Google’s confused offerings for businesses over the years have all been pretty hopeless, but the current “Google My Business” product is essential to get to know. Although it’s primarily marketed at local businesses, it’s just as important for national ones. Quite simply, if anyone searches for your company on Google, a huge colourful panel will appear to the right of the search results, and if you want any control about what’s there, you need to be up to date on Google My Business.
Much as I’d love to give you a step by step guide, there’s too much to cover. I don’t think there are too many tips to provide anyway – just work your way through the system and make sure you’ve provided all the right information. If you’ve had Google+ brand accounts or a Google Local account in the past, sign in with the Google account you used to manage those. You can (and should) also create locations for any regional offices you have, nationally or internationally.
Also, remember that this big panel about you on the Google search results page belongs to Google, and they’re going to put what they want in it. All you can do is to guide them. Spend a while searching for competitors by name, and see what they’re getting in their panel. There might be some features which you’ll want too. But if you don’t like the photos which eventually get shown, or the reviews which people can add about you, hard luck. There are ways to manipulate these, but this is not an advertising feature, where you can call the shots. However, if you don’t get involved, Google may well just create a panel anyway, over which you have no say at all.
Here are some starter guides which are all helpful: