Google my Business – What you need to know

Google My Business profiles are now considered a vital part of any businesses’ SEO strategy – as brands fight to appear in as many different SERP feature types as possible now to increase their presence online.

Companies without one are at risk of falling behind their competitors. But just what are you missing out on if you don’t have a Google My Business profile? And how can you get started? Find out here:

 

What Is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free business listing tool provide by Google for business owners to manage their online presence across the search engine.

Logging into an account dashboard, you can add a variety of information, which optimises your business in a variety of listings including search maps and business cards (the content-rich information cards that appear on the right hand of Google searches).

 

What Information Does Google My Business Include?

You can add a variety of information to your Google My Business profile, all of which are aimed at finding new audiences and providing relevant information to satisfy users. This information includes:

  • Address: your company address including postcode. This will help your company appear in ‘near me’ searches and maps listings.
  • Website: the URL of your web domain. This can be especially useful if your Business card appears in the Google search, but the organic ranking of your website is much lower down the page.
  • Category: your business category, e.g. restaurant, architect, bakery. These categories will help Google serve relevant businesses to people searching for specific services.
  • Phone number: your number, which will allow users to call straight through to your business.
  • Opening hours: for businesses with a physical premises, this can help drive users through footfall as they’re quickly assured of your business opening times.
  • Images: GMB display a picture of your business location and allows you to pick a collection of images that best represent your company.
  • Reviews: reviews of your business can be left through GMB, allowing you to show your business as credible to your audience. These reviews can be managed through your profile dashboard.
  • Questions & Answers: a FAQ function that allows you to address commonly asked questions that may quickly answer a users query without them having to explore your site.
  • Google My Business Posts: Social media posts, blogs and special offers included. These posts display engaging content that will draw your audiences attention.
  • Booking: through your listing you can now provide a booking service, if your business takes appointments.
  • Messaging: like a chat messenger function, you can talk to users through a messaging feature.

 

Why Is Google My Business So Important?

Apart from the obvious benefits of ease for your users, Google My Business has a huge number of advantages that makes it a necessity for any business online.

Google My Business cards serve up vital and relevant information to your audience in an easy-to-read format, increasing the likelihood of them using your services. It lets your customers complete an action without even having to leave the Google search results page. This is useful because the more actions a consumer has to take, the more likely they are to fall out of the conversion funnel (if they land on your website and have to navigate to find the bookings page etc.) and also it prevents any issues like slow web loading pages from losing your visitor.

Using a GMB profile helps increase your chances of being selected for searches in Google, such as when someone is searching for a query like ‘nearest bakery to me’. The practice of ‘no click’ results is also something Google is optimising heavily for at the moment, which will give your business an advantage over competitors who are yet to embrace the technology.

 

How Do I Get Started?

The first step to optimising your GMB card is to claim your listing. You’ll need to verify your business is legitimate and you can do this by visiting Google here. When you claim a physical location you will also need to prove your actual presence at the address by entering a pin sent on a postcard to that place. Once your GMB listing is claimed, you can easily add information and begin building up your GMB profile!

For help getting started with Google My Business, get in touch here.