Do you keep hearing the phrase “Google My Business”? Are you sitting back and wondering what it is? Google is notorious for constantly making changes, releasing updates to their algorithms, but most importantly, trying to improve the search experience for the end user. Google Plus, Google Maps, Google Places, and Google Local are all still in play to some extent, but under a different umbrella known as Google My Business.
I’m going to tell you how Google My Business can benefit you in your internet marketing strategy. It’s your connection to Google, detailing all aspects of your business.
Google My Business, as defined by Google, is a free tool for businesses, brands, organizations and artists to manage their online presence across Google. This includes Search and Maps, and just for good measure, they also throw in the social media aspect as well.
Let me remind you that it is FREE to have, but most certainly costs someone’s time to set up and manage. As you move forward with setting up your Google My Business page, keep in mind that ongoing management of this platform is the key for any business or brand to see success from this platform online.
When you’re running or managing a local business, you rely on search engines and your website to drive in additional leads. As a user hears or stumbles upon your business, they use Google to gather further information about your company. Google My Business allows you to immediately answer a few questions for your customers or potential customers.
When a search for your business occurs, an end user will immediately be able to obtain the details necessary to contact or visit your business, but only if you have verified your business through Google My Business and optimized your listing properly.
When set up properly, the searcher can obtain your address, your phone number, your hours of operation, directions directly from Google Maps, and also with a single click, they can visit your website and learn even more about you.
The phone number appearing in the listing, as well as across your citations should be your local number. Maybe you have a toll-free number or call tracking number, but for Google, always use your local number.
Google My Business also allows people to leave reviews regarding their experience with your business. Potential customers can get a very quick summary of your reviews and see your star ratings as well. With an additional click they can read all of the Google reviews on your company. This allows your customers to tell their story of their experience with you and with the world.
As a business owner, having your clients do the “selling” for you is a win-win scenario. If you perform exceptional services, focus on your customers, and deliver a great experience, your reviews will knock competitors out of the park, leading to more business from interested individuals. Why not take advantage of a platform that allows people to find you, contact you and learn more about you? Again, it’s a win-win.
Once you have set up your Google My Business page, as I mentioned previously, there is some regular maintenance that must occur. You are going to want to pay attention to the information you are providing your customers and prospects. Make sure it is up to date, and as your business evolves, grows or changes, that info needs to be updated as well.
Maintaining your Google My Business page establishes trust with your prospects and current clients, showing Google that your information is accurate. Consistency with your business name, address and phone number across citations will greatly benefit your local SEO campaign. When you maintain consistency with your NAP and relevant information, this supports your listing in the local pack of SERPs for queries related to your business.
Stay on top of your reviews. You always want to be the first to know when people are talking about your business, and more importantly, what they are saying. It’s extremely important that you are the first to respond to any review put out there, especially the negative reviews that you will undoubtedly experience from time to time.
Another benefit to Google My Business is an analytics portion called “Insights.” Insights allow you to see what is working and how your customers are engaging your brand in local searches.
Through Insights, you can learn more about your customers and how they are interacting with you. Use the analytics to find out how they found you and where they are coming from.
With Insights, you can also see the number of people that clicked to either call your business, get driving directions, or clicked through to your website. I am sure the value in those details go without saying. Being able to see the trends and stay on top of what is happening with your local listing is a benefit with unmeasurable value.
In addition to Insights, you can provide your customers with a virtual tour of the inside of your business. In order to do this, a certified Google photographer must come to your business and take clear, high quality photographs to include in the virtual tour. This establishes yourself as an authority source in your industry, giving your customers a glimpse into your company.
Just because something seems or feels confusing doesn’t mean it doesn’t have extreme value to you or your business. There are tons of agencies out there like 1SEO.com Digital Agency that can assist you with setting up and even managing your Google My Business.
Today we live in an “on the go” and “on the fly” kind of world. Everyone wants answers in live time, seeking immediate results. Don’t sit back and continue to watch your competitors monopolize the local business traffic. Take advantage of the tools that are available to you and allow your business to flourish.
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