A major theme of the broadway smash hit “Hamilton” is legacy, how Hamilton will be remembered, and ultimately who will tell his story. To accomplish this, he was constantly writing to make sure his role in the founding and development of the United States was well documented. As a business, you should be just as vigilant at crafting and curating your story online. Because if you don’t, someone else will do it for you – and you might not like what they have to say.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to accomplish this is by setting up and optimizing your Google My Business page. Sure this isn’t the same as Hamilton writing a large portion the Federalist Papers, but it will go a long way toward making sure accurate and useful information is available to customers who are searching for your business online. To help you get started we’ve highlighted the important steps you need to take to set up and optimize your Google My Business page.

Claim your business’ page

To claim your business’ page on Google, the first thing you need to do is make sure you have a Google account (i.e. a Gmail account). Once you’ve done that you should go to Google My Business and search for your business by name or by address. You will then be directed to fill out some information and go through a verification process with Google. Once you’ve followed these steps you should now focus on Google My Business optimization.

Consistent name, address, and phone number

Probably the most important information customers are searching for online is your business’ contact information. If it is wrong or inaccurate, you run the risk at the very minimum of frustrating customers and at the worst pushing them to the competition. It’s important that you have your name, address, and phone number is consistent across all business listings and directories. As a reference point, check out this comprehensive list of online directories you should be updating.

Include high-quality photos

Photos will tell a visual story of what your business is about and what customers can expect when they do business with you. There are a number of different kinds of photos that you can upload to your profile. They include a preferred photo, profile pic, logo, cover photo and additional photos. Having photos on your page will not only make your listing visually appealing it will also drive traffic to your site. In fact, profiles with pictures see 35% more click-throughs than businesses that don’t.

Include hours of operation

Have you ever been in the situation where you think a business is open and you drive all the way across town only to find out they had closed early? Keeping your hours of operation accurate and up-to-date can prevent situations like this and mitigate possible frustration before it occurs. One thing to note is if you have special holiday hours or are closing early for whatever reason, you will need to update these on your Google My Business page as well.

Collect and manage online reviews

It’s not just enough to collect online reviews anymore. Google now takes into account whether or not you respond and interact with reviews. In addition to helping improve your local SEO standing, online reviews help build trust with your audience. It might seem weird when you think about it, but a vast majority of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family.

Learn more about online reviews

Download our ebook, The Complete Guide to Online Reviews, to learn more about how online reviews are driving purchases. The ebook will show your business how to:

  • Increase the number of reviews you collect each month by up to 15x
  • Improve local search engine optimization
  • Efficiently respond to negative reviews
  • Implement a simple, but effective, review collection process into your daily operations

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