Today, brands and companies, regardless of their size and budget, are on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and even Pinterest. Unfortunately, too many companies still underestimate the power of Google My Business!
Claiming your Google My Business profile is the easiest first step to building your online visibility. Using Google My Business, you can interact with your customers, increase your chances of being found, and drive more targeted traffic to your website.
Google My Business is one of the easiest ways to improve your presence in search results, but many companies are failing to use it to its full potential.
What is Google My Business?
GMB is effectively an online directory offered by Google which has been accessible to businesses since 2041. It is free, easy to use, and allows you to develop your local visibility.
GMB provides users with the information which is usually sought by users such as opening hours, reviews and location.
What are the advantages of using Google My Business?
Here are 8 main advantages that should convince you to spend some time optimizing your GMB page
It is free advertising
First and not least, you will be able to promote your establishment for free.
For better visibility
A Google My Business listing provides information about your business, improves your visibility and helps your customers find you quickly. Similarly, this allows you to access information such as your opening hours and contact details or customer reviews, as well as the URL of your website.
To appear on Google maps
The geolocation of your business has become essential for its development.
It helps create a good first impression for your business
Like a website or social media page, a Google My Business page tends to reassure Internet users in that they view it as a sign of professionalism and reliability.
To stand out from competition
Many companies are not yet using Google My Business – or- are not looking after their listing. Those who do so can get ahead of their competitors, particularly in terms of SEO or even taking advantage of local searches on mobile.
To communicate with your clients
With Google My Business, your customers can leave comments about your business, products, and services.
Customer reviews and ratings have become an integral part of the link between the customer and the merchant – an essential point to remember.
You can also respond to these comments and therefore maintain a link with them.
To build your reputation
Building a good reputation online can be tricky! Google My Business offers the right tool by turning your customers into ambassadors for your business. Indeed, your customers and visitors will be able to leave opinions and comments which will appear during the research of your company, thus giving credibility to its existence and also the occasion to correct or improve your offer and your image.
It boosts your local SEO
For instance, by typing ‘plumber + your town’, Google initially shows the plumbers with a Google My Business listing in a small box which we call the map pack, prior to the individual search results.
Before you start, it is important to check that your listing doesn’t already exist. Effectively, the search engine doesn’t wait for businesses to create their Google My Business listing to display one! Google creates it automatically as soon as it spots the presence of a company somewhere.
As it is a tool provided by Google, you will need a Google account, which you can create here.
So, if you have a Google account – or after you have created a Google account, go to the Google My Business home page and click on the ‘Manage now’ button.
Then it’s easy, Google guides you step by step!
You start by entering your business name, then carefully enter your address.
You now can fill up the form with your business information, starting with your category. The category is a crucial step to be visible to Internet users in their search for say, a local plumber and who don’t know the name of your company.
Enter your telephone number, and your website address.
Google will then validate your listing.
To make sure that you are the address you have entered, Google will send you a validation code by post within 5 days.
Once received, enter the validation. Your Google listing should appear on Google a few days later.
To become the owner of this already created file, and not create a new one at the risk of causing confusion for your potential customers, you must claim the listing. To become the full owner, you can verify ownership by either email, phone, or mail to Google.
Simple. Click on ‘Own this business’, just below the address and follow the instructions:
Once the listing has been validated, you will be able to access the dashboard and manage your info.
In a nutshell, Google My Business is a valuable tool for your business, and is particularly useful for local SEO. The tool is increasingly intended to develop real interactions with users. A simple and free procedure which will take you very little time, and which will be a real asset for your business!