Have you taken the time to setup your Google My Business listing?

We’ll explore why it’s a good idea and share some tips to help you start your listing or optimise it if you’ve already set it up. First I’d like to share the story of a client who got an early jump on their listing but didn’t take the time to set it up properly.

When you create your Business listing with Google, you’ll be asked to verify your address because your name, address and phone number are the most critical ways for customers to find you (right?).

My client, we’ll call him Bill, took the “easy way out” and had the verification sent to his home address so the verification postcard didn’t get lost in the shuffle at work. What Bill didn’t realise is that his home address would then and forever be associated with his business listing. His customers search for his business, find the address where Google thinks he operates from and drives there to purchase his products.

Oh, and he’s moved to a new house 15 minutes away. You can be sure that there are some awkward stares coming from the new homeowners as would-be customers U-turn in the driveway while scratching their heads wondering if they took a wrong turn.

The trouble is that it’s been a big challenge to update Bill’s address on his listing. He has reviews and a solid history with his current listing, but the address is wrong. Not all address changes will be hard to fix, but every business has different circumstances that may make it easy or challenging to make an address fix.

If Bill isn’t able to update his address, he may have to create another GMB listing and close the old one. This is an extreme case, but it makes the point. Setting up your listing may feel like just another to-do on top of an already long list of to-dos, but taking the time to do it properly will pay off in the long run.

What is Google My Business?

Here’s Google’s definition: (also see Google Support)

“Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses, brands, artists, and organisations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.

Manage how your business information appears across Google, including Search and Maps, using Google My Business—for free. Interact with customers new and old and tell them the story of your business.”

Make sense? Here’s the short version:

Google My Business is your hotel’s free online business listing that shares your information across Google search results and maps.

Your listing contains important information about your business, including your location, operating hours, phone number, images, and as many updates as you care to share.

Why is This Important?

Google brings you a lot of guests. Right? Thousands of Internet users search for services and products every minute of the day and night so potential customers see everything Google knows about your business.

Google My Business lets you own the information listed in search results. It’s important that you inform the internet who you are and what you offer. Your listing lets you manage your information so visitors see the best you’ve got, not what a search engine has scraped together from who knows where.

Google My Business is critical to local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). An optimised listing can help you show up in the Map Pack like the one shown below. With Google’s recent changes there are only three of these listings within the pack now (previously 7).

The bottom line is that Google My Business means more business. Good enough reason to do it right?