Today’s businesses put considerable effort into ensuring their online content is optimized to appear in customer searches. But consumers are no longer searching for your business while seated at a computer at home. In fact, mobile search surpassed desktop search in 2016, and voice search is increasing in popularity, as well. According to Google, 20 percent of mobile searches are now done by voice.
This means the work your business into internet marketing needs some new angles. Instead, consumers now search for local businesses by location. A customer searching for a great real estate agent no longer has to input the city and service name into Google. Mobile search allows them to simply search for “real estate agent” and get results based on what is closest.
But how do you ensure you show up in local searches? One important step is to establish a Google My Business presence, which gives the search giant the information necessary to direct customers your way. This guide will help you ensure your business shows up in location-based searches.
Step One: Log in with Your Google Account
Google makes it easy to set up a business page, especially if you already have a Google account. Navigate to Google My Business and enter your business name. As you type, you’ll be able to see whether your business is already listed with the service. If not, you can input the information and begin the process of creating a presence for your business.
Step Two: Verify Your Business
To protect businesses, Google has a verification process for each location you claim. By default, this involves waiting up to five days for a postcard to be mailed to each of your business addresses. The postcard will contain the verification code you need to finalize your registration. Some businesses can opt for a phone or email verification, which speeds up the process. If either of these options is available to you, you’ll see them on the screen after you claim your business name. Otherwise, a postcard will be the only choice.
Step Three: Monitor Your Business Regularly
Adding your business is only the first part of an ongoing process. Occasionally search for your business using a mobile device to make sure you’re appearing prominently in location-based search results. Also make sure you monitor your contact information and business hours to ensure they’re always up-to-date. This can help prevent you from losing customers due to outdated information.
To be as competitive as possible, it’s important to make sure you optimize your Google My Business listing. Here are a few tips to help:
- Add Photos
- Respond to Customer Reviews
- Set Accurate Business Hours
- Make Sure You Include Your Entire Service Area
- Include Keywords
- Regularly Update Your Listing for Accuracy
As location and voice search continue to dominate the search landscape, it’s important that businesses be as proactive as possible in getting their listings seen. Google My Business is one easy way to make sure that happens, but it’s also important to monitor your listing to keep it current over the years.