We all know Google and the role it plays in our day to day activities. The tech giant has its roots deep in the IT sector - and operates through various channels which continue to add value for its customers.
One tool that it provides, is Google My Business. It is a business listing tool on Google which allows users to display their company information through Google on a variety of search results. Google My Business, or GMB, can be a crucially important tool to utilise when wanting to increase the visibility and credibility of your business.
In this article, we will learn how to use it and discuss its features in detail. By the end of this post, knowing all the advantages of GMB, you’ll be ready to set-up your own Google My Business Account!
Why is Google My Business Important? 🤷♂️
1️⃣ Google My Business generates leads
In recent years, the number of people using Google has increased drastically. According to Google Search Statistics, the platform handles 7 billion searches every day. This shows how crucial Google is in the lives of people across the world.
Whenever there are ‘near me’ searches taking place in any device, Google My Business comes into action. It displays your business information accurately so that the customer approaches you. For local searches, Google always displays Google My Business profiles - which is why it is highly important for businesses to create and maintain up to date accounts. By having this, businesses can enjoy the advantages offered by Google and can gain numerous customers without any efforts.
This is how Google My Business creates lead towards their customers and generates additional revenue for the business.
2️⃣ Customer interaction
Google My Business proves to be helpful in several ways. One such feature of this tool is its ability to allow customers to request questions and get answers from the businesses. At any
point of time, customers are able to ask questions about your business on your GMB profile.
Businesses are given an opportunity to provide satisfactory answers to any question which their customers have in mind and resolve their queries. This proves to be an effective promoting tool and can drive more customers towards you. Do make sure that you answer all the questions posted on your profile, to get the maximum results from this. Customers can also suggest edits and recommendations to your profile which enables you to look through the customer’s eyes and make recommended changes.
3️⃣ Information about customers
In addition to the wider visibility that it gives you, Google My Business allows you to track the customer activities happening in your profile. It gives you all the valuable information which helps you know your customers better.
For instance, you can track information about the number of people searching your business - things like what are they searching for, incoming calls, etc. It reveals whether the customers are looking for directions or not, and how far they are coming from. If you have a website, then combining this information with your Google Analytics data would create a powerful overview of how your customers are finding your website, and the actions they take afterwards.
This information would be extremely useful in understanding your customers and their problems, and you’ll know where you need to improve, in order to further grow and improve your business!
4️⃣ Google Posts
Google My Business also gives you the power to promote your products and services.
On your GMB profile, you are able to put up offers and various promotions about what makes your business unique and stand from others. For example, if you are running a car wash company and a person searches ‘cheap car wash services near me’, then your company profile would be among the first ones to appear.
With various promotions, a business can also upload photos and videos to make their profile more appealing. This makes the tedious process of finding the right provider more fun, which in turn, encourages the viewers to spend more time in the business’ profile.
Reviews have a major role to play in the growth of your business. A high percentage of customers say that reading positive reviews was an important factor in the decision-making process of selecting a business to purchase from.
Generating quality reviews and responding to them has been shown to have a significant impact on the increment of rankings and clickthrough rates. Because of this, it is essential to ask your customers to leave positive reviews in your GMB profile. Through this, new customers get a clear idea of the work done by your company and how other customers perceive it.
Read this article on importance of using GMB to know more about Google My Business and its advantages.
Is Google My Business free? 😃😃
Whether you’re a start-up or a well-established multi-million organization, Google My Business is entirely free of charge. The cost of setting up a GMB profile is none. This is the reason why it is so highly appreciated in the corporate world. Read this blog for further details on charges by Google My Business.
Unlike other platforms, Google My Business doesn’t operate on a premium business model. The tool has zero levels and limitations, which mean, you have access to the exact same resources as your competitors. Which is great!
With Google My Business, there are no limitations placed on having a physical place set up for your business. For example, if you are a plumber or an electrician, you can claim your Google My Business listing by putting in your name and defining the area you would serve in. Without being tied to a place, you can still have a GMB profile.
With zero costs, Google My Business is accessible to any business in any corner of the world. Without any investment needed or a waiting period, you can start embracing the advantages of GMB as soon as you sign-up.
How to set-up Google My Business Profile? 🧐🧐
1️⃣ Sign-up 🙌🙌
The very first step in setting up your profile is by claiming your business on Google. This can be done by opening Google My Business on your phone or computer and signing-up. Once you've entered the login details it will take you to input your company name. If it’s already visible on the list then select it - otherwise create it, and then you can claim your listing.
2️⃣ Enter your business details 📢📢
The next step is to put as much relevant information as possible in order to facilitate your customers. Details like name, business, address, opening and closing times, contact number, email, industry, etc. are necessary in order to reach the top local listings.
You can also add pictures and videos in your profile to make it appear more welcoming to customers. People who look at these pictures are more likely to pay you visits in-store. All these tasks are necessary to build client relationships.
3️⃣ Verification ✔✔
After setting up your Google My Business profile, you need to verify that you are the owner of the registered business. You can register via phone, mail or email. You will receive a verification code which you have to put into your GMB account. If you choose to verify your business via mail, you will get a postcard with the verification.
It is crucial to verify your business as to make sure no one else is trying to claim your listing and vice versa. Once verified, you’re ready to roll!
4️⃣ Make regular updates 👍👍
Once successfully completing verification, you’re ready to start sharing the latest information and updates regarding your business. After verification, your profile will be completely set-up! There may be changes occurring to your business like hours, address, speciality, etc - it is crucial to update them regularly.
A dedicated team member should check-in daily and update information on photos, promotions, reviews, comments and questions. This task is to be done regularly - by interacting with commenters, your company can help existing customers and attract future ones.
If you are using GMB for the first time, it may take you a while to set-up your profile. Read this article for guidance on using Google My Business.
Do I need to have a website to use GMB? 🙄🙄
While having a website for your business is highly recommended, it is not mandatory to have one. You may not necessarily need a website for Google My Business, but you do need a website to take complete advantage of GMB. While it is known that Google My Business is the most important point of contact for the customers, and the majority of business transactions happen without even customers visiting the company’s website, a website is essential to convey a company’s personality.
It is understood that depending on what kind of business you have, your website requirements would shift drastically. For instance, if you have a furniture business, it is vital to have a high-quality website which shows things like the products, images, prices, materials, etc. In comparison, a small shop would only need prominent details like shop information, contact and address.
No matter whatever website you have, Google is likely to find a way to use the information on your website to your maximum advantage. It will feed that information in your GMB profile. For example, if a customer provides extraordinary reviews on your website, then that information will be shown on your GMB profile.
With all this said, Google My Business recognizes the importance of having a website and allows you to have one for free through them. So, you don’t have to spend anything to get a website and can endure all the benefits. You can claim your free website when you set-up your GMB profile. Read this article for developing your Google My Business website.
Can I have more than one GMB listing? ❌❌
If you have more than one shop operating under your company name then you can have one Google My Business listing for each of the shops. However, you cannot have more than one GMB profile for one location to manipulate the Google search results.
It is important to note that in some cases, a business may create more than 1 GMB profile under a single location. For example, a mechanic garage can register one listing for car servicing, one for car selling and another for car renting, which makes it easier for customers to find such information.
If an organization has more than 10 locations, Google provides an option for bulk location management.
Read this post on FAQs about Google My Business.
By registering with Google My Business, you are widening your visibility towards your target audience. You make yourself accessible to Google App search, Google Maps, Google Home Voice and Google Assistant! All these facts and figures solidify the importance of Google My Business’s role in one’s corporate journey.
It is widely available, extensively accepted, highly accessible, extremely powerful, and moreover, it’s free! Who wouldn't take advantage of this tool to further grow their business!
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About the Author
Siddharth is a Business Management student at London South Bank University. He is an avid reader and a content writer on various business aspects. Studying in London and raised in Gujarat, India, he speaks 3 different languages. He holds interests in sports, fitness, army and defense services, philosophy, business operations, marketing, and is passionate about becoming an entrepreneur. He is a writer and contributor for High Profile Club.