Indeed, if you own or manage a business, you really need to go and claim your listing - which may already be online and showing some information. That information not be up-to-date and if you haven't put it there yourself, probably is not showing your business as well as it could be.
Claiming your business listing on Google, is to some minds, the new equivalent of taking out an advertisement in the Yellow Pages. In some ways I agree and it is a very good step for business to take. is it enough? I don't think so, personally, but it is certainly something to make a priority. Even if you don't understand why you need it, do it anyway, or risk someone else claiming your business for their use, as detailed in this article, which has indeed happened in some cases.
While there is a bit of mucking about to claim your listing, it is worth the effort. Here's a snapshot of my business listing on Google
Easy to see - this is also where people can review your business - in fact some businesses will already have reviews they may not know anything about! Customers don't need permission to leave a review so it is important to be monitoring your business online - whether you are active on the internet or not. Information can also be showing from other review sites in the public domain.
By claiming your Google listing you prevent others from falsely claiming your business as theirs.
Your listing also shows your location on Google maps - and this is important to note that listings are for businesses that operate in the physical space - either at your premises, or if you see clients at their places of business. You can elect to show a region in which your business services customers. EG within 20, 50, or 100 kilometers from your location.
You can also add photographs of your work or products and add detailed descriptions so that people can understand what you do and how you can help them.
As well as a photograph of your location or to represent your business you can also post articles and updates easily to you Google business listing.
If you have videos, these can also be added to give a thorough coverage of your products or services.
People can also follow your business and get your updates when you post. This an excellent way to let people know when you have news or an event coming up, or post new photographs or educational information.
And of course most importantly - you can link your website to your Google business profile.
This is really a fabulous free way to get new people to find your business. You can change the settings for the hours you are open if this changes throughout the year and your customers always can find out your current hours of operation before they head out to your store.
This is also a good way to ensure your business is easily found AND readable on mobile phones and tablets.
Have you some questions or had some experiences with Google for your business?
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