In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Google My Business and how to use it to drive business growth.
What is Google My Business (GMB)?
GMB is a crucial tool for businesses to establish and maintain their online presence and attract more customers in their local area by providing information about their business online.
With GMB, businesses can provide important information to prospective customers, such as their:
- Business Name
- Phone Number
- Website Address
- Business Hours
- And More
It also enables businesses to manage and respond to customer reviews, add photos, post updates and offers, and view insights on how customers interact with their business on Google.
What are the Benefits of GMB?
- Increased Visibility
With a GMB profile, your business is more likely to appear in local search results, Google Maps, and other Google products, increasing your visibility to potential customers in your local area.
- Improved Search Rankings
A well-optimized Google My Business profile can improve your search engine rankings, making it easier for customers to find your business online.
- Better Customer Engagement
With GMB, you can respond to customer reviews, post updates and offers, add photos, and engage with your customers to build better relationships.
- Increased Website Traffic
Adding a website link to your Google My Business profile can drive more traffic to your website, potentially increasing sales and conversions.
- Valuable Insights
Google My Business provides insights into how customers find and interact with your business on Google, allowing you to make informed decisions about your marketing strategy.
- Cost-Effective Advertising
Google My Business offers various advertising options, including Local Service Ads, which can be a cost-effective way to reach more customers and promote your business.
How to Create a Google My Business Account
To create a GMB Account, follow these steps:
- Go to the GMB website at https://www.google.com/business/ and click the “Manage now” button.
- Sign in to your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to create one.
- Enter your business name and click “Next.”
- Enter your business address. If you don’t have a physical storefront, you can choose to hide your address or list a service area instead.
- Choose your business category. This helps Google understand your business and show it to the right customers.
- Enter your business phone number and website URL (if you have one). Click “Finish” to create your account.
- Verify your business. Google will send a verification code to your business address or phone number. Follow the instructions to verify your business, which may take a few days.
- Once your business is verified, complete your profile by adding photos, business hours, and other important information.
How To Verify Your Google My Business Account
- Sign in to your Google My Business account.
- If your account is eligible for verification, you’ll see a blue banner at the top of your dashboard that says “Verify Now.” Click on it.
- Choose the verification method that works best for your business. There are several options, including by mail, phone, email, or instant verification (available for some businesses).
- If you choose mail verification, Google will send a postcard to the business address you provided during the signup process. The postcard will have a verification code that you’ll need to enter in your GMB dashboard.
- If you choose phone verification, Google will call the phone number you provided during the signup process and give you a verification code to enter in your GMB dashboard.
- If you choose email verification, Google will email the email address you provided during the signup process with a verification code to enter into your GMB dashboard.
- If you’re eligible for instant verification, Google will automatically verify your business if you’ve already verified your business with Google Search Console.
- Once you’ve entered your verification code in your GMB dashboard, your account will be verified, and you’ll have access to all the features of Google My Business.
How To Optimize Your GMB Profile
As a business owner, optimizing your free Google My Business account is critical to ensure that your business appears in relevant search results and attracts potential customers. Here are some ways you can optimize your account.
- Keep Your Information Up-To-Date
Ensure all the information on your profile, such as your business name, address, phone number, and business hours, are accurate.
- Choose the Right Business Category
Selecting the correct category for your business helps Google understand your business and show it to the right customers.
- Add Photos and Videos
Adding photos and videos to your profile can make it attractive and engaging to potential customers.
- Encourage Customer Reviews
Positive customer reviews can help boost your business’s visibility and credibility. Encourage your satisfied customers to leave reviews on your GMB profile.
- Respond to Customer Reviews
Responding to reviews — both positive and negative — demonstrates you care about your customers’ feedback and can build trust and loyalty.
- Use Attributes
Attributes allow you to highlight specific features of your business, such as outdoor seating, wheelchair accessibility, and free Wi-Fi. Use relevant attributes to help your potential customers find what they want.
How to Manage Customer Reviews on GMB
Managing customer reviews is essential to maintaining a positive online reputation for your business. Some things to keep in mind:
- Responses are Public
- Be Professional and Courteous
- Thank Customers for Positive Reviews
- Respond Promptly and Politely to Negative Reviews
- Monitor and Respond Regularly to Reviews
- Flag Reviews that Violate Google’s Policies
How to Use Google My Business Insights to Grow Your Business
GMB insights provide valuable data on how customers find your business on Google. By using insights, you can better understand your business’s online performance and make data-driven decisions to improve your business. Some ways you might use GMB insights include:
- How Customers Find You
Using the “Search” Section of GMB Insights, you can identify which keywords and search queries drive traffic to your listing.
- Monitor Customer Actions
You can see how many customers are visiting your website, calling your business, or requesting directions.
- Track Phone Calls
You can use the Calls section of GMB Insights to track how many calls your business receives from your listing.
- Track Engagement
You can view your business’s engagement over time and track changes in customer actions, photo views, and other metrics to see how your business is growing and improving.
GMB: A Powerful Tool
Google My Business is a powerful tool that can help your business get noticed by potential customers in your local area. Creating and managing your GMB listing can improve your online visibility, attract more customers, and grow your business.
Transform Your Business with Tailored Digital Marketing Solutions
Managing your Google My Business account can be a time-consumer process that requires a deep understanding of digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). By using a digital marketing agency to manage your GMB account, you benefit from the following:
- Expertise with GMB
- Time Saved on Learning a New Tool
- Stay Current with Platform Changes and Trends
Schedule a free consultation today to learn how we can help you grow your business with digital marketing.