Benefits of Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) helps promote local and regional businesses by enabling potential customers to easily find businesses and see lots of information about them at a glance.
Having a GMB page helps you win more new customers in a number of ways:
If you allow Google to make your business address public, you will appear on Google Maps to people who are searching the products and services that you sell. As most people like to buy services from local tradespeople, if you do not appear on Google maps, customers may not be able to find your business.
If you complete a GMB page, and keep the information on this page updated and relevant, then it is likely you will appear more prominently in search engine results.
By having a GMB page, your business may come across to customers as being more credible and trustworthy.
If you create content for customers that is published on your GMB page there is likelihood that customers looking for advice on a particular subject will find your business.
How to set up an account
Setting up an account is very easy and should take no more than 1-2 hours to complete, but it is essential that you put in all the correct information to get the full benefits we have mentioned.
1. Create a Google account which you want to be associated with the business
If you haven’t already set up a Google account for your business, you can do so here. Set it up under your business name rather than your personal name.
2. Make your account
Go to google.com/business and click ‘manage now’ before following all the steps to set up your page. Even if you don’t want customers visiting your home address, including it on your profile can be very useful as it will allow your business to appear on Google maps. Customers often prefer using local businesses, so it helps to show where you are operating from.
3. Verify your business
Google will want to verify that you live or work at the address provided. They will send you a postcard with an access code to that will enable you to verify your business. Follow the instructions you are given to verify your account and you will then be given full access to completing your business profile on GMB.
4. Finish filling out your profile
The more information you provide, the better. It will make you more likely to rank highly when people search for local businesses. You should add a profile photo, working hours, details of your products and services, links to social media and as many relevant photos as possible.
5. Create Google Posts
You can use Google Posts to update your customers on changes to your businesses, new products/services or promotions that you are running. The posts only have a 7-day lifespan, so if you want them to be more visible you will have publish them weekly. They are a good way of sharing information with customers as they will appear on Google Maps and searches.
In order for posts to be effective, use calls to action like ‘call now’, ‘book online’ and ‘learn more’; keep the text short and engaging and use high-resolution photos to reinforce your message.
Hints and Tips
Google wants to make it easy for users of their services such as Google Search to find trusted and reliable businesses. Google uses a complex set of algorithms to determine which businesses should feature most prominently on search results. The exact nature of these algorithms is not known, but when setting up your GMB page it is worth considering the following points:
Ensure that your business data is consistently listed on all online platforms. If there are inconsistencies in your data, Google will penalise you and your business will rank less highly. Make sure you have consistency in you address, phone numbers, email addresses and website.
It is strongly advised to register your business under a physical location, even if this is your home address. This will allow your business to be shown on maps which is beneficial as generally customers are looking for tradesmen local to them.
Google seems to reward businesses who create relevant content. This will mean that a customer are more likely to find your business as the result of doing a search on a particular subject that you have written about. Keep articles short and relevant for example a review of a boiler type, the need for landlords to carry out electrical safety checks or how to handle a plumbing leak. Remember not to plagiarise other articles as Google can detect this.
We will discuss other hints and tips of how to improve your business ranking on search engine results in an article on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).