Before you can utilize Google My Business (also known as GMB) to its full potential and kickstart your business’s growth, you must first understand the basics, namely, what Google My Business is, its benefits, and how to use it.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a web tool that you can use to promote your website or Business Profile on Google Search and Google Maps. Using Google My Business, you can take control over your company’s visibility on Google Search, and additionally, be able to connect more with your customers. GMB also allows you to make changes to your Business Profile and see how customers interact with your business when they find it on Google.
Why is Google My Business essential to the growth of your business?
Most people get their information from Google Search, be it in the form of looking for the best place to get a quick meal to where the most popular tourist destinations in a local area are found.
With this in mind, it follows that the more exposure your business has on Google, the higher the chances that people will interact with it and become potential customers.
It is crucial that when a customer researches for your business or terms relevant to your business, they receive all the information they need to visit or contact your company. Making use of Google My Business allows you to create a listing for your business on Google and keep all the information people need regarding your company easily accessible.
What is a Business Profile?
Before we delve into how Google My Business can be used and work for your business, we must first discuss what it primarily promotes: your Business Profile.
Business Profiles are free Google business listings that appear on Google Search and Google Maps’ local results. They are what appear when people look for products or services on Google Search.
Business Profiles on Google Maps should look like this:
On mobile devices, Business Profiles should look like this:
Creating a Business Profile on Google is pretty simple. The only thing required for you to provide is the name of your business, its location, and its category. Google will then verify if it’s a duplicate or not, and when they confirm that it is a unique listing, they will create a Business Profile for it.
Your Business Profile lets customers leave their reviews and ask questions. Google may even fill it with information from all over the internet. Once created, a Business Profile can be standalone. However, you won’t have total control over the information it displays.
This is where Google My Business comes in handy.
How to set up your Google My Business
Now that we know that Google My Business gives you control over your Business Profile that you otherwise wouldn’t have without it, it’s time to learn how to use GMB to its total capacity. The first few things you have to do is to create and verify your Business Profile.
The following steps will tell you just how to accomplish that.
Creating your Business Profile
Step 1: Sign in to your Google My Business account
If you hadn’t yet, go to www.google.com/business to sign in if you already have an existing Google account or create a new one.
Step 2: Add your business
Add your business to Google and select the category that your business falls under.
Step 3: Specify the location of your business
If you have a storefront or a physical location that customers can go to, click Yes when prompted, provide the address, and place a pin for its location on the map. If your business does not have a physical location but offers deliveries or services, you can provide your service area.
Step 4: Provide your contact information
Simply input the phone number, website address, or Facebook page that your business has.
After this step, just click Finish, and your Business Profile should be good to go.
Step 5: Click Verify Now and choose a way to verify your business
The default verification option you’re going to get is the Postcard by Mail option. There are other verification methods available such as email or phone, so it will depend on you which one you prefer.
If you are going by the default option, enter the details and then submit the form. From here, you will wait between a few days to two weeks before you receive your postcard. When you get it, sign in to your GMB account once again and choose Verify Location from the menu and enter the code from your postcard.
Note that it may take several days before your Business Profile appears on Google after this final step.
How to use Google My Business to promote your company
The following tips allow you to optimize your GMB profile:
- Complete your profile
Fill out all the information about your business that is necessary. This helps Google match your business to what users are searching for.
- Add photos
Highlight your business location, your products, and your services by posting photos on your profile. Post pictures of your food if you’re running a restaurant, or your various amenities if your business is all about hospitality.
- Keep your profile updated with events and special promos
Make sure that the information on your profile is always accurate and up-to-date. Create posts for special events, offers, and promos that people might be interested in.
- Interact with your customers
Make sure to encourage your customers to leave reviews and ask questions and when they do, always respond to them. Maintaining positive reviews and addressing negative ones is an important step towards building consumer trust.
- Study analytics
The analytics tab of the GMB dashboard tells you how many customers search for your business, how many users contact it, and more. Knowing this information gives you the knowledge you can use to edit your profile and fit in what works and remove what doesn’t in order to maximize your searches.
If you want to grow your company by improving its visibility and reach, you should be using Google My Business. Not only is it simple to set up, but the benefits of Google My Business give you power over the success of your business. More than customer accessibility and control over the information you present on your business, Google My Business provides Local SEO benefits through insights and analytics. Last but not the least, it’s 100% free!
Here at RxMedia, we specialize in optimizing your Google My Business profiles so you can easily be found online. Our digital doctors can help your business grow better through our proven and tested Local SEO strategies. Get in touch with us today to get started with a FREE strategic consultation.