Think about how others use the Google search engine to find what they are looking for locally, they will usually type in the service or product then the location. For example, “Italian restaurant near me” or “Italian restaurant + LOCATION,” they don’t want to browse websites. They want to find a restaurant.
Google understands this and has started showing real local businesses at the top of their search results.
If you want to show up in those results, you need to create and optimize your listing now and keep it up to date.
Claiming and verifying your Google My Business Account will allow you to reach customers with the Google map and listing tools. It will also ensure customers have correct hours, contact information and location.
When you claim your business, Google will send you a verification code to the store address that you listed (so make sure it is a mailing address too, and not just a business location)
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business(GMB) is a platform where you can control your business listing in local Google search engine results and Google Map placement.
You can add contact information, business hours, photos, video, and engage with potential customers through reviews and questions.
It is a great tool for managing your online reputation by responding to those customer reviews.
Why Do You Need to Claim your Google My Business listing?
Google My Business works hand in hand with your website to increase your local online presence.
Mobile users want to find information quickly online, and not have to look through all the websites to find what they need. If they can find what they need on the business page and can book or ask a question easier, that is better for them and you.
Top Local Search Results
For local searches, Google does not give websites the prime real estate, that goes to the top business listings, right below the ads.
82% of smartphone shoppers make a “near me” or local search before deciding on a business and most people looking for something local, are looking on their smartphones.
This is why it is so important that you not only have set up or claimed your Google My Business Listing, but also that you assure that all relevant information is added as well that potential customers may be looking for.
Checklist for Google My Business
- Have you claimed your Google My Business listing?
- Is your business name, address and phone number correct?
- Are your business hours correct?
- Are you listed under the correct business categories?
- Have you added at least 5 – 7 quality photographs? Businesses with photos on their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more click-throughs to their websites than businesses that without photos, according to Google.
- Have you added a video? (maybe a 360’ tour)
- Have you written a great business description?
- Have you included that you accept credit cards and other types of payments?
- Have you encouraged your customers to add reviews?
- Have you responded to both positive and negative reviews?
- Do you regularly add posts?
- Have you added a menu or list of products and services?
Create a Google My Business (GMB) Listing
Here’s a quick overview of key steps to take when setting up GMB:
- Log in to the Google Account you want to be associated with your business (or create a Google Account if you don’t already have one).
- Go to business.google.com and select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner.
- Enter your business name and location.
- Add your phone number.
- Include a link to your website.
- Select relevant categories and subcategories.
- Add at least 5-7 photos of your business, interior and exterior.
- Add up-to-date business hours.
- Include any relevant business information, such as menus, reservations, or book appointments.
- Respond to business review and ask for business reviews from happy clients.
If you have any questions or need help with your listing, send me an email.