As a (small) business owner it is probably important for your company to be found locally. Google My Business is an excellent tool to use for that purpose. You probably already know that Google Map is always high in the search results, you also might know that in addition to the ads, companies with reviews score well. With GMB you can score higher on Google locally without spending a cent!
What is Google My Business?
Like most services of Google, GMB can also be used free of charge. You make a business listing that you use as a “pin” on the map, ideal for local search results. You can fill in your standard information such as opening hours and a description.
Why use Google My Business?
Here are the five main reasons to use Google My Business:
- It is completely free to use
- You will be better found locally via Google Maps
- The company information and route information is immediately visible
- Customers see the opening times of your business at a glance
- Interested parties can read the reviews directly
What do you need to create an account?
If you already have a Google account you can log in directly via the GMB page otherwise, you will have to create an account. Maybe you already use AdSense, AdWords, or G Suite, you can use that same account. If you don’t have a Google account, set one up. It’s easy and free ;). Just go to GoogleMyBusiness and click on the “Start Now” button. Before you can really start to modify you will have to go through a verification process with a code by phone or by mail. Afterall, Google needs to know if the company really belongs to you. As a company, you need a A fixed, physical address. Google prefers physical stores, especially because of the opening times.
Fill in a company profile
It is important that you complete the profile as much as possible. Think of address information, contact information, opening hours, photos of the business etc. A complete profile will also score better on Google and it is very useful for your customers to find all the information together in one search result. Make sure that this company information is the same everywhere, on GMB but also on your website, Facebook and other channels. Google will scrape this kind of information together and base your ranking on it again. Exactly how the Google algorithm works always remains shadowy, but keeping your company profile uniform everywhere always offers added value. Even if the algorithm changes again. All these entries are called “citations” or mentions, and they do not have to be linked to a link to your website.
Note: Keep the company information up-to-date on all channels where your company is listed. If you are also included in other listings, you also have to adjust it (or have it changed) if you move, for example, or you started using a different telephone number.
Reviews from users are important
If you have a local company, you may not be the only one in that sector. The value of your business for Google appears to depend heavily on the number of reviews posted. It is not about the size of your company or the number of customers, but the number of reviews you manage to collect. You can not just wait for your customers to find their way to Google reviews. Ask them kindly to leave a review. You can use GMB to look up the direct link to Google reviews for your business and share it with your customers. Make sure that you provide a good service, otherwise, the score may be disappointing. It is also a matter of awarding, if you deal with your customers in a neat way, they will also wholeheartedly rate your store. Because you can see the appreciation from just two reviews, it is important to collect as many (positive) reviews as possible. That way if you get one less positive review from a client (or sometimes even from a competitor!), it will not ruin your overall score.
Note: This is not about reviews on your website, but about reviews directly in Google! In addition, publishing reviews on your website can also be beneficial for the ranking in Google.
Share posts via Google My Business
You can also post short messages via GMB that will be shown on the business page on Google for a week. When you use this and regularly post a new message, you will also rise in the local search results. Google does not like entrepreneurs who are passive, you will have to pay some attention to it. Think, for example, of promotions during holidays, or interesting news.
Pay for a listing on business pages
You are not only visible on Google for customers, but also for the managers of business pages. They will approach you, preferably by telephone with a standard script to “check” your data and then sell you a paid listing in a cunning way.
Although “citations” and backlinks are important, paid entries on these types of pages usually have no added value. An exception can be a sector-specific business page, but you can often post a listing there for free. Pay attention with paid listings, which usually does not give you much.
GMB or website?
With that focus on Google My Business, is it still necessary to maintain your own website? For webshops, of course, besides the fact that you want to sell stuff, GMB is less valuable for web-only stores. In addition, Google will also determine your ranking based on the quality of your own website, so it is a matter of “more is better”.
Claim your business in Google My Business and complete your profile. Ask your customers to write a review and keep your business information up-to-date on every possible platform. This way you score better on Google!
If you have any questions regarding this topic or find it difficult to claim your company on GMB, contact me anytime with your questions!
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