What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a service from Google that helps businesses with controlling and managing their online presence within the Google platform. Google My Business serves as an online directory listing for businesses, and populates the content into Google Maps. This allows potential customers to view the business’s location, phone numbers, hours, photos and additional information that is important for clients.
When you are searching for a business; the map pack results will appear differently (which pull in results from GMB), depending upon whether you conducted the search on mobile or desktop. When you search on mobile, the GMB results will appear at the top of the page, and desktop results will typically appear at the top right of the page. Below is an example of a desktop search for a search of “marketing agencies near me” in Pittsburgh.
Why Google My Business Is Important
According to Search Engine Journal, the use of smartphones to conduct searches on Google is rapidly taking over. 87% of smartphone owners use a search engine at least once a day. Google My Business is mobile friendly, and by having a Google My Business listing you can reach this large percentage of people using Smartphone’s to conduct searches.
According to research provided by Google, “50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day.” In comparison, Google found that 34% of those searching for local listings using a desktop/tablet visited a store within a day. This can directly lead to sales and new customers for your business.
Another reason why Google My Business is so important is because of their use of reviews. By having a listing on Google My Business, you can connect with customers through reviews. Reviews have become very important to businesses, because people rely on reviews when researching a business for purchase decisions. Research has shown that 88% of consumers count on online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations, meaning online reviews have become just as popular as word of mouth recommendations.
The First Step: Claiming or Creating a GMB Page
The first step to take when creating a Google My Business listing is to see if a GMB page already exists for your business. If one has been created, you’ll need to “claim the listing” as a business you own, to bring it under your company’s control. If there is not already a listing for your company, you can create a Google My Business page for free here. Make sure you do not have “duplicate” listings when checking if your page exists. Duplicates listings can hurt your rankings on Google, and cause confusion for customers searching for your business.
Add Your Business Information
Next, you should add in your business information such as Business Name, Address, and Phone. It is important that the information you add onto your Google My Business listing is consistent among your website and social media websites. Also, the address you add must be correct because it will connect your business to Google Maps and will be how customers find and travel to your business.
Be sure to add the Business Category, Website (URL), Pictures of your business (interior, exterior, logo), hours, and a description of your businesses. All of these pieces of information are very significant because it helps customers connect with your business. Add updated pictures to help customers locate your business. The more pictures you add the better, because it is a ranking factor for local SEO. In addition, your business description should include who you are, what you do, and your mission. All of these pieces of information can help to optimize your listing and provide customers with more details about your business.
Keep Your Google My Business Page Updated With Posts
Once you verify and add all pieces of information you can create posts for your listing. These can serve a similar purpose to social media posts and include information on deals, events, and the latest news on your business. Posts will appear on Google underneath the listing and allow users to view or click on select buttons on the post. This can be a very useful tool for businesses to use and it is highly recommended.
Optimizing Your Listing
Other ways to optimize your listing includes adding different business categories or attributes which will help more distinctly define your business. You can use attributes to add specific details on your business such as; good for kids, Wi-Fi, Live Music, and Payments accepted. Attributes can also serve as answers to questions your customers may have about your business.
By adding pictures, attributes, categories, and posts to your listing you will optimize your listing which can help with your rankings on Google. In addition, you can respond to reviews to help better connect with customers.
Contact us to learn more about how optimizing your Google My Business page and reviews can benefit your business!