An important first step in any local SEO strategy is to claim and verify your local business’ Google My Business (GMB) listing. Getting on Google My Business can increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general. Qualifying local businesses can claim this free listing on Google and include basic information about their company, like their address, phone number, business hours and types of payments accepted.
Original Post by Moz
If you haven’t claimed and verified your Google My Business Listing yet, that’s the first step. To get started, visit https://www.google.com/business.
Many local businesses just claim their GMB listing and forget about it. What most businesses don’trealize is that there are a variety of other features you can use to optimize your Google My Business listing and several reasons why you should frequently check your business listing to ensure that it’s accuracy stays intact. Want to know more?
Complete all the information Google asks for
There are a variety of questions you can answer to complete your Google My Business profile. When done, your listing will have valuable data that will make it easier for potential customers to find your company. And if you don’t fill that information in, someone else could. Many business owners don’t realize that anyone can suggest a change to your business listing — and that includes competitors.
When a searcher clicks on your GMB listing they can see a “Suggest an edit” option:
When someone clicks on that option they can literally edit your Google My Business listing (and make some pretty dramatic changes, too):
This is just one reason why it’s very important that you login to your Google My Business dashboard regularly to ensure that no one has attempted to make any unwanted changes to your listing. You’ll see a notification that changes are pending if someone has made suggested changes that need your approval.
Also, it’s important to realize that Google encourages people who are familiar with your business to answer questions, so Google can learn more information about your company. To do this they can simply click on the “Know this place? Answer quick questions” link.
They’ll then be prompted to answer some questions about your business:
If they know the answer to the questions, they can answer. If not, they can decline.
Now, some business owners have cried foul, saying that competitors or others with malicious intent can wreak havoc on their Google My Business listings with this feature. However, Google’s philosophy is that this type of “user-generated content” helps to build a community, more fully completes a business’ profile, and allows Google to experiment with different search strategies.
After you get your Google My Business listing verified, continue to check your listing regularly to be on the safe side.To read more from this blog including Google My Business Posts, the Booking button feature, Messaging and how to manage Questions & Answers, plus reviews CLICK HERE