Are you the owner of a small or mid-sized business? Perhaps a realty company? Are you looking to increase your online presence and bring more traffic to your website? It sounds impossible. Claiming and verifying your Google My Business listing can put your business on the map both figuratively and literally!
So what is Google My Business? Unlike the new Google Guaranteed Program, it’s a free directory listing that combines Google+, Google places, and Google maps. Through it, you can manage your online Google presence on one single dashboard, while also increasing your exposure and local search traffic.
Google My Business & SEO
Things customers can do with Google My Business:
- View your address, phone, website and operating hours
- See photos of your storefront and a 360-degree video of your business
- Find out what others are saying about your business via an aggregate star system and online reviews
- Get directions to your location
- Connect with your website or Facebook page
If you’ve been doing business in your area for a while, Google might already have your company information in the system. However, if you don’t claim it online and then verify it through a phone call or postcard, your site won’t be given the same weight as other similar businesses with verified Google My Business listings. This can then heavily affect your rankings, resulting in sales lost to your competitors.
So how do you claim your Google My Business listing? It’s easy:
First, go to www.google.com/business and click ‘Start Now.’ Enter your name, address and phone (NAP), as well as business hours, website address, and category. It’s very important to make sure the NAP information you enter matches the information displayed on the website it links to. You’ll then have to wait a couple weeks for a postcard with a verification code to arrive at your business location. You can also request verification via phone call.
Once you get your verification code, go back to the Google My Business website to enter it and follow the prompts. Your listing is now verified and open for business!
But don’t stop there. There are a variety of steps to take that can help you get the most out of your Google My Business listing and rank higher with it, including:
- Posting content and regular updates. Include a short intro about your business and what you do. You can also publish news and special offers or promotions. And if you post to your website news page or Facebook profile, you can also share and promote that information on your Google My Business listing further enhancing SEO for your website.
- Using photos and video throughout your listing. Add your logo, a profile photo, and a cover photo to highlight your business. This is important because according to Google, listings with photos get 35% more clicks than those without them. You can also post videos to provide more in-depth, behind-the-scenes information. Just make sure the images and videos you post are professional quality.
- Encouraging customer reviews and social check-ins. With customer reviews, your star rating will then be displayed on the map for searches. A high rating can then boost the click-through rate from a search engine results page to your website. In addition, positive reviews improve the chances of a customer actually visiting your business.
Looking for a Professional to Set Up Your Google My Business?
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