Have you recently started a business and not sure where to start regarding your online presence? Then this blog post is for you!
Firstly, Google My Business is a FREE service and is truly the gift that keeps on giving to business owners.
At its earliest conception, Google My Business (GMB) was great for business owners to have if only to rank first on a Google search of their company name (displayed on the right side on a Desktop view and first on a mobile view) and also to appear on Google Maps. The first page rank cannot be understated as many times a business's own webpage does not always rank on Google's first or second page. This is a wonderful opportunity for owners not to miss any potential customers/searches as owners are able to put their website information themselves and have it appear via their GMB google display.
Since its beginning, GMB has evolved into an increasingly editable platform in which business owners can continue to add content (business information, photos, videos, google based free website, customer interaction and more).
Google My Business is fantastic for your SERPs (Search Engine Result Page(s)) as well as your company's SEO. Additionally, if you have a Google My Business account, your business account, reviews, information will also display on Google Maps. Google Maps alone had over 1 billion users in 2016. The Google My Business umbrella (Google Search & Google Maps) gives business owners the opportunity to stand out amongst the competition and have additional platforms to extend their brand reach as well as their digital authority and reputation.
Speaking of digital reputation, the more you "claim" and control online by putting out accurate business information, such as your business phone line, clear hours of operation and website etc., the better! Depending on how long your business has been in operation, you could already have an unclaimed GMB out there. Therefore, it's important to claim your business asap. This extends also to Yelp and Yellow pages, see our blog post on Online Reviews for more information on why this action is crucial for your business.
Let's explore important GMB features:
• Business Information and Branding - GMB lets YOU the business owner relay your specific business information, such as hours of operation, website address, phone number, your business logo, business photos (exterior, interior, team, and products) and more
• Google Reviews - This is a fantastic feature for business owners to utilize. By creating a GMB account, you're enabling and easily empowering customers to leave google reviews. This is readily seen by anyone who would search for your company (and also seen on Google Maps). [examples for Google Search and Google Maps below]. To create an easy review link follow Google's instructions here.
By creating your place ID/the google review link, you can increase your google review feedback. With the link you'll be able to create a CTA (Call To Action) on your website. This will allow customers to easily click to be taken directly to leave a Google Review (without having to search on their own). [Get familiar with more marketing terms and check out our Marketing Analytics Terms You Should Know blog post]
• The GMB app! - As avid app users, we must say the Google My Business app is among the best for business owners. The interface is easy and sleek, and its features and functionality are robust. Business owners on the go will LOVE having easy editing at their finger tips. Google is really making it simple for business owners to put their best business face and brand forward.
apple users, get it here
android users, get it here
• Google Posts - In June of 2017 GMB unveiled the new "posts" in which owners are able to post text, graphics and links which will also appear on the first page of a business search within the GMB box. (example of the post and user interface below)
Posts are a great opportunity for owners to reach a demographic not necessarily on social media. They can post blog updates with graphics and links directly to the website, or a product with a link directly to the purchase point, increasing website traffic and possible sales. Google Bookings and third-party app integrations - Have already been found to increase bookings in conjunction with Google Posts.
• While not exactly a "feature", an important benefit of setting up GMB is that the information will integrate with your Google AdWords and AdWords Express account (if you so choose to set up Paid Ads through Google). You'll be able to see how many people saw your ad then clicked on your business ad directions within Google Maps under "Map actions". This will be particularly useful during local business searches.
Hopefully, the above has provided you with helpful information on how to take control and optimize your GMB account. Google is always improving its services so its important for users to keep up to date! If you'd like more help with any of your digital marketing efforts please contact Morsel Resplendence today or call us at 407-710-9700!