How to Get Your Business Noticed Online With Google My Business
It is important to set up your Google My Business account correctly to avoid having your business removed from Google completely.
Here are Google’s guidelines:
- Represent your business as it’s consistently represented and recognized in the real world across signage, stationery, and other branding.
- Make sure your address is accurate and precise.
- Choose the fewest number of categories it takes to describe your overall core business.
This means using the same format for your business name, address, and phone number (NAP).
Having Consistent NAP Info
For example, if on your Google My Business account you present your business address as:
155 St. John’s Avenue, Wimbledon, London, SW19 7AV
But your address is presented on your website; or review sites; or anywhere else on the internet as:
155 St. Johns Ave, London, SW197AV
These two addresses, though the same, may be viewed as two separate business addresses by search engines. This undermines the authority of your listing, and can result in lowered rankings or your business information being removed from Google completely.
It is important for the NAP information to be completely consistent, word for word, letter for letter, across all of the websites that your information appears on.
Rules for Presenting Your Business Name
There are some details that you cannot include when presenting your business name:
- Fully capitalised words, e.g. BURGER KING
- Store codes, e.g. The UPS Store – 2872
- Business hours, e.g. Open 24/7
- Registered trademark symbols ®
- Marketing taglines, e.g. Wimbledon Tandoori, London’s Best Indian Restaurant
- Phone numbers or website URLs
- Special characters, e.g. g. %&$@/
- Service or product information that is not part of the business name
- Location information
Rules Surrounding Your Business Address
When describing your address, it must be your real-world address where you interact with customers during your stated business hours.
- You cannot use a virtual address
- You cannot use P.O. Boxes
- Your address must be specific e.g. not broad city names
- You should not create more than one page for each of your business locations
Best Practices for Setting Your Categories
When choosing your business’s categories, it is important to be as specific as possible and to use as few categories as possible.
- Avoid using categories simply as keywords in an attempt to appear for a greater number of search terms – the fewer the better
- Don’t use categories that pertain to your umbrella company rather than the business that you are creating the My Business Account for
- Try to select categories that complete the statement: “This business IS a” rather than “this business HAS a”.
- If you have selected a category that is specific to your business, e.g. “pizza delivery” then you do not need to also select more general categories such as “delivery restaurant”, as this would be redundant.
- If you cannot find your exact category choose one of the more general categories that is most relevant
Setting Up Multiple Locations in Your Account
When setting up multiple locations or storefronts in your Google My Business account it is important to ensure that the business name and categories are consistent across all of the pages that you create.