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Google My Business is a free tool that lets you manage how your business appears across Google Search and Maps. As well as letting potential customers know the physical location of your business, a Google My Business listing will increase your visibility online. When customers search for your business on Google, information shows in a box that appears in their search results, known as a Knowledge Graph. This includes your business name, location, business hours and customer reviews. This article will explain the benefits of Google My Business and how to create an account.

Why you need a Google My Business account

Getting started with Google My Business is straightforward, but you may be wondering why you need this service.

Appear on Google Search and help customers find your business location

When prospective customers are looking for local businesses like yours on Google, they are generally ready to make a purchase. This means that it is imperative your business appears in their search results with an accurate location and other info. According to Hubspot, 50% of people who conduct a local search, for example ‘seafood restaurant near me’, make a visit to a business that day. Google also revealed that ‘near me’ searches increased by 150% in 2018.

Google My Business improves your SEO

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the process of boosting your website’s position in search engine results pages with organic web traffic and other ranking factors. Having a Google My Business listing is one of the main drivers of local SEO success, helping customers not only to find your physical location but discover your website too. Put simply, Google My Business will help your website’s visibility.

You can update useful information

Your Google My Business listing is a place where potential customers can find out important information about your business. This includes contact details, opening hours and your web address. It is important to keep all this data up to date through your Google My Business dashboard.

You can post photos and videos that represent your business

Your listing includes the option to post photos of your business, and even video. According to Google, businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website than those without. You can upload a profile picture, a cover photo and various other shots of your business to make your listing as engaging as possible. Short videos can also increase engagement and make your profile stand out.

Users can post reviews

Google My Business can help you manage your reputation by letting you invite and respond to reviews. Unbiased reviews by the public can give potential new customers a valuable insight into your business. Responding to each review you receive is crucial as this will encourage others to post reviews as well as demonstrating your commitment to good service.

Booking functionality

You can add a booking service to your Knowledge Graph – this useful action button allows you to take bookings, appointments or reservations. Working with Google’s partners, you can now have your product booked directly from the Knowledge Graph.

Creating a Google My Business account

A man works on his smartphone at The Gleneagles Hotel

Setting up your Google My Business account is free, quick and easy.

Step 1: Navigate to the Google My Business homepage and sign in with your Google account.

Step 2: Add your business name.

Step 3: Enter your business address so people know where to find you.

Step 4: Choose your business category; this tells Google which type of customers should be seeing your business listing.

Step 5: Add your business phone number and website.

Step 6: Verify your business.

For further information check out these guidelines for representing your business on Google.

How to verify your business on Google

In order for your listing to be seen by customers on Google you need to verify your business. Verification is also necessary to manage your business information in Search, Maps and other Google properties. The verification process helps Google make sure your business information is accurate and that only you, the business owner, has access to the listing.