In today’s digital world, people often turn to Google to find information for local businesses, whether it’s a phone number, website, or hours of operation. If you’re a business owner, certainly you want to be sure you can easily be found. But it’s equally important to be sure your information is correct and up-to-date. The good news is you can have complete control over what customers see in one area by claiming and managing your Google My Business listing.
What is Google My Business?
Google defines Google My Business as a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses, brands, artists, and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.
Why You Should Verify Your Listing
There are several benefits to verifying and updating your Google listing:
- You have control over what Google users see when your listing appears in search results. You can add your hours, website, street address, photos, and more. Then users can call you, visit your website, or get driving directions with the tap of a button.
- You can read and respond to reviews from your customers.
- You can share photos of what you do, new products, storefront, and more.
Tip: Google says that businesses that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.
- You’ll have access to insights that lets you know how many people searched for your business, how many called directly from the listing, how many clicked through to the website or to driving directions, and more.
Google My Business listings appear differently depending on what type of device is used for the search. Examples below show a desktop search result for car washes nearby vs. mobile search results. This is important to note because on mobile devices, Google My Business listings appear first. Organic listings are below the fold. If you haven’t added your listing, or verified and updated it to ensure your information is complete and accurate, you could be missing opportunities.
Manage Your Listing
Verifying and updating your listing is simple:
- First, you’ll need a Google account associated with your business. If you do not have one, you can sign up for a free account using your existing work email address. Visit https://accounts.google.com/signUp to create your account.
Tip: You do not have to use a Gmail account to set up a Google Account. There is a link you can click to use your current email address.
- Visit http://business.google.com/.
- Sign in to your Google account associated with your business.
- Search for your business using the name and/or address.
- If your business isn’t listed in the results, click “No, these are not my businesses” or “I’ve correctly entered the business.” Enter the details for your business. Be sure to include your complete street address, phone number, and website.
- If your business is listed, review details and correct as needed.
- Click Continue.
- You now have access to update your listing, including address, phone, web address, hours of operation, logo, photos, etc.
It may take some time for Google to verify your updates or newly added listing. You should periodically revisit your listing to be sure everything is correct and also add any new product or store photos. You can also login to add special hours for holiday extended hours or closings.
Sometimes business owners are just too busy to worry with tasks like claiming your Google My Business Listing. If you don’t have the time, or need help claiming your listing, give us a call. We’d love to help out.