Launched in 2014, Google My Business became a business’s best friend for online searching. Google My Business is an online business directory that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. If you skip out on using Google My Business, you potentially will miss out on customers and sales. Why? Well let’s dive a little deeper into what is Google My Business and how it works.
What is Google My Business?
In simple terms, it is a business profile within Google. But it is not just your Business Profile, rather a tool by which you enhance your Business Profile to boost its visibility and effectiveness. Business Profiles appear in Google Maps and in the local results of Google search. A listing on Google My Business can be an amazing marketing tool for search engine optimization (SEO). Obviously Google has some power on their search engine, but now it has allowed businesses to have their search space as well.
All that Google requires within the business profile is the business name, location, and category. Once it is confirmed that the business is not a duplicate, Google will create the business profile for that location. You can have multiple location profiles per business if you have separate addresses. For example, a doctor has two offices. The doctor can have two business profiles for the business with two separate locations.
Is Google My Business Free?
YES! And it isn’t a scam. Google doesn’t charge to create a Google My Business profile. Plus, Google My Business does not operate on a pay by service level, like free, super, premium, etc., business model. This means that your business has the same level of access as your competitors. However, this could all change and it could become a paid service and eventually upsell the account levels. But for now, June of 2021, it is free.
Why Should I Use It for My Business?
Google always favors Google My Business profiles with extra information and user engagement, especially recent engagement. If your profile is up to date with a business image, hours, location, and services/products, Google will know that it is relevant information and will know to show it to someone searching for something similar.
Additionally, your business profile is open to people to leave reviews, add their personal pictures, ask questions and even answer others questions. Google might also populate your profile for you from information that it finds online. Of course that can always be edited to make it fit to your business standards. You know your business best!
How Do I Set Up A Google My Business Profile?
Yay! Glad you’ve made it to this point of wanting to set up a Google business profile. It is the right thing for your business.
To get a Google My Business account, go to google.com/business and click “Manage now,” which will take you through the steps of creating an account. Enter all of your information. Google will then need to verify the business location is actually yours. You’ll be sent a postcard by mail that will have a code on it to confirm it is yours.
In the meantime, optimize and nurture your profile. Add your business hours, ask your best customers to add in some pictures and reviews, add your own pictures and make sure the other business information like location and contact information are correct.
Now What Do I Do with My Google My Business Profile?
Post to your Google My Business listing at least once a week. Think of it as an additional social media post. Make the Google My Business post something specific to your business and link to your website. Hashtags won’t matter for this post. If you have an image that you took, post that instead of one that you create and is just a general image. When you use a picture that you took at the business, it has location tags within the file that Google will recognize. We don’t have to get deep into how that works. Just think of it as picture magic!
Being active on your listing is always a good idea. Manage reviews, good and bad, add events that are happening for your business, add a new picture of a product or someone doing your service, or add in an offer that you want to share with your potential and current customers. If Google releases updated information grabs, a new item where it already shows the things mentioned previously, this should be posted about. At the time of this blog (June 2021) there is a Covid-19 update area where businesses can post Covid updates, like if they are closed or the rules have changed. There is a good chance that this particular information will be ranked better than others. Update your profile to match whatever Google is suggesting.
Good luck with your Google My Business profile! If you have any questions or would like help setting up or managing your profile, contact us.