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 easy for consumers to discover, learn about, and contact your business. But in order to properly optimize your Business Profile, you need access to it, and in order to access it, you need to verify with Google that you are the rightful owner.

While it seems as though it should be as simple as “step one create, step two claim, and step three verify,” the process is neither that simple nor that linear—which, if you’re reading this post, you have already figured out. That’s because it requires three different Google accounts and two different Google platforms, all of which have very similar names. Talk about a brain bender.

So, in this post, I’m going to first iron out for you exactly what’s what in Google, and then give you a clear-cut roadmap to creating a Google My Business account and using it to claim and verify your Business Profile on Google.

Why create a Google My Business account?

Your Google My Business account makes it easy for consumers to discover, learn about, and contact your business online.These are the core benefits of a Google My Business account, and if that’s not enough to convince you, consider the disadvantages of not having one.

You risk losing customers. Without a Google My Business account, you don’t have control over the information displayed in your…

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