With all the updates Google rolls out for it’s many services, things can get a little confusing. Over the years Google has had Local, Places, Maps, and Plus, among other applications that have allowed you to see your business’s location and information. Though some of these show similar information, it’s important to claim your businesses listing and make sure it is kept up to date.
Get your Business on the Map
Google Maps, formerly Google Local, is your key to finding local businesses, finding directions to get there and viewing maps. In order to see your listing here, you will want to set up your listing in Google Places. This process begins when you add your business and verify your association. After searching for your business you will be prompted to verify by phone or post card.
Once you have received and entered your pin you will want to fill out your basic information.
This includes the official name of your business, address, phone number and website. Once this is complete, you will be prompted to enter additional information such as categories, hours of operation, payment, photos, videos and any other relevant details. The more fields you can fill out the better! Your listing preview will be available on the right side of your screen. Once you have completed the listing to the best of your ability, click submit and choose how you would like to verify your listing, and then click Finish. There are three options to verify your listing:
If changes are made to your listing at a later date you will be required to verify again before the changes go live.
Google+, Google’s social media option, also allows you to create a business profile. Being social on the web lets you be found across Google with blog articles, photos and videos that you have posted. Taking time to engage and interact with your customers, potential VIPs and fans lets you come together with those who mean the most to your success. When you create your Google+ page, you will start by choosing the category that fits your company best.
Your next step is to add your businesses information to your account. Once you have your account set up, you will notice that your Google+ profile image and current posts are shown on the right-hand side of search results when they are relevant to a search. This lets your customers get the latest info about your brand straight from the source. In order to help grow your following, you will want add the Google+ badge to your site.
Adding social share buttons to your site is a great way to let the user quickly let you know they like the information you are posting and share it with others. Information that you are posting should be interesting, relevant and engaging for your fans. Google+ also brings to the table Hangouts, including live sessions that allow you to chat directly with your fan base.
It may seem overwhelming to set up these profiles, but the time invested is well worth it in order to have your business information right at the fingertips of those looking for you. Remember to keep your listings updated, add pictures and content, and don’t forget, in the end, it’s all about the user experience.
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