What is Google My Business & Why Is It Important?
When you’re looking for a good place to eat, a new place to get your hair done, or a place to buy something specific, how do you look for it? Do you drive all over town, trying to find the right place? Do you pull out the yellow pages? Most likely, you do what more than 90% of other consumers do: You type what you’re looking for into Google.
One of the most popular searches on Google is “[variable] near me.” That is a restaurant near me; a salon near me. Whatever we want, “near me” is the code we use to get Google to show us local results. What are local results? Google uses the business profiles it collects plus GPS tracking that the user has authorized to determine the closest local results. The consumer then uses those results to determine where to go.
Google Business Profile
To ensure that your business is afforded the most visibility possible, listing your business on Google My Business is a crucial step. Because your business profile – including information about your location, reviews and ratings from customers are incorporated into the search results and help to determine where you rank in the list, having a verified Google My Business listing is essential. However, Google My Business listings can be created by others who also use Google. To manage and control your business listing on Google, you must have the Google My Business listing set up and verified.
What Is Google My Business?
A Google My Business account is a free account with Google that lets you not only manage your business profile but also gather insights and data, create posts, and adjust information about how your business appears in Google search results. It seems that it is easy enough to set up an account, however, Google My Business can make it difficult if you are not familiar with their process.
What Does a Google My Business Account Do for My Business in The Local Search Results?
Anyone can add a business to Google Maps and generate the listing – all Google requires is the business name, location, and category. Once it has been created, Google users can leave reviews about your business, add photos of the location, and answer questions for other consumers by people who are not associated with your business and they can and do provide the wrong answers. Therefore, creating the verified Google My Business Account ensures you are the one controlling the information about that business profile. It’s essential for review & reputation management. And, when managed properly, it can enhance your other digital marketing efforts, including your organic search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Your Google My Business account is the only method available for claiming your Google business profile.
How Google My Business Enhances Local SEO Marketing
Because Google My Business allows you to manage your business profile so that local customers can find you. You’ll be able to:
- Ensure the accuracy of your listing and location(s)
- Respond to reviews
- Engage with your local customers with questions and answers that you manage
- Update your hours of operation
- Post content like menus, specials, and highlighted products
- Specify the cities within your market area
- Add a link to your website and contact information
- Add your phone number
Through your Google My Business dashboard, you will also be able to use the analytical information to learn how your customers are finding you, what they do with the search results (Do they call? Request directions? Click the link to visit your website?).
Using Google My Business for Better Visibility
Your Google My Business profile can be updated regularly with services, new locations, changes in business hours, special events, and other optimization updates. Controlling and managing your business profile can be a significant way to improve your visibility. However, to make the most of this powerful – and free – tool, you need to manage it fully. That can be time-consuming and confusing if you’re not comfortable with their platform.
The Google Local 3-Pack
One of the most coveted results of claiming your business profile by creating your Google My Business account is to land a spot on the “Google Local 3-Pack.” This is a coveted landscape on search results, where Google shows the top three results of your local search. For example, if you search “ice cream shops near me”, the first results you will see are a map with pins and the top 3 results with the name of the business, their Google reviews (both average star rating and the number of reviews) the estimated cost, and their distance from you. To secure one of these spots, your local businesses must have a business profile that delivers Google the right information for nearby customers. Because landing in the 3-pack relies on your rank, and your rank relies in part on your number of reviews as well as how many reviews are, review & reputation management becomes paramount.
Incorporating Review & Reputation Management into Google My Business
If you don’t control your business profile, you can’t control your reviews or your reputation. However, the higher number of reviews, the better your business will show in the local search result ranking. It is the number two local SEO ranking factor. To really make the most of your Google My Business, enlist the help of Peak to Peak Marketing and learn where your business ranks in the local listings. Plus, our Review & Reputation Management service. Our proprietary review system collects reviews from your customers and manages them. We help ensure that positive reviews are posted from Google and other platforms to your website and social media, while negative feedback reviews are followed up on individually to ensure the customer’s concerns are heard and addressed. With our service, we:
- Provide a dashboard to manage your online reputation from one place
- Improve your search rank by updating listings and adding missing listings to essential directories like Google, Facebook, BBB, and other top citations
- Monitor when your business receives a review across the web
- Keep you informed with Single-Sign-On Business App
- Add a survey so you know how your customers found you.
- Support and education for the whole team with your own training centre
Claiming your account on Google My Business and optimizing it is a service that we offer for a nominal fee. Knowing how to put it to work to capture search results requires a local SEO partner like Peak to Peak Marketing. Book a meeting with us to learn more about how to optimize Google My Business.