If you’ve been following me for any period of time you’ve probably heard the name and you maybe already know what it is. But for those who don’t I am going to answer a simple question — what exactly is Google My Business?
Where do you go to find out more about a business? You probably hit the internet! The internet is full of different types of business directories like Yelp, TripAdvisor and the Yellow Pages (yes, it’s online now). You’ve probably visited these many times while looking for an address or a business in your area, maybe you’ve even used an app.
These websites are places for businesses to publish all of the pertinent information about their hours, address, operations and reviews in a place that is easy for the consumer to access. If you’ve created a Yelp or TripAdvisor page already you will be very comfortable with Google My Business as it has a lot of the same elements. Google My Business is essentially a business directory on steroids — with an important twist!
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS — THE BASICS
Like the old fashioned Yellow Pages, you can look up a business name on Google My Business and get the phone number and address — but the internet allows you to add so much more information and really give your business a personality. Prospective customers can get all of the information about your business in a single click on a single page!
Google My Business has a number of different features that a business would want to take advantage of. First it allows you to add your correct address to Google Maps so it shows up in location searches, a crucial part in making sure your business is easy to find in local searches.
You can also add a fully realized business description to make sure people know what you are all about. You can also add multimedia like images so people can see what your location looks like before arriving. Additionally you can add a menu list of all of your products or services, a Q&A that answers all of your most frequently asked questions as well as options to set up appointments through Google. All of this will show up “above the fold” when someone searches your business in Google! That’s a huge deal.
The platform also allows you to connect with customers via messaging, reviews, image sharing and a Q&A feature. On the back end you get access to data and insights to see how customers are getting to your profile and what actions they are taking.
HOW IS GMB DIFFERENT?
The big difference is that Google My Business is a tool backed by Google itself, which means it will rank much higher in search functions. If you look up ‘pizza places near me’ right now in Google before any normal web links you will get a list attached to a map. Each place on that list will be attached to a Google My Business profile. Some businesses have auto-generated profiles with nothing more than a name and address but others have robust profiles with reviews and photos. Guess which ones will get more business?
Go ahead and look up a local business you love in Google Search right now. See that box prominently featured on the right-hand side? That’s a Google My Business profile! Notice how you can see images, an address, phone number, hours and ratings without having to click a single link? You can get even more information by clicking through to the profile. If the business you typed in only has sparse information they probably haven’t claimed their business and built out a profile yet. But see how prominent that is? How could you skip making that profile as robust as possible?
WHY IS A GMB LISTING IMPORTANT?
Having a full Google My Business profile will lead to more conversions and leads — full stop. Businesses with more complete profiles get more leads because they provide more information to the consumer so they don’t have to look elsewhere. From 2017 to 2018, experts found that clicks from Google My Business listings increased by nearly 30 percent with phone calls increasing by 22 percent. And these numbers have only increased year over year!
If you took the time to put your business on Yelp or TripAdvisor take the time to also create a Google My Business profile. Those business directories are crucial but they don’t have the SEO power that a Google-backed profile does. If you want to get your business found then start with Google My Business!
Google My Business is a powerful tool often overlooked by those it could directly benefit from it. Taking the time to create and update a profile is an investment in the success of your business — and it won’t take a ton of time, either! Log into your Google profile and go to google.com/business to get started. Check out my video below to get a step by step guide to getting started on Google My Business.
Read more on how to get your business found online at BryanCaplan.com