Google My Business (GMB) is vital for local business owners in 2020.
For those of you who don’t know what a Google My Business listing is, it is basically a business listing that supports local businesses and helps them getting found in the search results. According to Google, a Google My Business listing is “a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. If you verify and edit your business information, you can both help customers find your business and tell them your story.”
And that GMB listing can help your business stand out in the search results, giving it a unique edge and ensuring that people find it and potentially engage with it. This is all the more true when over 90% of all local searches include Google My Business listings! However, many business owners have not claimed their GMB listing to begin with – let alone leverage it to grow their business and stand out from the competition.
How To Claim And Verify Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing
In times when around 50% of mobile users visit stores within one day of performing a local search (Search Engine Land), being visible online is more than just important. And your business appearing on the first page of the local search result is obviously the bridge to these new visits.
So, the first step to getting more eyeballs on Google is claiming your GMB listing. The process is completely free and lets you update your business information, working hours, location (on maps) and perhaps your posts, photos and other information.
Create, Claim and Verify Your Local Business on Google My Business (GMB)
The first step to do that is to actually look up your business on Google. If you cannot find it, you can visit this page and sign in or create a Google business account. If none of the results match your business, you can simply click “Add Your Business” where you will be prompted to add your business type, service area, or brand.
If you managed to find your business, you can click on “Claim this business” and wait for Google to verify your identity by phone (via your business phone number) or via U.S. Postal Mail with a postcard that is sent to the address listed on the profile.
Note: If someone else has already claimed your profile (which is a rare scenario), Google will require more steps for you to prove that you are the real owner of the business.
Once you are verified, you can start updating and controlling the content that shows on your (GMB) profile. Obviously, you cannot delete the negative reviews left by consumers about your business products or services. All of this can be done through your computer or via the mobile app.
How Can Google My Business (GMB) Help You Get More Customers and Profits?
The main reason to consider claiming your own Google My Business listing is not because someone else may claim it. In contrast, it is all about getting the benefits of having your listing on the first page of Google and appearing as more relevant to your potential target audience.
The good thing is that you can add content, ideas and products along with your GMB listing, which would certainly help the people who found you (or are trying to find you) via search. You can literally add tons of information, including:
- Store and location hours (business hours)
- The fact that your business profile is verified (which will be shown next to it)
- Photos, especially 360-Degree ones which give a virtual perspective of what your store looks like inside
- The map which allows your customers to see your exact location and navigate to it
In a way, Google My Business simplifies searches and allows users to find brands without actually visiting their website and having to navigate to the Contact Us page for their exact address, business hours, map and other local information.
Perfecting Your GMB Listing
Over time, you can do many things to perfect your GMB listing and show your potential visitors how good your products/services are and how easy it is for them to find you in their local area.
A well-managed Google My Business listing will foster improvements in your local search performance. From photos to videos and more positive reviews (which you can ask your users for), the goal of GMB is to make your business more relevant to users trying to find it. As a side benefit, people will know that you value customer feedback a lot and do everything to foster consumer trust.