Creating a Google My Business Account
In order to get your business phone number listed on Google, you will need to create a Google My Business account.
This can be done easily by creating an account on Google and selecting the “Manage My Business” option. This lets Google know that you are interested in making a Google account for your business rather than for your personal use.
You will then be asked to fill in your information, including your:
- First name
- Last name
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Recovery email
After selecting “next,” you will be asked to verify your phone number by typing in a code that will be sent to you via a text message.
Once your Google Business account is set up, you will be able to create your free business profile.
If you already have a Google Business account, you can skip these steps and simply go to google.com/business and select the “Manage Now” tab on the top right corner of your screen.
Setting Up Your Business Profile
When you are ready to start using your Google My Business account, you will need to add some preliminary information for your business’s profile.
Type in Your Business Name
If a listing with the same name already exists, it will be shown as a suggestion through Google’s auto-complete function.
This is important because you will want to ensure that there are no duplicate listings of your business that can confuse your potential customers.
Confirm Your Business Name
Next, you will need to confirm your business’s legal name. In order to ensure you do not face any penalties or are suspended from Google’s listings in the future, you should follow these guidelines:
- Your name should reflect your business’s real name.
- You cannot include “unnecessary” or unrelated information, such as:
- Marketing taglines
- Shop codes
- Trademark signs
- Fully capitalized words
- Special characters
- Phone numbers or website URLs
- Your location
Choose Your Business’s Industry
You will then need to choose a category that best fits your business.
This is important as it can greatly influence the types of keywords that your listing will rank for on Google’s search results, and therefore on the types of customers that will find your business online.
Add Your Business’s Location
You will have the option of adding a location that your customers will be able to visit on your listings. This can be helpful if you are physically present at your store (e.g., if you run a restaurant or retail store) and need your consumers to come to you.
If you are working from home, selling online services, or are the one traveling to your consumer’s homes (e.g., as a carpenter or plumber) and wish to protect your privacy, you can omit this step.
Keep in mind that putting a location will make your business seem more trustworthy and legitimate to potential customers.
Choose Your Area of Operation
You can select several areas, including countries, cities, regions, and postcodes.
This will help your customers determine whether you are willing to travel to them or not (if need be) and will be displayed as an area coverage on your Google listing panel (rather than the conventional red pin).
You should note that the number of areas you list has zero influence over how well or poorly your listing will rank on Google, so do not add them in unnecessarily.
You will also be asked to select the specific region that your business is based in. This can be done by simply scrolling down and selecting your country of operation.
Choose Your Phone Number and Website URL
After you have chosen your area, you will be asked to detail your contact information that will be shown to your customers.
This is displayed on your panel and usually includes your business phone number and website. If you do not currently have a website for your business, you can select the “get a free website based on your info.” option to obtain a free Google website.
When it comes to your business phone number, keep in mind that you will need to conform to the following guidelines:
- Do not provide phone numbers or URLs that redirect users to landing pages or phone numbers other than those of your business
- The phone number must be under the “direct control” of your business
- You cannot provide premium-rate telephone numbers as these levy a higher charge on callers
Verify Your Account
As a final step, you will need to verify your account officially. Google will require you to input your business’s physical address.
It will then send you a postcard with a verification code that you will use to complete your account’s verification process.
Optimize Your Listing on Google
After you have completed your account registration and successfully listed your business (and your business phone number) on Google, you will want to follow a few steps in order to:
- Optimize the number of keywords that will direct customers to your listing
- Provide visitors with as much information as possible
Manage Business Information From Your Dashboard
In your Google My Business dashboard, you will be able to create posts, manage your profile and make edits, and claim any advertising credits that you may be eligible for.
To edit your business’s information, go to the “Info” tab on the left-hand side. This will allow you to see all of the information that you included when creating your account. You can make edits if necessary.
From the Info tab, you can edit different aspects of your business’s information, including:
- Attributes: This can be used to inform your potential customers about any measures that they will need to know when visiting your store. This may include wheelchair access, parking availability, or COVID-related safety measures (e.g., face mask policies, etc.).
- Opening and Closing Hours: This can help your customers know when they can get in contact with you (either by phone or by coming into your store).
- Business Description: This is the equivalent of an “About Us” page on a business website. You should include a small summary of what you want people to know, but avoid using any fluff or keywords — it will not affect how well your listing will rank on Google’s search results.
Above all, keep your business description brief and catchy for potential customers.
Adding categories will take you to the “Industry” category that you selected earlier and give you the option of adding additional categories.
This is highly recommended, as picking other categories that relate to the products or services of your business will increase the chances that your business’s listing will be found due to the higher number of related Google key terms and words. You can add up to nine different categories.
You can add additional photos that will be complementary to the ones you added when creating your account and can include a logo and cover photo.
This can be a very beneficial option if you are selling physical products that you want to display (e.g., for qualitative reasons) or show your previous work with other customers.
Take your time to find photos that represent your business sufficiently, as this can be a deciding factor for many customers shopping online.
Keep in mind that photographs need to:
After selecting “Edit” under the “Services” section, you will be presented with several different “common services” that relate to your previously established industry.
You can also create your own services through the “Add Custom Service” option.
If the recommended “common” services are not directly related to or are unsuitable for your business, you can unselect them by clicking on them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to list my business on Google?
Even though you do not legally need to list your business on Google, the search algorithm’s prominence means that your business will likely be required to do this in order to grow and survive.
Listing your business on Google is generally highly recommended because:
- It is easy to do
- It is free of charge
- It is the platform that most consumers use to find businesses
How do I answer phone calls professionally?
After you have listed your business phone number on Google, you will likely start receiving calls from potential customers.
Having proper phone etiquette is crucial, as this can:
- Make you look professional and trustworthy
- Make you look friendly
- Guide customers to making further inquiries
- Increase your sales
For more information about how to answer business phone calls correctly, check out our guide on business phone etiquette.
Should I use a business phone service?
Whether you should use a business phone service will ultimately depend on your business’s size, as such a service is generally very useful if you are getting enough calls and inquiries to make it worth the monthly cost.
Generally, a business phone service can be a great choice for small business owners as it can allow them to focus on more important day-to-day tasks.
Phone services can also provide businesses with:
- Call queuing
- Hold music
- Caller ID
- Live receptionist
- iPhone and Android apps
- Business SMS
- Voicemail-to-text services
- Automatic call recording
To find the best business phone service for you, have a look at our Best Business Phone Services review.
Can a business phone number help me get financing?
Yes. Business phone numbers work in a similar way to your business structure, name, and website.
This means that they can play a decisive role in whether your company is viewed as trustworthy, credible, and (ultimately) legitimate by potential financiers (e.g., banks, credit unions, venture capitalists, etc.).
For more information on the importance of business phone numbers, see our How to Get a Business Phone Number guide.
Should I use AI-powered tools for my business?
Yes. Artificial intelligence-powered tools can provide business owners with large quality of life improvements.
It can also allow businesses to stand out from any competitors in the same industry.
Common AI-powered tools include:
- Business name generators
- Fraud detection software
- Legal analysis tools
How can I register my corporation?
You can incorporate your business by following these steps:
- Name your corporation
- Choose a registered agent or a registered agent service
- File your necessary formation documents (e.g., Articles of Incorporation, corporate bylaws, etc.).
- Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Keep in mind that you will need to follow certain formality requirements in order to maintain your status as a corporation.
These can relate to:
- Your taxes
- Your meetings
- Your contact information
The extent of information required in your corporation’s reports will depend on your state of operation. These reports are typically brief unless you are a publicly traded company, as these are subject to the stricter guidelines of the SEC.