Hello There! I hope everyone is having a productive week, I know I am. There are so many things that factor into your search presence online so I am taking it back to the basics today with a post about how to setup your Google my Business (formerly called Google Places) profile and why it is important.

Let’s start with, “Why is it important to have a Google My Business Page?”

There have been a lot of published articles within the SEO industry about the future of Google Plus. A lot of companies are wondering, is Google + and Google my business still relevant and is it important to be active in that space? My answer is yes! It is important. Anytime you have a chance to link your website to Google you should do it. I’m not just talking about your Google my business page or your Google+ page I’m talking about Google Analytics, Google Webmaster setting up a YouTube account. It’s all relevant.

Just because one property like Google Plus maybe a fizzing out, it doesn’t mean they all are and you should always take advantage of the tools that Google has to offer you if you want to show up in organic search. Claiming your Google my business listing is one of the easiest ways to show up on the first page of Google for the name of your business.

One of the important things to know about setting up your listing is having a business address where you can receive the mail. When you reach the last step of setting up your account, Google will send you a postcard with a verification code that you will receive within 2 weeks. Only when you have verified your page will the results show up to the public. Google will not currently accept a P.O. Box as an address. If you are a home based business, beware of listing your home address, because if you’re like me you wouldn’t want a photo of your house showing up on Google Maps for your business listing. I use a virtual office service called Regus.

Many people confuse Google+ and Google my business

They do integrate but are separate listings.If you think you’ve set up a business account, make sure that the icon you see is a little blue store front with the letter G on it. This is something that has been re branded a few times so it is easily confused.

Setting up your listing will take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes depending on how detailed you get with the meat and potatoes which is the business description.

  • First google your business name to see if you may already have a business page.
  • If you do and just have not claimed it, Google will have a place to claim your listing.
  • If you are starting from scratch, go HERE. You’re Google plus page will automatically merge with your business listing.
  • Once you have completed the steps, you will see a prompt to mail a verification postcard.
  • The postcard should arrive within 2 weeks with a six digit code that you will need to enter at the top of your page.
  • Last, if you find that you have multiple listings that need cleaning up or have any trouble setting up your listing you can always call Google at 1-844-442-8695. I have never had to call so I can’t promise anything, but I wanted to save you the time of searching around for a phone number if needed
  • Now that you have setup your listing be sure to share that with your customer base.

    There will be an opportunity for you to collect reviews from your customers on your Google my business page. It is important to monitor and check back in with your page regularly so that you don’t by chance get any negative reviews that you’re not addressing right away. One of my most successful clients has over 400 five-star reviews on their Google Business page. They are a service based company and make sure to tell every customer that there is an opportunity for them to review the experience on many online platforms. In 2012 Tech Crunch reported a staggering 425 million Gmail users. Imagine what that number looks like today. Because there are so many people who use a gmail address it’s very simple and easy to post online reviews.

    Please feel free to leave a comment or feedback about this post. I also host a FREE facebook group where we share helpful tips and tricks to help your business gain visibility online. I would love for you to join HERE.

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    1. Wow I did not know about this! Thanks for sharing ? I'm also a home based biz, are there any options for not using my home address without renting office space like Regus?

    2. Thank you so much. Very useful information. I've never heard of Google my business before but will be looking it up now for sure!

      • Hi Lauren, It used to be Google Places, and before that something else haha!

    3. Hi Lauren, would this be equivalent to having a Facebook page versus your fb personal profile? Also, since I'm a blogger and writer, do you think this is something I should do (although I don't want to give out my home address)?

      • Hi Monica! If your goal is to make a name for yorself in the fittness/wtiting community, I would set up a public figure/athlete business page on Facebook. Google plus might be ok for you right now, unless you are selling a service or product.

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