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May 18, 2021

What Is Google My Business: A Beginner’s Guide

What is Google My Business

Google My Business is a free tool that most businesses use to manage their online presence. It encompasses local business profiles, dashboards, and support forums. It helps the customers find local businesses and tell their brand story. Moreover, it helps to edit business information and verify business as well. For local businesses, Google My Business and Google Maps make up the local search marketing options for local businesses. In other words, it is an important digital asset for local businesses. Here, you will learn what is Google My Business and how you can embark on the right foot with this great digital tool.  

Google My Business is developed from Google Places and is integrated with Google Maps. It is a free and user-friendly tool that was launched in the year 2012 as Google+ local. In 2014, it was rebranded into Google My Business.

It is a listing of local companies, and customers can find it using ZIP code, city name, and physical address. Even you can find the local company with the help of geographical coordinates. Businesses can provide their website, enlist working hours, view photos of your business and area of work. Moreover, your customer can also write reviews about your business on your Google My Business profile. The positive reviews help your future customers in making their final purchase decision or hiring you. 

What is GMB eligibility?

You can enlist your Google My Business using the GMB setting, which is governed by the guidelines for delineating your business on Google. In short, it is a living document that undertakes repeated changes. If you want to enlist your business on Google My Business, consult the guidelines to avoid platform violations that can lead to penalties or listing removal. 

Why GMB is important?

If you have updated your GMB profile, it can be a validating factor on Google’s first page. If a user searches for a local business and sees your recently posted content and updated GMB listing, he instantaneously knows that the business is promoting their service or product. They don’t need to check their official website to find the working hours. Above all, if your Google My Business profile is well optimized, it can help your business to feature in the local 3 pack. Google My Business signals make up for 25% of the local pack. As you have understood why Google My Business is important, let’s jump to the section in which you will learn how to set up a GMB profile.

Setting up your Google My Business profile

Any business that has a brick or mortar store that’s open for people to visit can create a GMB profile. You need to register with Google to verify the listing on Google My Business. Google will send you a postcard that contains an activation code, or it will ask you to verify your GMB profile in other alternative ways. This process takes about 5 to 10 business days. It is important that if you are a SAB (service area business) and don’t have a physical business location, your business will be treated differently by Google. You need to verify your business email address with Google, but when people search you on Google Maps, your address will not be visible.

Once your business profile is verified, you can set up your profile. It is a very easy process; all you need to put relevant information to include in the profile includes address, website, phone number, business hours, and links to your social media accounts, and your business description. The business description section is very important, so write an appealing description of your business. You can take one step further by including product information, product images, and service categories and options.

Where your Google My Business information can display?

Once Google My Business accepted your data, you will see a variety of local search displays of Google, including the desktop and mobile versions.

Google Business Profiles

Your Google Business Profile will appear when someone searches your business with a name. Even if a customer writes city name in search, Google My Business profile appears. For instance, ‘McDonald’s Drive-Thru New York City. In some cases, GMB will show your profile for non-branded searches like ‘best chicken burger near me. This can happen when Google believes that a customer’s search intent is to find the specific brand instead of a number of results or if there is low competition for that search phrase. 

Google Local Packs

One of the main displays that Google uses to show and rank any local business in its index is the local packs. Google local packs are shown any time. Google believes that the specific search term has a local intent such as ‘best pizza near me, ‘best coffee shop near me, ‘chicken burger downtown.’ However, these searches don’t have any geographic terms in the search phrase for Google to assume that that search intent is local. 

Typically, a local pack features three business listings that come with an option like ‘view all,’ and click on map options to see further listings. Sometimes, the local listing has less than three listings, and the information Google shows in them may vary.

Google Local Finders

In the local pack, when a customer clicks through the view all link and on the Google maps, he will be taken to the display, which is called Google local finder. Listings are displayed and paginated in a group of ten. The searcher can even zoom in and zoom out on the map to see their options.

Google Maps

For Android and desktop users, Google Maps is displayed by default. The searchers can search through this interface instead of Google search. When you search a term, you will see that a ‘maps’ link will be displayed at the top of your desktop display. When you search using Google maps, then it yields results that look exactly similar to the local finder results; however, there are some key differences too. At some point, there is a distinct possibility that Google could strengthen the user experience. Instead of a local finder, it has local packs default to Google Maps rather than a local finder. The link to these results starts as google.com/maps rather than google.com/search. 

What information you should add to your Google business listing?

On your Google My Business, you can add a lot of information about your business. There is some information that you can add to your profile:

  • Your business phone number, your address, and business name
  • Your business working hours and mention holidays too
  • You can link to your official business website.
  • Business category
  • You can pin on your location in Google Map.
  • You can link your social media accounts
  • Add your product photos
  • Even businesses can add a 30-second video of their business
  • Add links to online orders and other specific actions.
  • Some additional information like WiFi facility, outdoor seating, and more

What are the key features of Google My Business?

GMB has a variety of features, and this platform gets new features and updates on a regular basis like other Google products. Here are some key features of Google My Business. 

Collect and respond to reviews

When you enlist your business on Google My Business, your customers can leave reviews about your business on your GBP profile. They can rate your business or brand from the search result page. Moreover, it allows you to respond to your customer’s reviews publicly. It will also appear in your Google Maps listing.

Post and answer FAQ 

Google My Business allows the customers to post a question on the knowledge panel. Businesses can respond to these curious customers. Their response will appear under the ‘question and answers section. 

Provides additional information

Google My Business helps people to plan their visit because it displays the busy hours, wait time estimates on SERPs ad average visit duration. Google uses unidentified and aggregated data from the customers who have chosen location history to generate this info.

Chat directly with your customers

Google My Business allows you the client and potential clients to communicate directly to businesses with its DM (Direct Messaging) feature. Businesses and customers can receive and respond to messages from the Allo app or their mobile phones. 

Highlight your attributes

This platform allows businesses to highlight specific attributes of their businesses that users would search for. These attributes can be chosen on the basis of your business category. If you run a beauty brand, you can highlight certain attributes like curtly free, vegan, natural, and more.

Takeaways

If we say getting listed on GMB is like winning half of the battle, it won’t be wrong. To get more out of the Google My Business listing, you have to keep optimizing your Google My Business profile. You have to collect more reviews, add your business attributes, get more customers to answer questions, and update your listings in case of any changes. Moreover, you must keep an eye out for the most advanced and updated Google My Business features. If you are a small business, it can help you scale up your business with a little effort.

For more business tips and insights, visit Stealth Agents.

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