Google has over 1.2 billion unique users per month, making it the ideal opportunity for businesses to market themselves and be found by new and potential customers. Google My Business was launched in 2014 with the aim of empowering local businesses to succeed online, in an increasingly mobile and social networking environment.
It's a free service run by Google as a way of helping local businesses to connect with customers via its various services (Google Search, Google Analytics, Google Maps, Google Places and on Google+ Pages), in one easy and unified dashboard.
If you have previously used Google Places for your company, or the Google+ Pages Dashboard to manage all of your business information in Google, then you should notice that your Google account will have been automatically upgraded to Google My Business. You will notice now, that all of your previously individual Google accounts are under one dashboard, giving you easier access across all of your Google business services and applications, with a single sign-in and seamless navigation.
The integrated approach by Google makes it easier for local businesses to market themselves, and get noticed by local customers who are using Google to search for services within their area.
Getting started with Google My Business
If you have already been using other Google services for your company such as Google Places or Google+ Pages, then you will find that when you login, you will have been automatically upgraded to Google My Business.
If you are new to using Google as a way to promote your services, then you can follow our two-step guide below on getting started with Google My Business:
1. Sign up for a Google My Business account
To get started on Google My Business you will need to either add your business, or claim ownership of it on Google.
Claiming Ownership on Google
Go to www.google.co.uk and type in the name of your company into the search bar, if any of the results match your business information then look for the ‘Are you the business owner?’ link (see image below).
If you see this link then your company has not been claimed and you can click on the ‘Are you the business owner’ link.
This will take you to a map, where you will be able to get started with Google My Business. If you do not see the ‘Are you the business owner’ link, then please follow the steps below to add your business onto Google.
Adding Your Company to Google
Follow this link to Google My Business: www.google.co.uk/business and you will be directed to one of the two pages below:
Click on the blue button in the top right hand corner, which will either say “Get on Google” or “Start Now”. You will then either be directed to a map or a sign in page.
If you have not previously set up an account with Google, then you will need to register an account with them. If you have already got an account with Google, you can enter your details and sign in.
* If your existing account is a personal one then we would recommend that you create another account for business use.
You should now find that you are directed to a map. Type your company’s name into the search bar and a list of suggestions will appear underneath as you type.
If your company is listed in the suggestions then click on it; if not then click on the magnifying glass icon, and you will be given the option to enter your business details manually.
If your details came up but they were either incorrect or incomplete, don’t worry as you will be able to change these.
2. Verify your business
Once you have completed the steps above and you have entered in the correct details for your company, click on the ‘Confirm’ button.
You will now be asked to verify that you are authorised to manage the business by ticking Google’s Terms and Conditions box.
Verifying your business is a way to tell Google that your listing is legitimate and that it is maintained by you, the owner. You will be sent a verification code by Google in order to verify that you are the business owner.