Google My Business is a valuable tool for marketing your business and there are a number of good reasons why you should take the time to set up your page.

In my previous blog post – Use Google My Business to Get More Customers – we looked at how Google My Business could give you a headstart on your competitors by improving your visibility in search results for local businesses.

In this blog, I am going to walk you through the very simple process of setting up you GMB page.

Step 1: Sign In

Either Google “Google My Business” or follow this link to make a start. Once on the page, hit Sign In in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

Step 2: Add your Business Name

Type in your business name as you want it to appear in searches and hit Next

Then it’s all about filling in the details about your business.

Step 3: Tell people where to find you

Now you will be taken to a page which asks if you would like to add a physical location for your business – a place where customers can visit, like a store or office. If you would prefer that your business address is not shown you can still benefit from Google My Business as it offers you the opportunity to choose a “Service Area” – a radius of your business location in which you sell/provide your products or services.

If you do want to include your business address, choose Yes and you will be taken to a new window where you can enter it.

Step 4: Show your exact location

If you do include a physical address you can make it even easier for customers to find you by pinpointing your location on a map.

Step 5: Do you deliver?

If you offer delivery options, it’s important to let your customers know. If you do, click “Yes, I also serve them outside my location” and then specify the postcodes where you can deliver.  If you don’t deliver, simply click, “No I don’t”

Step 6: Select a category

Try to be as specific and accurate as possible when it comes to categorising your business as this tells Google which customers and for which search terms your Google My Business listing should appear.

Step 7: Tell customers how they can get in touch

Now, you just need to fill in your contact details, including telephone number and website address, so they can get in touch with you. Be sure to use the same telephone number in your listing as is displayed on your website as using a different number can cause Google’s bots to question the authenticity of your listing.

Step 8: Verify

All that is left to do is get your listing verified. You will be offered some options on how to do this, including telephone and email, but in my experience the only way that works – particularly for a business with a physical address – is by postcard.

Your listing will not appear until your business is verified, so this is an essential step.

Double (and triple) check that all the details, such as business name, address and telephone number are correct and add a contact name for the postcard to be addressed to.

Choose how you would like to verify your account:

By Mail: Choose the button which says “mail” and then wait, and wait and wait for the postman to show up with your postcard.

Log back in to your Google My Business account and select Verify Now. In the code field, enter the verification code on your postcard.

If you don’t receive a postcard, log into your GMB account and click the banner which says “Request another code”

By Phone: Be sure your phone number is correct before attempting to verify. Once you hit verify, you should receive a text from Google with your verification code, which you can enter in the code field. You’re all set!

By Email: Similarly, if you choose Verify By Email, ensure your email address is correct, hit the button, check your inbox and find the email from Google containing your verification code and enter it on the page.

Click the button and you are verified and your listing will appear in relevant local searches.

In next week’s blog we’ll finish off this Google My Business lesson by looking at how you can optimise your listing.