How To Improve Your Google Presence

10 October 2019


Chances are sometime in your life you’ve searched for a business on Google. Think about the last time you searched Google for a restaurant, a hairdresser or even your local doctors. What factors effected the place you decided to get you haircut or where you went for dinner? The location of the business? The hours they were open? More probably you chose based on their reviews.

No matter which reasoning you chose, you just utilised Google My Business without even knowing it.

Google My Business is a free tool created by Google to help businesses gain a professional listing with all relevant information easily accessible, at a glance, for anyone searching. The information includes all the factors listed above along with photos of your business/premises, contact numbers, products/services and much more. The importance of making sure your business has it’s own Google listing claimed cannot be understated – it’s by and large the first place people go to search for any business, service or product in this day and age, and you want your business and it’s details to be 100% correct and more importantly appearing above your competitors in search results.

So, how do I set up Google My Business? Luckily for all of us the steps couldn’t be simpler.


Step 1 – Create a Google My Business Listing


Log into the Google account you want associated with your business (or create a Google Account if you don’t already have one). Head over to and click on the big blue ‘Start Now’ button. You’ll be faced with a screen just like the one below, simply enter your business name and Google will look to see if a listing has already been created for it.

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Hang on, how could there already be a listing when I’m only just setting one up? Well, if your business has been searched or reviewed a lot in the past, the ever-impressive search engine will automatically have created a listing for you and you’ll just have to claim it as yours.

Don’t worry if not, you can easily create a new a new business listing. Google will ask you a few details about your business, it’s location, the category that best describes its services/products, its phone number and its website (if you have one!).



Step 2 – Verify Your Business On Google


Once you’ve entered all the details required, you’ll be asked to verify your Google My Business listing, this is just to ensure it’s actually you who owns the business and you’re not sneakily trying to edit your competitors Google listing!

There are several ways to verify your business but many of these are only available to business of certain categories or eligibility, therefore we’ll go through the method that will apply to 90% of businesses creating a listing, verification by postcard.

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Make sure your business address is correct, as this is where the postcard will be mailed to. You can also optionally add a contact name to address the mail to. Once you’ve checked the details are correct click ‘Mail’ – the postcard should be with you in five days, however it’s important you do not edit your businesses name, address or category in this time as this could delay the process.

Once you’ve received your shiny postcard from Mr. Google, all you’ll have to do is log into Google My Business and select the button ‘Verify Now’. In the field that pops up enter the verification code within the postcard and that’s it, your business is officially verified on Google!

If you lose the postcard (or the postman does…) don’t worry, you can request another code within your My Business dashboard at the click of a button.


Step 3 – Optimise Your Google My Business Listing


Once you’ve finished verifying your business, it’s time to make sure your profile has as many details as possible so that your customers can easily gain any of this information through a quick Google search. On the Google My Business dashboard you’ll see a helpful box showing you the percentage completion of your business listing, with any details that are missing.

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Alternatively, down the left-hand side of the dashboard you’ll see various tabs on different aspects of your business listing. Select the info tab and add as much information and media as you possibly can, such as the hours you’re open, your logo, your website URL, that date you started trading and the services/products you provide.

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It’s important to periodically check your own Google listing and ensure all details are still correct as anyone can suggest an edit if they feel certain information is incorrect.   

The next most important feature to update in Google My Business is your photos. These should be JPG or PNG files of at least 720px wide by 720px high, lower quality images will result in less clicks to your website!

A cover photo is essential as this will show up front and centre of your listing in search results. Your profile picture (logo) will appear when you post photos or videos, or when you respond to reviews on your business listing. Other photos that can be uploaded to make your listing as engaging as possible include photos of your team, your office (interior and exterior), and any products you may sell.

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Google My Business also allows you to upload videos to your profile, so long as they are less than 30 seconds long and of 720p or higher resolution. Videos can add a much-needed slice of variety to your listing, helping you stand out from your competition, but don’t panic if you don’t have any, they’re nowhere near as essential as photos.

The final tab you’ll want to keep an eye on in your dashboard is your reviews. How better to connect with your community than thanking customers for their kind words of support – further encouraging future customers to also leave reviews, knowing that their feedback won’t go unappreciated.

Be sure not to only acknowledge to positive reviews, responding to negative reviews will show that you take the unhappy buyer seriously; empathise with their problems and show future customers that you can be relied upon if anything goes wrong with their purchase.


Optional Step – Google My Business App


Need to edit your Google listing on the go? Or just want to view statistics about how and where customers are Googling your business? Luckily Google My Business is available as an app on both iOS and Android, allowing you access to view and edit all the features that we previously mentioned without even having to turn the PC on…

So, there you have it, you’ve created a listing for your business on Google My Business, verified your ownership and fully optimised it to maximise it’s click-rate in search results. Do you need a Google My Business account? If you want to stay ahead of your local competition, we highly recommend it.

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