Online visibility is one of the key components for success for local businesses. The Internet is the first place many people go when looking for a product, service, or directions. According to HubSpot, 88% of individuals who do a local search on their smartphone, visit or call a store within a day.
Google My Business can help local business owners maximize their visibility.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows businesses and organizations with a physical address to actively manage the information that people see when using Google Search and Maps. By claiming/verifying their listings, businesses gain the ability to ensure that their information is accurate and enhance their online presence.
How Do I Claim/Verify My Google My Business?
Simply go to GMB’s main page and click manage now. You will be guided through steps to locate your listing or create a new one if needed. The verification process will require that Google send you a code to confirm that you are indeed the business owner or a representative of the company or organization. Verification methods range from phone and SMS to postcard via mail. (These methods may be limited at times.)
What Does Verifying Google My Business Allow Me To Do?
Verifying your GMB will enable you to:
- Ensure that your business, name, address, and other contact information is accurate.
- Keep customers updated on current business hours and any special holiday hours.
- Put photos and descriptions of your products online.
- Link to menus or services that your business provides. Allow customers to book services directly through your listings.
- Encourage and respond to business reviews, boosting your credibility.
- Post news and provide offers directly through your listings.
What Can Google My Business Insights Teach Me About My Business?
Google My Business’s data insights can reveal lots of good information about your business such as:
- Show you how many times people have found your listings through Google Search and Maps during a week, month, or quarter.
- Detail what actions people have taken once they have found your listings.
- Visual breakdown by hours and days of when people call you because of your GMB listings.
- Search terms that individuals use to find your business.
As you can see, actively managing your business’s Google My Business online presence is one of the most important things you can do to help grow your local business.
Also, be sure to check out How To Use Social Media To Grow Your Business.