What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is an online directory of businesses that helps customers find and compare offerings. The system, which was formerly known as Google Places and Google Local, displays a company’s profile with basic information. It lists everything about the business, including location, hours of operation, type of business, and photos.
Google My Business, also referred to as GMB, is a central component of local SEO. Optimizing a Google My Business listing provides potential visitors with the information and insight they need on whether to visit, for example. It also increases a company’s visibility on the world’s most powerful search engine.
Who Needs a GMB and What Are the Benefits?
A better question is, “Who does not need a Google My Business listing?” Unless a company wants to maintain secrecy because of exclusive clientele or operating in the grey areas, there is no reason not to have a GMB listing. It’s an essential part of doing business in the modern age.
The primary benefit of GMB is improved online visibility. An accurate listing ensures potential customers in the geographic area can find the business. For instance, when people zoom in on Google Maps, the map populates with restaurants, hotels, arenas, and other establishments—a GMB posting improves the likelihood of a business showing up on these displays.
The phenomenon is known as the Local Pack—a Search Engine Results Page or SERP. The goal of the Local Pack is to show relevant results for an online search. According to the SEO company Moz, a GMB listing is the most influential factor in how a company ranks in Local Pack.
According to Dimensional Research, 90 percent of people said that reading a positive online review influenced their purchasing decision. The Harvard Business School found a single star improvement on Yelp increased company revenue from five to nine percent.
The power of reviews is undeniable, but the key is to harness that potential. Google My Business listings are a prime opportunity for reviews to cultivate customers more effort on your part. Going the extra mile when it comes to customer service and satisfaction pays dividends with business-boosting reviews.
Reviews also provide more than a benefit to a company’s bottom line. It can be an informative tool to show other customers and the business how the general population sees the brand. Companies use this insight to promote exceptional features, such as specific products or services, and areas of weakness.
Free to Use
A company should also use a Google My Business listing because it is absolutely free. There is no out-of-pocket expense, and GMB listings are straightforward and easy to create. Even people without an aptitude for computers can create or update their profile in a matter of hours.
GMB is particularly useful for startups and local businesses that may not have a budget for marketing or advertising. The service improves the chance of showing up on search engine results without spending a penny. All people have to do is go through the GMB optimization checklist, and they will be ready for Page One.
4 Steps To Google My Business Optimization
1. Verify Information
Verifying information sounds so simple that it is easy to overlook. If you do it correctly, it’s easy. Make sure to fill out the necessary data that Google asks you to input, such as address, hours, phone number, and website.
2. Add Photos
The cliché is true: a picture is worth a thousand words. Uploading images of the company’s products and services can provide potential customers with insight into the environment and style. For instance, restaurant owners can showcase their menu and ambiance with pictures of the food and interior design.
3. Answer Any Questions
Putting a Q&A in a Google My Business listing is the first line of good public relations. It provides a company with a customer-facing representative that directly interacts with potential leads. The goal is to provide quick, informative, and helpful responses to present and future customers.
4. Add a Booking Feature
The booking feature is contingent on the type of business listed. Restaurants, barbershops, salons, doctor’s offices, and other appointment-based operations benefit from a booking option, for example. Owners can integrate scheduling software that automatically makes appointments or reservations without employees having to field phone calls or emails.
Those are four steps to Optimize your GMB but there are many more! Want the Full Google My Business Optimization Checklist? Check It Out Below!