Google My Business has turned out to be an important tool for the businesses out there with an increasing number of consumers depending on Google for finding their requirements.
However, what do you mean by Google My Business, and for what reason your business should be using it? We will provide you with an answer to the question in this comprehensive guide.
Google My Business Guide for Small Businesses
What is meant by Google My Business?
As implied by its name, you will be allowed by Google My Business to make a list for your company on Google. Once your business is researched by any consumer on Google you like to make sure that they have got every information required by them, or they can even come in touch with your business. This will be possible with the help of Google My Business.
Google My Business will allow you to make a listing for your company on Google and it will also be able to manage the appearance of your company on the search engine. All these features will provide lots of benefits to your business.
Google My Business helps to make it simple to do the following:
• Communicate with and encourage the reviewers
• Help your consumers to receive directions to your place
• Offer essential info such as your phone number, hours, and so on regarding your business
• Include your business photographs
• Promote news and events of the company
Google My Business happens to be a precious resource for companies and users both.
Is Google My Business available for free?
Definitely! It is possible for your company to register for Google My Business and you can likewise claim your listings without paying anything at all. It will also be possible to update the listing for iOS and Android devices thanks to the free Google My Business mobile application.
significance of Google My Business?
There is no doubt about the fact that Google My Business happens to be an important tool. Apart from helping your company to communicate with the target audience, it likewise offers useful information to the prospective and existing consumers. In case you avoid Google My Business you will be missing out on the prospective exposure, revenue, as well as sales for your business.
Reasons for using Google My Business
1. It comes free of cost
It does not matter whether you happen to be an established franchise or a brand-new startup, you will not need to spend anything for creating a profile on Google My Business.
It does not function on a freemium model of business as compared to the other platforms. Google My Business does not have any limitation or zero tiers which implies that you will be having access to identical tools just like your rival.
For this reason, tremendous advantage is offered in the competitive industries while collaborating with a digital marketing agency. They have the ability to assist in optimizing your profile on Google My Business for search and this can help to enhance your rankings in the long run. Your company will also be exposed more to the target audience.
Google My Business can be accessed by any business with zero costs. There is no need to invest anything at all. Moreover, it will be possible for you to register today without waiting at all and you can begin to enjoy the advantages offered by Google My Business.
2. Google My Business helps in generating leads
At present, it is the natural tendency of individuals to look for companies close to them irrespective of whether it happens to be a furniture store, an eatery, or a movie theater.
While searching, individuals likewise visit Google. Google My Business profiles are usually displayed by Google for the local searches, and for this reason, a profile should always be created and maintained. It will be very difficult for users to find other businesses without any profile.
It will be possible for you to get fresh leads and generate additional sales by incorporating Google My Business into your digital marketing approach. Moreover, an approximately 80% conversion rate of the local searches helps to affirm the benefits offered by Google My Business.
However, your profile has to be optimized and nurtured in case you like to have an increment in your revenue and leads. Respond to the reviews, including your most recent hours, and also update your phone number and address.
3. Google My Business enhances your ranking
Your business should never become lost among the long search result listings on Google. In case your visibility on Google is high, there is a greater chance for you to become observed by individuals who are searching for services or products within your industry.
Google always attempts to provide the most pertinent search results since it likes to offer the best off-line as well as online experience to the users. This implies that in case you own an eatery serving Italian food, your profile on Google My Business is not going to appear for anyone who is searching for Chinese restaurants in your area.
You must optimize and also maintain the profile of yours in case you want your ranking to be maximized in the search engine results. This can result in more calls and visits to your business along with an increasing number of clicks on your profile on Google My Business.
What is the reason for this? Google My Business profiles are favored by Google with an increasing number of user engagement as well as information. Your business’ complete picture such as your location, services, and hours will help Google to rank your page accordingly.
4. Using Google My Business for messaging
A messaging feature was launched by Google recently which allows companies to chat with their customers directly. This feature will allow the businesses to respond to questions promptly and also help the customers, both existing as well as future. This feature has to be turned on in the dashboard of Google My Business so as to receive messages.
Your phone number will not be shared by Google to the users and you will have the option of receiving and also responding to messages by means of SMS or Allo, the personal messaging app of Google. Once this feature is activated, people who are visiting your profile on Google My Business will be viewing a Message icon that can be clicked.
The user will be going to the messaging app directly on an iOS gadget for communicating with the company. A staff member can be designated by you for answering all the questions of the customers.
5. Visibility on Google Maps and Search
A significant advantage of your Google My Business profile happens to be the prime real estate occupied by it in the search results. The profiles of Google My Business are shown in the Google Map results as well as in the Local “3-pack” area. While performing a search on Google, the initial listings will be reserved for the advertisements on Google Adwords.
Next, a map having 3 local results will be highlighted and you will be able to view “organic” results. The appearance of your Google My Business profile here will imply that it will be possible for you to tap into prospective revenue given that your company is going to be prominent in the results.
6. Google Posts
Posts help the businesses to promote news, offers, product updates, events, and also announcements. All these updates are going to appear on Google Search and Maps which will allow the companies to remain in contact with the prospective clients.
It is recommended by Google that you take into consideration what you’d like the customers to do before posting. Do you like them to announce an innovative service, product, or feature? Would you like them to pay a visit to your brick-and-mortar business?
At present, videos are available for business owners and consumers for uploading. The maximum length of the video happens to be 30 seconds.
How would it be possible for your company to use the videos to its advantage?
• Videos can result in more engagement
• You will be able to exhibit customer service, your business products, and so on
• Videos can inform a lot regarding your services
It is important to take the videos at your location of business; otherwise, they will be rejected by Google. Moreover, business owners must not use any stock videos or stock images.
8. Now Menus are obtainable for the Restaurants Google My Businesses
The owners of restaurants having their personal Google My Business profiles will be able to access a menu editor allowing them to create menus which can be displayed on mobile gadgets.
In this way, the business owners have full independence thanks to this innovative feature without any need to make use of any third-party service. The restaurant owners will be able to add and also edit titles, prices, descriptions, and so on because of this innovative menu editor.
9. Product Posts
These innovative Google Post types will be able to highlight the products of yours. It will be possible for the business owners to include a video or photograph for showcasing the features of the product, the name of the product, a brief description, along with a call to action button.
10. Google Offer Posts
Offer Posts were introduced by Google only recently some 2 years back. The business owners can use these posts for offering a promotional offer or sale from the business of yours. This free feature is quite advantageous for the business owners out there.
Offer Posts are going to display:
• Title of Promotion
• Coupon Code
• A CTA button
• Start as well as End Dates and Times
• Video or photo can also be included
Setting up Google My Business
Below, we have mentioned some essential steps which will help you to create as well as manage your account on Google My Business:
1. Signing up for your Account
Claim your company on the search engine for starting your profile on Google My Business. In case your business has got a profile on Google My Business without owning it, it can be claimed through Google. It will be possible to register and create a profile for startup companies.
2. Enter the business info
Include essential information regarding your company after signing up or logging into the Google My Business account:
• Phone number
Your store’s pictures can also be added which will attract users out there. For instance, you can incorporate the photographs of the most well-known dishes in case you own a restaurant. Or, pictures can be uploaded from your portfolio in case you own a window tinting business. This information will help the clients to come in touch with your business effectively.
3. Verify the account
One more important step will be to verify your account. You can verify yourself as someone who owns your business after reviewing all the info and making sure that all things are correct.
Your business can be verified by phone, email, or Google Search Console. Make use of Google Search Console for quick verification. A verification code will be sent by Google in case you like to verify the business by means of phone or email. Make it a point to enter the verification code in Google My Business after receiving it.
4. Make regular updates
Your team should go on optimizing the account on Google My Business after it has has been claimed and created by you. Your account should be updated instantly in case anything changes regarding your company such as your locations, specialties, or hours.
Review management might also be required for maintaining your profile on Google My Business. It is important for a member of the team to check-in on a regular basis while replying to user reviews and queries. It will be possible for your company to assist the customers, both present and future, by communicating with commenters.
Optimizing your Google My Business listing
All local business owners should make it a point to optimize their Google My Business listings. Below we have provided information regarding how to do it:
1. Set up the Google My Business listing
This will be the initial step of optimizing the Google Business listing. Click on “Start Now” after going to the My Business page of Google. Every field has to be filled in properly. Ensure to make the profile complete and also provide every information accurately.
2. Select a specific and pertinent category
You will choose a category which will allow Google to decide which particular searches the local listing of yours belongs to. It will be imperative to select from the available category list and you will not be able to make it on your own.
In the absence of any particular category describing your business, go for a general category that will be able to describe your business more or less accurately.
3. Top-quality and high-resolution images have to be loaded
Your listing will be able to stand out by loading top-quality photographs and your customers will know what they can expect. Make use of quality photographs that will be able to showcase your products and also enhance the appearance of your business.
4. Your information should match everywhere else
The algorithm of Google will look to verify a listing’s legitimacy by looking at how it has been listed across various sites. Although it might appear to be quite simple, some small differences might slip in rather easily.
For example, you might have written Road for depicting a part of your physical address one time while you have used the shortened form of Rd. on the other. Always make use of a consistent phone number and write your address in a standard way. Also, make it a point to list your site in quite a few relevant directories out there.
5. Make use of a local number
Always make it a point that the phone number is used along with local area code. This would imply to Google that you happen to be local. Also, the number used by you for your Google Business listing must likewise be displayed on the home page somewhere.
6. Stay away from any offense that can induce penalty
In case you receive a penalty, all the works done by you for optimizing your website will be nullified. Business listings can be suspended by Google for several types of offenses. This can prove to be detrimental for any business out there, and therefore always try to avoid performing anything that can induce a penalty on you.
Below, we have mentioned some essential things that should be avoided:
• Making an effort to include keywords awkwardly into the name field of your business
• Making use of an URL redirecting to the URL of your site
• When a particular business location has got multiple local listings
• Making use of any business address which is not the space where you are meeting the customers
7. Encourage reviews
On most occasions, the local companies which have been listed in a local search’s maps snippet have star ratings beside their name. The most helpful information will be provided by Google to the users who like to come across the best nearby business. In either case, having a high starting will help your business significantly.
Request your customers to provide some review about you on Google. For this, you may likewise hand out promotional materials to them as well. Tell them that their review means a great deal to your business in the long run.
8. Optimize your website as well as content for search
The SEO advice which strengthens your website’s authority in front of Google is important here as well. Therefore, it is important to optimize your website too.
Ensure to do the following:
• Include schema markup to your site
• Use a local focus to create content
• Whenever possible, include pertinent keywords into every page’s meta tags
• Search for any opportunity for local linking
It will be possible for any website which has been optimized for search engines as well as your clients to find a place amongst the top 3 in the search engine results.