What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool for businesses to manage their presence on Google and to interact directly with potential customers on Google. It is one of the most important SEO tools for optimising local visibility, which is gradually becoming more represented in search results on Google.
Business data from Google My Business is typically displayed in what is called a "Google Local Pack" or "Google Snack Pack", which consists of three business results and an associated map. It appears at the top of search results for local searches (i.e. searches for physical businesses) immediately below any ads. Here is an example of a Local Pack:
This also means that little attention is paid to the regular organic search results on local searches - because they are hidden away under first a series of ads and then a Local Pack. In other words, Google My Business can have a greater impact with visibility on local searches than in organic search results.
Benefits of using Google My Business
Specifically, there are three main benefits to using Google My Business. These three are:
- More visibility on Google. Your business is more likely to appear in Google Maps searches if you have a Google My Business account. When you search for specific industries, such as "SEO agency", you'll find that some businesses will appear based on your location on Google Maps. If the user is in the area of your SEO agency, they will have a greater chance of seeing your agency in the search results if you have a Google My Business account.
- Gain more credibility with user reviews. The majority of users on Google read reviews of local businesses to find out what's best. If you have a Google My Business account, you have the option to let users write a review about your business. The better the rating your business has, the more likely users are to seek out your business.
- Sharing company information with customers. You have the opportunity to inform users about important and useful information such as opening hours and contact information.
Optimization of Google My Business
Just as Google has an algorithm for ranking businesses in the organic search results, Google similarly has an algorithm for ranking businesses in the Local Pack (including on Google Maps). There are basically three parameters that determine your business' visibility:
- Relevance. Relevance is a measure of how well your Google My Business business profile matches what the user is searching for. You can increase the relevance of your profile by writing comprehensive business information so Google can better understand your business and match your profile with relevant searches.
- Distance. Distance is a measure of the distance from your business location to the user's location. If the user has searched for a place name, Google calculates the distance to the place name instead of the user's own location.
- Propagation. Reach is a measure of how well known your business is. Google uses a variety of metrics to assess how well known your business is, including number of mentions, searches for your business name, links to your website, positive reviews and your business' visibility in organic search results.
Reviews are not only important for your visibility in the Local Pack, but also for users' perception of your business. That's why it's important to comment on all reviews, so potential customers can see that customers who have had a bad experience are being listened to and dealt with. Google knows that no one is infallible, so you won't be penalised for a few bad reviews.
Google My Business and local marketing
Google My Business is therefore not your business profile, but a tool that you can use to improve your business profile in order to increase its visibility and effectiveness. You can use your Google My Business as a local marketing tool, using the following four areas:
1. Engage with consumers
There are many ways consumers can interact with your business profile, and then you use your Google My Business account to interact with them. You can reply to reviews, answer questions, activate direct messages and set up associated alerts.
Tip: Did you know that you can also use your Google My Business to publish posts to your business profile, just like you would on Facebook for example.
2. Highlight your business
Actually, a company profile does not contain much information, but you can and should expand with more information. In fact, through your Google My Business account dashboard, you can specify busy/less busy times, add a link to your website, products and prices, attributes and other details that make your business unique. So it's also your Google My Business that you need to use if you want to make changes, updates, etc.
If you want to get more insight into your audience and your local search impact, you can use your Google My Business dashboard. Under the analytics tab, you can see what customers are using to find your business profile, whether they found you on Google Maps or with a Google Search, a summary of the actions taken on your listing, and how your photos are performing against other profiles in your category.
4. Local SEO
If you've been working with Google for a long time, you've probably figured out that Google's algorithm is great. Google has algorithms for ranking its ads and websites, but also one for ranking business profiles. On your Google My Business dashboard, you can incorporate keywords into your business profile to rank in local search results.
How does Google My Business help my local SEO?
As mentioned earlier, Google My Business is a powerful tool for local SEO. By using Google My Business, there are certain things that you have the opportunity to improve by using Google My Business. These include the following:
- Improving your Search Ranking and the Visibility of your Business. When you create your Google My Business account, you will be greeted with a checklist from Google explaining which tools you should use to improve your search ranking and visibility on Google. If you follow that checklist, then chances are your business will improve its search ranking and visibility on Google.
- Improvement of traffic. When people search for specific products and services, they will most often click on the websites that are at the top of the search results, regardless of which website it is.
- Opportunity to reach a wider audience. Based on user reviews of your business, if you have a high score based on user reviews, more users are likely to visit your business website. For example, if your overall rating is 4.5, this helps to send a signal to users that your business is good and trustworthy. This helps to increase the likelihood that they will visit your website.
Google My Business Frequently Asked Questions
Google My Business is a tool that can be used to manage and keep up to date with your business' visibility on Google. If you want more optimal local visibility, Google My Business is the best free SEO tool on the market. You have the opportunity to provide useful knowledge to users about your business, create more credibility by letting your customers write reviews about your business and gain better visibility on Google Maps. When registering your business, you will be given the option to choose whether your business has a physical address or not. This means that you are not required to have a location. However, you have the option to segment which areas you want to serve, so that users who are within your business location will see your business. Registering your business on Google My Business is free and all the tools available on Google My Business are also free to use. It can take up to 7 business days for Google to verify your business.
What is Google My Business?
What are the benefits of using Google my Business?
Can I use Google My Business if my business doesn't have a physical location?
Is it free to register your business on Google My Business?
How long does it take for Google to verify my business?
Google My Business is a tool that can be used to manage and keep up to date with your business' visibility on Google.
If you want more optimal local visibility, Google My Business is the best free SEO tool on the market. You have the opportunity to provide useful knowledge to users about your business, create more credibility by letting your customers write reviews about your business and gain better visibility on Google Maps.
When registering your business, you will be given the option to choose whether your business has a physical address or not. This means that you are not required to have a location. However, you have the option to segment which areas you want to serve, so that users who are within your business location will see your business.
Registering your business on Google My Business is free and all the tools available on Google My Business are also free to use.
It can take up to 7 business days for Google to verify your business.