Many small businesses are yet to utilise the power of Google Business Profiles and/or Google My Business Account.
These are powerful local marketing tools that can give your business an edge over your competitors without much of an effort or cost.
So let’s find out more about this.
Google Business Profile vs Google My Business Account
First let’s understand what a google business listing (officially called a Business Profile) is? A business listing or Business Profiles is what appears in Google Maps and in the local results of Google Search.
As a business owner in order to get better visibility on Google you should create a Business Profile.
Creating a Business Profile is the same thing as adding a place to Google Maps, which is something that anyone can do. All that Google requires is the business name, location, and category. Once Google confirms it, they will create the Business Profile for that location. The Business Profile is then open to consumers and will start appearing on Google searches.
However what you may not know is that once a Business Profile is created in this way, you don’t have the ability to change or manage the information it displays or collects. Also anyone can create a Business Profile with your business name and without being able to own it or update it, it could cause a lot of issues for your business’s reputation.
That is where Google My Business comes in. When you create a Google My Business account, it allows you to claim, access, customise, manage, and enhance your Business Profile on Google.
So now I think you clearly understand that Google My Business is not your Business Profile on google, but rather a tool by which you can manage your Business Profile to boost its visibility and effectiveness on Google searches.
So if you have only created a Business Profile for your business, then you need to set-up a Google My Business account and claim your Business Profile. If you haven’t done any of this still, then you can start from the beginning.
We will go over all of this next.
Setting up Google My Business
To get a Google My Business account, go to google.com/business and click “Manage now”. This will take you through the steps of creating an account.
It is important to note here, that a Google My Business Account does not automatically create a Business Profile. So you’ll want to make sure you have an existing Business Profile to access. If not go into Google Maps and add a place with your business details.
Once you create and are logged into your Google My Business account, you will then need to locate your Business Profile on Google Maps and then select the “Claim this business” or “Own this business?” link seen right on the profile. Once you complete that process, your Google My Business account will then be connected with your Business Profile and under your management.
Benefits of using Google My Business
Let’s take a look at why you need to use Google My Business.
- Highlight your business online: As business owners we know how important it is to show up on organic Google search results. Google My Business enhances your business’s chance of showing up for local search results on Google Maps as well as on Google’s Local 3-pack. Did you know that businesses that show up on Google’s local 3-pack get a whopping 700% boost in clicks over businesses that don’t?
- Engage with your customer: Google Business Profiles provide many opportunities for customer engagement. Potential customers can access your website or call you in one click. They can even leave you a review or ask a question. They can even engage in more sophisticated manner like reserve a table or book an appointment directly through your listing.
- Gain insights: You can use the Google My Business dashboard to gain key insights on your business’s local search performance. In the Insight tab of Google My Business, you can see the queries customers are using to find your Business Profile, a breakdown of actions taken on your listing, and how your photos are performing compared to competitors. These are all good information to know about your business so that you can adopt your marketing accordingly.
What’s in Your Google My Business Account?
Google Business Profile gives your customers important information about your business in an easy and more convenient way so that they get the information they are looking for without having to visit the business’s website. This is especially pertinent to information such as phone numbers, address, opening hours and reviews. Google Business Profile also includes information such as listing of services/products, service areas, recent posts and photos. For some businesses it also allows to display Menus.
Should I use Google My Business if I already have a website?
Yes for sure! The Google Business Profile enhances your business’s online presence by adding more visibility to your current business website on Google Search and Google Maps. You can add a link to your website on your Business Profile.
Can I still use Google My Business if I don’t have a business shop front?
Yes for sure! Whether you’re a home-based business or a service-area business, you can list your business details to appear on Google with or without a physical address but simply creating a Business Profile.
How much does Google My Business cost?
Google My Business is a FREE tool and anyone can create and use it for your business.
I hope now you have a good understanding about why you should use this great free tool to improve your business’s local marketing efforts. Get your Google My Business account up and running soon so that your Business Profile can outshine your competitors and attract more customers on the world’s most popular search engine.
If you need help to get this all sorted out, reach out to me and I’d be happy to assist you.