What is Google My Business?

Google My Business (GMB) has been around for a long time in one form or another. But what is it? It is Google’s way of managing your business presence on their search results pages and on Google Maps. The images below will help make more sense of it and should look familiar.

Google my Business screen shot

 

Google my Business screen shot 2

That means if anyone is searching for your business by name, it is likely to be the first thing they see on Google. If they are searching for businesses in your specific industry, and you have a well optimised GMB profile, you will appear above your competition like below.

Google my Business screen shot 3

On mobile, where screen space is a premium, ranking well is very valuable, as your listing can show above the standard search results.

From this I hope you can see how powerful a resource it can be.

And the Good News: It’s Completely Free!!

What should you do with Google My Business?

This is a free resource from Google. The only thing that you will need is time and minimal technical know-how to get your GMB profile up and running and promoting your business.

GMB is such a powerful tool some businesses just use GMB as their online presence and don’t even bother with a website. Not enough businesses take advantage of this tool and harness the full benefits.

Features of Google My Business you should be using are:

1. Basic information

As a minimum your business should have a listing with your address and contact details – consistent, accurate, up to date and verified. This is what enables your business to appear in local search and on Google Maps. You can also add a more detailed description of your business: details such as opening hours and attributes such as offering Wifi or outdoor seating.

2. Add the categories for your business

Google has a set list of business categories and you need to choose the most appropriate one as the primary category. You can then also add secondary categories that may be relevant. Choosing the right category is important for your business to appear correctly in local search. If you are not sure what primary category best fits your business, look at your competitors to see which category they are appearing in.

3. Add photos and videos

Google research shows that businesses with photos receive 35% more clicks to their website than businesses without. Showcase your business with images of the outside to help visitors to find you, photos of the offices, team, events you run and your products.

4. Menu features

If you sell a service, the menu feature allows you to list, categorise and price your services so that it is visible straight from Google Maps. This is the same feature that allows restaurants to display their menus.

5. Google Posts

This is a really powerful way to grab attention by placing your post in front of potential customers whenever they find your business listing on Google Maps or Search. For free, you can post details about events, product updates, blog posts or offers, directly to Google Search or Maps.

You can show up to 300 words, an image, video or GIF and, most importantly, a call to action to prompt calls or signups. Google posts are live in Google Maps and in your business listing on Google for 7 days or until your offer or event ends.

6. Google Reviews

The best feature for me is the customer reviews. Customers can leave reviews just like on TripAdvisor or any other review site. By leveraging this and getting lots of 5 star reviews you can show how well liked your business is. Which business would you choose, one with a single 4-star review or a business with fifty 5-star reviews?

Is Google My Business worth the effort?

Google My Business has come a long way since it first started. There is an app you can use to manage it now. Keeping GMB current and up to date is not difficult. Regularly creating posts, updating holiday hours and adding new company photos and videos is not time consuming. These can have a big impact on your business appearing in local search.

We help our clients optimise their GMB pages to get the most out of the resource. If you would like to get more out of Google My Business, call Peter now on 01865 595260 for a chat.