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Add or Claim Your Business on Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is a free business directly listing website that was created and maintained by Google that businesses small and large use to manage their company’s information across Google Search and Google Maps. Huge importance is place on maintaining your business’ information — specifically your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) — accurate and up-to-date is a way for potential consumers to discover your company and gives Google the correct information to display to users searching for your type of business or for your business specifically. In addition, claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing can also increase your odds to appear in the much sought after Google Local 3-Pack:

It’s super important that you know and understand that if you just set up a basic Google My Business (GMB) listing for your business won’t guarantee that you’ll appear in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), but it will help Google know the correct information to show regarding your business if it is searched for. If your GMB listing is up-to-date with the correct information, Google is more likely to show it for relevant local internet searches. And for those looking for an edge in their local SEO rankings, this could mean the difference between 3rd of 4th place in the Three-pack.

Reasons Why Should You Claim Your Google My Business Listing Now

Maybe you’ve never even heard of Google My Business and you’re wondering to yourself why you would claim your Google My Business listing anyway? What makes this type of listing so important or different from all the rest that it matters now all of a sudden over the other hundreds you’ve seen come and go? According to Google, 97% of online consumers search for local products and services, but only 37% of businesses have claimed a local business listing on a search engine. If you’ve been looking and scratching your head over the past few years wondering where there’s an opportunity for you to beat your competition, well this is finally that spot! If you’re competition hasn’t already taken advantage and claimed their Google My Business listing, you have a low cost method that you can implement easily and do so starting today! Claiming your Google My Business can help with your local search rankings.
To claim your business listing on Google, you must personally interact with your customers during the business hours you include in your GMB listing. You can work with your customers at your physical place of business or at the customer’s location. That means that even service businesses, like digital marketers, freelancer writers, landscapers or plumbers, graphic artists, and so on can also claim their Google business listing.
Most companies can claim a Google My Business listing, but there’s a few exceptions.

How Does Google Decide Which Businesses to Show in Search Results?

In their quest for the most relevant user information and experience, Google’s algorithms use a wide variety of user data and factors in order to determine what websites are going to show up in the coveted local search results. There are literally hundreds of determining factors being  considered in Google’s search algorithm. When it comes to local search, these are the main two being considered most relevant in displaying websites to the searcher:
  • Distance: this measures how close the business is to the searcher or the area where the searcher is located or possibly where they’re going.
  • Prominence: is measured by how well-known or popular the business/website is based on information Google finds about it on the internet. The best example of this would be back links from a large number of websites and it having an aged domain, meaning its been online a long time with a lot of relevant links from other solid websites pointing back to it.

Finding Your Business or Claiming It

Claiming your Google My Business listing is pretty straight forward and simple to do. Before you even start looking, it’s important that you set up a Google email account. This email account needs to be the same email account that’s used for all sites you will build in the niche your’re in.  Having a Gmail email address lets you have a single login to access all of Google’s products, such as: Google My Business , Google Docs,Google DriveGoogle Search, YouTube, Google Translate, Google Play, Photos, Blogger, Search Console, Google Analytics, and so much more.
If you’re a digital marketing agency, it’s important to know that you cannot claim a local business’ Google My Business listing. An agency acting on behalf of their client actually goes against Google’s Terms of Service. The business owner only must claim their business on GMB and then make you a manager of their Google My Business listing.
Now that your Gmail account is set up, follow these steps to properly signup and configure Google My Business listing:
  1. Click on this link to access Google My Business, which is location based:
  2. Enter the name of your business and click on the  “Find Out.” button.
In this example, you’ll see that your business is already being listed on Google Maps. Maybe you’re wondering why it would be listing on Google Maps since you never added it yourself, and the answer is that when you register a new LLC, it automatically gets added to some databases and directory sites, much like GMB is in a way.
3. Google will search and let you know whether or not your business is found on Google Search. Based on Goole Search, there are 3 possibilities:
  1. Update your business info
  2. Verify your business info
  3. Add your business info
From these 3 actions that we can take on a Google My Business, you will get one of these 3 responses:
  • “Nice Job. You’re on the Map.” If you get this back from your business search it means your business is verified, hopefully by you! Either the business owner, or someone authorized to manage the GMB listing, can then log in and apply edits and/or updates that can appear on Google Search and Google Maps. To access Google My Business, click the “Update Your Business Info” button.
  • “Your Business Info Might be Incorrect on Google.” If this is what’s shown, it means your Google My Business information may show up on Google, but your company’s address is unconfirmed and no one from your company has officially claimed or verified your Google business listing. You can verify your business by confirming the business by clicking the “Verify Your Business Info” This will start the verification process that can take 7-10 days to complete.
  • “Your business isn’t on the map.” If you get this message back it means that Google can not locate any business information from either GMB or from other business directory resources out on the interest. To get started claiming your listing, click “Add Your Business Info.”
4. If you see your business listed, click the appropriate arrow. This will skip you ahead to Step #5. If your business does NOT show up in this list, click the last option “Let me enter the full business details.” That takes you to Step #3. If you clicked “Let me enter the full business details” you will see a page that asks you to enter your business information.
5. Enter all your business’ information, and do it EXACTLY the same way as you have on Facebook, your website and any other business directory listing. Just make sure that you pay attention to all the small details, because this is where you’ll either make it or break it, like dealing with capitalization and spelling. Here are some general guidelines:
  • Enter the exact and complete street address for your location. For example: “567 Clover Ave, Des Moines, IA 55555”. Best rule of thumb, just use the Post Office method of routing the traffic back to you’re your site.
  • You cannot use PO Box addresses to register a Google My Business. Goole does this to keep another business out of your area by not letting them go and buy PO Boxes in oder to claim their business is actually domiciled there and not just a service provider for this area. Again, this is a good thing as it helps you not have to compete with bigger players that would simply box you out of the market.
  • If you have a suite or office number, add that information separately from your street name and number.
6. Then select a business category that is the closet match for your businesses niche. It must be a category that already exists in Google. You can’t add a new category. If you can’t find a category that matches your business type exactly, select something as close as possible. More than likely you r won’t get an exact glove snug match fit, so keep your options open, or do like I do and go check out your competitors and see how they’re listing and emulate.
  • For instance, if you’re a LEED certified architecture company, search for LEED or “green architecture firm.” Since those categories aren’t available, the next best fit would be “Architect.”
  • If you have questions, you can contact Google at click “Contact Us” at the top of the screen. You can then call Google or use their Live Chat feature to get help with your listing.

Make Sure You Verify Your Google My Business Listing

As a preventative measure against the wrong people (ie your competitors) from claiming your Google My Business listing, Google wants to verify that you are the legitimate owner of your business. This is part of the GMB “verification” process.
Most small business owners get verified by a postcard that Google sends you. If you’re verifying a business that’s already listed on Google, you might be able to verify by phone, though I don’t know many people who actually did so be looking out for the postcard that’s coming in the mail. Wouldn’t’ surprise me at all if you caw it come in tomorrow.
  • When verifying your GMB by mail and phone verification, Google will send you a PIN verification code on a postcard. Once you receive this, you will use that code to confirm your address with your business name and identity. Important: If Google is sending you a postcard to verify, make sure you tell the person who gets your mail that you’re expecting a postcard from Google that’s very important. Some people think that it’s “junk mail” and it can inadvertently get tossed in the mail.
  • If you have the option to verify your business by phone:
    • Make sure you can answer the business phone number to receive your verification code. If you have a voicemail system at your business, switchboard, or call center this call verification method won’t work.
    • Click Verify by Phone to have the code sent to your phone automatically via automated message.
    • Enter the code from the message into your dashboard.
  • Google will never call your business and ask for your code, password, or any personal info. They’ve got more important things going on than call you.
  • If you don’t see the phone or Webmaster Search Console verification options, click the arrow next to “Mail me my code.”

Use Valuable Insights to Discover Who Your Audience is and How to Interact with Them

Once you claim and verify your Google My Business listing, you can get lots of valuable insights about the website visitors who view your Google My Business listing coming from either Google Search or Google Maps. From the insights you can gleam:
  • How many people searched for driving directions
  • How many people viewed photos of your business
  • How many people visit your website
  • How many people called you

To check out the customer actions that were taken on your website, you can start with the following types of actions that customers took on your listing:

  • Click to Visit your website
  • Request directions to your businesses physical location
  • Click to Call you
  • View photos on your business and the offering you have.
In order to actually see how many people took a specific action on a particular day, place your cursor over the related segment of the graph on the day you’re interested in viewing data on. Click the check boxes to the right of the graph to turn off segments, so you can isolate particular data points that you’re interested in.
These sections have the following labels in bulk insights reports:
  • Total actions
  • Website actions
  • Directions actions
  • Phone call actions
Direction requests
This section shows where on the map people request directions to your business. You’ll see your location pinned on the map, and a map that shows the most popular places from which people ask Google Maps for directions to your address. You may also see the total number of requests broken down by city or neighborhood.
On the map, you can zoom in and out on the map using the + and  icons on the bottom-right corner.

Phone calls

This section shows when and how often customers called your business via your listing on Google. At the top of the section, “Total calls” gives the total number of phone calls in the timeframe you’ve selected.
In the graph, you can choose to view trends in customer phone calls by either “Day of week” or “Time of day”. The graph will show when customers are most likely to call your business after viewing your business listing on Google.
You can adjust the timeframe for the data in any of the sections. In the top right corner of the each section, you’ll see “Last 30 days” if you haven’t selected a different option. To change the timeframe, click or tap “Last 30 days”, then select from the other two options: “Last 7 days” and “Last 90 days”.


This section shows the number of photos associated with your listing and how often they’re viewed compared to photos of businesses similar to yours. The “Photo views” graph shows the number of times your photos have been viewed by Google users, and the “Photo quantity” graph shows the number of photos uploaded by you.
The lines on the graphs compare your photo data with photo data for businesses similar to yours. For example, if you own a restaurant, your business would be compared to other restaurants in your area. You may not see this information if there aren’t enough businesses like yours nearby. On the right side of the graph you’ll see the total number of photos based on the data points you’ve selected.

These sections have the following labels in bulk insights reports:
  • Total owner photos
  • Owner photo views
  • Total customer photos
  • Customer photo view


Now Is The Time To Claim Your Google My Business Listing. So, if you haven’t claimed your Google My Business listing, now is the time to get going!


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