With the intent of getting recognition and more exposure on Google, most businesses create a Business Profile (which we locally call “Google Business Listing”). But what many business owners do not know is that creating a Business Profile cannot help with its data management. For that, you have to create a free Google My Business account alongside your Business Profile. It both makes your Business Profile capable of editing and management and turns the profile into an effective SEO cum lead generation tool.
A Google My Business account complements your Business Profile so that you can claim ownership and gain management rights to it. What more? You can access additional free features to boost your business presence on Google.
In this guide, we will provide a detailed insight of Google My Business covering the following:
- What Is Google My Business and Why Should You Use It?
- How To Use Google My Business Successfully?
- How To Use Google My Business For SEO?
- How To Create A Google My Business Account?
Read on, so you can productively use this free digital marketing tool for your business!
What Is Google My Business and Why Should You Use It?
Google My Business is a comprehensive, easy-to-use, free marketing tool used by businesses and organizations to maintain their online visibility across Google, including Google Maps and Search.
With a GMB account, you can verify and edit your business information, thereby helping your relevant targets find your business, and telling them your company story.
As mentioned earlier, your Business Profile is the official term for Google business listing which appears in local search results and maps on Google.
Now coming to why you should use a GMB account, here are some good reasons to convince yourself:
- Manage Your Business Information
You can effectively manage your business details which will appear on search results whenever your credible target Google your company through local search or Google Map.
For example, you can display details of your important products/services offerings so that anybody searching for the same finds it through your business.
Your company address, office hours, website, etc. are some of the primary details you can manage through your GMB account.
- Interact With Credible Clients
You can upload service/image-relevant images of your business. Doing this increases customer requests for your office direction on Google Maps by around 42%. Plus, you are more likely to get 35% more clicks on your website pages than other websites that do not do the same. The best part is you can easily interact with your customers by responding to their reviews posted on your website.
- Understand And Increase Your Online Presence
First, try to figure out how they search for your or other businesses on Google, and where this search traffic is coming from. Apart from that, you can detect how many users directly called your business from the contact number displayed on the local SERPs in Search and Google Maps.
You can run smart online campaigns to track the search performance and expand your business presence accordingly.
Look, having a business profile on Google is similar to anyone randomly adding a place to Google Maps—which is either an auto-generated listing or something that anybody could do. Mind you, Google only needs your business name, its location, and category. Once Google confirms that your provided details are genuine, they will open you a Business Profile for the said location.
Once it is created, your profile is then accessible to your customers to post their reviews, queries, add photos, and answer questions. Your Business Profile may occupy other relevant information that Google collects from across the web.
What it means is that you can create your Business Profile evening without having a GMB account. But, the only setback is that whether you create the profile or Google does that for you, in both cases, you do not have access to manage information that Google displays or reviews it collects for your profile.
That is why a Google My Business account is important so that you can manage, personalize, and add value to your Google Business Profile, all for free!
How To Use Google My Business Successfully?
So far, we have learned that Google My Business and Business Profile are two different things. While a Business Profile is about adding your basic business details like its name, address, etc., a GMB account enhances the profile by boosting its online presence and efficacy.
Here are the four fundamental ways to productively use your GMB account and hence, upgrade your profile to a better marketing tool on Google listing:
- Publish Posts On Your GMB
First thing first. To engage more customers with your Business Profile and make them interact with you, publish posts asking for consumer feedback on a particular service/product they availed from you, how much they liked it or not, what are their views regarding your business, etc. These types of posts encourage the participation of both consumers and news leads. The consumers put the reviews and you respond to them, whereas the new leads check those out and ask questions to the consumers/you to know more.
Some users prefer querying personally. So, you can also enable direct messaging on your Business Profile via GMB to engage with such customers. When it comes to postings, getting reviews, and giving responses, GMB is a comprehensive tool to make your Business Profile function much like the social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- Highlight Your Business Offerings
A Business Profile, on its own, contains only a little information about your business. But, with your GMB dashboard, you can extend your profile data availability by adding your website link, product/service details and pricing, and many other relevant attributes that add Unique Selling points to your business. You can make necessary updates and edits to your profile through Google My Business, whenever needed.
Remember, a successful Business Profile displays all the nooks and crannies of your business in the Google SERP.
Gain Insights Into User Search Performance
To get details about the local search performance and your target audience, you need to use the Google My Business dashboard. The search trend/queries the potential clients are using to find your profile, appear on your GMB’s analytics tab. It also shows how many users found you through Google Search or Google Maps, what is the performance of your website content (including the photos, description, etc.) compared to your competitors’ websites, etc.
Note: You can use UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters alongside Google Analytics to track clicks via your Business Profile across your target traffic sources.
- Do Local SEO
Like Google ads and website ranking algorithms, it also follows a unique set of codes to rank Business Profiles. Your Google My Business dashboard helps you include keywords to your Business Profile and do other necessary optimizations to outrank your profile in the local search results, which is what we will cover next.
How To Use Google My Business For SEO?
Google Business Profiles are not static. This platform allows expansive profile customization options if managed through a GMB account. More than doing customizations, Google will prioritize those sections of your profile based on the most searched terms and other specific information important to customers of your business category. Even better, Google will bold the terms/keywords in your profile content that it thinks are related to your customer searches.
But, that needs your profile to have some good deals of details to prioritize and high-authority keywords to bold in the first place. Just like you or a digital marketing agency uses a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress for website optimization for search engines, Google My Business helps you optimize your Business Profile and increase your reach.
How To Use Google My Business For Local SEO?
Since Google optimization means optimizing your website to be easily found by searchers, using GMB for local SEO also means the same, breaking the process into targeting, quality of information, and trust.
Let us get deeper into this:
- Target Your Information With Keywords
To perform local SEO with Google My Business, make sure to add relevant/informative keywords that best describe your profile to Google and what your business is trying to rank. Include those keywords into your “from the business” description, your answers or responses to consumer queries and reviews, respectively, and in your published posts. The best part is you can edit or replace any existing keyword with newer, better ones to your profile through the GMB dashboard.
Note: Try to place the keywords into your Google Business Profile as naturally as possible as you do in other SEO strategies.
- Maintain Accuracy And Quality of Your Business Information
The accuracy and entirety of your Google Business Profile influence its rank. So, make sure to include necessary details as requested in every part of your GMB dashboard. Your business contact, location, special hours, and attributes are what you typically need to focus on while providing information.
- Build Reliability Among Your Audience
The last approach to doing local SEO with Google My Business is to build trust among your credible targets. Keep your profile updated with new details and more (if any), each time your business evolves and improves.
Maintain the steady flow of your incoming customer reviews and respond to them regularly. Your regular interaction with them will send a positive signal to Google showing the frequency of your online presence and activity. You can publish posts and add images to your Business Profile via Google My Business to gain more customer confidence in your business offerings.
SEO is equally important for any business. But, it is typically helpful for small or budding businesses where you can perform local SEO to join the race against the large competitors on the search engine result pages.
The good part is that Google makes it even easier for Business Profiles to do local SEO through their GMB account. So, your Google My Business is what can maximize your business appearance on the local market search.
Well, if you are convinced about the potential impact that a Google My Business can have on your business, it is time to sign up! How? We will find that in the next section.
How To Create A Google My Business Account?
To sign up with Google My Business, create a GMB account. Open google.com/business and click on “Manage now”. Doing this will lead you to a series of steps for creating the account.
Remember, your Google My Business Account will not create a Business Profile for you. You have to create that separately. Your GMB will act as an add-on/extension tool allowing you with all the access, data management, and edits that are otherwise restricted in your Business Profile. So, make sure to have an existing Business Profile for the same before creating an account on Google My Business.
Also, note that creating your Google My Business account and logging in is not enough to get access to your pre-existing Business Profile. For that, you have to locate your profile separately on Google Maps and then select the “Own this business?” or “Claim this business” link appearing on the profile.
On completing this process, your Google My Business account will be automatically linked to your Google Business Profile and under your management.
Sign Up with Google My Business Today!
Now that you have profound knowledge of what Google My Business is, why to use it, how it works, and how to sign up here, etc., you can now realize that it is more than just a free tool to manage your Google Business listing. This must-have tool can add value to and rightly impact your business.
But, if you are finding it hard to get started with your GMB account for your profile, avail assistance from BrandStorm. We guarantee promising solutions to outshine our clients’ competitors, bringing more engagement to the world’s most extensive search engine; Google.
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