Your Google My Business listing is ground zero for how your business data is displayed on Google in the maps and knowledge graph.
Quick Note: In that past, Google has changed how this works and the naming scheme. At one point it was called Google Local, it was also once a part of the Google Plus+ ecosystem, but now it has all been de-coupled and separated into just Google My Business.
In the 2017 Moz study about local SEO ranking factors that we previously cited, Google My Business signals comes up the number 1 most important factor for ranking in maps results.
If you don’t already have one, then you need to claim your Google My Business page and optimize it!
First, Head to this link and click Start Now.
An important reminder: for a more professional touch, use your business domain email as your login (read: not @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, or any other general email client).
You should be taken to a form to put in your business information. Enter the same NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) info that you displayed on your website and pay attention to the category section at the bottom.
Listing the correct category, which lets customers (and Google’s bots) know exactly what your business does, is important for displaying your business in the right search results. Google allows you to use multiple categories, so use as many as are relevant to your business. Be as specific as possible.
Next, to make any further edits to your account, you need to verify it.
There are a few ways for you to do so:
- Via postcard: Google snail mails the verification code to your listed address.
- Via phone: Google sends the verification code to your phone through an automated message.
- Via email: An instant verification option, which is available if you use the same login details in your Google Search Console for your My Business account.
Some options may not be available, and the most popular way is to receive a postcard in the mail. Your eligibility to verify using any of the options depend on what type of business you have.
Google provides more detailed instructions for every process on their support page here.
Make sure you fill out every section possible, including uploading photos and filing out all the categories.
Want to take your Google My Business optimization to the next level? Check out our Ultimate Guide To Google My Business here!
After you have verified and completed all the information for you Google My Business profile, you’ll want to move on to getting awesome Local NAP Citations!