Google My Business is a free resource, provided by Google, to help you manage your business location or locations from one easy to use dashboard. GMB, as it is commonly known by, let’s you track and reply to messages and reviews right from their dashboard.
Google My Business has gone through many iterations and is known by different names. Google My What? Maybe you know it as Google Business Profile. It’s possible you’ve heard it referred to as the Map Pack. GMB has been around for a long time. Before GMB, it was known as Google Places, Google Local, or the dreaded Google+ debacle that tried (and failed) to overtake Facebook.
No matter how it came about, Google My Business is an absolute necessity for any business trying to attract local clients. Let’s take a deeper dive into 6 reason you need to be good at GMB.
1. Google My Business is FREE
That’s right. This powerhouse piece of software is absolutely free to set up and use. There are no strings and there are no hidden fees. Simply claim ownership of your listing or start from scratch for no cost whatsoever.
To start, head over to https://www.google.com/business/ and sign in with your Google account. You must have a Google account to use GMB, so get one of those first if you don’t have one. Search for your business name. If there is a listing already, you can click where it says, “Do you own this business?”
Once you are in your Business Profile, you can post your hours, photos, videos and profile information about your company. Next, Google will ask for ways you can interact with your customers. Email. Text. Messenger. Phone. Website info. Complete as many sections are you like.
You’re now ready to be found on Google!
2. ‘Near Me’ Results and Map Pack
We all do it. We’re hungry and in need of a good sushi restaurant. What do we do? We pick up the phone and search ‘Sushi near me.’ Viola! You have 4 great sushi restaurants to choose from.
How did they do that, you might think?
It’s the power of Google and the all-important Map Pack, ya’ll.
When you search for a local product or service, Google will use your phone or computer’s location to find matches closest to your current location. These results are known as the Map Pack and you definitely want to be found in the pack. A customer is much more likely to engage with a company found in the pack than one that is not.
Be sure your profile is complete with contact information, especially phone number and message capabilities. Also, be sure your hours of operation are current and correct. This helps people rely on the information provided by Google about your establishment.
3. Highlight important aspects of your business
GMB highlights all the important aspects of your business as long as it’s information you’ve provided. Potential customers can easily see if you’re open, how soon you’re closing, easy ways to communicate and more. The system will also let business owners highlight other important pieces of information, from menus, to service areas, specials, products and more.
The more information you feed the system, the more information Google can make available to people looking for your product or service.
4. Get killer insights on your business
The dashboard will help you see important insights on the people searching for you and hep you make better, informed decisions on your digital marketing strategy.
With Google My Business Insights, it’s easy to see how people found your business and that makes it easy to make marketing decisions for next month. Know how many people found you on search direct (searched the actual name of your business), discovery (‘sushi near me’), or branded (you searched for a specific sushi restaurant, but found others in the map pack).
Knowing how you were found is powerful information. If, you are more often found through Branded searches, then a branding campaign might be in order. If you have a lot of people finding you direct, maybe it’s time to think about incorporating PPC ads to widen your net for new customers.
5. Engage with customers right where they are
People want options. More than that, they want easy options when it comes to engaging with companies online. Buttons are available to easily let customers call, message, book online and many more calls to action. This is an easy way to get more customers. Simply make it easy for them to contact you.
6. GMB helps you stay current
Are you open on the next holiday? Are your hours affected by Daylight Savings Time? Do you have special hours during specific times of the year based on local or regional happenings? Does your business get closed for snow days? All these questions and more are answered for customers quickly and easily by looking at your completed profile on Google. Traveling to a location? After starting directions, Google will tell you if you have enough time to shop or dine at an establishment based on your commute. More information = a better experience for the customer.
Your dashboard gives you total control over the ways in which you interact with and engage your customers. It’s all at your fingertips and it is completely free to use. Do you need help setting up your Google My Business settings? Reach out to us here and we can absolutely help you have the best possible chance of being found on Google!