Most businesses don’t succeed by leaning on the strategy “if you build it, they will come.” You shouldn’t either. We’re here to offer an alternative option to jumpstart your professional success: Learning how to claim a business on Google.
Let’s face it—being found online is a must-have for businesses operating in today’s digital world, and search engines like Google are crucial to that effort. In fact, 68% of online experiences begin with the search engine. If somebody is searching online for a product or service you offer and your business does not show up in those search results, it’s unlikely they will choose you or become a customer. To them, it may appear that your business does not even exist.
One of the easiest ways to get the word out about your small business or new brick-and-mortar location is to leverage a Google Business Profile. If you’re unfamiliar with the Google Business Profile or have yet to complete your profile, you’re not alone. Many businesses have not claimed their Google Business Profile—but have no fear; we are here to help.
A Google Business Profile is a free online business listing offered by Google, and we think all small business owners should take advantage of it. The more complete your business listing is, the higher you will rank in relevant Google search results—which has a direct impact on whether potential customers will choose your business over your competitors’ business. A Google Business Profile gives your business credibility and legitimacy online, both key to building a solid customer base.
A Google Business Profile is a valuable resource for retail businesses or businesses with storefronts or physical locations. Leveraging a Google Business Profile is a simple, free marketing tactic that business owners can use to enhance their business’s online presence, brand awareness, and recognition. You don’t have to have a marketing team or a robust digital marketing campaign to get in front of your potential customers at the exact moment they are searching for your services online. This is relevant for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
A Google Business Profile has a direct impact on where your business will appear both in Google Maps and Google’s search results. A business that has complete and accurate information in their Google Business Profile typically receives more clicks, is 70% more likely to attract visits to its physical location or storefront, and is 50% more likely to make a sale when compared to a business that has not. Again, the optimization and completeness of your listing will impact how successful it is in helping you achieve your business goals. Before we get into setting up your listing, let’s dive deeper into some of the ways leveraging a Google Business Profile can directly impact your organization:
Congrats! You’ve decided to claim your business on Google and provide a fully-optimized, robust set of information to your customers and potential customers online. Great move. Here’s how you start the process from your computer or phone:
1. Visit https://www.google.com/business/ to begin the process of filling out your profile. Keep in mind that you will need an active Google account to complete this process. If you do not already have a Google account, you can create one using your business email address. It’s important to use your business email address—or an email address you regularly check—because Google My Business will send you periodic notifications and updates about your listing via email.
2. Next, enter your business’s address to locate it on a map. You can then select whether you’d like your business to appear on Google Maps. If you are a retail location, have a storefront or conduct business where customers will regularly be visiting your location, this is a must. Failure to complete this step means your business will not show up in Google Maps.
3. Fill in all relevant business information. We cannot stress this enough—fill in everything. The more complete your profile, the more helpful it will be to searchers and the higher Google will rank it in the search results. Make sure you’re accurately completing every section to the best of your ability, including:
4. Verify your account. Your Google Business Profile will not be active or appear in search results until it is verified. You can verify your business in several different ways:
5. Keep it updated! The only thing worse than not showing up online is showing up online with inaccurate or misleading information. Google can update profiles at any time and will periodically suggest edits to your profile in an attempt to make things clearer for searchers. Still, you should always keep an eye on your profile and update it if you make any significant business changes. Are you closed for a major holiday? Has your phone number changed? Did your business move to a new location? If the answer to any of these is “yes,” update your profile. Remember that your Google Business Profile is often a potential customer’s first touchpoint with your business, so you want to make sure your information is up-to-date and accurate at all times.
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