Many years ago Google decided they wanted to replace the phone book so they listed every business they could find and gave those businesses a Free mini website.
And they did a good job. After all, who can even find a phone book any more?
Now over the years, what Google called these mini sites has changed. But they are still there and Google ads new sites as it finds new businesses.
Currently, these mini-sites are called Google My Business.
As the owner or representative of a business, you can claim the site as your own.
You’ll have to verify you’re really the owner and Google will do that by various options.
They may call you. Yes, Google will actually call so your staff needs to know that it really is Google and to get the information needed from them.
They will also send a postcard. This takes longer but you can get the card and respond. This eliminates the worry of someone thinking the call is a joke and hanging up on Google – which means you have to start all over again.
You see, Google is verifying that this is really you. After all, you don’t want a competitor to take over your site and put false information in it. And, honestly, neither does Google.
Another way to claim your site and fill it in easily is to work with someone who works with Google regularly. They can verify your identity and then claim your site and give you the tools to fill in the site easily. Better yet, they can help you to lock the information in your Google My Business site so it can’t be changed.
You see Google filled in the information in your Google My Business site from information it found on the web. From your website and other directories. If that was accurate – great, but if not, you have incorrect information on your mini site.
Also, Google had to guess what it is you sell from the content on your website and other sites. Are you confident that Google got it right? You can CLICK HERE to use this tool to check out your Google My Business listing as well as to see how your listing shows up in over 70 other directories too.
With the proper tools, you can easily change the keywords you’re listed for and the other information in one place. This way you know that Google is showing your My Business site in searches.
So what is this My Business site I keep referring to?
First, let me make this clear, it’s not your website. Yes, you should have a website but the Google My Business site is a free site every business Google can find has. You can submit information to Google to create one if you’re new.
When someone searches for your business or if they search the keywords that you listed, Google shows a list of suggested places both in the search results or in Google maps if they searched in Google Maps.
Google lists the top 5 results and then a reader has to click see more to see the rest. The number will change based on what device you’re using. On a phone, you’ll see one thing and on a computer, you’ll see another. (See images.)
To see what I mean by this search for restaurants in your town.
Now if you’re not one of the top results in your town, you’re going to see less traffic.
Think about it – how many people go to page two of Google?
Many industries have multiple listings and to be on top requires some effort.
Google doesn’t tell us exactly what it takes to rank higher, but these are some of the criteria:
- Reviews (more is better and consistent reviews is better)
- Fresh information
- Accurate information-Your Google Site has information that is consistent with what’s on your website. Name, Address, and Phone Number are the most important.
- A Website
There is more, but these are the main points. Get these right and you’re on your way to having another tool to bring people to your business.
Getting your Google My Business site right can affect the traffic you see to your website and the number of calls your business gets. Once it’s set up, you can maintain it in a few minutes a week.
Have a great day!