Google My Business, Bing Places, and Apple Maps Listings
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that is the key to manage your business’ online presence. GMB is one of the main factors that can shoot up your organic, map and ‘snack pack’ results. The only requirement for setting up your business on GMB is that you should have at least some sort of real-world interaction with your customers – you cannot use it for entirely online operations.
What are the steps to create a Google my business for your own business:
- Create or login to the Google account you want to associate with the business.
- Visit Google.com/business and click on start now.
- Type your business name. If it pops up in the results, claim it, or proceed with creating a new business under the name.
- You are not supposed to use anything other than the business name here. Do not use keywords in your business name.
- If your business is already in the system and you are claiming it, your address will already be there. If you are adding a new business, enter your address.
For local businesses with a brick and mortar storefront, this is simple. But your business might not exactly be that. You could be working from home; or you could be two people working from each other’s homes. You could own a mobile business, like a corn cart. You could also have a physical store, but you may be majorly serving the customers in their places. In these circumstances,
- For work from home, use the home address closest to the region you want to be associated with.
- If you only have a virtual office and no physical one, simply use your home address and then you can hide the address later. Do not pick something in the area you want to serve so you can get higher listing – that is against GMB guidelines.
- You also have check boxes that you can tick if you deliver your services or goods.
- You can also hide your address and just display the business if it is not a store and you are using your room or home address.
- In the select delivery area option, enter the right options for you.
- When the screen pops up with your location pin, if it is not exact, drag and move it around to pin the exact location.
- Pick your business category.
- If you have trouble picking one, try saying My business is a ___ , rather than my business has a ___. This will help you pick a holistic term that denotes what your business stands for rather than listing out just a part of its features or services.
- If you are still unsure what to pick, try searching for similar business on Google maps. Looking at the category your competitors have picked might light a bulb in your brain.
Before you begin filling out your address, phone number or email address, we would strongly recommend that you create a Word Document with all the bits spelled out the way you want it to look. All search engines love consistency. We all know that 098401 12345 is the same as +91 9840112345, but the search engines will pick up those little extra spaces and even that extra zeroes and push you far far back. Always copy paste from this document whenever you are filling out anything for your business.
You can verify your GMB Listing through phone, email, postcard, bulk verification, or instant verification. Follow the instructions and enter the code received via post card, phone, or email to verify your business.
Yay! Now you are successfully hitched on Google My Business. The optimization part begins now. To optimize and really hone your business account like a seasoned professional, you have to:
- Add business categories.
- Upload photos of the store outside, menu and the interiors or any other relevant picture.
- List your opening and closing hours, holidays and working days.
- List out all the services you provide.
- List all your amenities and other features.
- Politely nag your customers and everyone you know to review your business on Google.
How to set up your business on Bing Places?
Next up, set up your Bing Places. It is not nearly as important as its above said counterpart, but why would you want to give up that 7% market search? Besides, it only takes minutes.
To set your Bing Places up, first make sure that your business isn’t already listed. Search for your business and if it pops up, click on ‘is this your business?’. If its not there, continue filling out details.
In Bing, businesses are broadly categorized into
- Small to medium – 1 to 10 locations
- Chains – more than 10 locations
- Online – no physical location
- I’m the manager on somebody’s behalf.
We are focusing on local small business SEO here, so let’s hit up #1. You will then see a magical button that lets you import data from Google My Business! Click on it and voila, you are done! Fill up any other extra parts like the description, sprinkled with our prepared keywords. Add your Twitter, TripAdvisor, yelp, websites, Facebook, and import pictures to finish the deal.
How to set up your business on Apple Maps?
Next comes the Apple Maps, which has a decent share of the search market. Even though Apple Maps usually sucks, the data from Apple Maps is used as the base for Siri and Spotlight, which have millions of users worldwide. So, spend a few minutes to repeat the same process as above and copy paste all needed details from the Word Document you created earlier to ensure your business looks the same everywhere. This is very important – any mistakes or misspellings can cause your business to be flagged as duplicate.