How to Claim Your Google My Business Listing
When your family is looking for a new restaurant, do you simply drive to somewhere you haven’t been before, or do you take to the internet first? Most people conduct a search to find out which restaurant serves what they’re craving, is located close to home, and has the best ratings.
This is similar to how your potential patients or clients are searching for your business. When new patients are looking for your services, they will likely open their browser or use voice search to see what the options are in their community. While your website may come up at the top of the search, especially if you have invested time in SEO, it’s likely that web users will be drawn to business directory listing sites. Here, they can easily compare local businesses based on details like ratings, reviews, and the services offered.
These sites allow you to increase your online visibility by providing more ways for patients to find your practice.
To make sure you don’t miss out on these patients, it’s essential that you create a business listing on the sites your target demographic is using most. Next, let’s go over how to claim your business listing for our favorite directory platform: Google!
The #1 Business Listing Your Practice Needs
There are tons of business directory listing sites out there, but there is no place like Google. This search engine giant also hosts the Google My Business directory. If you do a quick Google search for a local business, you’ll likely recognize these listings in the results.
Beneath paid advertisements, you will spot a map followed by business listings complete with an address, phone number, ratings, and other useful information. These are Google My Business Listings.
If you were to make only one business directory listing, we suggest that it’s this one. Google is the most popular search engine in the world and holds about 75% of the search market. Each month, Google sees around 160 million searches from all over the world. Since it is so many people’s go-to search engine, you will likely be able to reach your target audience through your Google My Business Listing.
To create your local directory listing, follow the steps below.
How to Claim Your Google My Business Listing
Before you head to Google to create your listing, first identify who has ownership of your business listings. This person will be responsible for updating your directory listings when changes are made to your practice, such as adding additional open hours or updating a location.
Next, log on to the web and punch www.google.com/business into the URL bar. It’s time to claim your listing!
Sign into your business Google account. Don’t have one? That’s okay, just create one! However, this is separate from your personal email account. You should not use a Gmail address for this purpose. Instead, use your professional email address and domain.
Once you’re in, enter your business address or service area if you work out of the office (such as a mobile veterinary service). If you work from a physical location, it’s beneficial for you to pin your address on Google’s map.
Choose a business category that most closely applies to you. Click next.
Enter your phone number and website URL so that prospects can easily contact you from your listing.
Once you’ve ensured that all of your business information is correct, verify your business. Google will do this by sending a postcard to your business address, though some may have the option to verify by phone. Google only allows select businesses to verify their listing through email.
We know the option to verify through mail seems old fashioned, but this is Google’s way of ensuring that you are who you say you are. You wouldn’t want someone else with a fake email address to claim your business!
The postcard with your verification code should arrive within two weeks. After it arrives, log into your Google My Business Profile and click “Verify Location” from the menu. Enter the five-digit code and click “Submit”.
If your request has an option to verify by phone, then you are eligible to use this method. Simply sign into your Google My Business account and find the “Verify now” option. Click “Verify by phone” and you will promptly receive a phone call with the five-digit code. Enter the numbers and click “Submit”.
Optimize Your Business Listing
Once you’ve created your Google My Business listing, you can begin to optimize your page. The most important thing you can do to get found on this site, and any other directory listing site, is to ensure your contact information is correct. An outdated phone number can be the difference between an appointment request and losing a patient or client to your competitor.
To read more about how you can optimize your Google My Business listing, check out this blog post. We will cover some of the most effective (and simplest) ways to make the most out of your directory listing. Plus, the information in this blog post can help you optimize any of your business listings, from Yahoo to the Yellow Pages.