Claim your google my business page - 30 day content challenge

Why you should claim your Google My Business Page, even if you don’t plan to use Google+ as a social network?

If you are a local business (that is, a brick and mortar shop), you need to claim your Google My Business (GMB) page. Period. And even if you mostly do business online, it’s still a good idea to claim your page.

Google My Business. Confusing term right? You might have heard of its original names: Google Local or Google Places. But you probably DO know what it is because chances are, if you’ve ever done a search for anything online, you’ve probably used Google, and you’ve probably seen the search results page with links, a map, and maybe even some photos and opening hours.

According to Tekshouts, Google My Business has everything a small business owner needs to get found in local search. Merely having a GMB account makes your business relevant on Google Search, Maps, and even Google Plus. Ranking isn’t that hard after all.

 

  • Online reviews: Those stars are the first thing people look for in local searches!
  • A location focus, or “Near Me” Optimization: If you’re the closest burger joint according to Google, chances are it doesn’t matter how many stars you have.
  • The option to upload images: The more natural images of the store, products, and workers, the better! Stay away from stock photos, if you can.
  • An easy-peasy setup process: Google does all that background work for you.  

 

How to claim your Google My Business page + get more found more easily in a Google search: Click To Tweet

 

The #1 question I get asked is “How do I get my business on the first page of a search?”

There are a lot of tactics to creating a search engine optimized website, most of them either involve committing time (such as writing blog posts that are both valuable to your audience AND have your targeted search keywords) or paying a company do intensive SEO strategy for you.

Did you know you need to claim your Google+ page for your business? People mistakenly think that if they see their website in the search results, that the information is correct, and that they have no control over what is included.

Wrong. But the good news is, that verifying your Google+ Page for your business is simple, will only take you a few minutes, and what’s even better is you only have to do this once! So before you embark on any other strategy to try and get your website found online and attempt to get more traffic to your website, do this one quick and easy step.

Once you have claimed and verified the page, you will have access to a dashboard to manage your GMB page.

NOTE: if you have a Gmail email account or a YouTube account, you might already have a Google profile and/or a Google+ Page. It’s just a few steps to turn it into a verified Google+ business page listing.

 

{Related post: how to find the direct link to your Google reviews.}

Here’s what Google has to say about why you should claim your free Google My Business page:

  1. Be found across search by your customers. Google My Business puts your business info on Search, Maps and Google+ so that customers can find you, no matter what device they’re using.
  2. Make it easy for your customers to get in touch. Give customers the right info at the right time, whether that be driving directions to your business in Maps, hours of operations in Search or a phone number they can click to call you on mobile phones.
  3. Start a conversation with your people. Google My Business helps you build a loyal fan base. Your customers can show their appreciation with ratings and reviews, use the +1 button to endorse your content, and re-share your Google+ posts across the web.

 

What? Another social network to manage???

If you are a time-strapped business owner, already overwhelmed with all the social network choices and time to maintain them, then #1 and #2 above will apply to you. #3 is the social network where you would post status updates, photos and links, just like you do with Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Google+ might not be the most effective place for you to interact with your followers so I recommend you simply claim your Google My Business page and ignore the social networking aspect for now.

 

Ready to start? Here are the quick access links to Google My Business setup.

https://www.google.ca/business/

https://www.google.ca/business/get-started.html

What does a “claimed” page look like in a Google search?

 

Google My Business Page for verified and claimed page with photo and listing details

Claimed and verified page with photo, listing details, website link, and reviews

 

If you did a Google search for Style Photography in Kelowna, that is the listing you would see. A Google My Business page that has been claimed and verified will have a complete description and detailed info to help the viewer find the business, contact them, see if they are reputable (reviews), and view the associated website. Essentially, everything a local business needs to get discovered.

What does an “unclaimed” page look like in a Google search?

 

Beachtek Google My Business Page unclaimed listing with arrow

An unclaimed Google My Business listing

 

It’s easy to see why many people don’t realize that a page needs to be claimed because there is the business name, phone number, website link, and even a photo and point on a map. However if you look closely, there is the phrase “Own this Business” which is the link you are looking for if you are the official business owner.

Don’t worry, people can’t just claim a business and write whatever they want. Google ensures that the actual owner must verify their account before adding information and updating the account.

If this was your business, you would click the “Own This Business” link, and you would be directed to another page to continue the process.

This is the easiest method to claim your GMB page, as long as your business shows up in a search and on the map.Note: if you are using a Windows computer, your default search might be set to Bing. You can simply go to Google.com to start a Google search.

 

 

beachtek unclaimed google page next step

 

How to Claim Your Google My Business Page

As with most things Google, there are several ways to claim your page. I shared above how you would claim your page if you had done a Google search and already located your business in the results page.

Another way is to use Google’s help links to direct you through the process to “get on Google”.

 

Google My Business - 3 easy steps 10 minutes - from Google Help

5 steps to set up your Google My Business Page and verify the Google+ account:

Step 1. Locate your business (or add your business if it isn’t already on the Google Map, which might happen if you hare a new business or recently changed names.)

Find your business - step 1 in claiming your Google My Business page

 

Step 2. Set up a Google account (if you don’t already have one).

Step 3. Confirm you are the verified business owner. This is usually done by Google sending out a postcard to the address of the location to be claimed. On that card you would find a verification code

Step 4. Log into your Google My Business account and enter the code from the postcard.

Step 5. Update your GMB listing with a description, category of business, opening hours, phone number, related website, etc.

Be sure to upload a few photos – if you are a personal business where you represent the company (such as a real estate agent, financial advisor, medical practitioner, trainer, coach or consultant) then I recommend you also upload a professional photo of you. If you are in the food industry, you could include an outside and inside shot of your establishment, as well as some pictures of the food you serve.

In your description, include keywords that people might be searching for.

For example, a local cafe might include: We are proud to serve organic / fair trade coffee, herbal teas, home baked goods, home made soups, fresh baked bread, deli style sandwiches, and gluten free products, served at our lakeside patio with a view of Okanagan Lake. We also offer a catering menu for your special events such as weddings, office parties, and corporate events.

 

A bonus step to help you get more visibility:

Step 6. Update your Google+ account. At the very least, upload a cover photo. Some people WILL click on the image or the Google My Business listing and get to your Google+ page. Below is a screenshot of what the default page looks like. Simply changing the cover photo to your own business will help you stand out and look legitimate, because most business owners never make it to this step.

 

Having a Google My Business page also means you can get customer reviews. But don’t assume they’ll find it on their own, in the next part of this series I show you how to find the direct link to your Google reviews.

 

Key Takeaways:

  • You need to claim your Google My Business page, especially if you are a local, brick and mortar business.
  • Claiming your GMB page allows you to add important information about your business, such as description, opening hours, address (including a pin on a Google Map), contact phone number, photos, and the all-important Google reviews.
  • More reviews and more complete profile might help you get ranked higher (closer to the first page) of a Google search and help potential customers trust you more.
  • It’s easy (10 minutes) and free to claim your Google My Business Page.
  • You do not need to use the Google+ page as a social network. Posting status updates and additional photos is optional.

 

Did you find this article about claiming your Google My Business useful? Help other business owners to verify their Google+ page by sharing it on your social networks.

 

*** This blog post is part of the #30DayContentChallenge. Want to take up of the challenge yourself, or view all 30 days of the content and tips on this blog? Click here.

 

 

 

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