Google released My Business in 2014 – and in recent years it has seriously established itself as a must-have tool for any business. What is Google My Business? Why Google My Business? How to use it and what functions are available to local businesses? Let’s discuss everything in this article!
What is Google My Business?
Google describes My Business as “a free and convenient tool that allows you to manage information about companies and organizations in Google services to make it easier for potential customers to find your business.” Simply put, this service displays information about businesses in Google Search and Google Maps. This is a kind of directory, displayed all nearby places; there is no need to go to other sites. The Google My Business is displayed when performing a local search, that is, when a user searches for a restaurant, hairdresser, store, etc.
Google My Business is a key element for local digital marketing and SEO services. According to research, 50% of users visit a store or office on the day of searching for a local query (“* name of a company or product * nearby”) like local SEO services, and 80% lose confidence in a company if they see incorrect contact information.
How users use Google My Business
Users use Google My Business for a variety of reasons, for example to:
- find out the working hours of the company;
- get directions to the office / store and find out the address;
- call the company from Search without visiting the site;
- read or leave a review;
- see photos of the business and its products;
- find the company’s website;
- View available products or services and more.
Who is Google My Business for?
Google My Business is suitable for all companies that have a physical presence – office, store, warehouse, and so on. For example, if all your employees work remotely without an office at all, then Google My Business will not work. It will not work for online stores either. But if you have an office that you can visit (even if customers usually contact you online), then Google My Business is a great tool for promotion.
There is an exception: an office is not required for the service industry, which includes cleaning companies, plumbers, pest control companies and other businesses that operate on the client’s premises. In this case, Google My Business may indicate the service area.
Google My Business is best suited for restaurants, cafes and bars; lawyers; hotels and hostels; shopping centers and sales departments; private medical clinics and beauty salons.
How Google My Business Ranks
According to a White spark survey, Google My Business is the most important factor for local rankings. That is, the ability to display in the Local directly depends on Google My Business: on the presence of a company card, data availability, and so on. The service can improve the ranking of companies for relevant local search queries and help them outperform competitors.
Another important point that many local businesses forget about is reviews. Business reviews on Google My Business are an important ranking factor as they help potential customers evaluate the business and products – and make a purchasing decision.
Reviews for Google My Business are posted on Google Maps, in the company profile. You can invite your clients there, or create a direct link. To do this, open your business on Google Maps, copy the location ID and paste it into the link:
https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid= [insert your place id here]
Customer reviews can be requested by e-mail, along with order confirmation by phone, via SMS notification or in messengers after visiting an institution (restaurant, barbershop, spa center, etc.).
What’s important: if a company has a lot of negative reviews and a low rating, Google will underestimate the business in the search results. That is why it is so important to work on quality service.
Sign up with Google My Business
Signing up with Google My Business is free and pretty straightforward. Go to google.com/business, use your existing or new Google account to register. Fill in the information about the company: business name, contacts, field of activity, address. If you work in the service sector and deliver goods and services to customers at home, you need to check the box at the bottom of the form. If you can generally accept clients at a business address, add it to the form. If not, leave the field blank and select “Hide my address”, and on the next screen you will be able to specify the service area.
The correct choice of the business category is very important, although it can be changed after registration. The bottom line is that the functions of Google My Business are tied to a niche – each will have their own options for adding data to the company card. Therefore, it is worth choosing the most accurate category and using the maximum of opportunities so that the user can see all the information about the company in the search. The restaurant will be able to include a photo of the menu, the hotel – the rooms, and the store – the assortment in it.
After filling in the basic data, Google will ask for company verification. Verification can be by mail, phone or email. There is also instant verification (available if the site is already verified in Google Search Console) and bulk verification (for a company with 10+ local departments). The most commonly used, of course, verification by phone or email.
How businesses use Google My Business
- add photos and videos;
- write an attractive description;
- use questions and answers;
- create posts in Google My Business to describe the promotion;
- add menus and product collections;
- request reviews;
- Use Google My Business Insights to collect data on website traffic, search for routes to your office / store, number of calls, and so on.
Google is constantly present in our life: when searching for information, watching videos, like a voice assistant or Google Chrome on a computer or phone. It is useful not only for personal use, but also for business promotion – through advertising opportunities and Google My Business.