If you are running a WordPress site to promote a business or service, you should have tried many ways to get reached by potential customers, such as improving the search engine rankings, investing in a PPC campaign, trying social media marketing, and so on.
As you are searching for new methods for your business to be found more easily, today we introduce a newly-launched Google service – Google My Business which is designed to help businesses establish direct connections with their customers.
What Is Google My Business & Why Use It?
Google My Business was recently re-launched from an old Google service name Google Places for Business. The goal of Google My Business is to allow users to leverage the power of multiple Google tools in a simplified manner and build relationships with customers.
When your business is set up on Google My Business, the business info can be put on Google+, Maps and Search easily to get the best possible visibility. When someone searches for your business on Google, your website can appear on the first page even without paid advertising, along with the detailed business info on the right column of the result page.
There are several benefits of using Google My Business, and you can see the most significant ones in below.
- It delivers much better search visibility. As Google is the search engine with the largest user base, displaying your business info in the search results is great for drawing attention and attracting traffic.
- The integration with Google tools is helpful. For businesses with a storefront, being listed on Google Maps increases your credibility and makes it easy for customers to find a way to you.
- You can display various business info, including a description, physical address, business hours and phone number.
- Google My Business delivers a good user experience to mobile users as your customers can access your business listing easily and see exactly the same information on any mobile device. Besides, the phone number can be showed as a call now button on mobile devices.
- It adds a new communication channel. Your customers are able to post reviews and comments on the My Business page, and they can also have a discussion about your services due to the close connection with Google+.
How to Set up Google My Business for Your WordPress Site
If you have decided to give Google My Business a try, you need to follow the steps below to get a listing set up for your business. Rest assured that the process is not complicated.
Step 1: Open up a Google account
If you are using any Google service like Google Maps, Google+, or Gmail, then you have already had a Google account. If not, you can sign up by visiting this page and clicking on the “Get on Google” button. Creating a new account only requires the completion of a simple form.
Step 2: Create a business profile
After signing in, you are redirected to a Google map on which you are asked to search your business to see if it exists. Just type your business name or address in the search box. If no exact result is there, you will need to add your business manually by clicking on the link displayed as follows.
Now here comes a form in which you need to fill in the information about your business, including the business name, country, address, zip code, phone number and category.
If you are an online business without a storefront or work from home, you can check the option of delivering goods at customers’ location at the bottom of the form so that your physical address would not be displayed. When these are done, click on the “Continue” button.
If you choose to deliver goods at customers’ location, you now need to add the zip codes or cities that you serve, or select an area around your business location. For the option of serving customers at the business address, you should only check this when you want your address to be displayed on Google and you have staff working at that address serving customers.
On the next page, verify the business information you have entered and confirm that you are authorized to manage the business.
Step 3: Verify your business
When you have completed all the steps above, you will have to verify your business. This is usually done with a mail verification. Once you click on “Mail”, Google will send you a postcard with the verification code on it. Only when you receive the verification code and enter it in Google My Business, will your new business listing go live.
Alternatively, you can choose to verify your business later, and then try instant verification if your business website has been verified on Google Webmaster Tools. However, this method does not apply to all businesses. For more information about verification, read this page on Google.
For now, you are redirected to the business page.
Step 4: Manage the profile and add your WordPress site
When you are waiting for the verification code, you can complete your business page first to build up your profile and brand. The following tasks require being finished, and you are able to get them easily done by clicking on the corresponding links on the screenshot below.
- Add a description about your business. The description should be concise, and you have to make sure that your services are introduced accurately.
- Add photos. You have to upload your brand logo as the profile image. And you can also upload the photos about your building, staff and more if you have a storefront.
- Add a website. Here, add the address of your WordPress site. The information will be reviewed before publishing.
- Add the hours of operation. This is important for businesses serving customers at a physical location. If you do business online, whether to specify the opening time depends on you.
On the business page, you will also notice that you can set up AdWords Express to promote your business and get it found by more people.
Besides, Google Insights and Reviews are available directly on the business page, but they will be able for use after your business is verified.
On the same page, you can quickly access your Google+ page and share anything with your customers.
Step 5: Manage you business listing
After setting up Google My Business properly, you get various options for managing your business listing. One of these options is to access the online dashboard on a desktop or mobile device, and another way is to download the free Google My Business app on Google Play or Apple iTunes Store. The apps come with a notification feature for reviews, which is helpful.
How to Integrate Google My Business Listing with WordPress
If you want to add the reviews on Google My Business to your WordPress site, you get a few choices one of which is the Google Places Reviews plugin. After installing the plugin, you can show the detailed business info and display the Google reviews in the sidebar or any other widgetized area on your WordPress site. The positive reviews help build up your reputation and add the credibility of your site.
Google Places Reviews also comes with a pro version with more features. For example, it includes useful shortcodes which allow you to add the reviews to pages, posts or other content on your site. Besides, the plugin can filter the reviews by the star ratings.
No matter which version you use, you can offer your customers an easy way to see your Google My Business listing on Google Maps in the case that you allow the display of your address. They can then visit your profile and know more about your business.