Google gives you a free way to get to the top of their search results without having to pay for ads or get really good at SEO.
It’s through their service called Google My Business (GMB for short).
Just for Locals
If you have a local storefront or service-based business then you can create a profile with Google My Business.
You might already have one that Google creates for you automatically with information from your website or other directories.
If that’s the case, then you’ll need to go through the process or claiming your listing.
Claim Your Free Listing
Before you can claim your listing you’ll need to give Google a secret code that they will provide you either by calling your business phone number to tell you or by sending it printed on a postcard to your business address.
Either way you’ll need a physical address that Google can use to confirm you are a local business even if customers don’t come to your address.
If you’re a service-based business you’ll be able to tell Google what your service area is so people can find you.
You’ll also be able to hide your address just in case you used your home address and don’t want customers showing up at your front door.
If someone has already claimed your listing then you’ll need to send them a request to manage it.
They’ll get an email with your info and the request that they can either accept or deny.
If they don’t respond then you’ll get access to the listing automatically.
You can also add more than one listing if your business has multiple locations that you need to manage.
Update Your Profile
Your listing on Google will have your contact information and hours of operation.
If any of that ever changes you’ll need to update your profile so customers can still find you when they search.
It’s also possible to put your holiday hours so people will know when you’re open during those times throughout the year.
You can even add photos and blog posts to your profile which can help people get a feel for your business before they interact with you.
Reviews and Reports
Customers can leave reviews about their experience with you on your profile.
Keep an eye on these just in case someone leaves a negative review that you need to respond to so that future customers know that you’re listening and willing to make things right.
You’ll also get reports on how many people saw your listing and used it to connect with you.
They also have a mobile app you can use to make it easier to keep track of your listing.