- “I get phone calls from people in the wrong location, wondering where my business is.”
- “The customer was angry because it says we were open on Google but those were our summer hours and we switched to fall hours a few weeks ago.”
- “I want my listing on Google Maps to show that we have patio dining.”
These are among many of the comments I’ve heard about Google My Business when I’ve talked with small business owners about their online presence. Google is one of those things you love and hate at the same time. There are so many facets to Google, it is on the forefront of technology therefore ever-changing, and difficult to keep up with when you have other things on your mind like running a business.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a free online account that allows you to manage how your business appears on other Google platforms such as Search and Maps. What most small business owners don’t seem to know is that you can easily update your business information from your smart phone. Google My Business has a free app (for Iphone and Android).
How to update your business info from your phone
Locate the Google My Business app in your App store and download it.
Select the Google account associated with your Google My Business listing. If you are like most small business owners, you may have more than one Gmail account. Use whichever email address you originally used to set up your Google My Business account. If you can’t remember, try searching “Google My Business” in your email inboxes as you will receive monthly updates on your account’s performance via email.
Once you have logged in, navigate to the profile tab. By clicking the pencil (edit) icon, you will see a list of the info you are able to populate or update about your business.
Pay special attention to the section title “Special Hours.” Here you can update shortened or extended hours based on holidays and special events. Are you staying open late for a holiday open house shopping event? Closed for Thanksgiving to spend time with your family? Let your customers know.
What about that patio dining?
Depending on the industry and categories you selected for your account when you first set it up, you may have a section on the info panel titled “Attributes.” Google has selected characteristics that may apply to you based on the type of business you have. So, restaurants may see options for patio dining, pick-up, delivery, drive-thru, family-friendly among other common characteristics of restaurants. Hotels have a list of amenities to select from. Google is even starting to offer more unique attributes such as woman-owned or veteran-owned.
A wise time investment
Do yourself a favor and spend the 15 or so minutes it will take to add the app to your phone and become familiar with it. You can upload photos (interior and exterior of your business, your employees, products, services, etc) directly from your phone to your Google My Business profile. In our day and age, it takes effort for shoppers to support their local small businesses. With big box stores and online shopping at their fingertips, consumers are often going out of their way to support you. Google is making it easier and easier to keep your business information up to date – take advantage of that. I assure you it will be a wise investment of your time.