Managing Your Online Presence – Google My Business (GMB) Review
Is Your Business Known To Google? Getting your local business listed on Google My Business (GMB) and other online directories is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get business to start showing up for local search results on the biggest search platform-Google. So what exactly is Google My Business (GMB)?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free and simplified dashboard that helps business owners manage and update business listings across the Google Ecosystem. This has replaced Google+ Local and Google Places; business owners would now be able to manage local search, Maps, and Google+ account all from this ONE convenient location.
In today’s digital marketing and advertising economy, Google is the number one platform through which your prospects and new customers will get information about your services.
According to Google, four out of five people use search engines to find local information, like a company’s business hours, address, phone number, online reviews, busy times and more.
Like it or not, if you own a business big or small, Google is an essential component of your online presence.
Benefits of Google My Business (GMB)
So what are the benefits your business would derive from using GMB:
- It creates a strong online presence for your business
- It increases your chances of appearing on local searches.
- It provides data-driven insights about your online presence with add-on access to Google Adwords(for keyword searches) and Google Analytics
- It comes with a feature that allows customers to leave you reviews and therefore increases your chance of building better relationships with your customers.
What Kinds of Business Information Can Be Added on GMB?
- Business name: Ensure the name represent your business real-world name.
- Address: Make sure your business has a physical location
- Phone number: Direct phone number which you have control over.
- Business Category
- Working Hours: Provide your regular customer-facing hours of operation.
Google has some guidelines for accepting listing on GMB. Failure to adhere to those guidelines could result in the suspension of such business on the platform. Read more about the guidelines here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?hl=en
There is some information that would make your business ineligible for listing on Google My Business. These are:
- Business locations that are under-construction
- Rental or for-sale properties
- An ongoing service, class, or meeting at a location that you don’t own or have the authority to represent. Actually, GMB has tailored for business owners to ensure the pages are authentic. But there are cases in which the business page/listing is handled by an agency and Google has specifications for such agencies when it comes to creating business page.
In order to avoid inconsistencies in account creation, you can run Google My Business Guidelines Checker.
Also, make sure that you run a search on your business contact information to find duplicates. Once a duplicate is found, Google would prompt you to get it fixed.
How to Get Started on GMB?
There are a number of steps to follow to get listed on GMB.
.1. Create Your Google My Business Page: This is done by first signing in to your google business account via the link below, and hit START NOW:
It’s pretty easy; just fill in the forms and follow the next prompt till it’s created.
- Next is verifying Your Google My Business Page
You will be prompted to verify the ownership of the business through postal mail, email, a phone call or text message.
- Adding Details to the Info Section
Once you have access to the dashboard, you can fill out the details about the business as you want it to appear in search results.
- Adding Google Posts
From the dashboard, you have the option of creating a post about 300 words post, just like Facebook status. With this, you can promote events or new products or services.
- Adding Photos of Your Business Location
Here you can add photographs about your business locations and products to give users an idea of what your business is like. Businesses with photos in their online pages get 35% more clicks than businesses without photos. These pictures will be displayed alongside the map after your business is clicked on in the search engine results page.
- Other sections available in the dashboard are:
- Website with Google My Business
- Managing Reviews
With this post, I have been able to provide you with a brief overview of the newly introduced platform by Google for listing your business – Google My Business. By creating your Google My Business page, you are making it easier for customers to find you through both organic and direct searches. So as much as possible provide the best and accurate information about your business.
To learn how to effectively use this tool, I have a training guide which would give you detailed, step-by-step training on GMB. Click Here to download a copy of the guide.