- Google My Business is Google’s way of displaying a business’ name, location, contact information, location and more, but the business owner needs to create an account to take advantage of it.
- It’s completely free to list, use and manage a listing – no hidden fees!
- GMB can help with your website’s SEO, provide customer insights and legitimize your business to users on the search engine.
Google My Business is a way to inform customers of your business’ products and services, contact information, and location. It is a free tool to help manage your local business at a particular location or within a designated service area. Let’s explore what Google My Business is all about and its many benefits. In this article, you will learn how to verify your business and the steps to create an account. Additional features will be highlighted including Google Ads, business reviews and the business app.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a platform launched by Google in June 2014. It bundles services (Google Analytics and YouTube, etc.) and allows users to access them directly from a dashboard. Companies can use the Google Maps service to manage and add new locations, which are displayed in a Google search automatically. With the Google My Business service, you can claim and verify ownership of a business in Google search.
What information can companies add?
Companies can easily enter the hours they’re open, images and a logo, the current address, website, and various contact options. Google will also display the busiest times of day and any Google reviews that previous customers have left.
There are no fees related to listing, using, or managing listings on Google My Business. Changes can only be performed by verified owners.
How do you verify your business?
Verifying your business is very important as people then know that they are dealing with a legitimate business and therefore, that the information listed is accurate. Verification also protects you from individuals who might pose as a representative of your company.
Verified users have a blue shield with a check mark on their listing in Search and Map. Verification can be done by signing into Google My Business, choosing the business you want to verify, clicking Verify now, and then choosing what option you want to verify your business through.
Verification can be done through standard mail via postcard and a verification code; a phone call; email; video chat via Google Hangouts; bulk verification for businesses that need to verify 10+ locations of one business; or by trusted verifiers whereby a certified partner uses the Trusted Verifier mobile app and visits your location and checks on business documents. You can also be instantly verified if your business‘ website is already verified with Google Search Console.
Advantages of using Google My Business
An entry on Google My Business allows interested parties to see the necessary contact details when they search online using Google’s search engine. They don’t need to visit the company‘s website. It also offers an easy and quick way to get directions or contact the company by phone if the user is searching on a mobile device.
Essentially, it’s free advertising on the world’s biggest search engine. Customers can see your business’ reviews, busiest times of day, images and more at absolutely no cost to you. It also improves SEO, provided you optimize your listing.
Businesses can also gain valuable information on the customers, including how may views your listing gets, where customers are finding the listing and how, and any actions they take. You also see how your company compares to other companies in a similar industry in regards to listing views.
Steps to create an account
- Create an account and claim your business
- Verify your business
- Optimize your listing
- Download the GMB app
- Know the difference between Google My Business, Google Places, and Google+
Tips for adding photos and videos
- Photos should be at least 720 by 720 pixels and in JPG or PNG format.
- Consider a cover photo, as it is one of the first things a user sees on the listing.
- A profile photo appears when you upload new photos, videos, or review responses.
- A short video can capture your company’s unique story and offer variety to your profile. Ideally, it should be 30 seconds or less, 100 MB or smaller, and at least 720p resolution.
- Consider adding an image of the outside of you building or storefront so that new customers know what to look for.
Reviews are shown in a GMB listing in the form of stars. Positive reviews are critical in converting interested consumers into loyal customers, and in retaining your present customers. It’s important to respond in a timely fashion to any reviews and show genuine appreciation of the customers’ appreciation and support. The positive reviews will help your business stand out. It is also important to respond in a similar way to any negative reviews and do your best to remedy the situation. People are significantly less likely to become a customer if you have a low Google review score.
Is there an app?
Google My Business is also available in an app form for both Android and iOS and can be used easily to:
- Update your business (hours, location, contact info, description)
- Post pictures
- View search insights
However, you cannot delete your listing, change its settings, or give ownership of the listing to any other user via the app.
A Google My Business account is recommended for all businesses. There are many advantages of using this free tool. Take the time to explore its potential impact on your business. After all, it’s free! There’s nothing to lose.