Getting started with Google My Business is simple.
1. First, visit the following link: http://www.google.com/business.
2. If you already have a Google Places or Google+ Local account, just sign in. Your listing should have automatically been upgraded to Google My Business. You’ll be taken to the new dashboard, which I’ll show you in a moment (see Step 6).
3. If you’ve never done anything with Google before, then you’ll need to choose the “Get on Google” button. You’ll be taken to the following screen:
Simply search for your business name and address; there is a good chance that Google will already have your company listed. That is because they have aggregated information from a lot of different sources to populate their platform. However, there is no guarantee that the information is correct. So this is why you need to complete your profile, verify it, and optimize it.
4. If your business is already in the system you can click on the listing to claim it. You’ll see a box that looks like this:
Obviously, Google doesn’t want just anyone claiming listings; so you will have to verify that you’re the rightful owner of the business. Google will either offer you the option to do this right away, over the phone, or they’ll want to send a post card with a special code. You won’t be able to access all of the features of Google My Places until you complete this verification process.
5. If your business is not in the system, you’ll have to add it. Just click on the option that says, “None of these match, add my business.” You’ll be taken to this very simple form.
Fill out your information. Make sure that you are 100% accurate as you do so. You’ll want to use your legal name, your local physical address, and your exact business phone number. All of this information should be entered the exact same way everywhere online, including your website and other local listing sites. For instance, if you routinely type out the word “Street” then make sure you do so here and everywhere else. Don’t use “St.” If you’re ABC Business, LLC., then include the LLC. All of this will matter when it’s time to build up your rankings later.
6. Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be able to view your dashboard. You can access all of the Google My Business Features here. As you can see, you can easily access reviews, insights about your page’s performance, the Google Adwords Express feature, the Google+ social media platform and YouTube by interacting with this menu.
That’s it! You’ve set up Google My Business! Next week we’ll cover some of the features.