The Importance of Using Google My Business for Small Business Owners
Google My Business has been around since 2014, yet many businesses haven’t claimed their business listing. Have you set yours up yet? Did you know that it can go a long way to increase your online visibility? In this post we will explore the reasons why setting up and managing your Google My Business page can help your business get noticed in search results.
Why is Google My Business Beneficial for Small Businesses?
Over the years Google has offered different listings, from Google + Local to Google Places, and most recently Google My Business and Google Maps. The latter two are increasingly important given Google’s focus on local results and the addition of map listings in search results.
What does this mean to you as a small business owner? If you don’t have a Google My Business profile set up, you are missing a huge opportunity to stand out in search results, which means less visibility and ultimately fewer customers.
What Does a Google My Business Account Look Like?
When you search Google for a business with a Google My Business account, it will show up in the search results this way…
Some of the major benefits of having a Google Business listing are:
It’s free to use and essentially gives you free advertising and exposure on Google. Why pay big bucks to have one of your ads show up on the front page of Google when you can have your listing show up in search results with no added expense?
You can show up in Google’s local results (the three-pack that appears above organic search results when you do a local search).
Your business will show in searches done using Google Maps
You will earn the trust of customers with the added legitimacy that goes with being a Google verified business.
Customers can see your reviews at a glance.
Your website will rank more highly in search results, leading to increased website traffic and quality leads.
You will stand out against your competitors who don’t have Google business listings.
Without a Google My Business listing, you are missing out on a critical step in your local SEO strategy. Why? GMB listings give Google key information about your business and provide searchers with important at-a-glance information, including your:
Business address (with link to directions via Google Maps)
Specials or upcoming events
And more (depending on your business)
Searchers can also ask questions directly within your business listing. According to Google, around 40% of users who conduct a search don’t click on anything, which means they are likely getting the information they need directly from the search results page. This means that you’ll benefit from having a Google Business listing and that it is completely filled out and up to date.
How to Set Up Your Google My Business Listing
Setting up your Google Business listing is pretty simple. Before starting the process, do a search to make sure you don’t already have a business listing. This can cause problems down the road as Google frowns upon duplicate listings. And trust us, you don’t want to have to work with them to resolve discrepancies. It’s no fun.
1. Once you’ve determined that you don’t already have a business listing with Google, search “Google My Business” or click here: https://www.google.com/business/ to get started.
2. Click the Manage Now button in the top right or middle of the page.
3. Follow the prompts to complete your setup.
4. Once you are done filling in your information, you will need to verify your listing. This can either be done with a phone call from Google (to the number you have provided in your business listing) or a postcard, which will be sent to the address you provide. In both instances, you will receive a code, which you will then enter in your business listing. Once verified, you are good to go.
Managing Your Google Business Listing
Once you have verified your business listing, check back frequently to update information, add photos, answer questions, and respond to reviews. You can also create posts, which will show up on your business listing for seven days. This feature is especially helpful if you are running a special, promoting an event, or if you have blog posts you would like to promote.
Google’s interface is very easy to use, so it’s easy to update your information, add photos, and more.