October 12, 2015 | Sarah Danks
Are You Local? Then You Need a NAP!
I personally love naps. I got used to taking them every day in college…
…but that’s not what I’m talking about here when I mention NAP. In the online world, NAP = Name, Address, Phone.
And if you want potential customers to be able to find your SMB (small- to medium-sized business) online — as well as IRL = In Real Life — then you’ve got to have a consistent NAP. That means wherever your company is listed online, be sure you’ve got the correct information so people instantly know you and where you’re located.
These days, that’s as easy as having a listing on Google My Business (GMB). If you just sighed and thought, “Ugh! Just one MORE thing I’ve got to do!“, don’t fret; it’s simple, quick and — best of all — free!
Oh, and Google loves “going local,” so to speak, so it’d behoove you to do this for SEO purposes.
Google My Business
Google My business, née Google+ Pages Dashboard, née Google Places for Business, is essentially an online listing for your company. You might think having that would be superfluous — after all, you’ve got a website, what more do you need?
Well, in Google’s own words,
“Google My Business complements your existing website by giving your business a public identity and presence on Google. The information you provide about your business can appear on Google Search, Maps and Google+.”
Think of it also as an additional listing in the SERPs (search engine results page) when someone looks up your business name. You know, to show up along with your website, BBB listing, reviews and all your social profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. etc. etc.).
Of course having a listing helps local (potential) clients find your brick-and-mortar location, but it can also give you a leg up on the competition that’s NOT using GMB.
Getting Your SMB Started with GMB
If you had already added your business information on either Google Places for Business or within the Google+ Pages dashboard, then your business is already on Google My Business and all you have to do is ensure the location information is accurate, especially if there are multiple listings:
If, however, you’ve never done any of that before and/or you have a new business, here’s what you do in six easy steps:
Go to google.com/business/ and click the Get on Google button:
Search for your business.*
If it already exists somewhere within the realm of GMB, it’ll show up; if not, then you click on “Add your business.”
*I chose a business I knew didn’t exist by using my own name, obviously.
Fill in your business location information, along with main phone number and category that best fits your services:
Confirm your business details, check the authorization box and click Continue:
You’ll then receive a message that your verification code is on its way:
You’ll need to wait a week or two to receive your postcard with verification number, but in the meantime you can “Continue and verify later” so as to populate your brand-new Google My Business page.
SMB + GMB = Local SEO
As the owner of a small/medium-sized business, you know your location matters. In today’s online world, you need to be VERY sure your company’s NAP is not only consistent, but findable. After all, when people nearby are searching for you, you want them to be able to find you in the SERPs.
So, if you don’t have a GMB listing for your business, get out there and get it done. After all, no matter what kind of services or products you offer, your bread-and-butter is clientele. Customers…
And those people are online looking for what you have to offer. Make it easy for them to locate you — be there for them!