Google is the largest search engine and accounts for 90% of all online searches, including local businesses. It takes 3.5 billion searches per day, with approximately half specifically for local services. If your business is not listed on Google, now is the time to get started. In a previous article we discussed the free and easy-to-use tool, Google My Business, and how it promotes and can be helpful as it places your business in the forefront of your local customers.
We explained the options Google My Business offers to help your business with an online presence, and how to set up your listing. With the new updates for GMB, it will better ensure your business stays ahead of your opponents and propelling you to the next level of success. Along with the new features to benefit your business, GMB has included features to help your business react to the ongoing pandemic and help keep your clients up-to-date with your information.
Having your business listed on GMB is as fundamental as having a website, or any online presence. It’s a powerful way of keeping your local area informed of your services, especially with the extra information you’re now able to provide your customers. We’ve brought together a list of what’s new for Google My Business, along with 2021 feature predictions that will take your business to the next level of success!
Update Your Business with Ease
Instead of having to sign in and amending your business through the GMB dashboard, you can now revise your business through Google Search or Maps. As long as you’re already signed in to your Google account through your phone, it allows you to make any changes while you’re on the go. If you’re searching for the location of your next job-site, you can update any information about your business at the same time. This includes creating posts, replying to reviews, and adding photos. This update will save you time and make it easier for you to keep your customers up-to-date with your business.
As you may have seen already for other businesses, you now have the option to make any announcements about your business regarding COVID. For example, if it’s impacted your hours of operation, you can add a set of hours or announce your business will temporarily be closed. An important one for your business is an update to the local service ads attribute which allows you to inform your customers you will wear protective gear and maintaining distance when visiting their homes for estimates, follow-ups, etc. During these challenging times, it’s important to remind your customers you respect their health and safety.
Include Your Services
Google my business has made it simpler for your next possible clients to see what services you provide with your listing. A new service feature allows you to include a category, and the service you serve within that category. It also provides you to include a description of up to 300 words. Be certain to include associated keywords about the service in order to insure the possibility of appearing on local search results. This provides your customers to discover your services as quickly as you appear on the listings, leading to potential new leads.
Appointments and Quotes
Another helpful feature for your business is being able to add an appointment link under your listing. You can add a link that will lead your current or next prospective client to your website to make an a consultation with your business. This is a potent method for your clients to immediately book with your services instead of having to maneuver through your website. Also, clients will now be prepared to promptly request a quote for your services, or ask queries on the search results page. With the Google My Business app, it permits you to answer quickly through messaging. If your website presently doesn’t have a contact form, these are obviously valuable substitutes for your customers to contact your business directly.
One of the most interesting extra features being rolled out by Google is the Google Guarantee badge certification. This new subscription will benefit your business, provide legitimacy, and help your clients feel sure in procuring your services. After passing a qualification and evaluation process, they will display a Google Guarantee badge on your listing in the search results. When your clients come across your certified business, it will assure they can trust your services and be more happy to work with your business. Google Guarantee will strengthen your leads and place you ahead of your rivals for the forthcoming year.
GMB is now the deciding factor in local search success, so learning how to optimize Google My Business could be the distinction your local business demands to flourish.
Your Google My Business posts will indeed show up on Maps it’s free advertising for your local business!
Now that you see that improving your Google Business Profile is the key to getting noticed in local search, standing out above opponents, and gaining customers online, it’s a chance to get to work on doing just that. You can turn your Google Business Profile into a 24/7 marketing and lead generation tool for your local business.
Introduction to Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free, simple-to-use tool that supports businesses achieve their online presence and appearance in SERP and Google maps.
Google My Business or GMB provides your business the advantage to reach out to individuals, position better on the search engines, and provides you the opportunity of creating a website with a business email and cloud services free.
Regularly, 50% of consumers will visit a local business website after seeing a positive review, 15% will visit the business site, and 13% will reach the business immediately.
GMB serves small businesses to create and maintain their Google listings, which show up when consumers find businesses on SERP and Maps. It helps businesses draw new customers and share knowledge about what makes them extraordinary.
Excellent reviews are going to have a conclusive effect on probable customers when exploring your business.
Practical guide to support businesses remain ahead in google search and accomplish desired objectives.
Create a Google My Business Account, using a Google account for business by giving all the information on Google.com/business.
Complete the form by furnishing all the information about your businesses, like:
- physical and web address,
- contact details.
- hours of operation, etc.
After that, you can launch by filling in information about your business:
- posts, reviews, and others.
Provide all accurate details.
Give contact information in your business profile.
Give business information in the “from the business” section under “reviews”. Furnish all information within the designated character limit.
Favor a specific category to optimize your business profile. You can also have a secondary category for your business genre.
Add attributes to represent your business better.
Furnish photos as it speaks about your operating state and facilitates google to pick suitable images in search results. It also gets client engagement. Revise this image field periodically.
Invite customers to give reviews as it establishes a substantial influence on the probable market and draws in more engagement.
Engage in making posts about events, broadcasts, and offers on your business profile regularly. It will repeatedly increase customer engagement and maintain your presence active.
Provide correct and prompt answers to the queries sections before any other user gives misrepresenting information.
Include your product and services for adding content to your business profile. It will help you to rank better. Also, give name and product details along with prices for easy reference.
Allow text messaging through the mobile from your business profile, to add additional value to your customers. This feature will increase customer delight, which is the key feature for any business. But you will have to implement this feature specifically in your GMB.
Optimizing your Google business profile will unquestionably lead to:
- Better Customer engagement
- Far Reach to the local market
- Jump in local ranking
- Higher conversion rates
For organizations to flourish in the digital economy surrounded by fierce competitions, one can’t take any risk to allow gaps in the GMB strategy. Mistakes can be costly in establishing an online existence and profitability to the business. Aligning business with Google My Business comes top on the priority in that case. Hope this guide of essential optimization tips for Google My Business 2021 help you establish your online business profile and gives you a a solid chance to stand ahead in the powerful competition.
Tools provided by Google My Business
- Business Gmail – Custom Email
- Google Maps and Google SERP Previews
- Google My Business Mobile App – Android and iOS App
- Google My Business Messenger
- Multiple locations update facility
- Multiple accounts linking facility
- Online Google My Business Support
- Google Ads Creation
- Multiple Account Handling Profiles
- Free 14 day trial to G-Suite
Necessities for Google My Business
The following are the requirements for setting up Google My Business.
- A physical address of your business/shop
- A valid phone number
- A business logo
- Back story
- Photos and Video
- Cover Image
- Product/Service list
- Website (Good to have. Google provides a website option)
How to Start Your Google My Business Listing
First step to starting your Google My Business listing up and running is to actually conduct a Google search to ensure your business doesn’t already have one.
Once successfully claimed, you can manage the information of your GMB listing yourself.
Although there are alternative ways to get your business to show up on the first page of Google, GMB is a fabulously valuable tool to use that helps you: Control, index, and display related business information Interact with clients and manage your online review reputation Curate customer photos, videos, and other user-generated contents Gather insights regarding how your customers are arriving on your site The signals sent from Google My Business even play a role in local SEO strategy- as per Neil Patel.
This information will be indexed by Gooogle SERP, and Maps, presenting a base for your local SEO.
Encourage your local ranking Google’s algorithm for ranking business listings does not just recognize closeness and relevance but also action and kind of information.
Businesses with photos get 42% higher demands for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% higher click-through to their websites than businesses without photos, according to Google.
Get More traffic to your website, social channels, and front door
Trusted by Customers When your GMB listing comes up in search results, a customer looking for businesses sees you as an upright business; that ultimately help in expansion.
5 Star Ratings Boost your credibility.
Whenever people or clients give you 5 star ratings on your GMB listing, it builds up your trustworthiness. Along with star ratings, reviews also raise the trust factor.
Increase in growth of business and traffic to your website
A GMB listing of your business will enhance traffic to your website by 70% and chances of getting new business/clients increases by 50% Increase in Visibility, Search Results, Engagement. GMB listing will increase visibility, which will allow you to take an ingenious approach towards your marketing efforts. A listing that is coherent with posts and updates and images gets simple to reach and grow in search results.
Free Advertising from Google
With a GMB listing, you need not fear about paid ads or SEO. You get free advertising from Google without spending on paid ads. Although paid ads are excellent for prompt results and SEO help, GMB is also a type of marketing method to influence more people.
GMB Video GMB allows video updates for listed businesses.
Video aids in the engagement with clients who visit your listing. Videos that demonstrate your products or services or business setting aid in the ranking and build traffic to your website.
Heat Map Insight
The GMB dashboard gives access to heat maps that reveal the location, postcodes, city, and country from where you might get more expansion or traffic. Tracking clients or guests through their location info aids to recognize the geographies you require focusing on growing your business. This will help to work out and execute targeted marketing campaigns smoothly and productively.
Steps to create your business listing these steps will ensure that GMB Listing is verified.
Login to your Gmail account with the email address associated with your analytics that you have updated on your website (if you have a website already). Or log in with your Gmail email address on or with which you want to make your GMB listing.
If you do not have a Gmail email address; create an account.
Click on or type in the search box https://business.google.com/
If you cannot find your business listing, you can click “Add your business to Google” link it will redirect you to the following page Type your Business Name and click Next.
Clicking on Next, you will be forward directed to a new page Click on “Yes” and then click Next.
The next page is about address details which look like this Fill in the details like:
- Street Address,
- Pincode, and State.
You can add another line to the street address and can select any country and state from their various drop-down menus. When done, click Next.
If your business seems similar to an already listed similar entity, then Google will ask you this:
Click “None of these” and click next
The next page is of Map where you can drag and zoom your location.
After establishing your address on the map, click Next.
The next page is about Service information.
You will have to either click Yes or No depending on whether you physically service your customers outside your business location.
Click “Yes, I also serve them outside my location”. Click Next.
The next window shall ask you about the other locations of your service.
You can search and pick as many locations as you want. You have the choice to change or edit this later.
This is an optional input, where you can decide whether to share servicing locations. You can change or edit or remove afterward. Updating this information is recommended for maximum ROI. Click Next when done.
The next page is of the business category.
Choosing a business category that fits accurately to your business, boosts your business visibility when people are looking for your type of business. Click Next.
The next window is about Contact Info that you want to show to your potential target audience.
This listing is optional but suggested as a “best practice”; because it helps your target market to reach out to you quickly. It asks for your country-specific business number, which shall be shown in your Search results.
If you have a website, then click “Current website URL” and add your website link. Click option 2 “I don’t need a website” if your business is face to face.
If you need a website, then click option 3 “Get a free website based on your info”.
With option, 3 you will get a custom website build on the information provided and is completely free.
Click any of the three options according to your need and status and requirement. Then click Next.
Click Finish to publish your GMB listing on Google SERP.
After clicking Finish, you shall be asked for verification of your listing by “Postcard by Mail’ which Google will send to your address.
It may take 12 days for the code to arrive which shall have a 5 or 6 digit verification number which you can update to get your business listing verified.
The second option is to verify later, which gives you more verification options.
Steps to own an existing listing If your GMB Listing is visible but unverified or un-owned, then you need to search for the business on Google Search and Click “Own this Business?” link (circled in Red) to get started. Log in with your chosen Gmail email address so that you have complete control.
Clicking it will take you to a new page Click “Manage Now”.
The next window is this To verify click the “call” or “text” option. Either option will send you a code via text or a call from Google Support with the code on the number you provide. Update the code on to the slots given, and your business is owned and verified.