By Devon Delfino for Business Insider US
Adding your business to Google – whether it’s a restaurant open to the public or a hair salon run out of your home – is an important step to reach customers, make connections, and ultimately grow a successful business.
It also gives your business an air of legitimacy, and makes it searchable via Google Maps.
Here’s how to add your business to Google, and customise your business page:
Note that the exact sequence of steps may differ depending on which selections you make on each page, and what kind of business page you’re creating.
1. Go to Google’s My Business site and log into your business account. Or, create a Google account for your business by visiting the Google sign-in page and selecting Create account.
2. From the My Business homepage, click Manage now and on the next screen, enter your business’ name into the search bar. In the drop-down under the search bar, select Create a business with this name.
Note: If your business name and address appears in the drop-down already, that means your business has already been listed and you’ll need to claim it as your own – if that’s the case, select this option and follow the prompts to claim your business.
3. On the next page, enter your Business name and Business category (such as restaurant, retail, barber shop, etc.). Then, select Next. You’ll be able to add additional categories later on.
4. Next you’ll need to choose whether you want your business’ location to appear on Google Maps. If you’re adding a restaurant or other business that’s open to the public, being on Google Maps is incredibly useful. But if you’re just adding a small business run out of your house, keeping that location private might be a good idea. Select Yes or No and hit Next.
5. If you chose to add your business to Google Maps, the next screen will ask you to enter your business address. If you chose to keep your exact location private, then the next screen will ask you to enter your service area(s). Fill out the relevant information and select Next.
6. Enter the phone number and website associated with your business and click Next. Quick tip: If you don’t already have a website, you can select Get a free website based on your info to have Google automatically create a website for you.
7. On the next page, choose whether or not you want Google Business to send you updates and recommendations for your business, and hit Next.
8. If you chose not to provide a business address, you’ll need to enter your personal mailing address to verify your business. This address will not be visible to the public. Enter your address and hit Next, or choose Verify later.
9. Click the drop-down to select a method to verify your business. Depending on your type of business, only some verification methods may be available to you. For example, you may see Postcard by mail listed as the only available method.
Here are all the ways that you can verify your identity to Google:
- By mail. Google will send a physical postcard that includes a verification pin, which you’ll then use to verify online.
- By phone. Google will call you, and provide a verification code over the phone. This is only available for certain businesses.
- By email. Google will send you the code over email. Again, this is only available for certain businesses.
- Bulk verification. If your business has over 10 locations, you’ll have to submit an extra form to have them all verified at once. To do this, when you click “Get verified,” click “Chain” afterwards and enter all your info. Google will then take up to a week to process the request.
- Instantly. If you have a Google Search Console account, and your business’ website is verified through Search Console, you can verify your account instantly. Some business categories aren’t allowed to do this.
10. Next, you’ll be taken through a series of prompts to set up your Google My Business page. You can add your services and business hours, set messaging permissions, write a business description, upload photos, and claim a $100 (R1,450) advertising credit through Google Ads.
11. Once you’ve entered all the essential information to set up your business, you’ll be taken to your Google My Business account page where you can add additional information, like a business logo and co-managers.