Last weekend, I was looking for take out options in my home town of Windsor, Ontario and heard about a new specialty restaurant. Finding this restaurant was a little challenging and that is damaging to their business.
I not writing this to criticize this restaurant, I am writing this blog post to bring attention to the fact that in 2021, many restaurateurs open up and do not set up their Google My Business listing properly, if at all. This is a HUGE problem for businesses just starting out especially.
If your website and social media channels are new, they will not have any domain authority and therefore not show up when you Google them. As was the case in this instance, even though I had the business name and city, when I typed both "business name" and Windsor the first 2 listings were for a similar name in Ohio and Michigan. The third link was for a local food blog/website that had the business phone number and address listed. It took me 3-4 minutes to find it. Yes the business still got my call but many people would not make this effort and this is the problem. Businesses who do not set up their Google listing right away are losing customers.
How many times have you Googled "Tim Hortons Near Me" or "Mexican Food Near Me" or "Gas Stations Near Me"? The list goes on. In 2018 Think With Google posted this blog article that quotes Google's VP of Marketing the Americas as stating "near me" searches had grown 500%+ in the previous two years. When people Google what you sell and "Near Me", you want to be sure that your business gets listed. That is why setting up your Google My Business listing is so important.
This blog post will walk you through how to set up your Google listing in 3 easy steps. Anyone can do it, all you need is an email address and access to the business phone number and mailing address..
Step 1 - Claim Your Listing
You can do this by opening Google Maps and entering you business address. What happens next depends on whether or not your business address used to be a different business, or if is the first business to be setting up at that business address.
- If it is the first time a business is being listed at this location, the option to "Add your business" is visible. Click this option, and follow the prompts.
- If your location previously had a business at the same address, the option to "Claim this listing" will be available. Click this option and follow the prompt.
Step 2 - Complete your business Profile
The next step is to populate your listing with your business information. Some of the things you can enter are:
- Business hours of operation
- Business Description
- Business Category
The more detailed you are here the better. You can also request that a Google Trusted Photographer come into you business and do a virtual tour. This is one of the services we offer at www.streetviewservices.ca .
Google offers a profile completion visual representations that you should aim to have as close to 100% complete as possible. This will ensure you are not missing any possible customers due to an incomplete listing. Once your profile is as complete as you can get it, move on to step 3.
Step 3 - Verification
The final step is verifying the address. Occasionally, you can do this by entering the business phone number and receiving a call with a confirmation code over the phone that you need to enter in your Google My Business profile. The phone method is instant. Alternately, it will generate a post card label that physically mails you a post card in the mail with a PIN code you must peel away a strip to reveal and enter in your profile. This could take 1 - 2 weeks for it to arrive depending on where you business is located. Once this process is complete, your business will be visible to the world.