Chances are high that Google has already created a business profile for your business without you having to do anything. Google compiles information from a variety of sources:
– Publicly-available information, such as crawled web content (e.g., information from a business’ official website)
– Licensed data from third parties
– Users who contribute factual information (such as addresses and phone numbers), and content (such as photos and reviews), including business owners who claim profiles through Google Business Profile
– Information based on Google’s interactions with a local place or business
Ready to start? Let’s Go!
Heads up about scams concerning Google Business
Remember that Google will never call you about your Google Business Profile listing.
Unfortunately, there is a scam that involves people posing as Google employees or saying they are working with Google who offer to either boost your ranking for a fee or threaten to remove your listing if you don’t pay a fee. Just hang up – Google Business Profile is a free service.
There are indeed legitimate businesses that assist owners in their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for a fee, but they typically do not use high-pressure cold-calling tactics.
Before you start you’ll need a Google Account. I mention this now because it’s the most common issue I see when people start this process: they may be logged in to their browser or Google with their personal account and forget that they are, then everything they do from then on is linked to their personal account.
If you do not already have a Google account for your business (if you have a Gmail account for your business you can use that) then you can create one here. You do not have to create a Gmail account, you can use your existing work email account if you wish. Using an email address that is the same domain as your website (e.g. if your business’ web address is businessname.ca and your e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org ) may streamline the process as you are more likely to be perceived as the authority for that business.
Find your Google Business Profile using Search or Maps – Claim it
There are three possibilities when attempt to claim your business
- Found the Google listing and it’s not claimed – this is the main topic of this guide
- Found and already claimed: in Maps the “Claim this business” option does not appear. In this case you need to Request Access to the Google Business Profile Listing – follow instructions from Google
- Business not found: more rare but relevant to new businesses, those that have changed names, or businesses that did not have a website with their business location or contact information.
→ If you have just started a new business then click here for instructions on how to start a new Google Business Profile. Otherwise….
Open Google Maps and find your business. Click on the “Claim this business” link
On the next screen you will click on the “Manage now” button. [Please check again that you are logged in with your business Google account!]
The next screen will bring you to verification methods.
There are quite a few verification options possible depending on what information Google has been able to get gather about your business. Most of the infomation is here.
If you are lucky to get the option of phone, email, or text then the process can happen very quickly. Otherwise the default method is to get the postcard with the verification code which can take up to 10 days to arrive.
Example screen asking for phone verification:
When you get the code (the next screen after you click “Call” or “Text”:
Once you enter the code you’ll see:
And you’re done!
You can continue to add details but you might as well get used to the new Google Business Profile interface called New Merchant Experience (NMX) since that will be the main way you interact with Google Business. You can find those details on the Managing Your Information page.
* Adding your New Business to Google
Since you cannot typically locate your business on Maps or Search you would begin here: https://www.google.com/business
As mentioned in the information above – please be certain that you are starting this process with a Google account related to your business. Not sure what that means? A refresher can be found here.