16 Dec Why Your Business Needs a Google My Business Profile
When you search for a business on Google, you may notice a box of information that appears either to the right of the search results on desktop or on top of the results on mobile. You’ll likely see the name, location, hours, contact information and rating of the business. Clicking on this profile, which can also be accessed via Google Maps, will reveal even more useful information about a business. This isn’t just something Google generates on its own, however. It’s called a Google My Business Profile, and your business can benefit immensely from having one!
Many digital marketing experts, including those of us at Virtual Stacks Systems UK, believe that Google My Business is the most important local SEO tool for businesses of all types and is invaluable for modern business promotion strategies.
Keep reading to learn more about what Google My Business (GMB) is and how it works, why your business needs a Google My Business profile, and how to make the most out of yours!
What Is Google My Business?
Before we move forward, let’s learn more about Google My Business. Google itself explains GMB well by stating:
“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.”
Google allows business owners to claim and verify their Google My Business listing through a simple process. From there, you can begin to add and edit your information in order to better reach customers online! While GMB is completely free for any business to use, optimizing your profile for maximum visibility and effectiveness takes strategic effort.
Three important benefits of using Google My Business include:
- Easy Management — Setting up your GMB profile allows you to adjust and manage the information that is displayed to users on Google. This ensures that information like your website, phone number, address and hours of operation are always up to date and easily accessible.
- Customer Engagement — Creating a listing allows you to view and reply to your customer reviews, as well as share pictures and create short posts featuring your business and its services. According to Google, businesses that add pictures to their profiles receive 35% more website link clicks and 42% more Google Maps direction requests than businesses with no photos on their profile.
- Growing Your Online Presence — With a GMB listing, you have access to insights, such as how customers are searching for your business and where they are generally located. You can even directly track how many people clicked your phone number to call your business. This information can help you improve your digital marketing strategy, especially with the help of Smart campaigns.
Why Your Business Needs GMB
Google’s prominence among consumers continues to increase rapidly day by day. Not optimizing the presence of your business on Google can leave you in the dust, far behind your competitors who are taking advantage of the great marketing tools available to them.
If it wasn’t clear already, here are a few more reasons for why you need to be on Google My Business:
- It boosts local SEO. — Local SEO is more important now than ever. Consumers are increasing their search for businesses near them, and Google is prioritizing local businesses in search results based on a user’s location. These local results appear in regular search, Google maps and even through voice search. A GMB profile makes sure your location is clear and easy to find for both customers and Google’s algorithm.
- It increases visibility. — When you have a GMB profile, your business information is displayed clearly on search and maps. Photos, reviews and posts make it easier for users to distinguish your business from the next. Google also gives priority to filled-out GMB listings!
- It enhances credibility. — Having a GMB listing means your business information has been verified by both Google and your business. This enhances your credibility to your potential customers who are very conscious consumers. Reviews also help establish credibility, especially when there are many and when your business appropriate responds to most, if not all of them.
- It offers analytic data. — You don’t need to be a Google Analytics wizard to benefit from the data reports generated from your GMB profile. On your dashboard, you can see how many people have seen your business listing, details about your audience, which offers and posts are performing well, what customers are saying about your business and more. This simplified data is more than enough for most businesses to help improve their current and long-term strategy for Google.
- It helps to gain competitive advantage. — Found at the bottom of every GMB profile is a list of related businesses or products users have searched for who also searched for your business or content. This list can help you understand who your direct competitors really are on Google and how you can improve your strategy to stay ahead.
Making the Most Out of Your Profile
Similar to social media profiles, creating a Google My Business profile isn’t enough on its own to be as effective as it could be.
The most important thing to do after verifying your local business on Google is to fill out all the important information about your business. Select “Info” on your GMB dashboard and get started! Provide as much information as you can, especially a photo, your website link, your phone number, when your business was founded, the area/region you serve, and any other relevant attributes.
Double-check everything before posting, and frequently check your GMB listing to make sure everything is correct. Anyone online is able to suggest edits to your information to Google, so it helps to have everything correct right away. You can make edits to your profile at any time from within your GMB dashboard, such as when there is a change in your hours, for example.
Your cover photo will be the main photo for the listing, so upload it with purpose. Minimum resolution should be 720 x 720 pixels and in either PNG or JPG file formats. Your listing’s profile photo, on the other hand, will appear every time you interact on behalf of your GMB account, such as with replying to customer reviews or uploading new content.
Other key photos to include are exterior and interior photos, product photos, team/employee photos, and photos of anything else relevant to your business. Make sure all photos are as high-quality as possible for easy viewing for your potential customers. Photos are the most important for a GMB listing, but videos can also be a great addition. Videos should be no longer than 30 seconds, be a file size no larger than 100MB, and be a resolution of at least 720p.
Lastly, customer reviews are crucial to the performance of your Google My Business profile. Encourage satisfied customers to leave honest reviews. Positive reviews can help convince potential customers that your business is good at what you do. Always respond to both positive and negative reviews to show your appreciation, too. For negative reviews, it’s important to be as kind, understanding and straightforward as possible. This can help you potentially win back a customer who might have had an irregular negative experience, and it can also show potential customers that your business is committed to customer service.
Get Started with the Help of an SEO Specialist
If you want your business to start reaching more customers on Google, then having a Google My Business listing is a clear choice! GMB is an important element of modern search engine optimization, or SEO. With the help of an SEO specialist, you can make sure your GMB listing is fully optimized and regularly updated. Virtual Stacks Systems UK focuses on helping small to medium-sized UK businesses improve their online presence through local SEO, social media marketing, web design and more! Learn more about our services on our website, and contact us today to discuss your digital marketing needs.