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What is Google My Business and why it matters to business

Google My Business (GMB) is a tool that allows you to manage company information in a search engine and Google Maps. In simple words, – this is the personal profile of your business. Registration in the service is free, and it has a lot of advantages. How to properly use this powerful tool for business development and what gives your company an account in Google My business – we understand in our article.

Where information about your company is displayed

After registering in Google My Business, your company will receive a “personal card” with detailed information about the organization or its branch. This information may be displayed:

  • in the Knowledge Panel – to the right of search results;
  • in the block of local delivery (Local Pack) – above or below the search results;
  • on Google Maps.

A user can see your company if:

  • make a direct request to Google (by the name of your company, brand) – in this case, he will immediately be shown your card in the Knowledge Panel or on Maps;
  • will search by keywords (product/service name) – while the user will see a list of several companies matching his request and located nearby.

According to Google support, the display of information in these blocks depends on a large number of factors, among which an important role is played by the user’s location, the popularity of the company, and its relevance to the search query.

The issuance rating in Local Pack and on Maps cannot be increased for money. The search engine uses unique ranking algorithms to create a level playing field for everyone. However, by connecting a Google Ads account, you can run your company’s ads and appear at the top of the list with the corresponding mark.

Your Google business card is a kind of online storefront. Here is located:

  • full company information;
  • specific contact information in Google maps
  • photos, videos, owner’s publications (Posts on Google);
  • reviews, customer questions, and answers to them.

Why Google My Business is required for your company

Google My Business has many important benefits, the main one being the promotion of your company in search results. In combination with the right SEO strategy, this makes it possible to always be at the top of the search.

The service also allows you to:

  • attract free targeted traffic to the site, get new customers who are near you and are ready to place an order right now;
  • create a “mini-site” – if you don’t yet have your web resource, a card with detailed and structured information, as well as a high-quality photo or video materials can serve as business cards and introduce customers to the brand;
  • Quickly update company information, update data, as well as track the actions of competitors;
  • Increase brand confidence and build a reputation through interesting publications and natural feedback from visitors
  • give feedback on time. Working with reviews and questions increases customer loyalty;
  • analyze user behavior: where they come from and how they look for information. This allows you to optimize your marketing strategy: reduce costs and make it as useful as possible.

If you are not already on Google My Business, then you run the risk of becoming invisible among competitors.

Getting started with Google My Business

Starting work at My Business is easy: you need to create a company profile on the My Business page, fill out the required information and confirm your rights to the company in any of the above ways. A step-by-step filling algorithm and an intuitive interface make it possible for anyone to do this without specialized knowledge.

Filling out a card should be taken very carefully: the more useful information you enter, the more requests you can rank; it will also increase the chance that a particular client will find exactly what interests him in your profile.

After confirming your account, add photos, work schedules, and other useful content. After that, from time to time, please keep track of reviews and respond to them. Try to use all the functionality available for your account: this is how you can get ahead of competitors.

GMB development continues

As the trends of recent years show,  Google My Business has an important place in Google. The corporation pays excellent attention to local search; therefore, it constantly invests in the development of the tool and introduces new functions into it.

Over the past two years alone, Google My Business has expanded its business opportunities with the following innovations:

  • the function of setting work in the off-season has appeared – you can mark a business as “temporarily closed” for the period between seasons. How to use this know-how, we wrote in our blog;
  • introduced a new solution for sending fraud reports;
  • Now you can add a brief description of the company;
    a separate section has been highlighted, where you can place up to 10 offers (promotions, discounts, etc.) useful to your audience;
  • the ability to create a short link to the company profile was added, where users can quickly find you (we also wrote about this in the blog);
  • A new section “Products” has appeared, where you can add products from your site;
  • for the service sector, it is possible to add a menu with a list of services and prices;
  • You can also add entries from social networks or blogs, announcements of events and promotions (we wrote more about these posts on Google in our other publication);
  • By enabling the corresponding option, it became possible to communicate with visitors using instant messages;
  • And Google My Business allows you to search for a product or service using emoji and sign up for services through a company card.

Some of these features are not yet available in some countries, but most likely, everyone will be able to use them soon.

What can customers change in the company card?

Company attributes. In the knowledge bar, Google invites users to share information by answering the question: “Do you know this place?”. Asking customers to use this feature is an excellent way to go up the rankings, as the search engine evaluates such data as unbiased information, and based on it issues your card for a broader range of requests. For example, the user will be asked to indicate whether a service for the disabled is provided in your building or to indicate the payment options that you accept. On the other hand, this can also play a trick on the profile: incompetent visitors or competitors may share incorrect information.

Questions and answers. The owner must check and promptly answer customer questions. Otherwise, it can be done by other users (they also have this opportunity) who are not aware of the real state of affairs. And if the question remains unanswered at all, then the rating of the card may decrease.

Reviews. We have already mentioned them. We also note the importance of working with negative comments – be sure to give feedback and conduct a constructive dialogue. Please do not underestimate the importance of reviews: they guide buyers before making a decision, and one negative comment left unanswered can level ten positive ones.

What can an owner do to optimize a profile?

Give the most detailed information about the business. Do not leave spaces in the card – the more data, the higher the trust of the client. Indicate the services, opening hours, payment methods, and even the availability of parking. For some, this can be a decisive factor.

Make attractive photos. A photo of a room or a product, corporate design, logos, a team, a video about a service or a product demonstration in action are all a great way to attract attention.

Add additional links to social networks or landing pages of the site. For example, for some types of business, access to the service registration page directly from the card is available.

Regularly update content: update company data, photos, and videos, using Posts on Google add information about promotions or new products, post announcements of publications from a blog or social networks.

Interact with customers by answering questions, responding to reviews, and motivating them to leave positive comments. The more “live” your profile in Google My Business will be, the better it will be ranked, and the more it will bring targeted traffic.

Is this service worth the effort? The answer is yes. At minimal cost, you get a useful promotion tool. Potential customers will be able to get reliable first-hand information about your business, and a competently designed card will help to stand out among competitors. Convenient and simple service will allow you to increase brand awareness and get the first customers, even without creating a website.