Love it, or hate it, Google is used by more internet users than any other. Google is often the way people will look for products and services, so your business should be properly listed on their search engine.
In this article, I’m going to take a look at how to make sure your business is correctly listed on Google in both search and maps. Even if your company is already listed on Google, there are tips in this article for managing your company’s contact information in Google’s search index.
Just do a search in Google for your company name and see what shows up. You’ll be looking at several different aspects of Google for this step. Namely, see what shows up in the links to your web site and pages and also look on the right side of the page for the business profile card to see what information shows up. This will give you a basic idea of what the general public is seeing when they search for you.
Next, search your company in Google Maps to see how you show up there. (While Google will often use the same information on both search and maps, it still is worthwhile to check both sources as the information may be displayed differently.)
It can also be helpful to search for other companies like your competitors to see how they have their business information listed on Google.
Google provides a free tool called Google My Business that allows you to manage your business information on Google. You can update your business contact information, your logo and even manage reviews that are left by others. It’s important that you have a business profile on Google and equally important that you have claimed your business on Google.
If you’ve never claimed your business, all you need to do is click the “Own this business?” link on the profile for your business or visit the Google My Business page to claim your business there. The process is quite simple – you’ll simply need to log in with your Google account (or create a new account just to manage your business) and answer a few questions about your company. You’ll then have access to the information Google has about your company.
This is the fun part. From the Google My Business page (and there is also an app for your phone you can download) you can review and manage the information Google has about your company. We recommend that you include a logo, your weblink and make sure that your address, hours of operation, and phone number are accurate.
Google also allows you to post short articles to your profile. These are perfect for getting the attention of prospective customers by offering discounts, announcing sales, or even a seasonal greeting complete with a photo or video.
Remember also that the information you provide in Google My Business will be used across Google search as well as on Google Maps. So, a professionally updated business profile will go a long way to send a great message to prospective and existing clients.
Those star ratings on Google can have a big impact on reputation and click potential by prospective customers. Google My Business page allows you to review and respond to reviews. It’s an excellent way to thank folks for their reviews or respond to negative reviews. And yes, it’s not unusual to get a few negative reviews – it’s not a perfect world. However, how you respond to those reviews can make a world of difference not only to the one leaving the review but also to others reading those reviews.
You can also provide a link to your Google business profile encouraging your customers and clients to leave a review. Google might even mail you a free marketing kit you can place at your business to encourage both reviews and following on Google.
So, there you have it. Whether you love or hate Google, you have to agree that they are a force for business and how you harness the free tools they offer can make a tremendous impact on your business and its online reputation.
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