It’s pretty safe to say that every website owner’s dream is to get found on Google’s search results. And not only do they want their website to get indexed by Google, they want it to rank high on Google’s search results — like first page, first overall kind of high. I’ve seen so many people jump onto Google’s search engine to search for their own website literally just seconds after they’ve launched it, only to be disappointed not seeing it listed.
While getting your website indexed by Google is pretty easy — you can submit your website to Google through their Add URL page — getting it to rank high is not. If you want your website to rank high, it’s going to take some work and time — lots of time. You will need to build up an online reputation and basically show Google that your website is extremely relevant to what users are searching for.
What a lot of small businesses don’t seem to realize is that it doesn’t really matter if your website ranks first, second, or third. At the end of the day, you just want your potential customers to find you. So instead of putting all your focus on Google’s search result rankings and chasing that carrot on a stick, you can get better results with less time spent if you use other marketing tools like Google AdWords and Google My Business.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free service that complements a business’ existing website by giving it a presence on Google. By signing up for Google My Business, Google will take the information you provide about your business and make it appear on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+, making it one of the most powerful online marketing tools out there. For example, your business will be marked on Google Maps:
And if we do a Google Search for “Doteasy”, this is what we will see:
Basically, when someone does a search for your business, Google will show a business profile next to the search results. This provides your potential customers with some vital information about your business including the address, phone number, hours of operation, directions, and a link to your website. This is extremely powerful because it basically guarantees your business gets found. The power of Google My Business becomes even more pronounced when we do a search on a mobile device, where the first thing you see is your business listing:
Retail businesses and restaurants will benefit the most out of Google My Business as mobile searches become more and more popular. Imagine, anyone on a mobile phone can just type your business name in Google and your information is the first thing they see. If they need to find out more, they can click on the “Website” button and go directly to your website.
How can I get on Google My Business?
Getting on Google My Business is really easy. If you already have a Google Account, like a Gmail account or any email account that you sign into Google with, you can sign up for Google My Business for free. To get started, just go to the website www.google.com/business and click “Start Now”.
You then be asked to enter your business’ information.
You can just fill in what you want to display and click “Continue”. Just make sure you enter in a valid address because Google will use your address to verify you. Next, Google will need to confirm that you are authorized to manage this business. Just check the box and click “Continue”.
You will then see a series of prompts asking you to confirm your mailing address and that Google will be sending you a postcard containing the code that you’ll need to verify your account. You can go through those prompts until you see the welcome screen.
Great! This means you’re done! Now, just keep an eye out for that postcard. Google says it usually arrives within 12 days. Once you get it, follow the instructions that it gives you to verify your account and Google will make your business profile go live. In the meantime, you can fill out your business profile so that it’s more helpful to your potential customers.
For example, you can click “Add profile photo” to add a logo and other pictures of your business to your profile. You can also add other vital pieces of information such as your business hours and a link to your website by clicking on “Add hours of operation” and “Add website”. Feel free to change anything here aside from your business address. This is because changing your business address will delay your verification process. If you really need to change your business address, we would recommend you wait until you verify your account first before doing so.