Google My Business is not used by every business, at least not to its fullest potential. Should your business get involved?
The vast majority of businesses recognise the value in having visibility on Google. So they create a Google Business Listing to gain that visibility. However, the only problem is that you have no control over that listing unless you also have Google My Business.
This allows you more control over the editing and the management of your business profile and impact on Google.
So how do you gain management over your Google Business Profile? The answer is that, in addition to creating a free Business Profile, you must also separately create a free Google My Business account for that profile.
What is Google My Business?
Your Business Profile is Google’s term for your Google business listing. Business Profiles appear in Google Maps and in the local results of Google Search.
Anyone (literally anyone) can add a Business Profile if there isn’t one already. Google will check for duplicates, but it is open to the public. Once the Profile has been created, people can add reviews, add photos and communicate with businesses.
It is very public. That’s important to remember, because once a Business Profile has been created you have absolutely no control over it, in that you don’t manage the information displayed on it.
The good news is that Google My Business allows you to manage that information. It also allows you to enhance its impact, and make it more effective.
How to use Google My Business for local marketing
Google My Business allows you to really engage with consumers because once you have a Profile and customers engage with it, you can use Google My Business to engage with them. This means reading and responding to reviews they submit, as well as direct messaging services.
One of the best aspects of Google my Business is the ability to update the listing with posts. Just like with social media accounts, you can post to your Business Profile using Google My Business.
You can also use Google My Business to add a lot more information than you would with the standard listing. You can add links to your websites, information on products and pricing and opening hours.
An insight tool too
It comes with a dashboard too, so you can start to use the considerable resources that Google has to identify the successes and failures of your Profile and its performance. A number of different metrics are available here:
- How your visitors found you (on Search or Maps)
- The actions they took when looking at your listing
- The queries used to find your profile
And another key aspect of your marketing is always going to be SEO, your Business Profile benefits from keywords when it’s connected to Google my Business. You also get the opportunity to use other SEO elements in your Profile too.
So, should I use it?
If you can upload plenty of engaging photos and respond to customer comments and reviews, Google will keep ranking your listing. This means that you will place in local search results and on Google Maps.
It’s not quite a social media platform, but the ability to engage through responding to reviews and by updating information makes it a quick and easy way to have a presence in the local community. That presence can be optimised thanks to Google My Business, and therefore the entire process becomes another valuable part of your marketing toolkit.
If you receive reviews you must respond. You must update your listing, and you must always have as much valuable information as possible on there.
None of that can be done – you don’t have the power – unless you have Google My Business.