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Claim Your Google Business Listing

People May Be Editing Your Google Business Listing

Google went from simple company to “verb” status in most cultures – just “Google” it we tell our kids or friends. Google is everywhere and helpful for consumers and for business owners.

As a business owner, you have probably heard about people using Google pay-per-click ads to help boost their sales or web traffic. You pay to use that service based on a pre-determined cost per click and the number of people who click. But a more powerful aspect of Google is completely free: Google Maps.

As a business owner, you are probably aware that your customers and prospects can find you on Google Maps. Much of Google’s business model is based on mobile usage, and they provide business owners with a free business listing on Google. In addition to free, it is pretty powerful.

Most Business Owners Have Not Claimed Their Business Listing

2016-12-06_Google Map CLAIM Example v2

What does this mean? If you have not claimed, or verified, your own Google Business Listing, then someone else can do it and enter information on your behalf. I am consistently amazed when I find dozens of business owners in an area that have not done this simple verification (claim) of their own business.

Better news? If you simply claim it, an incredibly easy process, which again is totally free, you can create a powerful way for people to find and visit your business.

In the process of working toward my “Google Trusted” status for 360 Degree Photography (the core of a Google Maps listing), I did extensive research to see how useful and valuable a Google Business Listing could be for a business owner, especially those with a physical location. Here’s a statistic for you:

When searching for businesses, consumers use mapping products 44% of the time.   -IPSOS Study

You can guess what mapping tool they use. Even with a huge number of consumers using Apple iPhones – most of them install and use Google Maps because they trust it more than Apple Maps.

The first step is to look up your business on Google Maps. From there, just as the image above shows, click on “Claim this Business.” Google then verifies your identity, either by phone to your company phone number, or via U.S. Postal Mail with a postcard sent to the address listed on the profile. If someone else has claimed your profile, which happens fairly often, there are more steps for you to prove you own the business, but I won’t go into that here.

After you complete this easy step, you can then update and control the content that shows (most of it) on your profile. Before you ask, you cannot simply delete negative reviews that customers leave about your business products or services (unless you can prove fraudulent activity). You can do all of this on a desktop computer or via the mobile app (the Android version from the Google Play Store is shown below).

2016-12-06_Google My Business Android App

In case you are wondering, some of the most compelling parts of a profile include:

  • Store/Location Hours
  • Reviews
  • That the business profile is claimed/verified. If they see the “Claim This Business” link, then clearly the business owner has not taken this step.
  • Photos, especially 360 Degree, virtual reality type photos that create a virtual tour-like experience.
  • And, of course, the map itself which allows them to see the nearby area and get directions.
  • Complete Listing – research showed that 67% of profile visitors would not do further research if a listing was mostly complete and included the above info. If not complete, 41% were likely to keep doing research and leave that profile.

Google Pay-per-click Ads are, no doubt, one of the most well-known Google products. But you don’t need to pay to increase interest and traffic to your business – just start using Google My Business (the formal name of the tool) so that you can keep your profile complete and up to date in addition to enhancing it with photos, 360 degree photos, and more. Feel free to message me on Facebook to chat if you get stuck or email me at Q4Sales at Gmail.

 

I’m curious about what entrepreneurs and other SMB/SME professionals are doing with their mobile devices. Big brands will often court the #SMB marketplace and I want to hear direct from the community. Here’s a Storify record of the conversation.

 

My goal is to reality check what’s going on in #mobile usage — what hardware, what apps, what carrier, what cloud providers make a difference to how you use a smartphone or tablet to help you get work done.

I’ll record and share some of the best answers here. Of course, you can follow the whole stream on Twitter with a simple search: #MobileSMB is the hashtag. Decided to use @Storify for curating the conversation on Twitter.

More updates may follow as I get email and other social media comments and suggestions.

Thanks!

I’ve been writing about this idea, Thinking in 3D, for a while now. First, thanks to Julia Kirby at the Harvard Business Review for encouraging and nudging me to keep exploring this idea. And then the folks at Autodesk’s Line//Shape//Space blog were excited by the ideas behind it.

Work in progress, for sure, and my goal is to keep track of some of it here. To sum up, thinking in 3D is about how the technology tools we have in our hands are insignificant compared to the massive tool we have in our heads… It has always been this way, but with all our cultural focus on technology we sometimes lose sight of what it means to think, to think deeply, to glimpse the freedom that the tools can provide.

Join me in discussing this idea around the web.

My HBR post: 3D Printing Is Changing The Way We Think.

Line//Shape//Space blog post: Thinking in 3D.

At my GoExplore3D blog, you can explore “Thinking in 3D” there, too.

 

3DRV version 2 – GoExplore3D

In 2014, we spent the year traveling the USA exploring what people were doing with 3D technologies in a project called 3DRV. What came about from that project and roadtrip was a deeper understanding on how we make things, how we design and create, how we think about design, creation, invention.

At the core, Refine Digital is a marketing firm where we create campaigns, projects, and test a lot of gear with and for clients, mostly technology companies, but often service providers. One of our main passions is content. Content that helps move a person to a greater understanding of the topic we’re exploring, covering, researching, and testing. Sure, that means content that sells, content that motivates, inspires, or otherwise moves your prospect to action. Content is and always has been a nurture approach to sales. Marketing is also an approach to selling, really, if you think about it. That is marketing’s primary purpose, to help sell.

We continue to build cool projects here at Refine Digital. GoExplore3D (3DRV v2) is the lab where we are taking the conversations and observations from regular trips to 3D technology businesses, organizations, and educational institutions. Sprout by HP and HP are clients of this work, 3DRV chapter two, if you will. We have their latest gear to help us test 3D in our workshop and in other locations around the USA.

Within the above-mentioned passion for content is another of our services: Executive ghostwriting. We write posts, articles, white papers, thought leadership documents for executives and business owners. While I have a long list of my own bylines, as one of the lead writers here, I genuinely love working with other people’s ideas. I am a curious person, by nature, and enjoy the challenge of working with a person to dig out their expertise and the thoughts that make them unique, that make them great. At the end of that process, to craft something that they can publish under their own name.

Heading into 2016 is exciting. There are always so many stories to share, amazing people who are doing significant work. GoExplore3D is part of our excitement, in addition to some major new ghostwriting clients, but we continue to work with Cloud (SaaS) companies, other types of computer vision, AR, VR, and hardware/gear makers. AT&T’s Cricket Wireless is another client brand that helps us get our work done by providing gear (in addition to client fees) so we can work from anywhere.

We’ll use this space to continue to announce new clients and projects and to talk about the changes in marketing, content, and sales.

Isn’t All Marketing Digital?