While consumer review websites like Trustpilot, Yelp, or Facebook are not new, Google My Business has taken the lead and is holding steady as consumers’ preferred, one-stop reference for online businesses. Google My Business (GMB) has become an online landing page for businesses, allowing consumers to quickly find the most current and relevant information about a business in one easy search. With Google recently reporting that 60% of smartphone users contacted businesses via the “Click to Call” Google My Business option, GMB clearly needs to be incorporated as a key component of a successful digital marketing strategy.
Google My Business is a free online business listing that informs customers of important information about your business, such as open and closing hours or health and safety requirements. As Google is often a consumer’s go-to for information and discovery, a Google My Business profile allows you to provide current information to make sure potential customers can easily search, find, and purchase from your business. GMB also integrates with Google Maps and direct messaging options, meaning consumers can easily pinpoint your company’s physical location and reach out via email or your linked website with any questions.
Why Does Google My Business Matter?
Because it often functions as consumers’ all-in-one business reference tool, adding Google My Business to your digital marketing strategy can help expand your local consumer base. And, if you don’t have a large digital marketing strategy budget, GMB is a cost-effective way to increase your organic SEO without creating expensive campaigns. To help you decide if creating a Google My Business profile is right for your brand, here are four key ways GMB can benefit your business:
- Improve visibility and SEO. Google My Business can ensure that people can find your business fast and easily. Creating a free Google Business Profile means that your Google My Business information can appear in local searches via Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping. The more information you provide to Google, the more likely your local SEO ranking will improve. When a potential customer searches for a keyword relevant to your business, Google populates your business in SERPs and your local search visibility increases. GMB also shows consumers where and how to find your physical location, which can generate more online and foot traffic.
- Increase conversions and build trust. Your GMB profile is another link in the narrative chain of your brand. By sharing your products, services, and values through photos and positive reviews, you can grow your target audience’s trust and help convert them to future customers. Even a few negative reviews show consumers—and Google—that your business is more trustworthy, and therefore ranks your business higher in SERP. Google has also noted 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smart phone visit a physical place within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
- Quickly update your public business information. Google My Business allows you to quickly and easily update your business’s contact information, hours, and other important details as needed. You can also showcase new offers or events relating to your business. Updating your public information efficiently enables you to easily communicate with potential consumers and ultimately make their buying experience seamless and positive.
- Easily gain consumer insights. The GMB Insights feature allows you to view and understand exactly what consumers are searching for, which can greatly help your business to meet needs and expectations now and in the future. Insights provides a wide range of information about your customers and their actions, including search queries used, the number of times you were found through Google Search or Google Maps, how often your photos are viewed, and how often users mapped directions to your business.
Setting Up Google My Business
Your GMB profile can play a crucial role in your consumers’ journey toward purchase. If you’re ready to set up your own Google My Business profile, (human)X has broken down the process into eight simple steps.
- Sign into an existing or create a new Google Business Profile Manager account.
- Enter your business name or click “Add your business to Google.” Choose the category that most accurately represents your business to improve your local ranking and help customers find you easily. Add a second category to further describe your business if needed.
- Enter your typical weekday and weekend business hours. You can specify dedicated service hours by clicking “More hours.”
- Enter your physical business address. You may also mark your location on Google Maps, or indicate that your business does not operate from a physical location but offers in-person services or deliveries in specific regions or neighborhoods.
- Enter your complete business contact information. Include any phone numbers, email addresses, or websites to help consumers easily contact your business with any questions.
- Verify your business. Enter your business mailing address (not a P.O. Box) to allow Google to send physical mail or an email to verify your business. This address will not be publicly displayed or shared on your GMB profile. After receiving your five-digit verification code, enter it on the following screen.
- Optimize your Google My Business profile. Include business descriptions with relevant keywords, along with photos, videos, and contact preferences. Click “Continue” to view your GMB profile dashboard and continue adding or editing photos. You can upload logos, a cover photo, and any additional images or videos that showcase your business or your team by clicking “Photos” or “Videos” in the left-side menu.
- Create weekly or bi-weekly posts to keep consumers up-to-date on current events, policies, hours, or services. Encourage past customers to leave reviews and then respond to those reviews to build trust and a positive reputation with future customers.
At (human)X, we mobilize our search capabilities to study, research, innovate, optimize, and deliver the best digital marketing results. We believe that every business with an online presence needs to maximize their search engine marketing to reach their largest consumer base, and one key component of digital search is Google My Business. To find out more about how (human)X can expand your digital marketing strategy through Google My Business, reach out to our team of experts today.