Google is by far the most common way users find businesses on the internet. Running a successful ongoing marketing campaign for your business means utilizing all of the tools Google makes available to you, including your Google My Business page.
In this month’s Vortex Digital Marketing Blog, we will discuss what Google My Business is, and why it is so important to claim and maintain it on an ongoing basis.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a special listing that helps you connect with users in both Google search results and Google Maps. You can list your address, service area, phone number, website, hours, photos, services, and gather reviews directly in your profile. When users make a Google search, this information will be included in the search results via a dedicated section above the normal organic results.
Google gives more credibility to My Business pages, making it imperative that you control and maintain your listing.
How to Claim Your Google My Business Page
If you have not already claimed your Google My Business page, there may still be a listing on Google. Based on user feedback and its own website crawling, Google may create a placeholder listing for you. The first step is to Google your business name and see if there are any results.
If there is one created already, you can easily claim it by clicking on the “Own This Business?” link in the listing. Alternatively, you can visit business.google.com, sign in to your Google account, and search for your business there.
If Google automatically creates your business listing it is often hit or miss; many times the information listed will not be accurate. It is important to claim it as soon as possible so you can update it with the correct information.
Claiming the page is fairly straightforward, and can be done two different ways: by phone and by mail. Claiming by phone is by far the easier option, as they will simply call the listed phone number and give you a verification code that you will then enter to claim the listing. Mail is also simple, but takes a bit longer. They will mail a postcard to the listed business address with the verification code attached, and it is added the same way as the phone verification code.
In some cases, a user may have already claimed your listing. If so, Google will instead notify you that someone has already claimed it, and allow you to request access to it. If after a certain number of days there isn’t a response, you can then continue with the verification process.
Maintaining Your Listing Information
Once you have claimed your Google My Business listing, you can edit the listed information yourself by visiting business.google.com, navigating to your business, and clicking on the Info section. First, make sure that the address and phone number are correct, and add the link to your website if you have one. You can also add the services your business provides, upload photos, specify your hours, and much more. Whenever you make a change in this information, remember to update your Google My Business listing!
Something to keep in mind: users may submit feedback and changes about your business through Google. You will get notified that there is a suggested edit, and can either accept or deny it. If you do not act on it in a given amount of time, Google will automatically make the change, so make sure you regularly check your listing for any changes.
Check in next month, where we will cover the importance of garnering reviews for your Google My Business page, and how to set up an effective, simple funnel for gaining more reviews!