Companies are interacting with their customers online more and more every day and Google has made life a lot easier for local business owners. Google My Business is a free, user-friendly platform designed for businesses, big or small, to manage their Google-related online presence in one place.

How to Set Up Your Google My Business Location

Here are some of the great features of Google My Business:

  • Manage business listing info for search, maps, and Google+.
  • Upload photos and/or a virtual tour of your business.
  • Share content and interact with your followers on Google+.
  • See reviews from across the web and respond to Google+ reviews.
  • Integrate with AdWords Express to create and track campaigns.
  • Access Insights reports – a great new tool from Google.
  • See information about your integrated accounts.

Getting Started

To add your local business to Google My Business, just use your mailing address and follow these quality guidelines. If you were using Google+ or Places for Business, you will be directed to the new Google My Business on your next login.

First, head over to the Google My Business website and click on the blue “Get on Google” button, front and center. It will take you to a world map where you can search for your business.

If you’re just getting started and can’t find your business, click on “None of these match” to add your business.

Next, simply enter a valid address to create a new claim for your local business. You will need to agree to manage all aspects of the account for your business, and a simple verification notice will be sent.

If you’d like to promote your brand, product, organization, or any other entity without an address, you should create a brand page instead.

Helpful Tools

Google My Business is designed to allow for more easy and quick control over how your business is listed on Google. Here are some great features to help you as you’re getting started:

  • Reviews Tool Monitor your business reviews and track your ratings over time. This is also where you can respond to reviews as the owner of the business.
  • Insights Tool – Use this to improve your visibility and engagement. Insights help you understand how people find your business and interact with your content by showing data on different types of views and clicks.

Get Creative!

With the tools and features on the Google My Business dashboard, you can do some pretty cool things like hosting Hangouts to chat live with your customers, or create photo albums around your products, services, customers and employees.

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