Claiming your Google My Business listing means you decide how your business is presented in Google searches and on Google maps. You’d think this would drive managers and business owners to claim their business on Google as early as possible but for some reason, it’s often overlooked and ignored. We’re always surprised by just how many unclaimed business listings there are on Google, especially as Google My Business is totally free and provides a wonderful opportunity for businesses of all sizes to stand out and instantly communicate their USPs to potential customers.
Without ownership of your business listing on Google, it is likely that Google will use third party information to create a profile that lacks detail and may misinform search engine users trying to find information regarding your business or the services it offers. By claiming the Google My Business listing, you can change this information, ensuring your profile accurately represents the company and emphasises what makes your business so special.
Equally, if a listing does not yet exist for your business on Google, you are simply missing out on a powerful (not to mention, totally free) means of promoting your company locally. You see, without a verified business profile, a company’s website is less likely to appear in local searches and may very well lose out to competitors who spent the 15-minutes required to set up a basic profile. In short, taking the time to set up or claim your business listing on Google is an effective means of driving traffic directly through your door.
It also provides a rare opportunity for you to explicitly dictate what search engine users get to see about you. You control how your profile is presented, from the photos to the description, tailoring your profile to emphasise the key selling points of your business and to target your specific customer base. This means you can post updates and keep your marketing material relevant and accurate. Moreover, Google My Business provides specialised insights into how customers are engaging with your business, allowing you to learn what best engages with your preferred audience so you can adapt your communications accordingly.
Google My Business also allows individuals with Gmail accounts to leave business reviews, which is a fantastic benefit for organisations with a strong offering and good customer service. Reviews can be responded to by those with sufficient access to a Google My Business account, providing yet another channel to engage with existing customers and demonstrate your conscientiousness to those who are shopping around. Another handy benefit of collecting Google My Business reviews is that once a sufficient number has been met, the review score may appear on Google Ads and in organic listings.
With these benefits in mind, let’s take a look at how you can claim/set up yours if you haven’t already…
Firstly, you’ll need to determine if your business already exists as a listing on Google. If you search for your company on Google and a listing appears, this means a business profile already exists (which sometimes happens when Google collects information from third parties). In this instance, you’ll just need to gain access to it and then you can amend any details that may or may not be wrong. If a listing does not appear, however, then you’ll need to go through the incredibly easy process of creating one.
How To Claim Your Google My Business Page (if it already exists as a listing)
If your business profile already exists on Google, there are two methods you can use to claim the page:
The first is to go through Google My Business directly:
- Sign into ‘Google My Business’ using your Google account
- Search for your business’ address
- Edit the following details for your business: service, business category, contact details and website (at this point Google will give you the opportunity to create a website for your business free of charge)
- Select a verification option. This can be post, phone, email or Google search console if you have an account.
Alternatively, you can claim your business on Google by signing into maps:
- In Google maps search for your business name
- Select the correct business
- Click ‘Claim this business’ then ‘Manage now’
- Just as you would do through Google My Business, select a verification method
How To Add A Business To Google (if it doesn’t already exist)
Creating a Google business listing from scratch is far more straightforward than you might expect. If your business doesn’t already exist as a listing you’ll need to create a profile which you can then tailor towards your specific customer base.
- The first step is to sign in to your google account
- Once signed in, go to the Google My Business website and select ‘Start now’.
You’ll now be asked to provide basic details of your business including name, address and contact details
- Next, choose a business category. If your business is mobile and does not have a physical location you can choose not to have your business appear on google maps. Instead, you can highlight the areas you serve and are willing to travel to.
- Click ‘Continue’ to complete your profile and at this stage, you will be asked to verify your business.
Adding your business through Google maps is just as easy. Upon signing into maps, you can add your business through one of three ways
- Search for your business’ address and click ‘Add your business’
- Right-click on the map and click ‘Add your business’
- In the top left menu tab select ‘Add your business’
- Finish the sign-up process by following the remaining on-screen instructions
Claiming your business on Google is a ten-minute task which could contribute to years of financial success for your company. Google My Business is a powerful tool for driving custom directly to your business’ door without incurring any additional costs. There’s plenty more information about this tool on the Google My Business site, including a step by step overview and a handy FAQ’s section.
If you enjoyed this article and found it not-entirely dull, why not help us improve our Google My Business profile and leave us a kindly-worded review? If you found it helpful but are still unsure where to start, feel free to get in touch and find out how we can help.