Hi guys, 👋
When it comes to successful inbound marketing and SEO strategies, you need to choose the right tools for the job and understand how to best employ those tools.🔧 I’ve done some digging, and for local businesses, one of the best tools you have is Google My Business. 💻
What is it?
Google my Business is a free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. That includes adding your business name, location, and hours; monitoring and replying to customer reviews; adding photos; learning where and how people are searching for you, and more.
Why you should care
The benefits of Google My Business are threefold:
1. Increased visibility in search
2. Better shopping experience for buyers
3. More traffic to your website, social channels, and front door
An optimized GMB page helps Google understand more about your business: who you are, what services/products you sell, where you’re located at, and what your website is. The more Google knows about you, the more types of searches your GMB listing can appear in. In most cases, when people type the name of your business, it often displays your knowledge panel alongside your website links.
If you’re just getting started with local SEO, your Google My Business listing is a great place to focus your early efforts. After all, when people search for a product or service near them, they’re usually very close to making a purchase — one in two people who conduct a local search visit a store that day. So it’s important the information about your business that shows up when people search Google is as accurate, complete, and optimized as possible.
How to create a listing
Step 1: Log into the Google Account you want to be associated with your business (or create a Google Account if you don’t already have one).
Step 2: Go to [google.com/business]and select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner.
Step 3: Enter your business name.
Step 4: Enter your business address.
Step 5: If you go to your customers’ locations, rather than having them come to you, check the box “I deliver goods and services to my customers.” And if you work out of your house or another address you don’t want publicly shown, check “Hide my address (it’s not a store) Only show region.” Finally, select your Delivery area.
Step 6: Choose your business category. Try to choose the most accurate category possible — you’re essentially telling Google which type of customers should see your business listing.
Step 7: Add your business phone number or website.
Step 8: Choose a verification option.
How to optimize your listing
Once you’ve verified your business, it’s time to finish fleshing out your profile. Go to the Google My Business dashboard, click the listing you’d like to work on, select “Info,” and then choose a section to fill out or update.
Add as much information and media as you can, including a business profile photo, the area you serve, your hours, attributes (e.g. “wheelchair accessible,” “free wifi”), the day and year you opened, and a public phone number and website URL.
1. Complete Your Business Information & Add a Description
Descriptions also improve your search rankings on Google. Just as you’re able to better communicate who you are to customers, you’re able to tell Google the same information, and they can rank you for more search queries.
2. Upload More Images
Take interior pics of your office/showroom. Take exterior pics of your building so buyers know which building is yours, or show them how big your lumber yard is. Upload pictures of your team so people know who to look for when they come in.
3. Respond to Reviews (all of them)
When making a purchase decision, people look to others for their opinions. We all do it. And we do it often. We want to learn from the experiences of those who have purchased before us.
4. Use Posts to Promote Events, Offers, & Content
You can have your content show up on Google Search and Google maps in your business’ knowledge panel. This includes:
- Blog articles
- Company news
- eBook downloads
- Upcoming events
- Special offers
- Product promotion
5. Upload Videos
There is no better way to attract, engage, and communicate with your buyers than through video. It only takes a few minutes and could be the determining factor in whether your buyer chooses you over your competitor.
Google My Business vs. Google Places for Business
If you’re confused about the many names and options for managing your Google presence, you’ve got a right to be. Google Places used to be Google’s tool for owners to manage their business profiles, but it was retired in 2014. Now Google My Business is the central hub to manage how your business appears on Google Search, Maps, and Google+.
A Google+ account for your business lets you interact with niche groups and post pictures and updates. In other words, it’s like a Facebook page for your business. You can access your Google+ account from your Google My Business dashboard (but a Google+ account isn’t necessary to have a GMB account).