What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is an invaluable tool for any business owner who runs a brick-and-mortar business. Understanding the fundamentals of this platform will increase your chances of being found in local and mobile search results.
As a small business looking to connect with more local consumers, these search results are the most valuable ones you can pursue. Getting ranked locally is also a lot easier and less time consuming than attempting to compete with the entire world. Not only that, but focusing on local rankings will also help you reach geo-targeted consumers who are more likely to become real customers.
Google My Business is a new dashboard which replaces Google Places for Business and Google+ Local. Google has experimented with both platforms in the past, which has left many business owners feeling confused and frustrated.
The new Google My Business dashboard will eliminate this confusion by allowing you to manage your company information across all of Google’s platforms, including Search, Maps, and Google+. It’s a one-stop solution that should help you simplify the whole listing management process in the going forward.
Google My Business offers several new and existing features which new users, as well as veteran users of Google Places or Google+ Local, should be aware of. You can take a closer look here at how each of these features work together to boost your overall online presence and help you save time.
No small business is the same, so Google gives you some choices when it comes to setting up your local page – based on your business type or industry. You can choose between the Store Front, The Service Area, and the Brand page.
If you already had Google+ Local set up then you should have already been upgraded to the appropriate page type. You can change it by editing your business information.
This feature lets you add video so that you can give customers a view of your business in action. Using this feature is a great way to reach out and connect with potential customers. Once people get a behind the scenes sneak peek into your company, many of them will trust you more and feel more comfortable doing business with you.
Google My Business makes it much easier to deal with customer reviews. As you may know from previous experience with Google+ Local, reviews play a major role in your ability to rank in Google’s Local Search results.
Reviews also matter to your reputation. It’s hard to get someone to try a new establishment if it has a steady stream of bad reviews. So it pays to encourage your customers to leave reviews and for you to engage and respond to reviews (both negative and positive)
The Insights feature allows you to access analytics reports and data so that you can understand how your Google My Business profile is performing. You can view the number of views your pages are getting, the number of times people are clicking through to your primary website, and the number of times people ask for driving directions so that they can visit your establishment.
You can also view engagement on each of your social posts to see how they are performing. Finally, you can get some insight on your Google+ followers. As you gather followers, Google will attempt to gather data on where those people are coming from, and who they are. If you aren’t getting many followers, this data may not show up. But if you are, you should see their location, gender, and age. This data can help you plan more audience-appropriate content for your Google+ profile and other marketing efforts.
You’ll find that this feature functions pretty much as it always did.
By the way, if you haven’t been using the Google+ social profile, you should really consider it. Google+ offers a distinct advantage over every other social profile out there because Google includes the content of your posts in the search results. This offers yet another way to get your business seen and heard in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Google+ has become just as important to the average business owner as Facebook, so don’t neglect it.
Keeping up with all of Google’s changes can be confusing, even for professionals who eat, breathe, and sleep Google every single day. It can be downright frustrating for business owners who also have other products or services to worry about.
Don’t feel bad if you are one of the many business owners who just doesn’t have the time, energy, or interest to keep up with Google My Business (or whatever Google comes up with next).
It’s a vital marketing tool, but you’ve got other options—you can contact me at 9723 9067 if you need any help setting up or managing your Google My Business profile. I’ll be more than happy to work with you, and to help you gather up more leads and more sales through the power of local search marketing.