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
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).
In case you are wondering, some of the most compelling parts of a profile include:
- Store/Location Hours
- 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.