To gain more visibility on Google, many businesses have created a Google Business Page. Google My Business is a free tool for business owners to use.
Google My Business enables you to manage and optimize your Business Profile on Google.1 It also allows you to use Google My Business listings and advanced SEO tools.
Furthermore, Google My Business is often the first place most customers go to look for information about a company.2
This includes information such as business store hours, openings at new locations, health and safety protocols, and to read what other customers have to say about your business.
If your business does not show up on the first page of listings, then it’ll most likely get ignored and customers will look elsewhere.
People like things that are easy, which is why you should optimize your Google My Business Page.
What is Google My Business (GMB)?
As explained before, Google My Business is a tool that helps business owners optimize and manage their Business Profile on Google.
Creating a Google My Business helps your business appear on the Google Results page.
Business Profiles also appear on the local result page or Google Maps when customers search for things such as “restaurants near me” or “fast food near me.”
Businesses should appear on the Google Search results list like this:
What’s the difference between a Business Profile and a GMB?
When customers click on your business page, they should be able to see the address, the business hours, the contact information, and a link to the website. Business Profiles on Google also include pictures, Q&As, and customer reviews.
However, a Business Profile differs from a Google My Business Account. A Business Profile can exist, apart from a Google My Business account.3
You cannot manage or access photos or reviews on a Business Profile alone. By creating a Google My Business account, you can manage, enhance, and access your Business Profile on Google.
Why is Google My Business important?
Getting into more detail, Google My Business is essential for businesses to have because, as said before, it is the first thing customers will notice when doing their research.
When you optimize your Google My Business account, you can greatly improve your local SEO ranking on Google. Once you create your Google My Business account, be sure to verify it.
Google My Business makes it easier for customers to find your business on mobile maps such as Apple, Google Maps, Waze, etc.
Google My Business is also an excellent way to connect with customers online. You can easily address concerns or issues regarding your business with a customer.
Optimizing your Google My Business page
- Make sure you properly categorize your business page for a better local ranking.4 You may also add a secondary category if needed. Categories should relate to your business. For example, “restaurant,” “fast food,” “hair salon,” etc.
- If you’re a restaurant business, be specific in what you offer in regards of food delivery and payment options, especially since we’re still in a pandemic.
- Online orders and contactless payments are gaining more popularity since Covid. You should specify if your store delivers with its own drivers, or through delivery services such as GrubHub, DoorDash, and UberEats.
- You can also update your business’s photos. If you want to promote a new menu item, or a promotion, then it’s best to have those photos uploaded and have the pictures be displayed first when customers are searching for your business.
- Uploading photos of your menu or of your interior is another way to intrigue customers to come in and visit your business. Make sure the photos are of good quality and delete the old pictures if you had made any changes to your business.
- Be sure to include keywords. Including keywords and search phrases to your Google My Business listing will help your business gain greater visibility on Google Search results.
- Allow customers to message you. Even though customers can ask questions through your business listing, it’s best to also connect with them through messages.5
- However, if you want to maximize your performance and visibility, ensure that you have someone there to respond to messages as quickly as possible. Do not let the messages be left unanswered for 24 hours.
- Allowing customers to message you, or responding to their positive and negative reviews, will help build trust between you and your customers.
- Use special attributes and utilize highlight feature labels such as black-owned businesses or other features like outdoor seating and live music.6
Google My Business is a great marketing tool to utilize for your business locally. If your business doesn’t have a GMB, you must create one now and utilize most of the features on their to better outshine your competitors and attract more local and non-local customers to your business.
- Kristen McCormick, “What Is Google My Business & Why Do I Need It?,” WordStream.
- McCormick, “What Is Google My Business & Why Do I Need It?,” WordStream.
- Sam Hollingsworth, “How to Completely Optimize Your Google My Business Listing,” SEJ.