If you own a business in 2021, it’s more important than ever to register your business with Google My Business.
Google is the world’s leading search engine, and if you want to rank with Google, registering your business with Google is key.
Google My Business (GMB) is the first place that your customers will look for relevant information about your company – whether it be your location, contact information, opening times, social media accounts, or simply what your business can offer.
Keep reading to learn more about Google My Business, including why it’s so important, and how you can set up a GMB page for your business.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a useful SEO tool that enables you to display information about your company on Google – on both Google Maps and local search results.
It enables you to provide potential customers with valuable information via Google Maps and Google Search – such as when your business opens and closes, contacts information, links to your website and social media accounts, and a brief summary of your services.
Chances are, you’ve viewed hundreds of listings and locations. If you’ve ever searched ‘takeaways near me’ or ‘nearest Tesco’, then you’ll most likely have acquired the relevant information from the Google my Business section.
It is usually found on the right-hand side at the top of the Google search results – you’ll find three top businesses that most relate to your query.
For example, if you search ‘supermarket near me, you’ll find three stores near you accompanied by contact information and their address.
Creating a GMB enables you to access and customize your profile on Google – for example, if you decide to close on Sundays, you simply update your business profile with Google.
There are some extra steps you should take to ensure that your GMB ranks with Google. As well as adding the area you serve, contact details, and photos, you should also include attributes – are you wheelchair accessible, or do you offer free wi-fi?
Another feature of GMB allows you to post blog and article posts and link to them, as well as information about any upcoming events.
Why Is Google My Business Important?
Many business owners will create a business profile – but they aren’t aware that if you don’t set up your business profile with Google, then Google may use other information found on the internet to describe your business.
People will still be able to leave reviews about your business, but you won’t have any control over them.
Creating a business profile with Google will enable you to gain more management over your Google profile – it’s one of the most effective ways that your business can be found online.
User reviews can make or break a business – you wouldn’t want to go to a restaurant that has 0/5 stars and a stream of negative reviews, would you?
On the other hand, positive reviews can draw people to your business. Google My Business allows users to review your business – and high quality, positive reviews will improve your business online visibility.
It’s a free service that every business owner should take advantage of, regardless of the industry.
In 2021, there are more geographically specific search queries than ever, and as you may know, Google’s algorithms are developed to consider the user’s intention.
Google is forever changing its algorithms, and it’s more important than ever to ensure your GMB listing is regularly updated and optimized.
All businesses should dedicate time to understanding and implementing SEO. Google has algorithms for pretty much anything – not just websites.
Their algorithms also cover business profiles, so optimizing your business profile will ensure that you get the best possible results.
Incorporating keywords and using clear, concise language is important if you want to rank in local search results, as well as choosing clear photos, using the correct categories, and completing every section that you can.
Another great Google My Business feature is the dashboard. This enables you to view key insights about your audience, as well as information about your local search performance.
Using the analytics tab, you can view queries that customers use to find your business profile. You can view where they found your profile – whether it was Google Maps or Google Search, as well as a breakdown of the customer’s journey to your listing.
This enables you to learn more about your customers – you can find out where exactly people requested the information from, which means you can target customers in that area and know where to expand your business.
On the analytics tab, you can also view how well your photos are performing in comparison to your competitors.
How Do I Set Up A GMB Page?
Creating your business profile is the same as adding a location to Google Maps. Anybody can do it – to get started, simply visit google.com/business and click the ‘manage now’ button.
This will take you to the necessary steps to complete your account. You simply need to provide Google with the name, location, and category of your business.
Google will then need to confirm that your entry isn’t a duplicate – once this has been confirmed, your business profile will be created for that specific location.
The profile will be open for any customers to add photos, ask and answer any questions, as well as leave reviews about your business and service.
However, creating a Google My Business account won’t allow you to automatically access your business profile. You’ll need to locate your business profile on Google Maps, and then claim the business by clicking the ‘Own this business’ button on the profile.
You’ll need to verify this – there are several ways of doing so. The easiest way of confirming your business is by using your phone number, but some other ways include by postcard, by company email, by bulk verification (if you own several businesses), or instant verification if you’re eligible.
Only when this step is completed, you will be connected with your Business profile and be able to manage it successfully.
Liam is the founder of Liverpool based SEO agency Quirky Digital. He has been ranking websites at the top of Google since 2014, and has a particular focus on link building in competitive niches and local lead generation.