Google My Business has taken the world by storm over the course of the past two years. It allows small businesses to tap into their local market and targeted audience. Also, it gives them a major opportunity to appear in the Google search results.
Creating a Google My Business profile is free and easy. Now, before we guide you to the steps needed to create your GMB profile, let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of this amazing platform.
What is a Google My Business page and how can it help your business?
If you are new to this platform by Google, it basically offers a way to list your business location on Google Maps and local search results.
What’s great is that along with your business location, you can also display your working hours, opening/closing times, contact phone numbers or a link to your website. Recently, Google also released a feature that lets you post a link to articles and up and coming events.
Google My Business is a platform that lets you improve your local search visibility. This means that your business listing will “pop up” immediately in the search results whenever a potential buyer or someone interested in the products/services you sell is near your location.
From bars to restaurants, law firms and burger joints, the magnitude of businesses that are benefiting from GMB is massive. More important is the fact that Google is further tweaking this tool so that it can understand user intent and display relevant information within the results page. As Google makes changes to GMB, we can see how easy it is to access information and view everything we need to know about local businesses. However, GMB needs optimization.
How to create and optimize your Google My Business listing
GMB is a free tool which allows you to manage your business listing (how your business appears on Google Search and Google Maps). If you are getting started with local SEO, GMB is a must for you — and a solid starting point to focus on during your early efforts. Creating an account on Google My Business is simple, all you have to do is:
- Log into the Google Account which you want associated with your business (or create a new one)
- Go to google.com/business and select “Start Now” in the top right-hand corner
- Enter your business name
- Enter your business address
- Choose your business category
- Add your business phone number and/or website
- Choose a verification option to verify your business (or if you don’t want to do this right away, click on “Try a different method” ->“Later”
Verify your GMB listing
If you choose to verify your GMB listing immediately, you can do that:
- By postcard
- By phone
- By email
- Instant verification
- Bulk verification
Verifying by phone is the easiest option — all you need to do is make sure your phone number is correct and enter the verification code from the text message that you will receive.
Optimize your GMB listing
This is the step when you need to flesh out your profile and add in as much information and media as you can. Basically, you should focus on filling in all the blanks, including adding a business profile photo, selecting the area that you serve, adding your working hours, attributes (“Free Wi-Fi” for example), a public phone number and website URL.
The good news is that you can edit your business profile by logging into your GMB dashboard at any time. According to Google, businesses that have more photos are likely to see 35 percent more clicks to their website and 42 percent higher requests for driving directions on Google Maps.
This is why we suggest adding a cover photo, profile photo as well as other relevant photos of your listing to make it more informative and engaging.
Maintain your GMB presence online: Why reviews matter
As soon as you create, verify and optimize your GMB listing, you will see the power of reviews. One of the best ways to encourage future customers to your business is with positive reviews.
Over time, you will get many positive reviews, too. Responding to all of them is a great way to build brand authority and show everyone that you take both compliments and complaints seriously.
There is also a Google My Business App available for iOS and Android which you can use to update your listing, post statuses and photos and view search insights. Keep in mind that the app does not support changing your settings, deleting your business listing or giving full ownership to another user.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits of having a Google My Business profile. The entire platform is being improved on a daily basis and having a detailed GMB listing can help you attract the attention of nearby audiences and dominate your local market.
The more reviews you gather and the more consistent you are, the more people will contact your business. The bottom line is that your business should and must be listed in Google My Business if you want customers to easily find information about it online or decide to visit/contact you directly.