If you want information on any subject nowadays you usually ‘google it’! For this reason, it’s essential to make sure your online listing is accurate and up-to-date. It’s easy to claim your free Google listing and update the information that will show up on Maps and Google’s Local Finder, plus you give your business more chance of being found online. Google my business is the easiest way to get found because everyone has it in the pocket on their phone. People might hear about you and your business from anywhere and you need to ensure it’s easy to find and at the top of the page.
How to claim and verify your Free Business Listing on Google
Your business probably already has a listing on Google – but it may or may not have accurate information so here’s what you need to do.
1. Claim your listing – go to Google My Business and sign up for a new account from the “Start Now” button at the top right of the page. If your business is already listed you can claim it, or simply enter the information about your company.
2. Fill in the details – enter your address and be specific, so it is easy for people to find you.
3. Place a marker on the map – a map of the local area will appear, simply position it in the right spot.
4. Choose your category – to help you attract customers who are searching for businesses like yours in your area.
5. Phone and website – easy!
6. Business hours – include your normal business open hours.
7. Photos – this helps to increase engagement and add credibility.
8. Claim it – the final step is to confirm that you are authorised to manage the business on Google.
Ask your happy customers to post a ‘user reviews’ on your google maps listing. Positive reviews not only provide an endorsement that adds to your perceived trustworthiness but will also improve your list ranking in search results. Make the process easy by providing a direct link to your business on Google Maps and easy instructions on where to find “Write a Review.” Use a URL shortener such as Bit.ly or Google’s URL shortener to simplify the link.
And while we are talking reviews….You can ask for reviews on your Facebook page at the same time. Always take the opportunity to thank people for their review. If you thank them in an online response, it demonstrates the great relationships you build with clients and customers.
Maintaining your Google Listing
By keeping your listing up-to-date, you have an immediate advantage over those who don’t. Check your business listing on a regular basis. Add more photos and check any reviews that may have been added. You may not realise it, but anyone can suggest an edit to your listing. Google allows for ‘user-generated content’, in order to create a more complete business profile. However, if you are the page manager for your business listing, Google will now notify you of the suggested edit.
You can add your next event to google to let people know about what is happening and coming in your business. If you’re holding an event on event-brite, facebook or anywhere be sure to add it to your Google business listing, it’s free after all and can only drive more people. This will also show Google you’re active and adding more content to help you get to the top of the page listings.
The small amount of work required to ensure your business is accurately represented on Google helps your customers find you and improves your online marketing results.