Google My Business (GMB) is your business’s shop window in the digital world. There are 8.5 billion searches on Google each day. Google dominates with a 92% worldwide share of the search engine market. Controlling and updating your Google My Business profile is the single easiest way to get customers to your website, in the door, or on the phone. All with the click of a button! It is the modern version of the Yellow Pages and more important to your business than ever before. Not to mention, it is 100% free to create a profile.
What is a Google My Business Profile?
Your Google My Business profile makes it easier for consumers to get to and interact with your business, all in one convenient place. A GMB profile stands out from organic and paid search results because it is at the top of the page and to the right-hand side of those results. Google My Business profiles can tell potential and long-time customers everything they need to know about your business. A complete Google My Business listing is 7x more likely to get clicks.
- View your business website
- Get directions to visit your store
- Click to call from their cell phone
- See your business hours and if you are closed for Holidays
- Products or services your business offers
- Common questions people have about your business
- Photos of your business or products so customers know what to expect
- Reviews of what people have experienced buying from your business
- Recent posts of business, service, or product announcements
- Social media accounts
What are the benefits of a Google My Business Profile?
The most notable benefit of a GMB profile is that it makes it easier for consumers to find your business through Google searches. Over 49% of GMB profiles receive more than 1,000 views per month. Additionally, over half of GMB profile interactions produce website visits. A Google My Business profile can entice consumers with its visual appeal and user-friendly layout more so than text-based web results.
Google My Business profiles show in Google Maps and Local Searches
A GMB profile also appears in Google Maps and local search results. 84% of all searches are for categories your business could be showing up for. Only 16% of searches are direct brand searches. Which means it is less likely consumers will search for your brand specifically and more likely they will search what they are looking for. Think of it as the difference between “Walmart near me” vs “grocery stores near me”. The Walmart search will specifically pull up Walmart stores, whereas the grocery store search will pull up every grocery store nearby, including Walmart. Advertising your business brand is important, but you can’t assume that consumers will remember your business name every time they search on Google. There are over 33 million businesses in the United States alone, making it more difficult for consumers to remember your brand.
With a Google My Business profile, you can choose a business category from Google’s list and the GMB profile will show in search results that are relevant to that business category. For example, if your business is an advertising agency, you can select that option for your GMB profile. Every time someone searches for an “advertising agency near me” or around your local city, your GMB profile could appear as an option, even though the user didn’t search for your specific business name.
Monitor and Respond to Customer Reviews on Google My Business
Every time a person leaves a review on your Google My Business profile, you will receive an email notification so that you may easily respond to that review. This helps monitor what people say about your business and gives you the opportunity to respond back. Few factors can influence a potential customer’s purchase decision as much as online reviews. 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. If your GMB profile is receiving great reviews, but no one is responding, consumers might think you don’t appreciate their business. On the other hand, if your GMB profile is receiving negative reviews, this is your chance to remedy the situation and show potential customers how your business handles disputes.
Increase Consumer Engagement with a Google My Business Profile
A Google My Business profile has numerous features for consumers to interact with vs a text-based search result. Some consumers respond to pictures, some prefer the reviews, and others prefer to see what is posted on your social media platforms. Providing these options up front increases your “digital realtor” space in Google search results and builds trust with consumers. 81% of consumers go online to research before they commit to investing in a product or service. Make it easy for consumers to learn about your business products and/or services with a Google My Business profile. With services like Calendly, you can provide a link for consumers to easily schedule an appointment.
Free Advertising through Google
As mentioned, a Google My Business profile is completely free to create, manage, and update. There are also many resources within your Google My Business profile that can provide insights into how your GMB is performing online. Track the number of times people click on the website, directions, save, or call button, what days and times those interactions occur, and how many impressions your GMB gets each month.
The products listed on your Google My Business profile can also appear in the search results under the Google Shopping tab. If your website is hosted by Shopify, there are many services out there that allow your website inventory to be synced to your GMB profile. Or you can manually upload product images if you carry low quantities or less variety. Google Shopping ads can also appear in search results when consumers search for your specific product or others related to it.
Google My Business Helps with SEO Ranking
In addition to helping consumers find your business, a GMB profile is also a valuable SEO tool. A listing for a local business is far more likely to appear in search results. If your business owns multiple locations, each location needs to have its own Google My Business profile to optimize for local searches nearby. Not only will this help with search results, but a GMB is also a great way to consolidate and utilize all the Google Advertising tools. Google Ads and Google Analytics can be connected to your GMB profile, so you have access to everything in one place. This is especially important if you are paying for an agency or other third party to manage your PPC and SEO services. Your business should always have access to the services you are paying for and should be able to view the progress of those services.
Does my business really need a Google My Business Profile?
Yes! Google My Business profiles have become so popular that Google has started creating profiles for businesses consumers frequent. So, even if you have not created a GMB profile for your business, it might already exist online. In fact, 56% of businesses have not claimed their profiles. This can be problematic for your business because Google shows your business information based on what consumers submit. A consumer could submit a typo in the address or inaccurate information about your business that Google is now displaying to the world.
It is crucial that someone controls what is being posted on your Google My Business profile. Whether it is the business owner, marketing manager, or an outside agency, someone needs to have access to the GMB profile and update it periodically. If you aren’t sure who has access to your Google My Business profile or need help recovering access, reach out to us today! Our digital experts are happy to help recover your access or update your GMB profile for you.
If you already have access to your Google My Business profile, we created this FREE GMB checklist just for you! It includes a list of items to review on your GMB profile to make sure you don’t miss a thing.