If you want to improve your local SEO and get found by more customers, then you need to be on Google My Business. If you’re not already using the platform, you could be missing out on customers and holding your business back as it attempts to compete with other local businesses in your niche.
In this comprehensive, we’ll show you what Google My Business is, why it’s important, and how to set up your own listing. By the end, you’ll be ready to start attracting more customers and growing your business! So read on now and find out more about Google My Business and why it matters to businesses like yours.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free platform that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google Search and Maps.
Using GMB, businesses can control the information that appears when customers search for them on Google. This includes adding business hours, contact information, photos, and more.
Additionally, GMB provides businesses with tools to connect with their customers. This includes features like messaging, customer reviews, and insights. Overall, GMB is an essential tool for businesses that want to improve their visibility and reach on Google.
Some of the key benefits include:
- Allowing you to control how your business appears on Google Search and Maps
- Helping you connect with customers through features like messaging and customer reviews
- Providing valuable insights about your customers and how they interact with your listing
- Giving you the ability to track performance over time so you can see the impact of your efforts
Overall, using GMB can help you improve your online presence, reach more customers, and grow your business. We’ll expand more on some of the key benefits later in this guide.
What kind of business information can you add to your Google business listing?
You can add a variety of information to your Google My Business listing, including:
- Your business name, address, and phone number
- A business description
- Business hours
- A link to your website
- Photos and videos of your business
- Information about your products and services
- Customer reviews
The major features of Google My Business
Google My Business offers a variety of features that allow businesses to communicate with their customers. These features include messaging, posts, and Q&A.
Messaging allows customers to contact businesses directly from their business listings. This is a great way for businesses to offer customer support or answer any questions that potential customers may have.
Posts allow businesses to share updates, announcements, and special offers with their customers. This is a great way to keep your customers informed regarding news and the latest goings on of your business.
Q&A is a feature that allows customers to ask questions about your business and for other customers to answer those questions. This is a great way to build up a knowledge base about your business that potential customers can reference when they’re considering doing business with you.
Display information about your business that customers will find useful
Another important feature of Google My Business is the ability to display important information about your business. This includes your business hours, location, contact information, and more.
This information is critical for potential customers who are looking for a business like yours. By having this information readily available, you make it easy for them to do business with you. Your customers will be more willing to visit your location and use your services if they’re able to prepare that visit armed with all of the relevant information ahead of time.
Collect reviews to build social proof
One of the most important features of Google My Business is the ability to collect reviews from your customers. These reviews act as social proof that can help convince potential customers to do business with you.
The more positive reviews you have, the more likely potential customers are to trust your business and choose you over the competition. So it’s important to encourage your happy customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing.
The Benefits of Using Google My Business
There are many benefits to using Google My Business, including the ability to reach new customers, connect with customers, and manage your online presence.
Reach New Customers
Google My Business can help you reach new customers by making it easier for them to find your business online. When potential customers search for businesses like yours on Google, your business listing will appear in the search results. You can also use Google My Business to target ads to potential customers who are nearby your business location.
Connect With Customers
Google My Business makes it easy for you to connect with your customers. You can use the platform to post updates about your business, respond to customer reviews, and message customers directly.
Manage Your Online Presence
Google My Business gives you control over how your business appears online. You can add photos, videos, and other information about your business to help potential customers learn more about what you do. You can also use Google My Business Insights to track how people are finding and interacting with your business listing.
How to set up a Google My Business Account
Setting up a Google My Business account is simple and only takes a few minutes. Just follow these steps:
- Go to business.google.com and click “Start now.”
- Enter your business name and address. If your business has multiple locations, you can add them all here.
- Choose your primary category. This is the category that best describes your business.
- Set up your profile by adding a profile photo, cover photo, and description of your business. Be sure to include relevant keywords so that potential customers can easily find you when they search online.
- Verify your listing by phone or mail. Once you’ve verified your listing, you’ll be able to make changes and add more information about your business.
Claiming your business listing on Google
It’s possible that your business will already be listed on Google My Business, even if you have never set up the profile yourself. Someone else might have done that, and it’s best for you to claim that profile and business listing as your own.
That way, you can take control of it, use it to your advantage from a business point of view and make any edits that you might need to make. Here’s how to claim your listing:
- Head over to https://www.google.com/business/ and log in with your Google Business account.
- When Google prompts you to enter the name of your business, simply type its name and if your business is already listed on the platform, it’ll show up. If it does, select it.
- Enter the details it asks for and then click continue.
- If your business is already claimed, Google will now give you the chance to claim it by clicking ‘Request ownership’.
- You can then complete the process of requesting ownership of your business’s listing.
- You can then submit it and the current listing owners can approve it. If they falsely reject it, you can appeal that and once the process is complete, you’ll become the listing admin.
Asking customers to leave reviews on Google Business
As a business owner, one of the best ways to encourage customers to leave positive reviews is by simply asking them. You can do this in person, or you can include a note with their purchase encouraging them to leave a review on your Google Business listing.
Another way to encourage customers to leave reviews is by offering incentives. For example, you could offer a discount on their next purchase if they leave a review, or enter customers into a contest for leaving a review. Make sure that any incentive you offer meets Google’s guidelines for Reviews and endorsements.
You should also make it easy for customers to leave reviews by providing links to your Google Business listing from your website and social media accounts. You can use the “Write a Review” button from your listing or generate a link using the Place ID Finder tool.
Google My Business is a powerful tool that can help businesses of all sizes to reach new customers and build trust with their audience. By adding accurate and up-to-date information about your business, you can make it easier for potential customers to find you and learn more about what you do. Google My Business also offers some great features for communicating with customers and collecting reviews, which can help to build social proof and improve your business’s reputation. Overall, using Google My Business can be a great way to get more exposure for your business and attract new leads.
If you’re not already using Google My Business, now is the time to set up an account and start taking advantage of all it has to offer. And don’t forget to ask your happy customers to leave you a review on Google – it could make all the difference in helping your business to stand out from the competition. But if you feel like you need a little extra help, then contact our team at Digital 24 for a GMB training session.