Research has shown that 88% of consumers who search for local products or services through a mobile device will call or visit a store within 24 hours. In addition, 97% of consumers say they learn more about local businesses online than from any other source. These two impressive numbers highlight the importance of local businesses developing a strong online presence. Last month, Burness SEO published its biggest research of the year to date, The Google My Business Insights Study. Your free Google business listing (known as your business profile) can do more than you think. When properly optimized, it showcases your best features and makes it easier for consumers to discover, learn about and contact your business. But to properly optimize your business profile, you need to access it, and to be able to access it, you must verify with Google that you are the rightful owner. The process of creating a Google My Business account and using it to claim and verify your business profile on Google is not as simple as it seems. It requires three different Google accounts and two different Google platforms, all with very similar names. To help you understand the process better, let's first clarify the terminology. The goal is to get full access to your business profile on Google. With a Google My Business account, you have control over the information displayed in your business profile, and according to a BrightLocal study, 68% of consumers would stop using a local business after finding incorrect information online. Additionally, Google ranks business profiles according to quality, and a company profile alone is not enough. However, a Google Business profile managed through a Google Business account can be optimized to rank above the competition in searches for relevant keywords. Most business owners already have two standard Google accounts, one they use for their personal life and one for their business. The problem with this is that the business owner has no control over the information in that business profile until they claim it, and this is done through Google My Business. If you offer or bring services to your customers instead of them coming to your business for their needs, select “Yes” to add your service area. Google is changing the way consumers find and relate to local businesses, so if you want to continue reaching your audience and attract customers with your free business profile, make sure you follow the steps above. The process has different parts and parts, but it doesn't have to be so complicated with guides like this one and options how to do it on mobile. Start creating, claiming and verifying through Google My Business today so you can make the most of this incredible free tool that you have at your disposal. This post explains why you should update your Google business listing, when to make them, and the steps to make common changes and changes, such as hours, phone number, categories, and attributes. This publication covers six tools that businesses with a physical location can use to offer more of their services and transactions online in the wake of COVID-19 and rapid changes to consumer behavior online. Display a list of your company's services and provide online quotes for customers to get the information they need to choose you. This includes businesses with a physical location (such as a restaurant or store) and businesses that provide services by meeting customers elsewhere (such as consultants or plumbers). Some businesses will be able to verify their accounts by phone, but this option is not available for everyone. Your Google Business profile information may appear in Google Search, Google Maps and Google Shopping. Many call it their “Gmail account” but Gmail is just one of the features; in fact, you can use any email address to set up a Google account. If your business doesn't have a location that customers can visit but offers in-person services or deliveries, you can list your service areas. Kristen is the senior executive editor of WordStream where she helps companies understand their online marketing and advertising efforts. In particular an ad for a local business is more likely to appear when people search for a nearby company using Google Maps because a company profile is simply a place on Google Maps which can be added by any person or computer. For both small business owners and local businesses that care about their SEO efforts having a Google My Business profile is essential as it has strong local SEO so the information you share will be above third-party sites that might have outdated details.