You’re already aware that you need to engage in search engine optimization (SEO) to gain better ranking for your business’s webpage. You are aware of all the moving pieces that entice the bots to crawl your page with a discriminating eye, so to speak. You have meta tags and keywords and rich snippets. You’ve got inbound links, guest blogs, and your product appears on all sorts of social media influencers’ posts.
Still, you may feel that your physical location simply isn’t getting the traffic you want. Sure, there’s a rush now and then, and maybe a few regulars, but you’re interested in a steady stream of customers, coming in and keeping your sales staff busy. You may be asking yourself, “what else is there?”: Enter Google My Business
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business, or GMB, was previously known as “Google Local” and “Google Places”. Like all things search engine-related, this is a part of Google that is frequently reviewed and revamped to improve its ability to reach customers as intended. That’s a good thing for you, because it means your business will always be on the cutting edge of search engine updates.
GMB is a free tool that requires a little effort to set up, but can provide loads of benefits for new customers who might be searching for your business.
Verifying your business with GMB will add the Google Knowledge Graph to search results. You may know that as the expanded business view that appears on the right side of the screen, much like a rich snippet.
You’ll also be included in the Google Local Pack. These are the top three listings that appear under a map when someone searches for “(business) near me”. Best yet, you’ll appear on Google Maps, so anyone traveling through or driving by will be aware of your business, as well.
Therefore, the overall benefits of verifying your brick-and-mortar location (or locations) with Google My Business can result in high search visibility, more organic traffic to your site, social media, and a direct way to encourage customers to come right to your doorstep for their needs.
Why Verify A Business with Google My Business?
Beyond the benefits of gaining traffic at your shop, there are plenty of great reasons to verify your business with GMB.
The first is all about control. Once you’ve verified that you are the owner of your business, you’ll be able to update and manage information regarding your business across Google. That means search results, Map search results, and more can all be updated with new photos, new posts, responses to customer reviews, and more.
Verifying your business as your own will also prevent anyone else from doing so. While we’d love to believe no one would ever dare try to take ownership of your shop, fraud is a real thing, especially in the Internet Age. By claiming your business right away, you take away any chance for random people to interfere with your success.
Lastly, business profiles that appear on GMB are often more viewed by searchers. This makes sense. If you’re searching for a specific type of restaurant in a new town, you’ll be drawn to the most comprehensive option that appears on a SERP, right?
Pictures of the outside, a link to the menu, five-star reviews, a full address, and a link to directions? Who wouldn’t click that option first?
How Do I Verify My Business?
The verification process isn’t difficult, but it does require a little patience and due diligence.
First, do a search for your business on Google. Once it appears, click on the “Own This Business” button that should appear in the Google Knowledge Graph. You’ll then click “Manage Now”. Alternately, you can go to google.com/business to get started.
You’ll then have the opportunity to add and update all of the details you wish to share regarding your business. As part of this process, you’ll be asked to verify your business one of several ways.
The most frequently chosen way to verify a business is to have GMB send a postcard containing the verification code to the business address. This can take up to two weeks, but will fully verify to Google that you are who- and where- you say you are.
Some businesses have the option to verify via phone, either through an automated call or text message. In these instances, you’ll receive the verification code via phone.
Email is also an option for certain businesses. Choose this option, and you’ll find an email in your inbox from Google My Business. This email will contain your code as well as a link to your GMB page.
Multiple addresses and other verification methods
What if you have several locations of your business? If you have more than ten locations of one business, bulk verification is an option. Choose “Get Verified” for one of your locations, then complete the information request as a “Chain”.
For organizations that manage partner businesses and business data, the My Business Provider option will allow those organizations to start the verification process on behalf of their businesses. The codes generated will need to be given to the supported businesses in order to complete the process, however.
Other methods can include video chat on Google Hangouts, or verification from Gold, Platinum, and Alumni level Google Product Experts. These options are not available for all businesses, however, and some caveats may apply.
When it comes to coaxing new customers through your door, you might feel like you have to go over the top. You may feel like taking the SEO game to a new level.
And while that’s always admirable, start by making life easier for yourself and verify your location on Google My Business. This will add your business to Google Maps, provide Google users with more information and photos of your business, and make it far more likely for those users to become customers.
Furthermore, verifying your business on GMB will give you greater control over what those searchers see, making it far more likely that they’ll choose your spot over any other.