Google My Business has been around for a few years now – so why are some local businesses still not using it? For a while, we had Google Places and Google+ Local, but nowadays Google Maps and Google My Business are the two important ones you need to know.
As Google has included more and more local results and map listings into search results, smart business owners need to focus their marketing time and efforts to optimize and promote these listings. Businesses that started doing this when GMB was first rolled out in 2014, have been handsomely rewarded over the years. Luckily for the rest, it’s never been easier to sign up and optimize your profiles.
Wondering What’s The Big Deal?
If you don’t have a Google My Business profile, you’re missing out on the ability to differentiate yourself in Google, get more traffic and business. Not to mention it’s a vital part of local SEO strategy. Some of our favorite features give you the ability to monitor reviews, answer customer questions, and engage with your potential customers all in one place. You are also able to write business descriptions and post featured products, events, and news to offer users a more in-depth image of your business.
With an estimated 40% of users conducting a search on Google not clicking anything at all, this means more users are finding what they need directly on the results page. So it becomes essential that your business info is accurate and up to date. Surprisingly, 44% of local retailers haven’t claimed their Google My Business listing, leading to the possibility of a lot of inaccurate information for users. Having a listing with current photos and videos, lots of recent reviews, and all around more complete profile, also leads to a better first impression for your potential customers.
In the image below you can see how by having the correct name, address, phone number, as well as a review strategy, photos, company description, and Google Posts can lead to a more rich search result and help your listing shine through in an otherwise cloudy marketplace.
Signing Up For Google My Business
Google has streamlined the process to create a profile. All you have to do is search for “Google My Business” and click on either of the “Manage now” buttons. This will then take you through the listing process, but I highly recommend searching for your business before creating a new listing as Google hates duplicate listings. Follow their instructions and you can either verify your listing by phone or have them send you a postcard if you are not in the office to answer your phone.
Optimizing Google My Business
The Google My Business dashboard is clean and easy to find what you need quickly. There are opportunities to upload photos, manage business info, and even monitor analytics to see your listings performance. Additionally, they now allow you to post to your Business page directly from the dashboard instead of having to click to your live profile to do so. Local search results are increasing in importance every year and updating and maintaining an accurate and engaging local listing through Google My Business has become essential for local marketing.
If you’re looking for a local digital marketing agency to help you maintain your online presence, contact Intuitive Digital about our local SEO services. Optimizing local Google My Business listings is one of the many things our agency specializes in.