Article Written by Katina Jaye Beveridge, ASBAS Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre.

If you’re running a business with a physical location, one of the important steps you need to accomplish first is to claim and verify your Google My Business (GMB) listing. This is a crucial part of any local SEO strategy because it allows you to manage exactly how you want your business to appear on various Google services, including:

  • Google’s Local Pack
  • Local Finder
  • Google Maps
  • Google Search

Qualified local businesses can claim their free listing and add information about the business, such as the business name, location, operating hours, phone number, and types of payments accepted. You can also use the GMB to add photos, and monitor and reply to customer reviews.

Why Claim Your Google My Business Listing?

When customers are searching for products or services near them, there is a huge chance that they are more likely to make a purchase in the near future. For example, when a user searches for “donut shop near me” or “wedding dress in Liverpool,” there is a 50 percent probability that that user will visit a store within the day. If your business is not listed in Google, how will your customers find you?

GMB gets your business information in front of your potential customers, so they know that you exist and where to find you. But make sure that your information is complete, accurate, updated, and optimized all the time.

Plus, GMB is completely free. All you need to do is claim your listing and have some face-to-face communication with your customers.

How to Claim Your GMB

  1. Create an account and claim your business. Make sure you have a working Google account and then enter all your business details.
  2. Verify your business via postcard, phone, email, instant verification, or bulk verification.
  3. Optimize your listing by fleshing out your business profile. Fill out or update all information in your account.
  4. Download the GMB app. The app is available on iOS and Android, making it easier for businesses to update or add information.

The main goal of a Google My Business (GMB) listing is help your customers find your business without having to go to your website or your social media pages. Pay special attention to your phone number and business hours, because these are the details that will get customers through your door.