According to Google, about 4 out of 5 consumers use the internet for local searches—a startling number and a wakeup call for business who don’t have a local SEO strategy. Thankfully, Google My Business exists.
For small businesses, brand exposure is extremely important, not just when it comes to growth, but also to survival. It’s why local SEO (search engine optimization) is so essential. Local SEO is what allows you to attract local leads like potential customers in your area who are searching for specific products and services while out and about.
As part of your local SEO strategy, you should submit your business info to various local directories, like Yelp or Angie’s List—however, if there was only one directory that you could choose, we would recommend Google My Business.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a platform built by Google that allows businesses of all shapes and sizes to list vital company information, including their contact details, their product and service categories, their business hours, their address, their website URL, and more.
You’ve seen it before, though you may not have known that it was a Google My Business entry. It’s located on the right-hand side of your search window:
The red box in the picture above shows the Google My Business entry for Envision Creative. It’s a comprehensive but easy to scan overview of our company as well as our ratings (NBD, five stars over here) as well as our business info.
In addition to working as a directory, Google My Business also connects numerous other Google features, including Google Reviews, Google+, Google Maps, Facebook reviews, and more all via one application.
The Benefits of Listing on Google My Business
The following are some of the reasons why setting up a Google My Business listing is beneficial for the success of your business:
- Increase exposure. Your Google My Business listing will show up on all devices, including mobile devices, when users search for your business. It makes you easier to find for customers who are specifically looking for your business and helps you attract potential customers who are searching for similar businesses in your area.
- Build your brand authority. Of course, your website, your social, and your AdWords all help drive traffic and show that you are, in fact, a fancy, legit business BUT having that added boost with the Google My Business entry takes your authority to the next level. “Oh, look at this!” consumers say. “This is a business I can trust. I’d like to give them all of my money.” This dramatic re-enactment may not be 100% accurate (we wish) but you get the idea.
- Gather all of your information in one place. One of the issues that customers often have is trying to find a particular piece of information, like the phone number or the store hours of a business. Google My Business allows you to gather all of your important information in one location for the benefit of your customers.
- Take advantage of analytics. Google My Business provides the use of insights stats, including where customers are viewing your business, how they search for your business, and more. This information can be very helpful, especially if you are investing money into PPC (pay per click) ads.
- Set up multiple service locations. If you have more than one location for your business, you can use Google My Business to provide info on each location. The way it works is that customers searching for your business will automatically find the information you’ve provided for the location nearest to them.
- It’s free. That’s right, Google My Business is free to use – so why wouldn’t you take advantage of it?
How to Use Google My Business
Learning how to use Google My Business is incredibly easy and set-up doesn’t take long at all. The following are the basic steps you’ll be prompted to take as you set up your Google My Business listing:
- Go to the Google My Business page and select “Start Now.”
- Enter the name of your business.
- Search for your business or input the name and address of your business.
Note: If you deliver goods and services to your customers be sure to check the box—you will be prompted to answer a couple of questions!
- Enter your type of business:
- Add your phone number and website. While this is listed as optional, we recommend that you do this!
- Authorize that you are the person who should be managing this entry:
- Verify your business. You’ll have to either have them call you or you can receive a postcard in the mail. You won’t be able to full manage your listing until you have entered the verification code. This is Google’s way of making sure that these entries are real and legitimate.
- Go in and fill in the rest of your entry. You’ll be taken to your Google My Business Dashboard:
Once you finish editing, the listing will be published! Google My Business will not only allow you to boost your local SEO and increase brand exposure, it will also allow you to gather all of your company’s important business information in one place for the convenience of your customers. The fact that it’s free means there’s no excuse not to use it!
Feel free to comment below or reach out to us with any questions you may have!