Why should I claim my business on Google My Business?
The customer journey begins with an online search. Products like Google Search and Google Maps connect customers to the local businesses that best fit their needs. After performing a local search, 92% of users choose a business on page 1 of results, and 50% visit stores within one day of their search (Search Engine Land).
If you want to get more customers, you need to be found on Google. If you want to be found on Google, it’s imperative that you claim your business on Google and make sure all your business information is accurate and up-to-date at all times.
So what is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free online dashboard built for businesses to easily manage their information across multiple Google services. This is where you create and manage your Google business listings.
How do I claim my business on Google My Business?
First, if you’ve used Google Local, Google+ Pages Dashboard, or Google Places for Business, your account has already been automatically upgraded to Google My Business, so you don’t need to take additional steps to claim it.
For everyone else, start at step 1.
Step 1: Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and either sign in or create a Google business account.
Step 2: Once you’ve logged in, enter your business information in the box provided.
Step 3: Now you have to verify with Google that the business you’re trying to claim is actually yours. A verification code will be mailed to you within one to two weeks, and after you enter the code into your account you’re all set! You can start managing your local business information on Google.
How can I improve my business’ local search ranking on Google?
Whether you have one business location or thousands, your Google search ranking is critical: higher search ranking means more store visits and sales, leading to higher traffic and revenue. Here are a few ways to keep your business at the top:
- Keep your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) data consistent everywhere. Everywhere. This includes not only your Google My Business listing, but also any review sites, social channels, and business directories your company is listed on. Consistent business information proves to Google that your company is legit; if your NAP even slightly varies from site to site, your search ranking is negatively impacted. Maintaining a consistent NAP everywhere might sound impossible, but BirdEye lets you fix all missing or inaccurate listings across 70+ sites in real-time, from one place.
- Enhance your Google My Business listing. While your NAP is crucial, it’s just the foundation of a great listing. Google ranks listings based on hundreds of factors, but high on the list is relevance. Enhanced content — such as photos, hours of operation, menus, links to company pages, customer reviews, and more — increases the relevance of your listing, leading to higher search ranking. Adding this detailed information also increases conversion rates once customers find their way to your page, since they can easily learn everything they need to know about your business in one place.
- Manage your online reviews. Reviews on Google and other third-party sites play a huge role in your local search ranking. Of course you want lots of 5-star reviews, but ratings aren’t the only factor Google cares about. Google takes into account a variety of “review signals”, including review volume, recency of reviews, and variety of review sites. Simply getting new reviews isn’t enough: managing and responding to them boosts engagement and proves to existing and potential customers that you value their feedback and care about their satisfaction. Properly managing your reviews can minimize the damage of any negative feedback you receive, driving increased buyer confidence and consumer trust.