Google My Business is one of the most valuable resources that Google provides business owners, and search users. Google My Business acts as Google’s online business directory, and it has proved to be so useful that nearly every business is listed in it. However, some businesses have not taken full advantage of this free tool by verifying their listing.
Not only do Google My Business listings appear when you search for a given business in an area, but they will also appear for related search queries, and in Google Maps.
Whether you are a local service provider, or sell products or goods in a given area, verifying and keeping your Google My Business listing up to date can have dramatic impacts on your customer base.
Google My Business Listing Placements
One of the aspects of Google My Business listings that makes this service so important is the placements the listings are provided across platforms. On Google’s search engine results pages, for example, the most relevant business listings are provided for certain keywords in a given area.
For the search query “SEO Bracknell, Berkshire”, Glade SEO & Design appears number one in the Map’s 3 pack of listings.
If a business has verified their Google My Business local listing, you can also read reviews from previous customers and clients to get better insight into the services provided, and the overall experience which benefits the business owner and prospective customers.
These results are also tied to a local map from Google Maps, making it easier than ever to get directions to the business storefront. A lot of factors go into the Google listings, and the businesses that appear here and depending on your industry and area, this can be highly competitive.
Similarly, Google My Business listings also appear in the Google Maps mobile app. If a search user is looking for a nearby service provider, they often go straight to Maps to get directions to the nearest location.
The most important aspect you will need to do is ensure all of your business information is accurate on your Google My Business listing. This includes your business contact information, for example phone number and email address, your website URL, and the physical address for your storefront and your hours of operation.
It’s important that this information be “copy & paste perfect” across all of your listings, like any other directories, your website, or anywhere else your business information is listed online.
You should also provide a detailed and accurate description of your business and your services in Google My Business as well. This can also include photos of your storefront, the services or products you provide, as well as your logo.
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of your Google My Business, however, is your industry settings. Here, Google provides a list of different categories, and sub categories as well, for you to list your business in. This will help Google serve your business listing to search users when related queries are made in your area.
Once your Google My Business is filled with relevant information about your company and the services you provide, you will need to start getting reviews from customers. A business with a solid review rating will often be served to search users higher in the Google Results. Google aims to provide the best search engine experience to their users, and listing a business with 5 stars and dozens of reviews will satisfy a users experience more so than a business with 3 stars and only a few reviews.
The Importance of Google My Business Verification
There are many benefits of verifying your Google My Business listing. While listings can be created without verification, claiming and verifying your listing allows you to change the settings to get a better listing, as well as provide more accurate information to potential customers.
Providing as much information to Google and search users can go a long way toward increasing your online presence, and a verified Google My Business listing can go a long way toward this goal.
To verify your listing, go to your Google My Business account and choose your location. Once on the main dashboard, you will be prompted to verify your listing is you haven’t already done so. The most popular verification option is have a postcard with a verification code mailed to your the address you listed on your Google My Business account. It usually take between 3 to 5 days for the postcard to get to your storefront, and once its received, simply log back into your Google My Business dashboard and enter the code provided by Google.
You can also choose to have your Google My Business listing verified by phone, either a text or call, or sometimes through your Search Console.
How Google My Business can Affect Your Rankings
Google has managed to remain the most used search engine for years because of their attention to the search user’s experience. Having an accurate, well reviewed, and relevant Google My Business listing simply gives you another potential option for rankings on search result pages.
Being in the top results is valuable real estate, and the more results you occupy, the more your brand awareness increases. Since the majority of search users do not go the second page of search results, having your business listed on the first page through as many different placements is crucial.
Additionally, the more a search users clicks through your Google My Business listing to your site, and remains there for a few minutes and views multiple pages, will show Google that not only is your listing relevant, but the website attached to it is authoritative and engaging. A high click through rate and a low bounce rate (the percentage of users who exit your site without viewing a second page or performing a second action) has a direct impact on search result rankings.