If you are looking to grow your business online, then it is important that you claim Google Business listing or profile, officially known as Google My Business. With a Google business profile, potential customers will be able to see more information about your business including reviews contact info and directions.
This blog post will walk you through 13 simple steps for claiming and optimizing your Google My Business Listing.
What is Google My Business?
Google is the most popular search engine in the world, with 3.5 billion searches made every day across more than 190 countries. One way to ensure your business appears high in search engine results is by properly optimizing and add your business to Google.
Doing so will both help you connect with potential customers that are searching for you and drive traffic to your site which could result in more nearby people seeing your shop or office building.
Google My Business (GMB) is a free and easy-to-use business profile tool provided by Google that allows you to manage your business profile on Google and connect with customers specifically in your local area.
Once you claim your business, you can add a description of the company, contact information and reviews. You can also upload images to highlight specific aspects of your business that people might be interested in.
A Google my business profile will help you appear for local search terms, using keywords relative to your business, meaning people can find your products and services more easily using Google search.
A Google my Business account is crucial for local SEO, enabling business owners to connect with customers in their local area and showing their business information in a relevant Google search
Why do you need a business profile on Google?
Google My Business is a way for local businesses to claim their business on Google. Google My Business provides a number of quick and convenient ways to interact with customers.
A Google my Business profile includes contact details, directions to find you, and an option for users to click through direct links to your website or phone number.
Benefits to having your business on google
Claiming a Google business profile has many benefits, including.
- Listing your business on Google My Business will allow you to control the information people see and how they access it.
- Online users will find your company information more easily
- Google My Business helps customers locate your business on Google Maps
- Google has more of your business information on file, which means it’s more likely to show you when a user looks up the name of your business.
- You cannot have someone else claim your business address or name on Google My Business to spread the word about their services.
How do I find unclaimed business listings on Google?
Find unclaimed business listings by searching for “unclaimed businesses in (your location)” or “claim your listing on google”
Google will show a list of all the sites with potential matches. Click on each site to see if it’s yours, and then claim the listing by clicking “claim this site.”
If Google shows you a page that says, “This business could not be located,” it means your location has been claimed. Claiming your profile won’t help to find unclaimed listings in other locations.
What happens if you claim Google business listing?
If you claim a business on Google, the page will show up in search results with your company’s name.
Claiming a site also means that you’re taking responsibility for it and can manage all its information – such as details about hours of operation, contact info, products or services offered, photos and reviews.
How to claim and verify Google business listing
Claiming your business profile on Google listing is easy, and there are steps you can follow to ensure that no one else can claim it.
The first step in improving your Google search presence is to add your business or claim Google business listing profile on Google. Once you’ve claimed and verified the business profile, you can customize it for optimal search results.
Please follow the step-by-step instructions below to claim business on Google
- Visit www.google.com/business
- Click the ‘Sign in’ or ‘manage’. You will be asked for your Google account details or to signup for a new Google account
- Create a new account or log in with your Google account. You can also sign up using an email address.
- Search for your business name and address. You will be given a few options. If your business name and address appear, it is already on Google – check to see if you have the login details for the account if not you can choose the option to claim this business.
- If you want to edit the details, sign in with your Gmail account and then click “Add Your Business.”
- If nothing appears, you can add your business by clicking ‘Let me enter the full business details’
- Add a location that customer can visit. Similarly, if you work from home or remotely, you would probably want to choose ‘No’. However, for this exercise, we will select ‘Yes’. Click next.
- Choose the category that fits your business best. Choose your business category. However, try to choose the most accurate category possible, as you’re telling Google which type of customers should see your listing.
- Select which type of business listing to claim: Local Business & Place > Claim and verify your local business
- Enter your full address information in the fields that appear on the screen.
- Select “Verify Address” once complete. Google will send you a physical card to verify your ownership and business address so you can manage the listing on Google.
- Review all other details about how you want your company displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) such as a business address, business name, physical location, hours of operation and phone number.
- Click ‘Finish’ when finished filling out all information
Here is Google’s video explaining how best to verify your business, which can vary depending on the type of business. However, it can take up to a week for Google to review and process your claim.
How to optimise your Google business listing
A common mistake that people make is that thinking the job is done once they have claimed and verified their listing.
Google My Business has a few features that you can use to optimise your listing and keep the listing relevant and up to date. It’s also worth noting that other people can actually suggest edits to your listing even though you have claimed it as your own. So it’s worth checking regularly.
So let’s make sure your listing is as good as it can be!
Go to the listing you want to edit. in the dashboard select “Info,” and then choose a section to fill out or update. Add as much information as you can, clicking the pencil next to the field you’d like to edit, making your change, and then choosing “Apply.”
Google My Business Posts
Google Posts are like “mini social media posts” that show up in Google search in your Google account (in the Knowledge Panel and on Google Maps).
To get started with Posts, log in to your GMB dashboard, and you’ll see the Posts option on the left-hand side.
Create your post, add an image, a strong call to action and perhaps a link to your main website.
A few ideas for posts include;
- Events such as a seminar, presentation, webinar. Remember to add the date, time and link to the registration page
- Promotions such as sales/discounts
- New product or service you want to feature and promote
- General message about change to opening hours on bank holidays
Google My Business Photos
We all love a good pic, and according to Google, businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website and 42% higher requests for driving directions in Google Maps.
As well as adding your logo, and a cover photo, you can add a bunch of other images. Adding images to your listing is great for you to showcase your products or give a sneak peek behind the scenes of your business, at an event for example.
You can set images for the interior and exterior of your business. Adding images is an excellent opportunity to show your company in the way that you want it displayed. For instance, this helps you to build up an online persona of your brand.
Google My Business short videos
Videos are a GREAT way to stand out amongst the crowd. Most people are reluctant to do videos, but you shouldn’t be. Don’t be worrying about hiring a pro to make movies, use your smartphone.
In addition, adding videos is a great way to communicate with your audience in a more personal way. However, make sure your videos are taken at the place of business and are of people that work at your company.
Videos must be:
- 30 seconds or less
- 100 MB or less
- 720p resolution or higher
Take these steps to claim and verify Google listing add your business to Google. Don’t put it off another minute! If you’re not already on the first page of search results, now is the time to take action. You can do this yourself with a few simple steps or contact us for help–we’ll be glad to answer any questions you have about claiming and optimizing your business listing in order to get higher rankings online.