Have you heard about Google My Business? Perhaps you have heard that it is good for SEO and that it is for free, but not sure what all the fuss is about?
In this blog post, we will talk about what Google My Business is, why it is important for you as a business owner to have it, and how easy it is to set it up.
First things first, what is Google My Business (GMB)?
Google My Business is a free tool. You can showcase your business on Google Maps and Google Search. It is like a virtual storefront. It provides your contact information, your business details, and other valuable information about your company. This information is shown in the form of a knowledge graph, which is a box that usually appears on the right-hand side of Google search results.
According to a recent study, 84% of searches are discovery searches, while 16% are direct. Imagine having your business being discovered by the perfect client!
Do I need a Google My Business account?
In a highly competitive and fast-paced online world, building your digital presence should always be a top priority. So the answer is: of course! If you are a business owner, you need to be found by your customers. Whatever you do, your customers are online and looking for whatever it is that will make their lives easier.
You can improve your discoverability on Google Search and Google Maps
Your existing and potential customers typically start with a search on Google, even if they are looking to visit a brick and mortar store, or if they come from one. Having a Google My Business profile can help you grow your business with Google Search and Google Maps by driving traffic to your website and physical location. The key to this is optimising your Google My Business knowledge graph by having it complete. This includes having photos, trading hours, contact details, reviews, directions, and so on. This will make it easier for visitors to find you. It will also make them more willing to click the website link on your listing.
GMB gives customers the option to access your physical store or office via Google Maps when you add directions onto your listing. They can also find out where your business operates if you don’t have a physical location, such as a delivery service for example.
When someone finds your business through their search query using keywords, such as your business name or something related to what you offer, then sees where you are located, they can find you without any hassle.
You can keep customers informed with updated information
Information is everything nowadays, and that's why your Google My Business listing is the best place to share what's going on with your business. Optimise your profile with as much key information to build trust, as well as updated information to avoid any confusion. You wouldn’t want to leave a customer or prospect guessing important information or misinforming them with details that are not accurate, as this will leave you at risk of losing them.
You can boost your SEO
Google My Business can help improve your website’s visibility by ranking it higher in organic search engine results. This ranking is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It is the process of improving your website’s visibility on search engines when people search for offerings related to your business. It is done through various ranking factors. A complete Google My Business listing is one factor, and this can boost your local SEO too. Google’s smart algorithms take a searcher’s location into consideration - even when they don’t use a local keyword such as “near me” for example. This will give them search results of businesses located within their immediate area. Your Google My Business listing is therefore a great way to drive people to your website and physical location.
Users can book through Google My Business
You can add a booking option on your Google My Business profile. Bookings, appointments and reservations can be made by your customers through a simple click on your knowledge graph. This saves them time and effort of searching for booking sites you may be listed on. They may be interested after reading important information on your knowledge graph for example, and want to make a quick booking via your listing.
You can manage your reputation through reviews
Your existing and potential customers can see your commitment to engage and improve customer experience when you respond to reviews on your GMB listing. Having reviews gives potential customers some insight into your business before spending their time or money on you.
Set up Google My Business in these easy steps
1. Sign in to Google My Business. Visit www.google.com/business to sign in. You can create a new Google account or use one that already exists.
*Note: Make sure you use your company's official email address to register.
2. Add your company or business. Enter the name of your company and select what category best describes you.
3. Add your business address. Select “Yes” if you have a physical location, then add your address. If your business does not have a physical location, you can then list your service area.
4. Add your contact details. Provide the best ways for customers to reach you. Enter your business phone number and website. If you use a social media page instead of a website, you may add that in.
5. Finish and get listed. Click finish. You’ll then need to verify your business.
How to verify your business
Verifying your business is necessary for your listing to be shown on Google, and to ensure that you as the business owner are the only one who has access to it.
1. Sign in to your GMB account. Sign in via www.google.com/business.
2. Verify Now. Make sure you choose the correct account if you manage many of them. Click verify now.
3. Choose the way best fit for you to verify. Postcard by Mail is the default verification option, but if your business has other options available like phone or email, choose whichever best suits you. Once completed, accurately enter it into the form and submit it for approval before waiting up to two weeks for delivery confirmation.
Now you are officially done and ready to take your business to a new level.
In simple terms, the main purpose of a Google My Business listing is to give people important information about your business. Think how much faster this can be for them to find this out without having to wander around hoping they will eventually stumble across something in their search. People want easy and instant access to information about a business. GMB is a great tool to support this need and is a clever way to boost your online and physical presence.
Google My Business has also now officially updated their name to Google Business Profile. This change comes as part of the company's effort to make its products and services more consistent across all of its properties, with a new name that is more reflective of its purpose.
If you have any questions with regards to setting up your Google My Business or anything related to your digital marketing strategy, you can contact me below. I will be happy to assist.