Today, when most of us want to go somewhere new, we turn to Google Maps to help us get there. When we have questions, Google has answers. When we want to verify that a business is legitimate and reputable, Google offers us instant customer reviews. Within the next decade, Google may even be driving our cars for us just like Tesla did with its Model X self-driving car… In short, for better or worse, Google has become a big part of how most people navigate the world around them. All of these innovations and promising technologies that Google has to deliver is the golden key to access tomorrow’s land, and that is why we believe claiming your Google Business Listing is such a smart investment.
Not only is obtaining a Google listing for your business relatively quick and easy, it confers all of the following benefits:
- You’re listed on the most powerful search engine out there. It’s one of the only truly effective high-ranking search engine optimization tools available for free. That’s right—Google charges businesses nothing to claim their business listing; it’s essentially free advertising that’s perfectly targeted at local consumers. In some areas, Google even offers professional photo shoots to businesses free of charge so they can showcase their premises.
- You’re one step closer to optimize your business digital visibility. Having a Google Business Listing jump-starts your search engine optimization efforts. When you claim your Google Business Listing, Google will include you on the first page of search results generated when local consumers type in a relevant keyword—even if they don’t input location information. If, for example, you own a dental clinic in San Francisco and someone in your area inputs the keyword “dentist,” your business will automatically end up included in the list of local dental clinics that pops up on page one of that person’s search results.
- You are in complete control of your business’ online reputation. Not only does having your business listed with Google establish it on (and just below) Google maps, assuring consumers you are a legitimate business with a physical location, you’ll be able to reply to ratings and reviews your customers leave for your business.
- You’re set to boost satisfaction levels of new and existing customers. Customers like it when you make life easier for them, and having your business show up on the first page of Google’s results when they look for you (complete with your map location, address, hours of operation, and contact information) certainly accomplishes that. Any time a customer wants to phone in with a question or check if you’ll be open on a given day, they will be able to find the information they need almost instantly.
- You’re ready for one of the fastest-growing display platform. A Google Business Listing makes your business more mobile-friendly. Scrolling through a long list of search results can be cumbersome on a mobile phone and its viewing platform. Google Local listings, on the other hand, show up prominently and integrate fully with Google’s mobile apps, notably Maps.
- You and your customers are better connected. A Google Business Listing makes it easy to share up-to-date information with your customers. If you have changed your hours or location, or you have a special offer on for a limited time, you can use your Google Business listing to immediately share this information with your customers. You can even offer printable coupons!
- You’re taking the advantage of streamlined analytics. Claiming your Google Business Listing will permit you to see who has been searching for you and which other similar locations they have viewed online. This will help you to assess your target demographic and fine-tune your marketing efforts.
- Finally, having a Google Business Listing will allow you to attract customers even before you set up your company’s website. This will get income flowing into your business even in its early stages, allowing you to invest more money into creating a truly effective and attractive website.
After reading all of the above, you may be wondering to yourself, “What’s the catch?” There really isn’t one where the service itself is concerned, however, if you don’t claim your listing promptly, someone else might verify your business for you. This will give them the power to edit your listing, which is, of course, the last thing you want to have happened in the digital world where online reputation is everything. If you have just started a new business, you should, therefore, claim your listing as soon as you’re up and running—there’s no reason to hesitate.