In a world where attention is the new currency, Google My Business (GMB) is an important free tool. Local businesses, big and small, can use to bolster their presence on Google Search, without spending any money on PPC (Pay Per Click).
The power of Google My Business
For most of us, we begin our quest to find products and services on Google Search. GMB makes it easier for your business to be found by clients and customers who don't know you - but can benefit from what you offer. This marks the beginning of a promising customer relationship.
From improving your local search engine optimisation (SEO) to acting as a robust marketing tool, GMB provides several advantages:
- Local SEO: Improves your visibility on local search terms
- Collecting reviews: Offers a platform for customers to share their experiences
- Business info: Directly displays essential business details on the search engine
- Marketing tool: Supports your overall marketing strategy
- Google My Business Insights: Provides helpful analytics
- Free of cost: Requires no financial investment
- Ease of Use: Simple to set up and manage
The good news? You don't have to be technical to set it up, here's a simplified guide on how to make the most out of GMB.
Google My Business: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Setup and connect your Google Business Profile
To begin optimising your business on Google, you'll first need a Google My Business account.
Once you've created an account, you can link it to your Google Business Profile. You'll need to fill in several sections, including your business name, address, phone number, website, and operational hours.
Step 2: Choose the right category
The category section is paramount as it defines your offering to the public.
Google offers over 3,000 categories, so ensure to pick the most specific ones for your business.
For example, if you run an Italian restaurant, choose "Italian Restaurant" instead of the broad category "Restaurant". You can also select secondary categories to further define your business.
Step 3: Write a description of your business
Once you've selected your category, Google will ask you to write a description of your business.
This is where you shout loud and proud about the unique selling points of your business and why you stand out from your competitors.
Step 4: High-quality photos
To truly make your business stand out, include high-quality photos in your Business Profile.
Regularly updated photos signal that your profile is active and up-to-date, which can help your ranking.
Google now includes photos in local search results, and customers are more likely to engage with a business if its Business Profile includes photos.
Step 5: Add your services and/or products
Include a list of products and services in your Business Profile to show what you offer and improve your visibility for relevant searches.
This can also help clarify your offerings if your business name does not clearly indicate them.
Step 6: Ask for reviews
Why ask for a review? Because customer reviews serve as potent testimonials of your business's credibility, quality, and service. These reviews can significantly bolster your visibility and reputation online.
It's also a great way to re-engage. Simply reach out to your existing customers through an email or a message, kindly requesting them to leave a review on your Google My Business profile.
This small yet impactful step could make a world of difference in how your business is perceived online.