Google My Business is technically a digital business card that stores valuable information for new and existing customers. Google My Business allows you to add your business place as a local listing to enable people in your community to find your business easier.
If you have a business, there is really no reason as to why you shouldn’t have Google My Business. One reason not to use it that I can think of is if you run a business from home. Perhaps you don’t want your home to show up as the business image in that case.
For start-ups, a digital business card is even more important. Allowing potential customers to contact you with ease can give you an edge on competitors that may not use this free service.
Triggering Google My Business
Google My Business is basically meant to list businesses for local searches but will hang on to the closest alternative where applicable. Your business card can show up in the Google search network under the following circumstances:
• A search is queried directly for your business name, or closely to it. (Example search: “Avoncy Marketing”)
• A search is queried generally for services/products in your category of business. (Example search: “Barber”, or most often on local search, such as “Barber in New York”)
Google My Business can hold valuable information easily accessible for anyone looking to contact you. Information that can be stored is address, telephone number, opening hours, special opening hours (such as holidays) directions to your office, business category, and a link to your website.
Digital business cards appear to the right of Google Search. Alternatively, above the organic search results if there are multiple businesses using Google My Business in an area you are searching.
Statistics and Usage for Google My Business
You’ll get statistics sent to your email every now and then from Google about interactions with your business card. For example, how many used it to get to your website, and how many used it to call you directly. You can also see in-depth data from your Google My Business profile, and connect your Google AdWords account.
Bear in mind that once your business card is up, users can rate/review your company – and you can also respond to their reviews.
There are several benefits of linking Google My Business to Google AdWords. For instance, you can use the ad extension to display your company’s address, and use Google AdWords Express accounts to automate your advertising on Google.
If you want to take it one step further, you can hire a trusted pro to create a 360-degree virtual tour of your business. If you are not interested in investing money on a virtual tour you can still add images from your office’s and other images such as your logo, for free and by yourself.
Let’s say you own a restaurant, in that case you can add questions to your business card that will allow potential customers to find out things such as whether there’s live music, what the noise level is like, etc. Users can ask and answer any questions about your business, and Google might approve them if deemed relevant and useful.
As you can see, there are a bunch of valuable benefits for businesses that utilize this asset.
Setting up Google My Business
Setting up your digital business card is quite effortless and completely free of charge. Claiming ownership of your location is the best strategy to be able to make real time updates and get statistics for your business card.
To set it up you’ll want to go to this Google site and click the big green button. Then you’ll be on your way! All you must do is fill in your business information. When it’s all set and sent in, you’re going to receive a letter from Google within a couple of weeks with a confirmation code used to verify your ownership for the business card.
Do you have multiple business locations? No problem, you can add one business card for each location, with unique information! If you have 100+ locations, Google will let you make a bulk upload of your locations from .csv.
Ranking in Google My Business
Did you know that your Google My Business card also has a rank, just like search results? There are in fact many things that you can do to improve the positioning of your Google My Business card, should there be several businesses in the same category in your area.
One great ranking factor is to embed Google Maps on your website. Another, perhaps more valuable factor, is to have a complete business card with all information added to it. Including logo on your My Business profile.
Exactly how ranking in Google My Business works and the impact on positioning, is not fully known. Best practice is to make sure that your card has all the information filled out, and that it is up to date. If you are changing opening hours, make sure to also update your Google My Business card as it will not detect this automatically from your website. Sometimes individuals post suggestions for change to business cards in case they see that something is out of date. Should that be the scenario you will receive a notification in your My Business panel to review the change. It is not to be expected that anyone else will look after your information however, so make sure that it is always up to date by yourself.
Monitoring images uploaded for your Business Card is also a wise idea. Sometimes images added by random Google users slip through the filter although being inappropriate or irrelevant to your business. While it is not common, looking after all your data so that everything is in order is of course best practice.
So, to summarize; if you have a business but no digital business card – think again and sign up for Google My Business already!
The post What’s Google My Business and Why Do You Need It? appeared first on AVONCY.