If you haven’t already jumped on the Google My Business bandwagon, now’s the time. Leaving a Google My Business profile unclaimed (psst: even if you’re virtual) is like leaving an entire host of free marketing opportunities on the table and willingly ignoring their existence…and you know better than that.
Here’s the deal: 80 percent of internet searches go through Google. Think of the last time you actually searched through Bing or Yahoo. Yet, 56 percent of potential Google My Business accounts have not been claimed. This means the business will not be told when a review comes through, you’re allowing third-party photos to be attached to your business without your knowledge, and you’re missing out on a wealth of leads and potential sales.
Keep reading for the top 3 reasons to claim your Google My Business listing.
1. Claim Google My Business Listing for Local SEO
Claiming your Google My Business profile gives you the ability to boost your ranking, free of charge, by instantly making yourself more of an authority in your space. See, Google’s algorithm primarily considers three features: relevance, proximity, and prominence. By claiming your profile, you are essentially sounding an alarm to the algorithm that your listing deserves a higher ranking because of information you’ve provided. Here’s why:
- By adding your website to your profile, you are adding backlinks, which builds up your site’s reliability.
- You’ve now provided Google with a location, which tells the algorithm when it should come up in more localized searches.
- It makes your business more established and well-known in the eyes of Google.
2. Get Found By Potential Clients
As your SEO improves, your business appears earlier in the search ranking, and, as a result, your website traffic increases. Even simply filling out the information in the profile, however, and turning it into your own, enables your business to share necessary content with your potential customers.
By claiming the profile, you are able to put your ideas, via posts and blogs, in front of them. You give your audience a chance to learn about your business, the hours it operates, any pertinent or new information, and how to find out more. The more information your customers consume, the more likely it is the interaction will end in a sale.
3. Use GMB for Reputation Management
Google reviews are all the rage right now, and it makes total sense. The last restaurant you’ve visited, the electrician you’ve hired, the last salon you’ve entered…I would be surprised if you’ve never checked out some reviews before making a decision. 90 percent of people read reviews. 90 percent.
When you claim your Google My Business profile, you become notified when there’s a review. And, as every smart business owner knows, when there’s a review, there needs to be a response. Without claiming the profile, you don’t know when the review comes in, and you leave it unnoticed. As positive reviews build up, more positive reviews come in, and all this leads to more sales for you.
Beyond that, Google My Business recently added a messaging feature. More customer interaction means more engagement and loyalty which, again, means more sales.
How Do I Claim My Business on Google?
So now you’re convinced, but have no idea how to claim your Google My Business listing. Follow this process, and if you run into an issue, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
- Go to https://business.google.com/create and create an account.
- Add your business name.
- Add your business category. If your business shows up after this step, it’s possible that your business has already been added via a third-party. This may require a bit more poking around. If you get stuck, reach out for assistance.
- Add your location or indicate that you’re virtual.
- Different questions will arise based on your answers. Just fill them out.
- Add pictures where you can. When adding your pictures, give them names. Most images are labeled with IMG_123 or something to that effect, which doesn’t help your SEO at all. Label your images with a specific name that lets Google know what you’re about, such as “Best-Dog-Groomer-Charlotte”.
- Once you’ve completed and reviewed your details, click “Claim this business.”
- It typically takes about 24 hours for your business to show up in the Google listings. You’ll receive an email confirmation that your business listing is active.
Don’t leave your business behind by leaving your profile unattended. Google My Business is a fast and easy way to improve your visibility, engage your audience, and provide a ton of content, and it’s all for free.