Local SEO: Claim Your Google My Business Account Now!

photo of a hand holding a smartphone with an image of a Google My Business map

If you have a brick-and-mortar store, then you need to embrace local search engine optimization. And, it all starts with you claiming your Google My Business account. GMB has replaced that old, thick phonebook with those yellow-tinted pages as the way customers find nearby companies.

Businesses that ignore the power of creating a Google My Business profile will miss out on potential sales. Don’t think so? Check out these stats:

  • 97% of users searched online to help locate a local business
  • Nearly half of all searches on the internet include a local intent, highlighted by those “business near me” searches
  • “Near me” searches continue to increase exponentially
  • More than half of “near me” searches lead to potential customers visiting a store
  • Almost 80 % of local searches on mobile devices ultimately result in an offline purchase
  • Nearly two-thirds of consumers will not do business with companies that cannot be found online
  • Google Maps is used by more than 85% of customers to find a local business

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is the search giant’s business directory offering, sort of like a Yelp!, that lets companies with a physical location or specified service areas promote themselves to local consumers.

When you create your GMB account, your company will appear in Google Maps, the Google Knowledge Panel, and potentially the Google Local Pack (sometimes referred to as the 3-Pack). These features come into play when consumers search for local businesses.

Google Maps

Google Maps is both a mobile app and a browser service people use for directions from one address to another, but it is also used to find local, or nearby, businesses.

Google Knowledge Panel

The Knowledge Panel is the info box that appears on the right side of Google searches. As it relates to local searches, if someone does a search for your company, then the Knowledge Panel will likely be filled with an image from your business, a map showing where you are located, the name of your company, how to reach you, what reviews you have received, directions to your store, and how to visit the website.

Google 3-Pack/Local Pack

Let’s say you traveled out of town, and you are hungry. If you do a search for a “restaurant near me,” Google will display a map with pins showing you restaurants of all types in your vicinity. Then, underneath the map you will find three restaurant entries that will inform you about the restaurant, what it serves, whether you can dine-in, take-out, or have food delivered, what the rating of the restaurant is, whether the restaurant is opened, and where it is located.

Sometimes it can be difficult to have pages from your website rank on the first page of a Google search. But, if you pay attention to your GMB page and optimize it, then you stand a good chance of having your company prominently featured in the 3-Pack underneath Google Maps.

To take advantage of all the Google My Business features and benefits, you will need to have a Google account. If you have a Gmail address or use Google Workplace for your company’s email addresses, then you already have a Google account.

How Do You Sign Up for Google My Business?

One of the best things about Google My Business is the cost: It’s free. You can sign up on the GMB page. It is a three-step process:

  • Claim/Create your business profile for Google search and maps
  • Personalize your information by adding hours, photos, and other details
  • Manage your account by sharing updates, responding to your reviews, and connecting with customers on Google

Perhaps the most important information is what is called NAP in local SEO: Your Name, Address, and Phone number.

Claim/Create Your Business Profile

When you visit the GMB home page, click the Manage Now or Get Started button. Sign in to your Google account.

Do a search for your business. It’s possible your company might be listed already if it was added by a third party. If it already exists, then you can claim your business. If you do not see it, then you can create your business.

If you have to add your business, then enter your company name. Then, you will see a number of business categories. It is important to make sure you choose the best category for your establishment.

After you choose your primary category, you will be asked if you want to add a location where customers can visit (this could be a store or an office). If you have a physical address, then enter the information into your GMB account. Double- and triple-check to make sure it is correct.

Also, you will be asked if you provide service to customers outside your location. If you have a business that delivers, then you will want to say yes and indicate how far you deliver.

If your company does not have a physical location because you are a service company that travels to the customer to provide do your work, then you will be prompted to add your service area.

Then, you will be asked to add your phone number and business website.

Verify Your Business

You might think you are finished, but unfortunately, you are not. Now you have to through the verification process. To verify your business is legit, Google will send you a postcard by mail. You will receive a postcard in a few days.

When you receive your postcard, it will have a unique verification code for you. It will give you the URL to visit so you can enter the code and verify your business.

Personalize Your Information and Manage Your Account

After verified, you will be able to personalize and manage your account. The three most important elements you will want to pay attention to are info, reviews, and photos.

Fill out the information about your business and be as complete as possible. You will add your business description, address or service area, hours of operation, phone number, website, products you sell, services you offer, and other information.

Online reviews are influential, and you will want to encourage customer reviews. You want to encourage positive reviews. If, however, you receive a bad review, it is important to answer it. Apologize and offer to make things right. You can turn a negative review into a selling opportunity because potential customers will see how you respond to your business reviews.

People love photos, so we encourage you to post them often.

GMB also lets you create posts. You can provide potential customers with updates, highlight products, announce sales, and share articles you publish on your website’s blog.

Let Goliath Creations Help You With Your Google My Business Profile

At Goliath Creations, we believe Google My Business is an essential local SEO strategy that each company needs to leverage in order to position itself for sales and growth.

While the service is free, we know the Google My Business dashboard can be a little daunting for some. This is why we offer three GMB-related services:

  • Set up a Google My Business account: You started your business to help others, not spend your time trying to figure out online tools. We will set up your account, provide a description that will attract customers, add your business location, business hours, photos, and other relevant information.
  • Optimize your GMB account: If you set up an account and then never really did anything with it, we will analyze your Google My Business account and optimize it so you can then start to handle the monthly tasks of creating posts, sharing updates, and alerting customers to sales.
  • Manage your Google My Business account on a monthly basis: Companies should treat GMB like a social media platform. You want to add fresh content every month. While you will not post with the same frequency, you will need to update your information and post regularly. Save yourself the hassle and let Goliath Creations handle it for you so you stand a greater chance of showing up in organic search and the Google 3-Pack.

Schedule a Call Today

Sign up for a free Google My Business consultation, and we will also include at no cost a video website audit. If you don’t have a website, we can discuss what it will take to get a professional site up and running to generate more traffic, more leads, more customers, and more sales. Schedule your free meeting today.

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