Achieving prominent visibility on Google as a local business has never been more important for sustained growth and success. In fact, it has been reported that 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information and that 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information, meaning that if it is not your business that is showing, it is one of your competitors. An optimized Google business listing allows you to supply useful business information to searchers such as business hours, where you’re located, driving directions and a lot more to increase your overall online presence.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. To help customers find your business and to tell them your story, you can verify your business and edit your business information.
There are three major benefits to having a Google My Business listing which are, being able to manage information, interact with customers, and understand and expand your presence.
What does Google My Business Offer?
Google My Business offers a space that allows you to add more than just your business’s name, address, and phone number. Google is continuously adding new features to help you conveniently share everything someone needs to know about your business before even clicking on your website. The top 8 features that are important for each listing are as follows; Category, Description, Reviews, Photos, Attributes, Posts, Q&A, and COVID-19 updates.
- Category and Description
Your Google My Business primary category is probably the single most important factor in where you rank for a particular search term in your area. It helps Google to understand the core of your business so that it can surface your Google My Business listing for the most relevant search terms. As for your business description, it is one of the first things people see on your profile and gives them a detailed idea of what types of products and services you offer. This can be an opportunity to explain what new offerings your business has at this time.
Reviews from your customers on Google are as valuable as word-of-mouth recommendations, and then some. They are an SEO ranking factor and can provide insightful feedback for your business. Responding to customer reviews is of utmost importance. A quick response shows that you are invested in your customer’s experience.
Frequently adding images to your business’ profile can help improve visibility of your business listing. High-quality images can make a big difference in the attractiveness of your business and have an influence over customers decision-making. A picture speaks a thousand words, and with so few words available on your Google My Business listing, it makes sense to use as many photos as possible.
There are two types of attributes: factual and subjective attributes. As the name suggests, factual attributes are facts about the business that can’t really be quibbled with (e.g. ‘outdoor seating’, ‘women-led’). These can be updated by the business in your Google My Business settings, and the attributes available will be determined by your business category. For example, a hotel might have attributes for ‘Concierge’ or ‘Spa Services’, but a garage door repair service would not.
You can use a post as free real-estate to advertise anything you want about your business. Different types of posts include Announcements, Products, Offers, and Events. Posting regularly will make customers more confident that the information they are seeing on your profile is still relevant.
Through Google Q&A, you can supply potential customers with answers about your business straight from your Google listing, making it more convenient for them to learn about and engage with your business.
- COVID-19 Updates
Google My Business offers several features to empower businesses to stay connected with their audience and update them with vital information during the pandemic. Two things that have been added to make things easier for business owners to update their customers are special COVID-19 posts and being able to mark your business as ‘Temporarily Closed.’ These are now convenient ways to keep your customers up to date on your business’s current situation.
Are you ready to utilize Google My Business?
Now that you know all Google My Business has to offer, are you ready to get your business found?