What is Google My Business and Why Should We Have an Account?
What is Google My Business?
Launched in 2014, Google My Business (GMB) is a free platform from Google made for businesses to manage their local online presence across Google Search & Maps.
Once a business creates a GMB account and verifies their business information, potential customers searching on Google should find the business faster and have the business contact, location, service, customer reviews and business hours information in front of them in Google’s Search Results.
Once you create and populate your details on your GMB Account, when a customer searches for your business using Google, your business will appear similar to the following:
As you can see in the image above, the GMB account appears in the top-right corner of search results with business address, location, contact info, hours of operation, and more.
Below this section, even more information is displayed, including posts, a link for customers to ask questions and customer reviews.
Creating A Google My Business (GMB) Account
Creating a GMB account is free and easy to do. First, if you don’t have a Google e-mail address (or Gmail account), you will create one of those first. If you have a Google Analytics account, use the e-mail address associated with that. To be clear, you must create a GMB account with a Google Gmail e-mail address.
Google Analytics is the website traffic data tool that tracks all visitor activity on your website – such as how long people are staying on your website, where they’re coming from, what pages they visit, what blogs they read, etc. Google Analytics is a free Google tool.
Why Should I Have a Google My Business Account?
First off, why ignore a free business listing on Google - the most widely used search engine in the United States?
In addition to your free business listing on Google, Google My Business gives us several other useful advantages, including: allowing you to quickly manage, update and display new information on Google, interact with customers and improve performance through Google Reviews and customer questions and suggestions, boost your website’s ranking in Google Search Results, manage on-the-go through mobile with the Google My Business app, and expand your overall online presence.
With regard to search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, creating a Google My Business profile should be one of your first steps. By creating your Google My Business account, you improve your website’s organic search rankings in Google, and will appear to more nearby local customers searching for your business (or a business like yours).
Posts on Google My Business
Google My Business allows you to create and share posts that are similar to social media posts, except that they only appear next to your Google My Business listing. You can share an image, video, event or even a link to a special offer/deal from the dashboard.
These posts function almost like free ads since they appear near your Google My Business company listing and provide visual images and links to whatever you wish to promote.
When your Google My Business profile appears when your business is searched, your latest post will be shown to these potential customers. Earlier Posts appear too.
Here is what one type of GMB post looks like:
Important Note: “Suggest an Edit”
It is important to note that there is a feature called “Suggest an Edit.” While this sounds like a useful, helpful feature, for business owners this is not what it seems. That is because anyone can “suggest an edit” and Google accepts all edits and changes to your profile listing.
Why does Google do this? No one knows. The important thing to know is that anyone can make a change to your listing (including name, contact info, open hours, acceptable forms of payment, etc.), and Google will accept and show those changes to your website listing.
What should you as a business owner do then? Simply check back to your Google My Business account and review to make sure all the info is correct and accurate. Here is more information and steps to fix errors in a Google business listing.
Google My Business – Another Useful Free Business Listing
Wouldn’t you want your business to show up when potential customers are searching for your business on Google? Creating and maintaining your business’s online presence on Google My Business will help customers find you and discover the products and services you provide, contact you, and find your location.