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Claim your Google My Business profile

Claim your Google My Business profile

Do I own my Google My Business (GMB) profile? Does is matter? How do I claim my GMB? Great questions and ones you need to ask. Let\'s answer these questions and a few more surrounding this important SEO item. 

Do I own my Google My Business Profile?

The first thing to do is check if you own your GMB profile. To do this, open a browser window and search for your business name. In the right hand panel, you should see something like what you see in the above image. If you see nothing, then it's possible you don\'t have a GMB at all - this is bad from an online visibility standpoint, and something you need to address immediately. We'll deal with that later in this post.

For now, we'll assume you have a GMB and you see a panel like the above one. What you need to look for is "Own this business?". If you don't see this, then you already own (or put another way, you\'ve already claimed) your business. Hopefully... There's always a possibility that someone else has claimed it. That\'s bad, and something we'll also deal with later. If you DO see this, then the no one has yet claimed your business. This is bad, but not as bad as if someone else has already claimed it.

Does it matter if I own my GMB listing?

ABSOLUTELY!!! Your GMB profile is a very important part of being visible online and appearing well in Google's search rankings. Also, your GMB profile is the source of information for your listing in Google Maps. If you don\'t have a GMB profile, or it's badly optimized, then you\'re unlikely to appear in the Map Pack (that\'s the map with 2-3 listings that appears just below the paid ads in a Google search - this will get you lots of traffic!).

How do I claim my GMB listing?

Click the "Own this business?" link. Google has a great article that you can check out as well. This article also talks about adding or claiming your business through Google Maps. Google uses snail mail verification of your listing. This is a very important step which you must do in order for your listing to be live.

How do I complete my GMB listing?

Having a fully completed and optimized GMB listing is an important part of your overall SEO strategy. Just adding your business with some contact information doesn't cut it! Think of it as your Google website. You shouldn't have incomplete details on your business website, and the same applies to your GMB listing.

But.... make sure you don\'t tick Google off!! You need to make sure you\'re in compliance with all of their GMB guidelines and policies. Failure to follow their guidelines can result in your listing being removed or suspended. When this happens, it greatly affects your SEO strength. So, ensure your business is eligible, that your name is consistent, etc (check the article).

Again, we can't stress enough that you need to fully complete your profile. Constant Contact has a great article regarding optimizing you GMB profile. Wordstream also has a good writeup of the process. It can seem a lot of work and, even, overwhelming. Take a deep breath, make a coffee, then sit down and methodically work through the profile. As you work through this, keep in mind the restrictions and guidelines from the previous paragraph (you did read it, right? :-))

Thank goodness it's done!

Yes it is. Today. But, your GMB profile is like your website. Things change in your business and so should your website and your GMB profile. Change address (this is a huge one to get right), add new services or products, change phone number, add a phone number, have special opening hours for holidays? These are just a few items that you need to keep up to date. And don't forget to add photos, videos and anything else that helps customers find you.

Happy profiling!

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