Want your business to show up on Google Maps when someone performs a search? Then you’ll want to claim your business on Google.
This is a FREE listing that can allow you to show up on local searches. Claiming your business is especially important if it primarily serves local customers with its products or services.
One caveat, you DO need to be an actual licensed business.
Stats to Convince You to Claim Your Business:
If you doubt the power of Local Search and why you should Claim Your Business, on Google My Business, then here are some stats courtesy of Search Engine Journal that may motivate you a bit:
- 97% of consumers use the internet when researching local products/services
- 43% of consumers search every month for a local business
- A major reason for an online search is to find the location of a ‘known’ business
- 78% of mobile searches for local businesses result in a purchase
- Local Search delivers better ROI than all other online channels
Remember folks, this is a FREE business listing. Free is good – especially on Google!
“70% of all Google Business Pages are unclaimed
(un-managed) which means the business does not realize the business page exists, or manages it.”
Search for Your Business on Google
One of the quickest ways to see if your business has been claimed is to do a search for it on Google. If it has not, then you will likely see a search result similar to the one below. Notice the “Own this business?” circled in red. This means you need to claim it. You will need to go through the steps but it will be well worth your time and efforts to do so!
Fill Out Your Business Profile Thoroughly
Take the time to fill out your business profile thoroughly! From a local Search Engine Optimization perspective, it will be worth your time to do so as you want to reach your audience. Even if you don’t have a website yet, you can begin to gain some traction within local searches. Be sure to include:
- Business description (follow Google’s parameters!)
- Select categories that describe what your business is
- Business Address
- Contact info – phone, email
- Hours of operation
- Your logo (so folks can identify with your brand)
- Link to your website (can be added later if you don’t currently have a website)
- Photos of you shop, products, food you serve etc.
MOZ provides an excellent overview on How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing. It’s quite thorough allowing you to tap into many of the newer features available within your listing.
your business needs to be licensed/registered within your city/town/state as it WILL be verified by Google.
Each city/town/ state may have different protocols for licensing and or registering your business. If you are unsure what is required in your area, your local Small Business Administration is a good place to start. Bottom-line, Google needs to be able to verify that your business is legit.
Once you are verified and get the green light from Google, you will be able to manage your business information via a dashboard. You can make changes as necessary as well as keep all your business info up-to-date.
Even if You Don’t Currently Have a Website…
It is estimated that 40%-50% of small-medium sized businesses still do not have a website. And in today’s digital landscape, it is highly recommended to have a professional online presence. However, if you currently lack a website, this SHOULD NOT stop you from claiming your business on Google. You can still fill out your profile with contact info and business hours as a courtesy to potential customers.
Even without a website you can begin to get some local search traction. You can always add your website info to your business listing later.
Google’s Video to Assist You
If you’re confused or need a bit more assistance on how to claim your business, Google Small Business offers this video to guide you through the steps…
Updates on How Your Biz Listing is Performing
Google My Business will also send business owners a monthly insights email which summarizes stats around how well your Google local listing is performing. And it has recently been updated to include more data.
It now includes visits to your website, reviews, the type of searches you were found for and the percentage increase or decrease month to month for most of this data.
Google does do some wonky things at times – but it has “demonstrated its commitment to showcasing not just large, popular brands, but also small and local businesses that can serve a users’ needs.” And you REALLY want to tap in on that 🙂
Written by Barbara Rogers of Future Primitive Graphics. Graphic Designer and Nature Inspired Art photographer visually enhancing client’s print and digital media. Creatively collaborating with those who genuinely want to make the world a better place.