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Google My Business: What You Need to Know

Arguably, one of the most important things you need to do as part of marketing your business and website online is setting up a listing on Google My Business. If you have ever done a search on Google, you have most likely seen businesses come up in either the map or in a sidebar with additional information. These FREE listings come from Google My Business. If your business does not have a verified listing on Google, this is something you’ll want to get done ASAP. If this is something new to you, we’ll explain why it’s important for your business.

Gone are the days when people would search the Yellow Pages for a business or service they needed. Instead they go online for instant, local results. According to Google, 97 percent of consumers search for local products and services online. So, you want your business to show up!

You also want your business information to be accurate online. It’s important to have consistent NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number). That way potential customers are able to find and contact you.

Google My Business Local 3-PackThe way to control your business information on Google searches is with a Google My Business listing. This allows you to manage your company’s information across Google Search and Google Maps. In addition, claiming and optimizing your GMB listing will increase the likelihood that you can appear in the coveted Google Local 3-Pack. Although, a GMB listing won’t guarantee your business will get in one of the top three spots, it will definitely help. If your listing is up-to-date with the correct information, Google is more likely to show it for relevant local searches.

Even if you have no idea what a GMB listing is, your business may already have one. Google usually pulls information from websites or other online directories to create their own directory. This is why it’s so important to claim and verify your business information. If you leave it up to Google to decide what’s correct, you will most likely have inaccurate information.

Claiming and verifying your business listing is not usually difficult, but it can take a little time. This is a service we provide, so if you need assistance with claiming and optimizing your GMB listing, contact us. We also help manage business listings to make sure all the information stays up-to-date and relevant.

Nearly all businesses are eligible for a GMB listing. It doesn’t matter how large or small it is and whether you have a store location or provide services at the customer’s location (i.e. service-based businesses like plumbers and landscapers).

Google My Business listing information shows on both mobile and desktop versions of the search engine and on Google Maps. To see if your business has a listing, simply search for your business name along with your location in Google. You can also visit this site to check:

If there’s a current listing, you’ll just need to set up a Google account, then claim your listing. If there is not a listing for your business, you can add it. Once your listing is claimed or added, you can update the business information including address, phone number, business hours and more. You want to make sure all information is accurate and that it matches what you have on your website. You will then need to verify this information to make it visible in Google searches. Verification typically is done by a postcard that is mailed to the business address. Other forms of verification can sometimes be done by phone or email.

Once the listing is verified, you can further optimize it with photos, a description about your business, services you offer and more. A new feature you can use is posts, which allow you to post a special offer or event with your GMB listing.

Even when your listing is verified and optimized, you’ll still want to check it regularly since anyone can make edits to your listing, including your competition. You may not be notified of these user-generated changes, so be sure to log into your GMB dashboard frequently to check for any updates not made by you. Again, if this is not something you have time to watch, we can take care of monitoring it for you.

If you have questions or need help verifying and optimizing your Google My Business listing, contact our marketing team at 717-589-7812 or contact us.

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