If a potential customer does a Google search for your business, what will they find? Will it be accurate? Are the hours correct? Will they see recent photos or reviews? Can they see you on Google Maps? Will they even be able to find you in a search?
If you answered “No” or “I don’t know,” it’s time for you to get to know Google My Business.
What is Google My Business?
Google defines GMB as “a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.”
To put it another way, GMB is very much a modern-day Yellow Pages. If you were flipping through the Yellow Pages for a plumber, who are you most likely to call: one with a nice, friendly ad that has a little more information about the business, or one with just a phone number?
Most likely, it will be the one that looks more inviting, right?
If you do a Google search for “plumbers near me” and then search for the results, who are you most likely to call: one with photos, reviews and hours listed or one that doesn’t have any reviews, no photos and missing information?
More than likely, you will call that first option.
The great news is that Google My Business is FREE to sign up and use. The most important reason to have a GMB account is that having it will help your business rank higher than your competitors in a local search. It is HUGE for local SEO.
I Have Google My Business … Now What?
Once you go through a verification process, it’s time to manage what users see when they search for your business.
YOU are in control of the information others are seeing to help customers find your business. YOU are in control of telling your story.
This means updating your locations, your hours, creating regular posts about your business, adding photos and responding to reviews.
If you’re already regularly posting to other social media platforms, you don’t have to stress yourself out about creating new batches of content for Google.
Google recommends posting to GMB at least once a week. This can include:
- General information such as a new product or highlighting your areas of expertise or service
- Upcoming events
- Business Updates
Most likely, you’ve created this content for other social media platforms – take the best of that content and post it to Google, too. You will want to be sure your content drives traffic back to your website. By driving back to your website, you will be sending positive signals to Google that your website is relevant and important. Thus, your Google ranking will improve.
Why Is Google My Business So Important?
We mentioned that optimized GMB listings will help you rank higher in a search, and there are numbers to back up how this will draw potential customers your way.
If you think this feels like “just one more thing” you have to do, recent studies have shown that customers are 70% more likely to visit businesses that have GMB listings.
Another study shows that verified businesses on Google are twice as likely to earn trust from their customers.
And then there are the astounding numbers about Google itself:
- Google has more than 92% of the market share for search engines
- Google processes more than 40,000 searches per second every day (that’s more than 3.5 billion a day)
- 84% of people in a survey said they use Google at least three times a day
If you want to find new customers, you have to go where they are spending their time … and that place is Google.
The Social Ginger Can Help!
In 2020, we included Google My Business as one of five things your business can be doing right now through the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you find that you’re struggling with GMB, or anything else with social media right now, contact us. We will be happy to set up a free discovery call to see how we can partner with your business.
This article was originally posted in June 2020. It was updated in September 2021.