What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB), formerly Google Places, is an easy to use and free platform. It allows you to manage your organization’s presence across Google. Everything from your address, hours of operation, contact information, website, and reviews are easy to access. A good Google My Business (GMB) listing should include all the information on the local business’ website. It’s readily available for customers without having to leave the search engine. Any businesses that provide this information are likely to get preferential treatment on SERPs. These business listings are seen in search results or Google Maps. These listings showcase business hours, photos, reviews, etc.
It’s one of the most powerful tools for Local SEO. From an SEO point of view, claiming and optimizing the Google My Business listing creates a strong signal to Google that your business is active and allows you to rank higher in local Google searches for your industry. Google gives a strong preference for local searches which allows small businesses to compete with national brands when someone is searching for a business or service from your community.
Google My Business optimization means visibility, which means more people are finding your business and converting. Visitors will be adding more items to their cart, signing up for your newsletter. SEO matters when your business is online, and it’s equally crucial when you’re optimizing for a local SEO strategy.
Getting on Google My Business means more people finding your business through Google Maps and organic searches. It means people finding out your business hours, phone number, address, and reviews at a glance. Google My Business is a powerful tool to establish and manipulate your online presence. Google My Business is the all in one tool that allows you to create a website, reach more customers, increase website traffic, and make more money. Here, you can manage reviews. You can contact customers that leave you feedback. It gives you control over your local image.
Helpful for Local SEO – Google My Business is the first step in local SEO. Without it, you don’t exist on Google, or you risk the possibility that the information on Google about your business is incomplete or incorrect. Simply signing up for Google My Business won’t guarantee that you’ll appear in the top three local listings, but it’s a start toward optimizing your business for local Google search results. If you want to improve your local visibility, it’s the must.
Claim & Verify your Google My Business Listing –The first step into Google My Business journey is to create a listing. Go Google to create a free business profile. There is no maximum number of listings per account now, so you can manage them all through a single business profile. You’ll need a Gmail account to create a profile.
Start by typing the name of the business. If there’s no listing for the business, you’ll prompt to create a new listing, but if it already exists, you might need to claim it instead. You can see how the search engine displays their business in local listings for both the search engine and Google Maps.
In Google My Business, the first step is to claim your business on Google:-
- Login into Google account you want to be associated with your business
- Type google.com/ business and select start now
- Enter your business name and address and other details. It’s where you’ll deliver to your customers, business category, and contact number and website for your business.
There are several methods for verifying your listing. We recommend either getting:-
- A code will be sent to the business’ phone number
- or a postcard will be delivered to the business address
Either process works but calling is the best method. The last step to creating a listing is to verify it.
Know Your Google My Business Dashboard –
Now, you’ll get access to the Google My Business Dashboard, once you’ve successfully created or claimed a local business’ listing. Here, you can create a post or an offer, add an image, update the business’ information, check the business’ insights, manage reviews, set up Google Messaging, etc.
Business Description – The next step is to write a brief description, which outlines your business, offerings and includes several of your core keywords. Google has a set of guidelines that you can use in order to write a well optimized, powerful business description, which will help users understand your business. Details include your address, phone number, business hours. You must select the correct category for your business. If you’re not sure which category best suits you, see your competitor’s category listing to get a better idea. Enter the region or radius that your business delivers products and services to by going to Manage Location > Address.
Home – It’s where you’ll need to spend most of your time. It gives you a snapshot of everything that’s going on with the business’ listing. You can reply to reviews and can view the latest customer’s photos and manage Google My Business posts. You can also see the latest insights into the business and performance of listing.
Posts – Google My Business allows you to publish your events, products, and services directly on your listing. You’ll get information on the number of impressions and clicks generated from each post. Posts can include events, offers and even featured products to share with the business’ potential customers. If you add products to the Google My Business listing, they will appear with the tag ‘sold here’ when people use them as a keyword. Local businesses should always add the products and services they offer.
How to optimize a Google My Business Post –
- Always add an image
- The topic should be related to the business
- The post can be up to 1500 characters, so keep it short and to the point
- Posts only last for 7 days. Change them constantly with ready to go when the previous one expires
Info – The info panel tell you to update the local business’ information as needed, from the business’ NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) to service areas, websites and services offered. Business hours can also be edited from the info panel, which is particularly helpful during the holidays. A local business’ potential customer will likely do a Google search to see if the business is open during the holidays, or if they have special hours. You should give your customers the information they need straight from a trustworthy source and leverage this feature. Business owners can also add their products and services from the info panel. It’s important to surface in desktop searches as well as helpful in a business listing surface in voice search queries.
Add Photos and Videos – You can add photos and videos to any local business listings through the Photos panel. Adding photos is a great way to show off new products, or give customers a behind the scene look at what is happening in your business. Business’s profile photo is the most important picture that will have the most impressions. You can upload other types of images include branding photos, interior and exterior photos of the premises and additional photos like staff helping customers.
Google My Business highly encouraged to photos and videos. There’re some specific guidelines on the type of images and videos that can be added to a listing. In Photos panel, the business owners can also see the images uploaded by customers, as well as the insight of views of each photo or video. Videos need to be 30 seconds or shorter, smaller than 100mb and 720p resolution or higher. Videos will give your business the ability to tell your story with the power of moving image.
Website – Local business can personalize and optimize a Google-built website. It’s useful to any local business that doesn’t have a website. Any local business can highlight and showcase their products and services.
Insights – In the online world, data is the most important thing. Google My Business insight gives you a snippet of how the local business is doing in terms of searches and viewers. Insights reveal it all from keywords to photo views and customer actions. Insights give you the tools to find out viewers. You can get visibility, engagement, and audience statistics.
- Visibility – It shows how many views your profile, photos, and posts receive in the last week, month, or 3 months on a cleanly designed graph.
- Audience – It has a breakdown of everyone that follows you. It even includes valuable demographics like their country, age, gender, etc.
- Engagement – It’s the level of interaction your posts get via clicks, chares, and comments. This is shown graphically with the breakdown of a week, month, or 3 months.
Reviews – People trust online reviews. Maximum people use reviews regularly or occasionally. Reviews can make or break a local business. Online reviews play a big role in the acquisition of potential customers’ trust and have been shown to impact organic rankings. You should respond to all reviews in a potential and thoughtful manner to show that you engage with your customers. Google highly encourage business owners to ask their customers for reviews. It’s essential to address them all in a timely manner. In Reviews panel, the business can easily spot new reviews, those that have been replied to and those that are still waiting to hear back. Customers get notified when a local business replies to their review on Google My Business listing. Addressing reviews, good or bad, is extremely important, but nothing is more important than getting reviews.
Messaging – Google offers a smart way for local businesses to communicate directly with potential customers. Google My Business app is available for mobile devices. Business owners can reply to any messages or questions from potential customers. This is a free app.
Questions and Answers Section – You allow people to ask questions about your business and you can answer any of their queries. It’s important that you answer any potential customer’s queries and questions directly. Reliability and reputation matter online. You can download the Google Maps app, where you can reply to questions as they come in.
Check-on Duplicate Listings – Perhaps you moved location a while back, or someone added your listing with the wrong information on it. Many duplicates may have the wrong information like business name, location or phone number. Some even have the wrong website linked. This can really harm your Google ranking, and they need to be surpassed, merged or reported.
Follow Google’s Guidelines – Google has a handy list of quality guidelines that all businesses participating should adhere to. You should be consistent with your business name, address format and more.
Take Virtual Tour – Street view images are the 360-degree images that users can use to get a virtual tour of your business. These images are great on Google and for your website as well.
Managing Multiple Locations – The value of Google My Business is the same whether you have one location or a hundred, place your verified business address, hours and contact information in mobile and desktop searches for users who are looking for service near their location.
- One account for all location – A central corporate account will allow to keep all the profiles with uniformity on how the business provides information and classifies itself. It also keeps the control within the company.
- Use multiple business accounts – It’s possible to separate your different locations into what Google calls Business Accounts. Log on to Google My Business, and in options drop down, create a business account.
- Keep Handy Location Information – When you either input or update your business locations, make sure you have all the information.
- Website Addresses – You need to decide whether you’re sending visitors to the general page or to the specific location’s page.
- Location Phone Number – You can choose to list the primary number, or to include more numbers.
- Store Type – Google My Business provides broad categories that you can apply to your store. You can also apply more than one category to your location.
- Physical Address – The great benefit of Google My Business is getting your business placed as a pin on Google Maps. It’s a very helpful tool that will lead your customers to you. It’s extremely important to make sure that all of the location information is accurate.
- Keep an Updated Website – Google will confirm the information you provided with your website and anywhere else it can pull data from. Then Google will update your location profile to match those physical addresses. Your website must provide accurate information that corroborates with what you uploaded to Google My Business; otherwise, it’ll create confusion amongst your users and those searching for you.
- Regularly check Google Updates – On the sidebar, there is an option called Google Updated, these are all the locations that have contradicting information or that need to be manually verified so that correct information can be published on Google. It’ll show you the information you last submitted and what is currently published. You should make sure that this information matches and is accurate, or make the appropriate changes. It’s important to keep a constant check over this. Wrong information can lead to confusion, frustration, and loss of potential customers.
Conclusion – Google My Business is a quick and easy way to make your brand looks great. With the right keywords, potential customers will no doubt find your company with ease. You draw the pictures and Google does the rest.