I’m pretty sure at this point that we’ve played around with this topic on multiple occasions, but it may have had a limited screen-time on discussions. But on today’s story, we’ll be taking a more detailed look on how and why Google My Business is an important edge for your business.
The GMB (or Google My Business) is an easy-to-operate tool and completely free which helps businesses, agencies, organizations etc. to manage their online presence on Google. This helps your customers find you on search and on maps better. And if you happen to have a store somewhere, or a cafe, you’ll need to take this one a bit more seriously.
You can manage how would your search results look like with Schema Markup and related things to that, but those results are all found on the middle (or left side) of the search result pages. If you’ve ever seen these things:
You’ll know immediately that if you’re already ranking on the top page, conquering the right side of the top page is a really strong edge. By doing this, you get to be seen more prominently and would give a more authoritative vibe to the potential customer on search.
And since we’re already on the topic, these can be a good place for users to interact with you. You can also directly send messages to your customer.
The more opportunities you have at hand, the more you need to use them to your advantage. Next are the Ratings – where the consumers can give their opinions about you and your services, and you can also reply to their comments whenever they put a little critique about your company. Yes, these can also be done on social media, but remember that star ratings on GMB also add more weight and credibility to you and your business helping you rank better.
“Read and respond to reviews from your customers, and post photos that show off what you do.
Businesses that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.” – Google
Essentially, in today’s fast-paced mobile controlled business environment, it’s important to stand out, especially because people just lazily Google things while on the go.
Other details the GMB can offer is that you can present your business hours straight away. Displaying your working hours gives you the advantage of immediately telling your potential customers when they can go and visit you.
Another important perspective is that, in your strategy, if one of your primary goals is to improve your visibility, claiming your business listing on GMB is and should be one of the first few things you need to do.
Yes, fixing your site and all of that onsite stuff is important. But, it doesn’t stop there.
If you’re a small business, just starting out, using this can greatly boost you up the tree line and make you reach out to more potential customers.
If you’re a big business, you can nail that position on top of everyone else. Even those new aggressive businesses will have a hard time coming after you at that point.
This is literally Google giving you ways on how to get more visibility online. Yes, you can still rank and perform without it, but that can only go so far, especially if your competitors utilise these tools.
To get started, you simply have to look for your business online and claim that listing. For example, if you’re a new business, you will need to create your very own business listing. All you have to do is log in to your main Gmail account, go to Google Maps, and check if your address and business name is already registered to it.
For example it is unclaimed, click “Claim Business” and you will go to a few checks. Don’t worry, it’s just checking if the address and phone numbers are correct. After that, it will give you choices on where Google will send out the Verification code. This is so you can verify your listing.
The choices include a phone call, and email and the traditional postcard mail that will take you almost a week to receive. But that’s okay, because these listings will give you at least 10 Days to have your entry verified.
If your business isn’t still on the map, add it in. Click “Add a missing business” and click “Claim business” or “Submit”. For the SEO kiddies out there, go ahead and click “Claim Business”.
This will then send you to a few more familiar checks, like your business’ category, if the address and phone numbers are correct including manually setting the pin on the map etc. This process is longer that the normal claiming since you’re actually adding a non-existing place. After all of that, you will again have the choice to have that listing’s verification code sent via phone, email, or postcard.
Once you’ve got your listing on, make sure the pictures, the hours of operations, all the important details are correct and in place. And there you go!
You’re all set and a bit more visible and credible in the world of Search.