A vital, but often underused, tool to help increase your businesses’ online presence is Google My Business. This is an easy-to-use way for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence in Google and Google Maps. By creating and verifying (also known as “claiming”) your business information (also referred to as your “profile” or “listing”), you can help potential customers find your business easier amongst all your competitors.
When you set up a profile (or listing) in Google My Business, it allows your business to appear in your local area. This will help potential customers to find your businesses’ information and encourage them to pursue the product or service they need from you.
Google will eventually create a listing for you, if you don’t do it yourself. If Google has already created your listing, then you then need to claim it. If you don’t claim your profile, Google tries to provide the best information it can about your business, which may or may not be complete or even totally correct. Missing or incorrect information on your profile looks bad, especially if it’s being displayed next to your competitor’s claimed and completed profile. This could mean the difference between somebody visiting your business or passing it by.
There are several benefits to creating (if Google hasn’t done so already) and then claiming a Google My Business listing. By claiming your profile, you are in control of the information that Google displays about your business.
So now that you know how important a Google My Business profile is, let’s get started.
- Go to Google’s “Google my Business” website: google.com. Click on the blue “Manage now” button.
- Enter the name of your business. If it doesn’t show up in the results, it will say “Create a business with this name.” Now you need to create it.
- Complete the sign-up form with information about your business. It will walk you through it step by step.
- When you are finished, Google will ask to verify your listing.
You’re off to a good start! Now to put frosting on the cake, you should optimize your Google My Business listing.
- Load quality, high-resolution images. A photo of your storefront or product would work well.
- Make sure your information is complete. For example, your website URL and email address.
- Use a local number if you have one. Some people prefer local over 800 numbers.
- Encourage customer reviews. Potential customers like to see good experiences that others have had with your business.
It is important to make sure your Google My Business profile is updated as needed so that it can help build strong SEO for your business, and help you get found by local customers.
Google will not require you to pay for your Google Business Listing to remain active. Your Google listing is free and can be managed and optimized by you, the business owner at no cost.