Adding/Claiming listings on Google My Business
Claiming Local Listing on Google My Business
Go to http://www.google.com/business/ and sign in (using your own Google account is fine as we will later grant the client manager access).
Once signed in, click the blue ‘Get your page’ button in the top right corner of your screen.
On the next screen you should be provided three options for business type: Storefront, Service Area or Brand. Select ‘Service Area’.
You should be redirected to a map with a search bar. Search for the firm name and their office location (Ex. Gheen & Co., CPA, LLC Denver, CO)
There will either be an existing list OR no current information. If there is an existing listing, you can select it from the results that appear. If there is not an existing listing, you want to select the option ‘None of these match - Add your business’
- Claiming an Existing Listing
It is likely you will come across clients who already have existing listings. These come in two forms: Existing & claimed and Existing & unclaimed. If you click on a listing and it is already claimed, you will receive a message that says 'Someone has already verified this listing'. In such case, you cannot do anything unless you are granted access. Click the blue button to ‘request admin rights’ and follow the outlined procedures. This will send an email to whichever address is currently managing the page. (Note: Many times a listing is claimed but the client never receives this email and has no idea who verified the listing. In such case, it’s not our job to find out. Provide the client directions to contact Googly My Business Help to try and determine who has ownership of the listing.)
If a listing is Existing & unclaimed (Example: Google received the business information from a data aggregate but no one actually ever claimed/verified the listing), they will allow you to start the verification process.
- Adding a New Business
If you are adding a new business (no information on Google), fill in the appropriate information on the ‘Add your business’ screen. If they are a CPA select ‘Certified Public Accountant’ as the category. Not a CPA? Choose ‘Accountant’. You’ll be able to select more categories later.
Check the box for ‘I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location’ (this allows us to set a radius around their office.
On the screen for ‘I deliver my goods and services to...’, select the “Within X miles radio button. You can make the judgement call on the radius, but I think 20 miles is a good standard. Check the box ‘I also serve customers at my business address’. (This enables the physical address to show in search results)
Check ‘I am authorized to manage this business...’ and click ‘Continue’.
Once you click ‘Continue’, you should be presented with the ‘Verify your business’ screen. Typically they only offer verification via snail mail, but occasionally you’ll get the option to verify over the phone. I prefer the snail mail method as it prevents us trying to chase down & coordinate a phone call with the client.
To verify via mail, click the ‘Mail me my code’ option and click ‘Send postcard’ on the following screen.
While you will now be able to edit the business listing/information, any changes will not be publicly visible until verified. At this point I would contact the client and notify them of an incoming postcard. (Typically arrives in 1-2 weeks). You’ll need the pin # that is on that post card in order to verify the listing.
Now that you have taken the steps above, you can edit the business information/flesh out the profile. I always do this immediately, that way once I get the pin # from the client we are 100%.
Click the red ‘Edit’ button to edit business information. This should pull up the ‘Business Info’ page where you can add the website URL, contact info, additional categories, business hours, business description, etc…(see below)
Fill out all information thoroughly. For the ‘Introduction’ section - include a lengthy description of the business and the services they provide. Don’t keyword stuff, but keyword-rich content (like a bulleted list of the services they provide) is great. For ‘Map & Search photos’ - use images from their website. This includes their logo, firm pictures, etc. 2-3 will do the job, you don’t need 10+! The more personal the better. When finished with all sections, click ‘Done editing’ at the bottom of the screen.
To make the Google+ page look “pretty”, you’ll want to view it from the dropdown menu in the top nav bar. Click the little menu that looks like 9 grey squares (3x3) and select the G+ icon that appears.
This should pull up the Google+ page (which will have the default look).
Update the profile picture and cover photo to something related to the business. The profile picture should be a square (minimum 300 x 300px). The cover photo should be 1080 x 608px. Incorporate the firm’s logo where applicable.
At this point, you’ve done everything you can and it’s just a matter of waiting for the client to provide you the pin # to verify the listing. Once you receive the pin #, verify the listing by clicking the ‘Enter code’ button on top of the listing
Once you’ve verified the listing, click the little gear icon and select ‘Settings’ from the menu that appears. Select the ‘Managers’ tab and click ‘Add managers’. Enter the client’s email address and click ‘Invite’. Once the client has manager access, they’ll have full control to log in and manage their listing.
PDF instructions (with screenshots) are available on the X drive in PUBLIC > admin > Training Documents > Claiming-Google-My-Business-Listings.pdf