If you are a business owner, connecting with local customers is a critical aspect of building your operation. When you claim a business on Google, you unlock the true potential of your business.
Claiming your local or small business on Google is one of the most effective ways to establish a great reputation online. Not only is Google the most used website and search engine in the world today, it’s also where nearly everyone starts and ends when looking for information online.
Something we continually discuss on the blog is the question of “what appears in the search results when someone Google’s your name“? If your site isn’t ranking number one, then someone else is — which also means, someone else is in control of your reputation and the first impression you make.
By claiming your business page through Google, not only will you be legitimizing your business and showing that it’s real; you will also be unlocking a wide range of benefits both within and outside of Google. Your business profile is the key.
Standing Out in Local Google Search Results
Business owners depend on attracting new customers in order to grow their companies. In today’s highly connected digital environment, search engines like Google offer significant benefits, allowing potential customers to find you quickly. Your business’s online presence is a critical component of the modern business world.
Local Google search has become a dominant force, with in excess of 85% of people looking for businesses around them on desktop and mobile devices. In order to ensure that your business is visible in a Google search, the practice of local SEO, or search engine optimization, plays a major role. In effect, local SEO optimizes your web presence so that Google’s search algorithm can accurately categorize and index your business profile and website. Think of local SEO as a powerful local marketing solution that supplements your other marketing channels. When you claim a business on Google, you are taking an important first step in bringing customers to your door.
Google Maps Visibility: Benefits of the Google My Business Platform
When you claim a business on Google, your business information is readily discoverable by anyone using the search engine’s search bar. In addition to being able to share your business name and business phone number in search results, setting up a Google business profile puts you on the map — literally. Google Maps is linked to your profile, displaying your business location and making it easier for potential customers to find you. (PS: You might also want to know what are the different ownership levels in Google My Business).
Getting your business onto Google Maps is the next step in optimizing your company for great visibility in the online environment. If you haven’t set up a business listing on Google, you may be missing out on a steady stream of new customers.
Claiming Your Business Listing
If you’ve come this far, you’re probably wondering, “how can I get my business on Google?” and if you have a physical address, “how can I put my business on Google Maps?” The answer lies in Google My Business (GMB), a free business listing service launched by the search giant in 2014. To claim ownership, Google makes it relatively easy and hassle-free.
When you’re ready to claim a business on Google, the first step is to enter your business name in the search bar. If that entry is unclaimed, there will be a “Claim this business” link. Click it and select a verification option, then click submit. There are a few different ways you can complete verification. Google will send a verification code to your email address or business phone number. There is even an option to send a physical postcard to your mailing address. While this is slower than instant verification, it may be useful in preventing fraud.
Google’s verification process helps to keep others from claiming your business, giving you better control over your online presence. After all, Google wants you to be able to manage your listing and to prevent access from unauthorized users.
Once the business listing is verified, you’re ready to add details to your Google My Business account to begin the process of optimizing your profile for great visibility in online searches.
Your Google Business Profile
After you claim a business on Google, the next step is to flesh out your Google My Business listing. Access to listing features is located within GMB itself. From your business dashboard in your Google My Business account, you have numerous options and several fields to fill out. These include information like:
- Business name
- Physical location
- Phone numbers
- Business email address
- Service description
- Details about your business, including your history and service area
If you have a physical address and are a local business, you can put your business on Google Maps upon verification of your GMB. If you have an online business and want to add business to Google without address, you can do it by selecting “I deliver goods and services to my customers” after entering the GMB setup. You will also need to add your service areas as well as details of your business.
If you have more than one physical location, GMB lets you add the physical address details for each. Your Google My Business listing is nearing completion, and you’re ready to stand out online.
All the information you add to your business listing will help pinpoint you on Google Maps and help customers get the details they need to continue their purchasing journey. As the current profile owner, you can tweak your listing so that it displays current information, including changes in phone number, location, multiple locations, or other business evolutions. Ownership gives you granular control; with your account features and tools, you gain valuable benefits in creating visibility in locally-based searches.
What About Online Reviews?
When you claim a business on Google and complete your Google business profile, there is one more important feature to activate within your dashboard. That feature allows Google to display your customer reviews in the knowledge panel on each page of search results.
Google reviews are critical in shaping the public perception and online reputation of your business. A strong review and rating profile builds trust, encourages others to shop at your location, and sends important signals to the Google algorithm. Positive reviews tend to attract more customers, while negative reviews can keep people from visiting your location. The more reviews you get, the higher you are likely to rank in search results as well.
5 Reasons Why You Should Claim Your Business in Google Today
When you search for anything in Google, the results will vary based on your current global location. This is especially true when searching for any local businesses or places to eat in your area or if you are a service area business (such as cleaning services etc.). Having your business address on the Google maps listing means significantly more visibility to potential customers. When you get your business on Google, you’re gaining competitive advantages.
You can see a real example of this through the screenshot below, where we searched for “las vegas pizza”. Notice all of the individual businesses and locations recommended on the right side of the screen — all of which are listed, rated, and reviewed through Google. (also note all of the rich data being provided for “Villa Pizza”)
Right away you can see the visual benefits of having your business claimed and listed through Google, but here are some other benefits you might not have considered.
1.) It Builds Immediate Trust
Google is one of the most well-known and trusted brands in the world today. When your business listing is claimed and seen on Google, it brings an extra added level of trust to your business. With Google referencing your business and making it easier for others to find, it’s simply one more layer of exposure, trust, and satisfaction that you are providing to your audience and customer base.
2.) Increases Your SEO Rankings
Every time you claim your business on a major website like Google or TripAdvisor, you are also providing details about your company and gaining links back to your main website and social profiles. This is a great way to increase links pointing back to your site from trusted sites, which ultimately helps with trying to rank higher in the search results. Every link adds critical SEO signals and also improves discovery in the online environment. However, you should also ensure that you are able to manage your online reputation on these websites. Take a look at how to manage your online reputation on Google.
3.) Free Advertising in Prime Google Locations
With billions of searches being made daily through Google, having your business located at the top of the search results would be prime real estate. This can be done through paid advertising, or by simply claiming your business and getting listed among other local businesses in your area (similar to the screenshot shown above). Your Google My Business account is a free advertising tool on its own, but powerful built-in features allow you to bid on ads, set up ads, and manage your ad profiles.
4.) Reach New Customers through Local Searches
Not all local searches are from local residents. Instead, many of these searches are from people out of town or visiting a new area. While many local companies may think they have enough customers living in their area and want to focus their efforts on offline advertising, they would be missing out on millions of potential new customers every year by not having their business listed online and claimed through Google.
5.) Funnel Users Back to Your Site & Social Accounts
Another great reason to claim your business through Google and all other local and review sites, is that they can all help with funneling traffic back to your main site and growing your following on social media. Even LinkedIn can be a valuable funnel for your business; every LinkedIn share to your GMB listing drives traffic right to your company’s website. Don’t lose your audience and customers after the online search, stay in contact with them through your main site and social media.
Your Business Can’t Afford to Ignore Google
When it comes to building a following and brand online, it’s all about creating a relationship with your audience and making it easier for them to find what they need. With mobile device use dominating in local searches, your business profile on Google My Business helps local consumers find you.
Getting listed within local results and claiming your business in Google is one of the best ways to get started and it will take you just under 10 minutes. Setting up business listings is one of the fastest methods to stand out in competitive local marketplaces and supports your local marketing efforts.
To learn more about claiming a business listing and setting up your business profile, contact Onlin Reputation today at (844) 599-8680.
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