Do you know how many people search on Google for businesses like yours? Over 1 Billion. Knowing that so many potential customers are using Google, it’s too bad that only about 40% of local businesses have a claimed Google My Business listing. If you’re one of the 60% of business owners who hasn’t claimed their Google listing, or set up a profile for your business on Google, now is the time. People search Google when they’re trying to find a plumber, HVAC specialist, landscaper, carpet cleaner, and pretty much any other business. It’s time to be sure that your business is showing up on Google. Not only does this offer so many opportunities for new business, but you also have the ability to post updates about your business, gain reviews, and connect with your customers by responding to reviews.

So, do you know how to create a Google listing? If not, this is for you:

The best part about a Google listing for your business, is that it’s free. It’s simple to create, and it’s absolutely necessary to your business’ success:

1. Get started.

Navigate to: https://www.google.com/business/.

2. Answer the quick questions.

Fill in your company name, address, and phone number right off the bat. Remember, this information will show up on your listing just as you type it, so double check that it’s correct.

Be sure to fill out as much as possible, so potential customers don’t have to dig to find information about your business.

3. Upload photos.

Add photos of your work that you’d like to showcase on your Google listing.

4. Verify your business.

You’ll need to verify that this business actually belongs to you, so nobody can make a fake listing for your business.

Don’t worry, it’s easy! Google will send a postcard to the business address that you input. When they do, don’t throw it away!

Instead, call the number on the postcard and give the Google representative its code.

5. Set your listing live.

Now, your listing will be live! People will start finding you online, leaving you reviews, and your business will have a much stronger online reputation.

Once you have a Google listing created for your business, you can post updates (similar to how you would on Facebook). This is a great place to post updates, photos, specials, discounts, etc. When customers see that you’re posting on your Google listing, they know that your business is active and taking new customers. Remember to keep your photos and information (like phone number, address, and hours) up to date!

Happy Googling!

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. If any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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