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Google My Business, the search engine–operated service that powers company profiles on searchable maps and listings, has become an essential tool for small-business owners in today’s digital world.
Companies with an active Google My Business listing show up with a bigger, more complete listing on the right side of browser windows in search, helping more people find their physical location and get information about products and services.
The best part? It’s free.
Put simply, Google My Business is a free landing page for your business on Google. Even if you’ve never created a Google business listing, there’s probably already one there.
To go beyond what Google automatically provides and create an active profile, you have to claim your business listing.
A basic Google My Business listing contains a physical address (so it shows up on Google maps), a phone number, and a website address. Active profiles also include customer reviews, photos, offers, business hours, the ability to send messages, and questions and answers.
The listing also makes companies more prominent in Google search than those without an active profile, enhancing your online visibility.
According to Forbes, Google My Business can boost local search engine optimization (SEO) and provide analytics and insights to help you drive customers to a physical location. It’s a useful tool to complement your business website.
Google My Business is an important tool because it works in harmony with the way today’s customers search online. It’s a service that can help people find your business and get information that you want them to have.
Key benefits of using Google My Business include the following:
Instant credibility — Your business will display prominently in search with a phone number and links to your website.
More visibility on maps — Make sure your business location is pinned in the proper location so customers can find you.
Potential for more website traffic — Users are more likely to see expanded listings, especially if you post photos, and click through to your website.
Connect with customers — Using chat, posting available hours, and creating offers, your business can better engage online.
Create a more seamless website integration — Google services (like maps and SEO tools) will work as you intend if you control the profile’s content (if your location is showing incorrectly on maps, for example, this is how you change it).
To create a Google My Business account, you are required to verify that you are a representative of the business you want to manage online.
First, Google your business. If a business listing appears on the right side of the screen, click the “Own this business” link to start the verification process to claim your profile. You need to be signed in to a Google account. (Pro tip: Create a Google account with an email address using the same domain as that of your business.)
You must verify your business on Google before you can start making changes to the account or posting information. Proving you are a valid representative of the business, this verification can be done via email, online, with a phone call, or through the mail.
If your business does not show up when you Google it, start from scratch. Sign in to Google My Business and enter your business address. Note whether you serve customers at this address or not. Add a business category. Enter your business phone number and website. Click “finish.” You will be prompted to select a verification method to finish creating an account. Once verified, you can post and make changes.
All in all, Google My Business is a no-cost tool that every small-business owner should leverage as part of their marketing efforts. Use it in conjunction with your website to help direct traffic and potential customers to your location.
You can claim your page and start building a profile in just a few minutes. Remember to link it to your WordPress.com website, and you’ll already be on the path to success.
Thousands of small businesses and online stores call WordPress.com home.
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