If you own a small business, you’re always looking for a cheap and easy way to promote your brand.
One tool that every local company should take advantage of is Google My Business. GMB is a free featured offered by Google that allows you to create a directory listing for your business.
Despite the many benefits claiming your business page on Google can bring to your brand, only 44% of businesses have done so. If you’re one of the 56% of companies that don’t have a Google My Business profile, then today’s the day to change that.
Read on to learn all the advantages of having a Google My Business Page, followed by a step-by-step guide on how to claim a business on Google.
Control of Your Brand
Businesses must be in control of their brand.
When you control your own brand, you can ensure that all information is accurate and updated. You can address any issues that may arise, and you are better able to maintain your reputation.
If you don’t claim your business page on Google, you’re missing out on these opportunities while opening the door for others to step in and interfere.
Claiming your Google My Business Page is a key step to establishing control of our brand online.
Easy Access to Information
When somebody searches for your name directly on Google, they likely already know some things about you. They’ve seen your name on review sites or had your place recommended; maybe they’ve even been to your business before.
If they already know about your business, Googling your name is likely in search of quick information. They’re not doing thorough research on you. They’re only trying to refresh on where you’re located or what your hours are.
The GMB information box is perfect for users to find basic info like this. They search your name and they don’t even need to bother clicking on and loading a new webpage. Everything they need is already right there.
By making things convenient for your potential customers and clients, you’re making it easier for them to visit you and give you their business. You’ll also minimize the chance they get frustrated looking for simple info and move on to another company.
Reviews and Feedback
Online reviews are a critical part of the decision-making process for people shopping or browsing online. In fact, 91% of people regularly or occasionally look at online reviews.
Positive reviews are great for your reputation. People love to see third parties recommend a company because they know they’re giving an unbiased account of a great experience.
Negative reviews can be a bit scary, as they point out times your business messed up. However, how you publicly respond to criticism and take steps to correct your mistakes can turn a bad experience into a net positive for your brand.
Google My Business has a great built-in review and reply feature. By claiming your company’s Google My Business profile, you can monitor your ratings and comments and respond to people. Signing up with GMB is a great way to leveraging online reviews to work in favor of your business.
Major SEO Boost
By claiming and filling out your Google My Business Page, you’re uploading vital information about your business directly to the world’s largest search engine.
The subsequent benefits for search engine optimization and your ranking on results pages are tremendous. The biggest area of impact will be in local SEO, which is very valuable for a small business.
A company’s location is an integral factor in appearing in search results. The closer someone is to a business, the more likely the Google algorithm is to present that business on the front page. By verifying your address, Google can confidently show your information to the people in your community.
One of the prime areas of Google front-page real estate is the “local 3-pack.” Whenever somebody searches for a type of business, Google shows three businesses in a special box at the top of the results. Because location and ratings are large factors in what makes the cut for the 3-pack, having a Google My Business page is a major advantage.
Your business listing on Google also helps establish official, accurate information about your company. Having consistent information across multiple listings online (GMB, your website, Yelp, Facebook, etc.) helps the Google algorithm determine that your business is legitimate and deserves to be featured.
On top of all that, your GMB profile counts as a backlink to your website. Not only will people be able to find your official site easier, but you’ll also get the SEO benefits of backlinks.
These are only a few of the ways that GMB can benefit your SEO. There’s arguably no other way to boost your SEO that’s easier and cheaper than Google My Business.
Syncing with Google Maps
Some people search for local businesses through Google Maps rather than the standard search engine. They like the search for businesses in a given area, especially if they need something that’s very close and quick to get to.
By signing up for a Google My Business page, your information from GMB is automatically synced up with Google Maps. Somebody searching on Maps can easily find your business, tap on your name, and see your information instantly.
How to Claim a Business on Google
Now that you know the many benefits of Google My Business, it’s time to set up your own page.
Step 1: Make sure you have a Google account.
Step 2: Visit the Google My Business website and click “Start Now.”
Step 3: Search for your business name. If your page has already been claimed by someone else, follow the on-screen instructions to gain access to it. If it’s not been claimed, proceed to Step 4.
Step 4: Confirm or update the details Google already has stored for your business.
Step 5: Google will send you a postcard in the mail to the business address to verify your location. The postcard will have a PIN number, which you need to enter in the GMB dashboard.
Step 6: Once You’ve entered the postcard code, you’re a verified owner of the business! You can now add additional business information, photos, posts and otherwise take full advantage of Google My Business.
Learn More About Optimizing Your Online Presence
When you claim a business on Google, you’re taking a big step towards improving your visibility and reputation online. However, it’s only one piece of the puzzle.
Need help with your Google My Business or other SEO Services? You can contact us for a free SEO Audit and consultation.