Google, the world’s largest search engine, offers businesses an opportunity to claim listings. These listings are automatically generated from publicly-available information and can include everything from the business name and address to operating hours. Claiming them gives you, the business owner, more control over the accuracy of this information. This is especially important if your hours change often, if you do not have a physical address, or you want to communicate with people that review your business online.
In addition to accuracy, claiming your business listing sends a signal to the search engine that you are active. This looks good from an SEO standpoint since it boosts your business’s authority. But how, exactly, do you claim a business listing? Keep reading for a quick tutorial.
Step 1: Find Your Business
Log onto business.google.com/create. Here, you will be given an opportunity to search for your business name. Once you have found your listing, you can create a username and password. If you own a chain, your branch should be accessible in the drop-down menu once you begin typing your company name. You may alternately need to choose a location via a provided map. When you do not have a physical location that serves clients, you’ll be given the option to select a service area.
Make sure to confirm whether or not you would like your address accessible via Google Maps. You will be given the option to make a quick list of services during this stage. When you operate a delivery business, and especially if your business is home-based, click the option for goods delivery.
Step 2: Select A Business Category
All businesses fall into a category. If yours is not ideal, choose the option that is most appropriate.
Step 3: Enter Contact Information
Next, you will need to enter your contact information. This should consist of, at minimum, a website and a telephone number. If you are a chain, your URL should point directly to your branch, not just the corporate website (unless your franchise agreement states otherwise.) Each of your locations should have a separate Google listing, and you will need to enter the direct phone number, address, and URL for each.
If you do not have a website, you will also be given an opportunity to create a free basic site through Google My Business. Keep in mind, however, that should you want advanced features, you may contact Google Domains or contract with an outside agency at your own expense to create a website for you.
Step 4: Verify Your Listing
When your information is entered correctly, you can choose your verification option. It is wise to get this step out of the way, but if you are not the legal representative of the firm for which you are creating a profile, you may request to verify at a later date.
If for some reason you get a message that the listing you’re trying to claim is already owned, you may have to request access. This can take up to seven days, and the person who originally claimed it will have an option to respond during this time. If the request is approved, you will get an email notification, and then you will follow a link to finalize the process.
What If My Business Isn’t Listed?
Sometimes, smaller businesses do not get listed. In this case, you can add your business via Google Maps. You will need to sign in to Google Maps, create a business profile using the steps above, and then click the option to add your business. You’ll then be given further instructions on how to finish out.
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