Business as usual doesn’t look the same as it did a decade ago. Having an online presence is essential if you want to sell products and services. That’s because the world is increasingly interconnected thanks to the internet. The majority of consumers use online search engines such as Google to find what they’re looking for. If they type in your business name and come up with nothing, they may wonder whether you’re a real business or a scam.
Still don’t think having an online presence is important as a local business? Take a look at a few important metrics. Surveys show that 90% of consumers searched for local businesses using the internet. Of those, 33% looked at businesses and product offerings every single day. What’s more, 82% of survey respondents said they use reviews to determine what to buy and who to buy from.
So how do you boost your online presence? One of the easiest ways to establish online credibility is to claim your business on Google. Every time a consumer types in your company name or product offering, your information will pop up at the top or on the sidebar, expanding your reach and increasing visibility to your target customers.
Ready to get started? Here, we’ll show you the basics of Google My Business and why it’s important to use it. Plus, we’ll show you how to get everything set up using this simple “claim my business on Google” step-by-step guide.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a web tool that helps local businesses manage their presence in Google’s search engine and Google Maps. The tool is free and takes just a few minutes to set up. By registering your business on Google My Business, customers will see your company when they search for relevant terms.
Here’s an example of what happens when you’re registered with Google My Business. Say your company is a nursery that sells gardening tools and plants. When a potential customer types in “nursery near me” or “where to buy plants” into Google and hits search, your business will show up in the results alongside your competitors. If you didn’t claim your business on Google, you’d miss out on this search traffic and lose business to your rivals.
It’s easy to see why claiming your business on Google is so important to your success. With thousands of people searching for products and services each day, you want customers to be able to find your business. Not only does online visibility help you bring in sales, but it also helps you establish and maintain a reputation in the industry. Now that you understand the basics, let’s move on to setting things up.
How do I claim my business on Google? Here’s a step-by-step guide
Claiming your business on Google requires just a few quick steps. You don’t need any fancy tools or software, just a reliable internet connection and some basic information about your business. The process is a little longer if you haven’t created a business profile for your company on Google. Here, we’ll show you how to create a Google My Business listing (GMB listing), how to claim your business, and how to verify it.
How to create a Google My Business listing
The first thing you need to do to show up in Google searches and on Google Maps is create and optimize a Google My Business Profile and a business listing. Here are four easy steps to get set up:
- Create a Google account for your local business: Go to https://www.google.com/business/ to create a new account. If you already have an account, log in using your username and password. You’ll need to enter information including the name of your business, business category, and delivery or service area if applicable. You’ll also need to provide contact information including the business address, website, and phone number.
- Navigate to Google Maps: Go to https://www.google.com and enter your business name and city into the search bar. Click the tab for Google Maps. Anyone can add a business to Google so you may already see your business listed here. If that’s the case, skip to the next section to claim your business.
- Add your business location: If your business doesn’t pop up in the previous step, you need to add it. Click on the three bars to the left of the search bar and scroll down to select “add a missing place.” Fill out the form with the relevant business information, including physical location and contact details. If you don’t have a storefront, you can list your home address or another address where you conduct business.
- Receive confirmation: After you hit submit, you’ll get an email from Google confirming the new place, which may take 24 hours to appear on search and maps. You can access the listing using the link in the email to complete the following steps.
How to claim your business on Google
Once you have an account and your company appears in the Google business listings, you can claim it as yours. While anybody can add a business to Google, claiming the business gives you control over all of the information. Here’s how to claim your business on Google:
- Find your business on Google Maps: Search for your business using Google Maps or use the link from the confirmation email when you added the business to Google’s listings.
- Select “Claim this business”: On the left-hand side of the map, you’ll see menu options. Click on “claim this business” and fill out the required information. You’ll be able to change the business name or update any contact information that is incorrect.
- Finish and verify: If you create the listing from scratch, you’ll automatically be able to claim the business as your own. If someone else created the listing, you’ll have to confirm that you really are the owner. To verify, follow the steps in the next section.
How to verify when claiming your business
The verification process takes just a few minutes and there are a few different options for verification. You’ll get instant verification if you have the business set up using Google Search Console. Just look for the verification button in your business dashboard.
If not, Google can send a verification code to the business phone number you have on file. Don’t worry if your business uses a landline. Google allows you to choose whether to receive the PIN code via a phone call or text message.
Alternatively, you can choose to receive the code via the business email or Google can send a postcard to the business address. A phone call, text message, or email are the quickest verification options.
Get noticed with reviews and feedback
You may be asking yourself, “how do I claim my business on Google?” We’re here to help. Making it easy for your customers to find you via a Google listing can help boost your SEO rankings and makes it easier for local business owners to get their products in front of the right people.
Once you have a business account and business page, encourage your customers to leave Google reviews. Consumers use Google to get advice and recommendations on the best products, so it’s important to encourage feedback.
Claiming your business on Google is just the first step. Managing and monitoring customer feedback can help you earn rave reviews and make your business stand out from the competition. Then keeping your listing up to date is key — share updates, offers, events, by simply scheduling Google My Business posts. Set up automated review invites to motivate customers to leave tips on your products that may be helpful for other consumers. You can also use our Survey tools to respond to and resolve any issues before they become bad reviews. With these tips, you’ll be able to address customer needs and reach the eyes of new customers with ease.