As a business owner, it’s absolutely necessary to have an online presence. As a customer, it’s almost certain you find businesses using Google. It almost goes without saying that the surefire way to make sure customers can find your business is to make sure they can find you on Google.
But not everyone understands. Some think it must be hard. Others think it must take too much time. It’s neither.
One of the easiest steps you can take to improve your presence in Google search results is to create a Google My Business page. If you haven’t done this already, see our post on how to create a Google My Business page in 5 easy steps.
Why is important to have a Google My Business page?
Why is this important? Google will tell you all the benefits themselves, plus it’s free. Long story short, our goal is to make sure when prospects search for your business name & location, you show up not only in the search results, but also prominently sidebar, like so.
The results are even better on a mobile device.
OK, I get it. Now what do I need to do?
To get these results, not only do you need to to create a business listing, you need to verify it. What that means is, Google won’t let you claim you’re a local business unless you can prove it. Here’s how do do that.
Wait for your postcard to arrive
To verify your physical presence, Google wants to know for sure they can send you something by mail. In the previous article, you claimed your business listing, provided simple details like mailing address, and asked to verify by mail.
By now, you’ve waited at least a few days, but it could take up to a week or so. In the mail, you’ll receive a postcard that is very obviously sent from Google.
Follow the simple instructions
Once you receive the postcard, the steps are very simple. Open the piece of mail, and inside you’ll see this…
To make this go smoothly, I recommend you open your favorite browser and first make sure you’re logged into your Google business account.
If you have multiple Google accounts, like a personal Gmail account and a Google Apps account for your business, you may first want to sign out of all your accounts.
Then sign in again…this time only to your business account.
Enter the code from the postcard
Now…navigate to google.com/verifymybusiness. Enter your unique code, shown on the postcard. Then click Submit.
That’s it. You should see a message that says ‘Congrats’ and a banner that states ‘Verification Successful.’
Wait a few days for updates
Any changes you make to your business listing (now or in the future) can take a few days to go into effect. Go ahead and try to search for your business, but you may need to give it some time.
Search for your business on Google Maps
After sleeping on it, search for your business. You can use the standard Google search page, as shown in the beginning of this article, or you could even try Google Maps.
This is just the beginning
This is just one simple example of a step you can take to improve your online presence. Check out more ideas in our Reading Room.