If you’re reading this post, it’s safe to assume you don’t know how to claim a business on Google Maps. Don’t fret — you’re about to get a step-by-step breakdown. Even if your HVAC business already has a listing on Google, you won’t get the results you want in the local market unless you claim and actively manage your profile.
As an HVAC contractor, local business is your bread and butter. Your Google Business Profile (a.k.a. Google My Business) is the key to capturing those customers you rely on to stay afloat. It’s one of the most effective tools you can leverage to earn a top spot in the local search results.
Most business owners in the HVAC industry don’t have the free time or experience to take on their company’s advertising and marketing. In that case, consider investing in services from a marketing agency for Google Maps. Let the experts handle all the hard work so you can focus on running your business while gaining all the benefits this valuable resource offers.
Why Every HVAC Contractor Should Have a Google My Business Account
Is claiming and verifying your business on Google really that important? Frankly, yes. Managing your Google Business account makes it quick and easy for potential customers to find your company, learn more about it, and reach out online when they need your services.
That sounds great for an HVAC company that’s just opened and hasn’t yet found its place in the community, but what if you’re already running a successful business? Even if you’re a well-established contractor with a solid customer base, you should have an active Google Business account. If not, you’re losing out in the following ways:
You Get Fewer Leads and New Customers. Neglecting to claim and update your Google Business listing means you have zero control over your business’s information. Incorrect details, like the wrong business hours, phone number, location, etc., prevent people from contacting you when they need a local HVAC contractor. According to recent data, 64% of people search on Google My Business specifically for contact details and basic information about local businesses.
You Harm Your Local SERP Ranking. Just having a Business Profile on Google isn’t enough to boost your ranking in the local search engine results pages (SERPs). You’ll need a Google Business account to enjoy the full range of local SEO (search engine optimization) benefits.
You Hand Business Over to Your Competitors. If other HVAC companies in your area are actively using Google Maps and you’re not, your bottom line will suffer. In less uncertain terms, the competition is getting customers you could be landing instead. Handing over your profits on a silver platter is not the way to succeed in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace.
You Risk Your Company’s Reputation. A Google Business Profile allows you to read and respond to customer reviews and feedback, a key element of effective reputation management. In fact, 94% of consumers say that an online review has persuaded them to avoid a business. It’s clear to see the powerful influence reviews have over customers!
How To Claim Your Google Business Listing: Getting Started
Before we get into the actual on-screen steps and tell you how to claim your Google My Business listing, here’s a quick explanation of some key terms to get you started.
Primary Google Account for Your Business
You probably already have a personal Gmail and Google account, but you’ll need to create another for your HVAC business. Don’t worry; it’s still completely free. In addition to Gmail, you gain access to Google Photos, Google Drive, Google Docs, and more.
Google Business Profile Account
Your Google Business Profile is the free listing that shows your business name and information on the Knowledge Panel in Google Search, the local search results, and Google Maps. People viewing your profile can see details like the address of your physical location, business phone number, hours, etc.
Google My Business Listing
A Google My Business account is necessary to claim your Business Profile. Only after you finish creating that account can you log in to your business dashboard, which lets you manage and edit your Google Business Profile.
Step-by-Step Guide To Claim and Verify Your Business on Google Maps
Once you add your business on Google, you can go about claiming your Google Maps listing. Here’s a simplified description of the general process for the sake of readability.
- Create an official Google Business account.
- Look at Google’s search results to find your Business Profile.
- Start a Google My Business account for your HVAC company.
- Send in a request to claim your Business Profile.
- Begin the verification process so Google knows you’re the business owner.
1. Create a Separate Google Account for Your HVAC Business
The Google account for your business should be completely separate from your personal one. Do you already have an account for your business on Google? Awesome. You can ignore this step and head right on down to step two.
- Type this URL in your browser: accounts.google.com/signin.
- Click on the Create Account button.
- Under the drop-down menu, select To Manage My Business.
- Add your business information in the open fields, then finish the account creation. You can edit typed submissions by clicking the pencil icon next to the field you want to change.
2. Find Out Whether You Already Have a Google Business Profile
Google My Business accounts aren’t a mandatory requirement for Google Business Profiles. While that might not sound so bad because customers can still search for your company and view its business listing, it’s a double-edged sword. Your lack of control over the business information that shows up on your unclaimed profile often causes more harm than good.
This profile marks your company’s physical business location on Google Maps. Business owners who already have a Google listing can skip to step three.
Find out whether your Business Profile already exists by following these quick steps:
- Head to google.com/maps.
- Type your business name in the search bar.
Did a little drop-down menu with your company name and physical address pop up? Awesome, then you’ve already got a Google Business Profile. If there’s no business address, follow step 2A.
2A: How To Create a Google Business Profile Account
- Select your business name in the menu to pull up more options.
- Click on Add a Missing Place.
- Complete each field in the pop-up with the necessary information.
3. Open an Official Google My Business Account
Nobody can claim a business on Google Maps without a Google My Business account. Here’s how to get it done:
- Log in to the separate Google account for your business.
- Head to google.com/business.
- Click Manage Now.
- Type your business name in the Find and Manage Your Business field.
- Enter your business category (HVAC) under the Start Building Your Business Profile, then hit Next.
- Click on Yes to add a physical address.
- Fill in the correct address of your brick-and-mortar location.
- Drag the mouse and zoom in until you find the physical location of your business, then select it on the Google Maps box.
- Choose No to indicate that you don’t offer delivery.
- Enter your business contact information, including the phone number and website URL.
4. Now You Can Claim Your Google Business Profile
Next, it’s time to claim your business and request access to your Google Business Profile:
Option #1: Use Google Search To Locate Your Business Profile
- Type your business name and city/state in the Google search bar to bring up your Business Profile.
- Tap the Own This Business? link.
- Click Manage Now, then follow the directions to claim your business.
Option #2: Claim Your Business Through Google Maps
- Go to google.com/maps or use the Google Maps app.
- Type in your company name, then click on your Google Business Profile to view the options available.
- Click on Claim This Business.
- Select the Manage Now button on the pop-up to begin the process of claiming your business.
5. Verify Your Business Profile on Google
We’re about to explain all about the different verification methods for businesses on Google, but before that, we should tell you some important information. When you claim a business on Google, you’re proving that you’re the business owner. You then verify your business to confirm to Google that it’s real and legitimate. These are two separate things.
Google lets you verify your business in a few different ways:
- In the mail with a physical postcard
- With a phone call or text message
- Through email
- Over a live video call
- With a video recording
- Via instant verification
The catch is that you don’t get to pick what you want. Google automatically selects the verification option it “decides” is most suitable for your type of business. You probably noticed the last method, which was instant verification. This option is only available for companies that have verified their website in the Google Search Console. The most common method involves sending a postcard with a verification code via snail mail.
Verify With a Postcard in the Mail
Remember the previous step where you clicked Claim This Business and then Manage Now to submit a claim request? After that’s done, the final prompt will say Select a Way to Get Verified.
In this scenario, the option is Postcard by Post. Type your HVAC business name in the box. Ensure the address is the correct one, then click Post.
It can take five to 14 days to get your postcard, which contains a five-digit verification code. Log in to your Google Business Profile and enter the code to verify your business.
We know this process can be confusing for people who don’t have much experience with Google My Business. If you get stuck, you can contact the GBP Help Community experts for answers to any questions you may have.
How To Manage Your Google Business Profile To Boost Local SEO Performance
Your Google My Business profile is one of the most powerful — and free! — online marketing tools that can help you boost local SEO, capture more leads, and strengthen your company’s digital presence.
Small business owners, in particular, will find the benefits of optimizing their Google Business listing are worth the commitment of time and effort this task requires. However, HVAC businesses of all sizes can reap the many rewards this resource offers.
How can a Google My Business profile improve SEO performance in local search results? Let’s start with the three main criteria Google uses to determine local rankings:
- Relevance: How well does the information on your Google Business Profile match relevant keyword searches?
- Distance: How far is your business from the location a user enters in their search query?
- Prominence: How established is your business online and in the real world? Information like your Google reviews, website, articles, etc., influence this factor.
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing With These Expert Tips
Complete Your Entire Profile With Accurate Information
It might surprise you how many companies have an incomplete Google My Business listing or a profile with incorrect information. Filling out the entire Google Business Profile is critical. Customers are 70% more likely to visit your location and 2.7 times more likely to consider your company trustworthy or reputable if your profile is complete and contains up-to-date information.
Add Descriptive, High-quality Photos
Why should you add photos to your Google Business listing? Data show that Google My Business profiles with photos get more click-throughs to their websites and more requests for directions. Use high-quality pictures that showcase the best features of your HVAC company, such as its team members, business headquarters, and (of course) happy customers. Use the Photos menu in your dashboard to add/remove pictures and videos.
Read and Respond to Customer Reviews
In today’s world, online reviews hold serious weight with potential customers, and Google Reviews outranks every other platform, including Yelp and Facebook. Here’s the proof: 81% of consumers use Google and read its reviews to evaluate local businesses.
The reviews on your Google My Business profile directly impact lead generation, conversion, and your company’s reputation. Managing your business listing properly and elevating its performance includes paying regular and consistent attention to customer reviews. Read each one and reply promptly. Companies that respond to customer reviews are perceived as 1.7 times more trustworthy than businesses that don’t write back.
Utilize the Q&A Section
How many times have you answered phone calls from customers who all have the same question? Avoid this headache by leveraging the Questions & Answers section of your Google Business Profile. However, anyone can ask or answer questions in this section. Turn on your alerts so you can respond to customers in a timely manner and remove incorrect answers as quickly as possible.
Let the Experts at Relentless Digital Manage Your HVAC Business on Google Maps
Knowing how to claim a business on Google Maps is only the first part of an ongoing process. HVAC contractors can take advantage of some excellent benefits by claiming and managing their Google Business Profiles, but it takes a serious commitment of time and effort. Many HVAC contractors just don’t have the time to handle this critical marketing task. Thankfully, that’s where the Relentless Digital team excels. Want to learn more local SEO tips for Google Maps and discover how we can drive growth for your HVAC business? Call Relentless Digital now at 262-393-4241 to schedule a free consultation and invest in the future success of your company.