What is Google My Business?
The Google My Business tool is something that business owners can use for free. This can be used in conjunction with Google Search, Mobile Search, Local Search, and Google Maps to monitor their online presence through the Google suite of websites. It enables you to build, validate and edit a Google company listing without having to do any additional work on your website or introduce a plan for leveraging your online reputation.
You may already have a whole bunch of online real estate as a business owner that needs your attention: your website, your Facebook page, your Twitter account, your Instagram profile, the list goes on. Isn’t Google My Business just another website that you need to keep up to date and that you will likely fail to remember?
How Important is Google My Business?
The whole business model of Google is focused on being unquestionably the single best search engine. If you did not quickly and easily find what you were searching for, you could eventually try using a different search engine every time you searched for a topic! So, all that Google does is for the convenience of the searcher.
Suppose a potential customer is only searching for a phone number, an address, or opening hours for your company. In that case, there is no need for them to click on your website – those details are given in your listing of Google My Business, right there in the search results.
Some company owners asked, “Isn’t that a bad thing? Shouldn’t I want people to click through my website?”
Don’t look at this as a one-less click on your website; look at it as a customer having access to the information they desire faster. They found the information quicker than if they needed to click on your site, if they just wanted your phone number, or to see if you were open on a Saturday. The client is thrilled!
Of course, they would have clicked through to your website if the client needed any other details.
Setting up a listing for Google My Business is a worthwhile exercise for this reason alone. But a Google My Business listing is vital for any company when you start digging a little deeper.
Even if your company is just “online,” i.e., you do not want to advertise a street address because you run your business from your own house. For verification purposes, you may be asked to provide your physical location, but you can choose not to include your address in your public Google My Business listing.
Benefits of a Google My Business Listing
If someone is looking for your business name, they are already aware of your company, maybe even a returning customer, so the search results will show your complete Google My Business page. Perhaps you’ve seen these listings before. They are to the right of the results of the search.
But what if someone is looking for a more generic word or phrase? Such as the following:
- Best Chinese restaurant
- Bakery near me
- Grocery stores open Sundays
Every one of these search results is a “three-pack” of results that appears above the standard organic search results.
You’ve probably seen these three-packs before; it is a map pinned to the page with three local companies. That business information is extracted from the Google My Business listing of each company. In reality, Google My Business is the backbone of Google’s whole Local Search directory.
To be featured in a three-pack result, merely setting up your Google My Business page can be enough. These three-packs will appear on top of the usual effects of organic search makes them critically significant.
As if that were not enough, getting a Google My Business listing has a range of other advantages:
Helps Your Website Rank Better
For Local SEO, Google My Business is crucial as it allows your business listing to appear for queries related to your goods or services in local search results. In the three-pack, even big questions with high search volumes show local products, and this is something small business owners can capitalize on.
Control Your Information and Service Offering
You are using Google My Business to place necessary details about your company in the Local Search index for Google. But Google My Business also includes many additional resources to help you draw local customers and educate them. For example, details such as product lists, approved forms of payments, menus, and prices, plus interactive features such as images and feedback, could be added. For your guests, you can also add coupons and exclusive deals.
Manage, Showcase and Respond to Reviews
Increasingly, user reviews are one of the most critical elements of a Google My Business page. Google recently started a “local guides” program to attract users, rewarding them when they rate and review local businesses. High-quality, constructive feedback from your customers will boost your company’s reputation and increase the probability that a potential customer will visit your location.
Learn More About Customers
By including a lot of additional analytics data, you won’t find elsewhere, the Google My Business platform helps local companies to learn even more about their customers. For example, you can access Google Maps on where requests for driving directions to your company come from. This may be valuable data that will help you target new clients in the region or possibly target a new suburb to develop as your company expands.
Benefits of Google My Business
Please make sure your company has a Google My Business listing that is up-to-date and comprehensive. If you do not take the time to build and customize one, then one of the best free (and guaranteed!) ways to appear in Google search results is missed.
Pages from Google My Business aren’t tricky, but they are essential. Although you may feel like it’s just one more web page to keep on top of, Google My Business can go to the top of the pile as one of the most important.
Setting up your simple Google My Business listing takes only a few minutes, so make sure you do it. You can see the advantages instantly! Be advised it will also boost your online reputation.