If you have a business, especially operating locally, claiming your Google My Business profile should be a no-brainer. Not only it is FREE it’s a fantastic opportunity to optimise yourself on search and control what prospective customers see when they search for your business.
Let’s show an example… If I’m looking for a local restaurant to visit, I head over to Google and type ‘restaurants in Falkirk’. The first thing I see is a map and the 3 of the top restaurants in the area.
I don’t even have to visit the websites, I can click onto the listing to find – the address, opening times, read reviews, get directions and view photos. If the business has claimed their listing, it will also show website links, images of the interior, staff, links to menus and reservations.
Claiming Your Google My Business Listing
If you’re an established business your details may already be listed on Google Maps. Google will sometimes generate and display basic information about your business pulled from other sources. However, problems can arise when the data is taken from out of date sources. Resulting in the wrong address, phone number and opening times displaying.
To ensure all your business information is accurate you can claim your free listing. By claiming ownership you can log in at any time to update your details, add new images, post articles and links to your website and respond to reviews.
How to claim your listing
Go to https://business.google.com/create and fill in your business information. If a listing for your business is already available, you can follow the steps to claim and you’ll be asked to ‘verify’ that you are the business owner. Verification is done by phone instantly or by snail mail, you’ll receive a postcard from Google with a code that you enter into the account.
Adding a new listing
If you’re a new business or can’t find your business details, you can set up a new listing.
- Go to the Google My Business setup page, https://business.google.com/create (you’ll need a Google account to sign in with).
- Fill in your business name, address, phone, email and website address. If you’re a home-based business and don’t want to publicly share your address, you can choose to hide your address and display a service area instead.
- After adding your information you will be asked to verify the listing. This can be done by phone or by post. If you choose by post, a code will be sent to you (usually within a week) which you can then input to confirm you are legit.
- After verification, you can edit your business information and control what customers see on your Google Maps listing.
How To Optimise Your Listing
An optimised Google My Business listing can help boost your local SEO strategy. By managing and controlling the information that people see about your business when they search for your products and services.
So, how do you optimise your listing?
Accurate contact information
Keep your business contact details including phone number, address and website up-to-date. A customer may type your business name into Google and call the number shown without visiting your website. If the number is wrong, that’s a barrier to getting an enquiry or sale.
Wondering why Saturdays are always quiet – fewer customers through the door? Have you checked your opening hours are listed correctly on Google? Always ensure your opening hours are accurate.
Photos and Videos
Enhance your listing by uploading photos and videos of your premises, staff, products and work. Giving potential customers a glimpse into your business can help them decide to shop with you.
You can post updates, offers and events which are display on your search and map listing. It can also be a great opportunity to share your latest blog posts.
Google My Business is a brilliant free tool that you can utilise and optimise to give your customers to most relevant information about your business. If you’d like help to regularly update and optimise your listing, get in touch to ask about my maintenance packages.