Once you’ve ensured your company’s contact information (location, phone number, email) is accurate and uniform across all online platforms, you need to make sure you claim your business on the major search engines using Google My Business and Bing Places for Business.
To claim your business, first visit the Google My Business page
, and Bing Places for Business
. They require you to log in. For Google, use your Gmail account, and for Bing Places, you can choose to login from your Microsoft account, Google account, or Facebook account. Both platforms are easy to understand and user-friendly.
Google will ask for your street address, and follow up by sending a postcard with a PIN number to that location – which helps them verify that you are who you say you are. This verification process takes several days, but it will safeguard your business from others trying to steal your identity online. Remember, Google not only wants to display popular sites, but also credible and trusted sites to end users in the search engine result pages. It’s a good thing for end users, and for your local SEO efforts.
Once you have entered your PIN and claimed your business, you can login and manage information such as your business description, category, business hours, toll free number, address, etc. and add your own images and logo. You can even correct the balloon on Google Maps to pin your accurate location in case they missed the mark.
Bing uses the same method except you can choose to verify via a phone call or by postcard.
Even if you don’t do a lot of marketing online, make sure you at least ‘own’ your business identity both offline and online! Register with these search engines to make sure your information is protected and in the right hands.