Your Google My Business Listing: Are You the Owner?
Do you have a Google My Business Listing for your business? It’s easy enough to find out with a quick Google search using your business name. If you see one, do you know who owns it? Moreover, can you access it?
Whether your business is large or small, maintaining this listing is one of the keys to your overall online success. If you do not have access to your own listing, or cannot remember who does, it’s time to do some digging. Why? Because if this business listing isn’t being properly maintained, your business’s online presence may be taking a hit.
How Do I Know if My Business Has a GMB Listing?
First, you’ll want to determine if your business has a Google My Business listing. One of the quickest ways to do that is to go to Google and perform a search using your business name. Below, is the Studio Barn Creative GMB listing as shown in a simple search for our name.
Start a Search at Business.Google.com
The other way to find a business listing on Google is to navigate to the website https://business.google.com.
By clicking ‘Manage Now’ you’ll be asked to sign-in. We recommend using your business email to get started. It is more likely that your GMB account would be linked to your business email (but, maybe not). If you end up creating a new account, this is the email your new account should be attached to.
If you have a Google My Business account, you’ll be logged into it here showing your listing. Yay!
However, if that doesn’t work, and if you think your account may be registered through a different email address, log-out, and try again with the other email(s).
I Do Not Have an Active GMB Account
If you sign in and do not have a GMB account, you’ll be taken to this page where you can enter your business name to start searching. As you type, business names will start to auto-populate.
If you see your business name in the dropdown, it means that a GMB listing already exists for your business. Select the listing that is yours. If your business is a ‘brick & mortar’ location, the next screen will allow you to Request Access to the GMB listing. You may recognize the somewhat redacted email that originally verified your listing. It may be a personal account of yours. Or, it may be the email of a previous employee or marketing agency.
When you click the Request Access button, you’ll be asked a series of questions to verify that you are who you claim to be. When you complete this form, an email will be sent to the current owner. They will be able to accept or deny your request for access.
If you recognize the redacted email as one that you used to own and no longer have access to, use the Account Recovery help guide.
What if I’m a Service Area Business and Not Brick and Mortar?
If your business services an area (e.g., plumber, HVAC repair, web designer) and does not have a storefront, the claim process will be different.
The next screen will not allow you to request access. Instead, you’ll be asked a series of questions as if you were creating a new listing (essentially, you will be). Be sure that if that is the case that you are logged in with the email primarily attached to your business.
WARNING! Be sure that you are logging in with your business email. This will save you some trouble down the line. This little step is an important one. We promise.
Once this process is completed, verification of your business is accomplished by mailing you a hard-copy postcard to your business address. In 2022, the options have been expanded, and you may be able to accept a text or phone call.
There is Not a GMB Listing for My Business
If you do not see a listing for your business, you can begin creating a business listing with your business name from the search screen. Simply follow the prompts. To confirm your new listing, you’ll be mailed a postcard with a verification code. You will enter this code into your new, unverified listing, to complete verification.
WARNING! However, be sure that you are logging in with your business email. This will save you some trouble down the line. This little step is an important one. We promise.
Why Does It Matter Who Owns My Google My Business Listing?
It matters who owns your Google My Business listing the same way it matters who owns your business. Both have their privileges.
If your GMB listing shows misinformation or is missing information, potential customers may overlook your website/business altogether. Even worse, if it is showing erroneous information (e.g., an incorrect phone number), and you do not own your listing, you cannot change that phone number. Same with your address, website address, services, photos and more. The long and short of the importance of owning your listing is that you may be losing customers if you don’t.
Primary Owner, Owner, Manager or Site Manager
At Studio Barn Creative, we often create new Google My Business listings for our small business owners who are just starting out. The significance of this listing for new businesses is of the utmost importance for SEO.
When a listing is created, the email address used to create it becomes the primary owner. From there, we ‘invite’ additional users (the customer) as Owners. Then, we change the primary owner to the customer and move our email to owner or manager (it is the customer’s choice).
Google’s support website lists the differences between owners, managers, and site managers. Understanding these differences will help you when inviting new users and assigning an appropriate role for your business.
Keep Your Listing and Users Current
Like most things on the internet, Google views updated and current data favorably. To ensure that you get the most out of your listing, be sure to update it frequently. To ensure that you or your team are able to update it, review the roles of your users periodically.
For instance, if your business has an employee that is leaving, remove them as a Manager from your listing. Similarly, if you are retiring from your business and handing the reigns over to someone else, transfer the Primary Owner role out of your name and into theirs. As a result, you will save time and money.
To sum up, maintaining your GMB listing is one of the keys to your online success.