 words long; the first 100 characters are displayed directly in the business entry. You can and should insert an image, video or GIF. The ideal image size is 750 x 750 pixels; the most essential image content should be placed in the middle.
Also, you can use a so-called call-to-action button, i.e. a button that the user should click on, for example, “Further information”, “Reserve”, “Register”, “Buy” or “Request offer” and so that interested parties can go directly to his website, blog, online shop or another landing page.
To be able to use the function, you have to log in to your Google My Business account. Then you can use the function under “Posts” in the menu on the left. Google posts remain visible in search results for seven days. After that, they are only visible when someone clicks on a current post: older posts then appear underneath. Event contributions with dates expire after the expired date of the event.