How Google My Business Can Help Your Search Marketing
Google My Business is a place that Google provides for businesses to create their own profile, and it’s one of the most underutilized online tools by distributors.
There are many advantages to having your own business profile on Google My Business. It’s important to note that it does provide many more advantages to local B2C businesses where proximity is a factor, because it’s tied to Google Maps and picks up the results based on the map location. But there are definitely worthwhile advantages for B2B distributors as well, where Google doesn’t factor in the location and distance in the same way, as buyers will want to visit the website and not go to the business.
A Few Things to Know About Google My Business
Some people confuse Maps with Google My Business. Appearing on Maps doesn’t mean you have a Google My Business account.
Because Google wants to have as much information as possible of every business for its maps, it will add your business to the maps based on information it collects through the internet.
As crazy as it may sound, Google lets anybody create a profile for your business and even leave reviews, with you having no access to your own profile. That’s why you want to take control of the situation by creating your own profile or claiming it if there’s one already.
Benefits of a Google My Business Account
1. It Helps Your SEO
When you create your profile, you are basically adding your business to Google’s directory of businesses. This validates your business and adds credibility in the eyes of Google. They identify you as an active business, which is very important for Google, so it increases your chances of showing up on the search results. Also, all the information you include is indexed by Google, which is also important.
There are other components to SEO. This is not the only one, but it’s important. The best part is you can set up on your own very easily.
2. It Ensures Your Business Appears In Name Searches
More people than you may think search for your business by name. Maybe they met you somewhere or you were referred to them, also your own clients, they don't remember the exact URL of your business but remember your name—or close. You want to make sure you show up in those searches and having a Google My Business profile will do the job.
3. It’s a Trusted Place to Collect Reviews
Google reviews are highly trusted by the public because they are created directly by a real individual. When somebody is evaluating working with you, they're going to go and check if you have reviews, just like you do in the same situation.
Another advantage is you can display them on your website via apps that bring the reviews feed right to your website. This adds a lot of credibility and increases conversions on your website.
Optimizing Your Account
Creating an account is very easy and once set up, it’s easy to keep updated. Here is how to maximize this valuable tool.
1. Fill Out All The Information
Once you’ve created or claimed your account, you want to fill in all the boxes, including business hours, special holiday hours, whether you are Woman Owned or Black Owned, all your services as well as products. Basically, fill out every single field so Google has as much information as possible about your business
2. Implement The Appointment Link
You can specify that you work by appointment if you’d like, or encourage people to make one if they prefer by activating the appointment link, which can be a link to your contact form on your website.
3. Add Photos
Photos of your place are very important to Google. Don’t skip this part. Even if you don’t have a commercial location you still have an office that it’s most likely set up very nicely, and you have shelves with samples, signs, banners, etc. Stage the place if necessary and take as many photos as possible to post on your Google My Business page.
4. Make Sure Your Business Info Is Consistent
It is important though that your business information across the internet is consistent. What I mean by that is, your business name, your phone number and your address is the same as it appears on your website and in any other directories that you might be listed in—for example, Yelp, the online yellow pages, etc. We recommend using the address that Google is showing on Maps, exactly as it is spelled out.
Seems like a silly thing, but for some reason it is important that everything matches.
5. Post Regularly
Posting fresh content a few times a week will signal to Google that you are active. This is very easy to do by integrating your account with the social media scheduling tool you currently use and you can post the exact same content that you're posting on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, etc.
6. Track Performance
Google will send you an email summary with your page performance, usually once a month. You can also see it by going to the insights section of your page.
For example, you can look at how many times you have appeared on the search results, how many people have taken an action whether they called you, or they went to your site.
In these digital times, it’s important to take advantage of as many tools available as we can to increase your online footprint. Google is always looking to validate pages to show in search results, to ensure that they’re relevant and that they're solid businesses. Google also values its own properties a great deal, so creating a Google My Business page will give Google what they want.
Need Help to Set It Up?
If you need assistance in creating, setting up and optimizing your page, this short step by step video will help you.
This article was first published at Action Marketing. For more marketing articles, free webinars and guides specific to the promo business, visit the Resources section of ActionMarketingCo.com.
Gloria Lafont is a mother, grandmother and business owner. Throughout her business career she has started, bought and sold a dozen businesses in the branding and marketing field, including a distributor company. She’s currently president of Action Marketing Co., founded in 2007. Her company focuses on helping distributors increase visibility, generate awareness and drive traffic so they can connect with more of their ideal clients and generate more leads and sales.
Gloria is a big fan and supporter of education and the cultural arts, volunteering her time and donating marketing support over the years to help various organizations grow in membership and revenue. She also enjoys the South Florida lifestyle mix of business, beaches and arts.