Claiming or improving your Google My Business Listing is the singular, most important step you can take for your local business if you want to maximize results from Google Search.
“Why,” you ask? Google says, “Manage how your business information appears across Google, including Search and Maps, using Google My Business — for free.”
The keyword in the previous paragraph is “manage.” There is little a business can control when it comes to Google. When Google makes it easy to post correct information about your business for free, and that information is displayed in Google Search results and on Google Maps, you should take advantage of it.
With Google My Business, you can:
- Increase your online visibility
- Show business hours and if open/closed
- Your contact details are prominently displayed
- Display photos of your business
- Publish Posts just like Facebook or Twitter posts
- Encourage reviews and interact with reviewers
- Answer customer questions — List FAQs, or answer live
- Let customers message you
You also can see insights on how customers searched for your business, and their locations at the time of search. You can also see how many people called your business directly from the phone number displayed on local search results in Google Search and Google Maps.
Bottom line: Claim and/or update your Google My Business listing! It is unequivocally the best and least expensive online marketing you can do.