The number one thing you can do to boost your local business’s online presence is to claim your business listing on Google.
Even if you don’t have social media accounts.
Even if you don’t have a website.
Why Claim Your Local Business Listing
Research shows that businesses with a complete Google business profile are over 2.5 times more likely to considered reputable by would-be customers. Local businesses like yours see even greater benefits, with customers 70% more likely to visit a small business with a completed and verified listing. That’s incredible!
Additionally, Google is now implementing what they call “no-click searches”. Have you noticed? Google’s intent is to offer users as much information as possible directly within search results. Your customers can see directions to your location, hours, menus, and service listings without leaving that page. They can call you, see photos, and even register for events with one click!
Claiming your local business listing with Google allows you customize your information to best fulfill your customers’ needs. Once you’ve claimed your business listing, you’ll be able to post hours, set special hours for holidays, add events, and show off new products and specials as they happen. You can also respond to reviews, create paid ads, upload photos, and view insights about who’s looking at your business and how they’re finding you.
As you can see in the screenshot below, there are over a dozen options for things you can do with your listing once you claim it.
The more information you can add, the more value your listing has to your will-be customers. Menus for restaurants, new product posts for stores, and reviews for all types of businesses are highly valued, both by Google’s search algorithm and by real people looking to find your service in their area.
Convinced yet? Great! Here’s how to do it.
How to Claim Your Local Business Listing with Google
1. Create a business account with Google.
If you don’t already have a Google MyBusiness account, create one. If you do have an account, skip ahead to step 2. You can use your personal account, but I would recommend creating a new account specifically for your business’s information.
Go to https://accounts.google.com and sign in or click “Create Account.” On the next page you’ll enter your name and the email address you’d like to use. After going through the email verification process, you’ll enter other important information, like your birthday, a business phone number, and your business address. Concerned it’s too much information? Here’s why they ask for all of it.
2. Create Your Local Business Listing
Search for your business using Google Maps. If it comes up, click “Manage this listing” and skip to step 3.
If your local business does not have a listing, go to Maps and start typing the name. Click the “Add a missing place” option when it pops up.
Follow the prompts to add a business name, category, address, and more. You should be able to view the listing in your Google MyBusiness account at business.google.com/dashboard, though it will take 24-48 hours for your listing to show up on Google Maps.
3. Claim Your Local Business Listing
If your small business has a listing and you did NOT create it, you will need verify yourself as the owner. After clicking “Manage this listing,” follow the prompts.
Google will send you a PIN via email, postcard in the regular mail, or phone call at your business phone number. Note that this may take a few days to process if you choose the option for the physical postcard in the mail.
After you are confirmed as the owner, you’ll have access to all the information in your Google MyBusiness dashboard (pictured above) at business.google.com/dashboard. Here is where you can update contact information, hours, and website and specify what kind of business it is.
The process of claiming your small business’s local listing on Google can be a time-consuming one, but it is well worth the effort. However, if you’re having some trouble, or would prefer to have someone walk you through the process, contact Local-Social today We love helping small businesses get found on the web!