Google places for business provides business owners a free tool to manage how the business shows up across the web. The management of the business profile affects various Google products like Google Search, Maps, Google+ and on mobile devices.

Google My Business Services

While the primary purpose of Google my Business is to manage your profile, they also offer Reviews, AdWords Express, Google+ Page and Insights. The Reviews show the reviews users of Google have left as well as reviews from around the web that are included in you business listing profile. The AdWords Express links you to the AdWords account to create an ad to drive regional traffic to your location. Google+ is similar, its more of a link that takes you to your Google+ profile. Insights gives you a chart of the number of times your listing appeared in local search results. Altogether, despite simply linking your business to external pages for AdWords and Google+, their ongoing attempt to centralize their business services is a welcome and overdue improvement.

For users in the US they also have a Google My  Business android application that gives you many of the same tools for your phone.

Process

  1. For business in the US go to https://www.google.com/business/placesforbusiness/ and for CA go to https://www.google.ca/business/placesforbusiness/
  2. Create and / or Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. Google has many business listings, so first search to see if they already have a profile to begin with
    • Pick the business and then you will be sent for validation that you are the owner
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  4. If you do not see your business, choose the “No, these are not your businesses”.
  5. Enter your business details and submit the profile.
  6. To ensure you’re authorized, Google verifies your association with the business with a postcard2014-01-23_15-05-18
  7. Wait 1 -2 weeks for the postcard
  8. When the post card arrives, use the PIN to confirm the listing
  9. You can then add all your business profile information2014-01-23_15-07-21
    • Pick your business categories as best you can
    • If you’re a service business that goes to customer sites, enter your service area distance
    • The more information you provide, especially images and videos, the better your profile will appear to users.
  10. When you’ve finished editing your profile, it will go for a review and in a couple days it will go live.
  11. Check back after a few days to see if your updates show up on the Google search results and Google Maps.